On this day in 2003, Michael Schumacher won the first race in the new Ferrari F2003-GA after they spent first four races in the old F2002 while Fernando Alonso was very competitive in Renault in his home race.

After the first four races in 2003, where McLaren celebrated twice (Australia and Malaysia), Jordan once (Brazil) and Ferrari once (San Marino), next race was Spanish GP in Barceloan. McLaren led both championship – Raikkonen (32) led the drivers championship in front of Coulthard (19) and Schumacher (18) while McLaren had 19 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors.

Michael Schumacher Ferrari F2003GA Spanish GP F1 2003 garage exit Foto Ferrari
Ferrari finally decided to race their new F2003GA in Spain (Photo: Ferrari)

Ferrari finally decided to bring their new car after using the modified F2002 in the first four races which was so good that Ferrari was able to start from pole in each of them.

The new F2003-GA, which was labeled ‘GA’ in honor of Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat who passed away on January 24, had a longer wheelbase than his predecessor and the rounded sidepods with a pronounced undercut at the front lower part, which will become a trend in years to come.

McLaren also performed with modified last year’s MP4-17D, and although anticipating the ‘radical’ MP4-18 all season, that car had never been raced so they spent the entire season with last year’s car that had more and more upgrades from the MP4-18.

Schumacher and Barrichello (+0.258) locked the front row in the new Ferraris while Alonso (+0.471) and Trulli (+0.853) took second row for Renault. The leading man in the championship Kimi Raikkonen made a mistake in qualifying and had to start the race from the back of the grid.

His race ended just seconds after the start as he hit Pizzonia in the Jaguar, which failed to start, while Coulthard and Trulli collided in the first corner and both retired.

Spanish GP F1 2003 start Foto Ferrari
Start of 2003 Spanish GP (Photo: Ferrari)

Alonso started briliantly and immediately passed Barrichello, but Schumacher blocked him on the inside and Barrichello retained the second place from the outside of turn one. Schumacher and Barrichello almost colided in the first corner, but led the grid after the start.

By the end of the race, Schumacher managed to control the race, and Alonso managed to beat Barrichello and show a pretty impressive speed for Renault. The Spaniard finished his home race just 5.7 seconds behind Schumacher and 12.3 seconds ahead of Barrichello.

Schumacher closed championship gap to Raikkonen to just four points and Alonso was three more behind. Although they haven’t scored points in this race, McLaren still led the constructors, but with only three points ahead of Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher Ferrari F2003GA Spanish GP F1 2003 Foto Ferrari
Photo: Ferrari

STARTING GRID

1 1 M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:17.762
2 2 R.Barrichello Ferrari 1:18.020 0.258
3 8 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:18.233 0.471
4 7 Jarno Trulli Renault 1:18.615 0.853
5 17 Jenson Button BAR/Honda 1:18.704 0.942
6 20 Olivier Panis Toyota 1:18.811 1.049
7 4 Ralf Schumacher Williams/BMW 1:19.006 1.244
8 5 David Coulthard McLaren/Mercedes 1:19.128 1.366
9 3 J.P.Montoya Williams/BMW 1:19.377 1.615
10 10 H-H.Frentzen Sauber/Petronas 1:19.427 1.665
11 16 J.Villeneuve BAR/Honda 1:19.563 1.801
12 14 Mark Webber Jaguar/Cosworth 1:19.615 1.853
13 21 C.da Matta Toyota 1:19.623 1.861
14 9 Nick Heidfeld Sauber/Petronas 1:19.646 1.884
15 12 Ralph Firman Jordan/Ford 1:20.215 2.453
16 15 Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar/Cosworth 1:20.308 2.546
17 11 G.Fisichella Jordan/Ford 1:20.976 3.214
18 18 Justin Wilson Minardi/Cosworth 1:22.104 4.342
19 19 Jos Verstappen Minardi/Cosworth 1:22.237 4.475
20 6 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren/Mercedes

RACE RESULTS

1 1 M.Schumacher Ferrari 65 1:33:46.933
2 8 Fernando Alonso Renault 65 1:33:52.649 5.716
3 2 R.Barrichello Ferrari 65 1:34:04.934 18.001
4 3 J.P.Montoya Williams/BMW 65 1:34:48.955 1:02.022
5 4 Ralf Schumacher Williams/BMW 64 1:33:55.791 1 Lap
6 21 C.da Matta Toyota 64 1:33:56.150 1 Lap
7 14 Mark Webber Jaguar/Cosworth 64 1:34:02.928 1 Lap
8 12 Ralph Firman Jordan/Ford 63 1:33:57.593 2 Laps
9 17 Jenson Button BAR/Honda 63 1:34:09.907 2 Laps
10 9 Nick Heidfeld Sauber/Petronas 63 1:34:10.822 2 Laps
11 18 Justin Wilson Minardi/Cosworth 63 1:34:57.072 2 Laps
12 19 Jos Verstappen Minardi/Cosworth 62 1:34:36.773 3 Laps
(11) 11 G.Fisichella Jordan/Ford 43 1:06:06.042 Engine
(7) 20 Olivier Panis Toyota 41 1:01:24.480 Gearbox
(12) 10 H-H.Frentzen Sauber/Petronas 38 58:27.995 Suspension
(9) 5 David Coulthard McLaren/Mercedes 17 28:03.993 Collision
(17) 16 J.Villeneuve BAR/Honda 12 21:34.454 Fire
7 Jarno Trulli Renault 0 Collision
15 Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar/Cosworth 0 Collision
6 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren/Mercedes 0 Collision

Fastest lap: Rubens Barrichello – 1:20.143 (lap 52)

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 5/16 RACES

1 Kimi Räikkönen 32   6 10 8 8
2 Michael Schumacher 28   5 3 10 10
3 Fernando Alonso 25   2 6 6 3 8
4 Rubens Barrichello 20   8 6 6
5 David Coulthard 19   10 5 4
6 Ralf Schumacher 17   1 5 2 5 4
7 Juan Pablo Montoya 15   8 2 5
8 Giancarlo Fisichella 10   10
9 Jarno Trulli 9   4 4 1
10 Heinz-Harald Frentzen 7   3 4
11 Jacques Villeneuve 3   3
12 Cristiano da Matta 3   3
13 Jenson Button 3   2 1
14 Mark Webber 2   2
15 Nick Heidfeld 1   1
16 Ralph Firman 1   1
17 Olivier Panis 0  
18 Jos Verstappen 0  
19 Justin Wilson 0  
20 Antônio Pizzonia 0  

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 McLaren/Mercedes 51   16 10 13 12
2 Ferrari 48   5 11 16 16
3 Renault 34   6 10 7 3 8
4 Williams/BMW 32   9 5 2 7 9
5 Jordan/Ford 11   10 1
6 Sauber/Petronas 8   3 1 4
7 BAR/Honda 6   2 3 1
8 Toyota 3   3
9 Jaguar/Cosworth 2   2
10 Minardi/Cosworth 0  
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