Michael Schumacher won his third race in a row after recovering from a pitstop fire and reducing his gap to Raikkonen to only two points.

After his victory in Imola, the day after his mother died, he also won in Spain in the first appearance for the new F2003GA and the new car proved to be a brilliantly fast around A1 Ring where the German won the pole position despite a major mistake in the first sector.

Raikkonen started the second with only three hundreds of a second behind and FIA allowed McLaren to change the cracked valve on the Mercedes V10 engine without the usual punishment for breaching the Parc Ferme rules that were introduced that year.

Williams had a problem with their car because they knew that Montoya would have to retire before the race even started and during the first pitstops Schumacher’s car burst into few flames because some fuel had flashed onto the hot engine cover, but the mechanics quickly switched off the fire and the German continued.

Still, because of this incident he lost about 12 seconds. That turned out to be irrelevant because it all turned to Michael’s advantage – Raikkonen had a engine problem that slowed him down to allow Schumacher to catch and pass him while leading Montoya dropped out after BMW engine failure.

After second pitstops Barrichello caught Raikkonen, but failed to overtake him after a good defensive drive from the leading man of the championship.

Thanks to this, Raikkonen kept his narrow championship lead, but with only two points ahead of Schumacher. But McLaren lost the lead from the Ferrari who overtook them for one point.

STARTING GRID

1 1 M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:09.150
2 6 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren/Mercedes 1:09.189 0.039 0.056
3 3 J.P.Montoya Williams/BMW 1:09.391 0.241 0.349
4 9 Nick Heidfeld Sauber/Petronas 1:09.725 0.575 0.832
5 2 R.Barrichello Ferrari 1:09.784 0.634 0.917
6 7 Jarno Trulli Renault 1:09.890 0.740 1.070
7 17 Jenson Button BAR/Honda 1:09.935 0.785 1.135
8 15 Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar/Cosworth 1:10.045 0.895 1.294
9 11 G.Fisichella Jordan/Ford 1:10.105 0.955 1.381
10 4 Ralf Schumacher Williams/BMW 1:10.279 1.129 1.633
11 20 Olivier Panis Toyota 1:10.402 1.252 1.811
12 16 J.Villeneuve BAR/Honda 1:10.618 1.468 2.123
13 21 C.da Matta Toyota 1:10.834 1.684 2.435
14 5 David Coulthard McLaren/Mercedes 1:10.893 1.743 2.521
15 10 H-H.Frentzen Sauber/Petronas 1:11.307 2.157 3.119
16 12 Ralph Firman Jordan/Ford 1:11.505 2.355 3.406
17 14 Mark Webber Jaguar/Cosworth 1:11.662 2.512 3.633
18 18 Justin Wilson Minardi/Cosworth 1:14.508 5.358 7.748
19 8 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:20.113 10.963 15.854
20 19 Jos Verstappen Minardi/Cosworth

RACE RESULTS

1 M.Schumacher Ferrari 69 1:24’04.888
2 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren/Mercedes 69 1:24’08.250 3.362
3 R.Barrichello Ferrari 69 1:24’08.839 3.951
4 17  Jenson Button BAR/Honda 69 1:24’47.131 42.243
5 David Coulthard McLaren/Mercedes 69 1:25’04.628 59.740
6 Ralf Schumacher Williams/BMW 68 1:24’12.754 1 Lap
7 14  Mark Webber Jaguar/Cosworth 68 1:24’19.742 1 Lap
8 Jarno Trulli Renault 68 1:24’39.039 1 Lap
9 15  Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar/Cosworth 68 1:24’44.746 1 Lap
10 21  C.da Matta Toyota 68 1:24’51.065 1 Lap
11 12  Ralph Firman Jordan/Ford 68 1:24’55.148 1 Lap
12 16  J.Villeneuve BAR/Honda 68 1:24’55.846 1 Lap
13 18  Justin Wilson Minardi/Cosworth 67 1:24’44.538 2 Laps
(10) 11  G.Fisichella Jordan/Ford 60 1:15’24.379 Fuel system
(14) Nick Heidfeld Sauber/Petronas 46 59’05.348 Engine
(8) Fernando Alonso Renault 44 55’22.926 Engine
(7) J.P.Montoya Williams/BMW 32 40’44.351 Water leak
(17) 20  Olivier Panis Toyota 6 9’18.631 Suspension
19  Jos Verstappen Minardi/Cosworth 0 Retirement
10  H-H.Frentzen Sauber/Petronas 0 Not started

Fastest lap: Michael Schumacher – 1:08.337 (lap 41)

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 Kimi Räikkönen 40   6 10 8 8 8
2 Michael Schumacher 38   5 3 10 10 10
3 Rubens Barrichello 26   8 6 6 6
4 Fernando Alonso 25   2 6 6 3 8
5 David Coulthard 23   10 5 4 4
6 Ralf Schumacher 20   1 5 2 5 4 3
7 Juan Pablo Montoya 15   8 2 5
8 Giancarlo Fisichella 10   10
9 Jarno Trulli 10   4 4 1 1
10 Jenson Button 8   2 1 5
11 Heinz-Harald Frentzen 7   3 4
12 Mark Webber 4   2 2
13 Jacques Villeneuve 3   3
14 Cristiano da Matta 3   3
15 Nick Heidfeld 1   1
16 Ralph Firman 1   1
17 Antônio Pizzonia 0  
18 Olivier Panis 0  
19 Jos Verstappen 0  
20 Justin Wilson 0  

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 Ferrari 64   5 11 16 16 16
2 McLaren/Mercedes 63   16 10 13 12 12
3 Renault 35   6 10 7 3 8 1
4 Williams/BMW 35   9 5 2 7 9 3
5 Jordan/Ford 11   10 1
6 BAR/Honda 11   2 3 1 5
7 Sauber/Petronas 8   3 1 4
8 Jaguar/Cosworth 4   2 2
9 Toyota 3   3
10 Minardi/Cosworth 0  

RACE


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