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Austrian Grand Prix
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Race Report - Results
Michael Schumacher wins his 1st ever race in Austria
and his 4th in a row this season after the Ferrari team gave the order for Rubens
Barrichello to give up the lead in favour of Michael. As a result most of
the crowd were chanting Barrichello at the podium ceremony and Michael
Schumacher was booed!
The race started with Rubens Barrichello retaining the lead with Michael Schumacher taking second. Nick Heidfeld had a great start from 5th taking both Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya however a mistake saw him give back those 2 places!. Raikkonen has a good start but starts dropping back and eventually retires.
Race order after the first 5 laps - Ruben Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya, Nick Heidfeld and David Coulthard.
The 2 Ferraris start building a gap of over a second per lap over Ralf Schumacher indicating they were running a light fuel load. Jacques Villeneuve who started from 17th was storming up the field also indicating a light fuel load.
By lap 15, Barrichello laps Alex Yoong and the gap between the 2 Ferraris and Ralf Schumacher was over 24 seconds. The top 6 remained the same.
On lap 23, Olivier Panis suffers an engine failure and his car locks up and becomes stranded on the track forcing a safety car situation. Both Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher pit at the same time. Rubens rejoins in the lead while Michael rejoins behind Ralf Schumacher. Jacques Villeneuve who was up in 7th also pits.
As the safety car went into the pits and the race got
underway again, Nick Heidfeld appeared to have locked up and went into a spin
collecting Takuma Sato who was being lapped. Heidfeld's Sauber hit the side of
Sato's car. Heidfeld was visibly shaken from the accident while Sato had to receive
medical attention. He was later flown to a nearby hospital for further checks
but the word on him is that he has no serious injuries.
On lap 47 Ralf Schumacher pits from 2nd for his only pit stop, Michael Schumacher moves up into second. A few laps later Juan Pablo Montoya pits and as he was on the harder compound Michelin tyre he only stops from fuel. He rejoins in front of his team-mate.
With just 10 laps to go, the 2 Ferraris pit, Barrichello first and then Michael. They rejoin in 1st and 2nd with Montoya in 3rd ahead of Ralf Schumacher.
2 laps from the end and Rubens Barrichello starts slowing
down as the team inform him that he needs to give way to Michael. On the final
corner Barrichello yields and Michael Schumacher wins the race. Montoya
finishes third ahead of his team-mate Ralf Schumacher while Giancarlo
Fisichella manages to finish 5th ahead of David Coulthard.
Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya are the only 2 drivers to have scored points in every race so far this season. Jenson Button has also been classified as a finisher in every race. On the other hand Enrique Bernoldi and Olivier Panis have yet to finish a race this season!
As a good gesture to Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher asked him to stand on the middle step of the podium, gave him the winning trophy and asked him to sit in the middle at the post race press conference. Is that good enough or does it just make a mockery of the spirit of what Formula 1 is all about ?
Next stop: The Monaco GP on the 26th of May.