Ralf Schumacher won for the second time in seven days exactly 14 years ago – after he celebrated at Nurburgring he also celebrated at Magny Cours, and on both races Juan Pablo Montoya was second, completing a great week for BMW Williams.
In six years of collaboration between BMW and Williams, the 2003 season was definitely the best since they looked like a team that could win the title (especially in the summer when they had the fastest car).
After Ralf and Montoya finished first and second at Nurburgring and Magnycours, Williams scored two 1-2 victories in seven days (the were the only team that scored 1-2 win that season).
In qualifying, Ralf secured his fourth pole position and third in 2003 after Monaco and Canada. By the end of his career, he will also start from pole in 2004 in Canada (also in BMW Williams) and in 2005 in Japan (Toyota).
Having failed to turn pole position into victory in Monaco and Canada, Ralf managed to win ahead of team-mate Montoya in France, which was his sixth and final win in his F1 career.
Michael Schumacher finished third after starting third, but McLaren drivers Raikkonen and Coulthard had problems with the rear brakes, making Michael’s job easier.
After his second victory Ralf Schumacher looked as serious candidate for the championship, especially considering Williams and Michelin’s form – after France he was only 11 points behind his older brother and three points behind the second-placed Raikkonen while Williams was just three points behind Ferrari.
This was the last 1-2 victory for Williams (who has only won twice since than, in 2004 in Brazil and in 2012 in Spain), and Coulthard’s sequence of five consecutive fastest laps in France was finished in 2003 after he set the fastest race lap since 1998.