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The 2003 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 23 March 2003 at the Sepang International Circuit. It was the second race of the 2003 Formula One season, and it was won by Kimi Räikkönen driving the MP4-17 for McLaren-Mercedes. This was Räikkönen's first Formula One Grand Prix victory. As well, Fernando Alonso scored his first pole position and podium finish.

2003 Malaysian Grand Prix
Race 2 of 16 in the 2003 Formula One World Championship
Sepang.svg
Race details
Date 23 March 2003
Official name V Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix
Location Sepang International Circuit
Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.543 km (3.444 mi)
Distance 56 laps, 310.408 km (192.879 mi)
Weather Fine
Attendance 101,485 (Weekend) [1]
Pole position
Driver Renault
Time 1:37.044
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Time 1:36.412 on lap 45
Podium
First McLaren-Mercedes
Second Ferrari
Third Renault

Before the race, McLaren's David Coulthard was leading the championship however the Scot retired on lap three handing the championship lead to his teammate, Kimi Räikkönen who finished third in the previous race.

Contents

ReportEdit

BackgroundEdit

David Coulthard was leading the championship after winning the first race of the season. Montoya was second. Kimi Räikkönen, Michael Schumacher and Jarno Trulli were in Third, Fourth and Fifth respectively.

Before the race rain was predicted with the likelihood of heavy showers at 60 per cent. High humidity was also predicted by some people however, causing the teams to be split in terms of tactics.[2]

PracticeEdit

The first Friday practice session saw Fernando Alonso fastest with a time of 1:37.693 and his teammate, Jarno Trulli, two tenths of a second slower putting him in third. Giancarlo Fisichella separated the Renault's with second fastest in the Jordan EJ13.[3]

The second session saw Ferrari take over with Michael Schumacher completely eclipsing the efforts of Alonso in the previous session. He went fastest with a 1:34.980. His teammate, Rubens Barrichello, managed second with a 1:35.681 lap at the end of the session.[4]

RaceEdit

Both the BAR of Jacques Villeneuve and the Toyota of Cristiano da Matta failed on the grid, causing them to start from the pit lane; however, this caused confusion after the warm-up lap, forcing Giancarlo Fisichella to reverse into his grid spot, the second-time the unfortunate Italian took up the wrong position at this circuit. Alonso led the all-Renault front row and led the cars into the first corner, but Michael Schumacher, who started from third position, tangled whilst attempting to pass Jarno Trulli, knocking Trulli into a spin and causing him to lose many places. Schumacher was forced to pit for a new nosecone and after serving a drive-through penalty for the incident, dropped to the rear of the field. He later accepted blame for the incident.[5]

A chain reaction further back in the field caused Jaguar driver Antônio Pizzonia to rear-end Juan Pablo Montoya, removing the latter's rear wing. Montoya was forced to pit, losing two laps during a rear-wing replacement. As a result, David Coulthard of McLaren-Mercedes was left in second position, but his prospects were ended on the second lap with an electronics failure. He later criticised the team.[6] His team-mate Räikkönen had moved into second place by passing the Sauber of Nick Heidfeld. On the tenth lap, Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello passed Heidfeld for third place.

The podium positions stayed that way with Räikkönen cutting into the lead when Alonso pitted first out of the front three on lap 14, a sign that he was carrying a lighter fuel load during qualifying. Alonso did break the record for youngest driver to lead a race (the previous record having remained since 1951). Räikkönen circulated until lap 19, using the lighter fuel load to post faster lap times, and after his pit stop emerged ahead of Alonso.

Barrichello also made up time before pitting on the 21st lap, but did not clear Alonso upon his return to the track, with a deficit of over three seconds. By this stage, Trulli had recovered to 6th place, challenging the BAR of Jenson Button for fifth position. Räikkönen gradually extended his lead, which reached 17.8 s by the 33rd lap. Button pitted on the 34th lap, allowing Trulli clean air to post faster lap times.

Alonso then pitted on the 35th lap, freeing Barrichello, who did not pit until the 38th lap and re-entered the race ahead of Alonso. Räikkönen was the last of the contenders to pit, doing so on lap 40 and further extending his lead. Meanwhile, a delay with a fuel nozzle had denied Trulli the opportunity to jump Button in the pits. Michael Schumacher, with a light car at the end of his stint, passed Trulli and Button in quick succession before conceding his gains with a final pit stop.

On the 51st lap, Trulli spun attempting to pass Button. He and Schumacher eventually passed Button on the final corner after the Briton made a mistake. Räikkönen eventually earned his maiden Grand Prix victory with a large margin of 39s.

ClassificationEdit

QualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Time Q2 Time Gap
1 8   Fernando Alonso Renault 1:36.693 1:37.044
2 7   Jarno Trulli Renault 1:36.301 1:37.217 +0.173
3 1   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:34.980 1:37.393 +0.349
4 5   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.297 1:37.454 +0.410
5 2   Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:35.681 1:37.579 +0.535
6 9   Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 1:36.407 1:37.766 +0.722
7 6   Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.038 1:37.858 +0.814
8 3   Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 1:35.939 1:37.974 +0.930
9 17   Jenson Button BAR-Honda 1:36.632 1:38.073 +1.029
10 20   Olivier Panis Toyota 1:36.995 1:38.094 +1.050
11 21   Cristiano da Matta Toyota 1:36.706 1:38.097 +1.053
12 16   Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1:37.585 1:38.289 +1.245
13 10   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas 1:36.615 1:38.291 +1.247
14 11   Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Ford 1:36.759 1:38.416 +1.372
15 15   Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth no time 1:38.516 +1.472
16 14   Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 1:37.669 1:38.624 +1.580
17 4   Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1:36.805 1:38.789 +1.745
18 19   Jos Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth 1:38.904 1:40.417 +3.373
19 18   Justin Wilson Minardi-Cosworth 1:39.354 1:40.599 +3.555
20 12   Ralph Firman Jordan-Ford 1:38.240 1:40.910 +3.866

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 6   Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 56 1:32:22.195 7 10
2 2   Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 56 +39.286 5 8
3 8   Fernando Alonso Renault 56 +1:04.007 1 6
4 4   Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 56 +1:28.026 17 5
5 7   Jarno Trulli Renault 55 +1 Lap 2 4
6 1   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 55 +1 Lap 3 3
7 17   Jenson Button BAR-Honda 55 +1 Lap 9 2
8 9   Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 55 +1 Lap 6 1
9 10   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas 55 +1 Lap 13  
10 12   Ralph Firman Jordan-Ford 55 +1 Lap 20  
11 21   Cristiano da Matta Toyota 55 +1 Lap 11  
12 3   Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 53 +3 Laps 8  
13 19   Jos Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth 52 +4 Laps 18  
Ret 15   Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth 42 Brakes/Spin 15  
Ret 18   Justin Wilson Minardi-Cosworth 41 Fatigue 19  
Ret 14   Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 35 Engine 16  
Ret 20   Olivier Panis Toyota 12 Fuel pressure 10  
Ret 5   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 2 Electrical 4  
Ret 11   Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Ford 0 Electrical 14  
DNS 16   Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 0 Electrical 12  
Source:[7]

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.racefans.net/2017/02/08/are-tickets-too-dear-attendance-fell-at-some-tracks-in-2016/
  2. ^ "Unsettled weather for Malaysian Grand Prix". formula1.com. 19 March 2008. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Alonso fastest in Friday testing". formula1.com. 21 March 2003. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Schumacher unstoppable". formula1.com. 21 March 2003. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Schumacher accepts blame". London: BBC Sport. 23 March 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2003.
  6. ^ "Angry Coulthard criticises McLaren". London: BBC Sport. 23 March 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2003.
  7. ^ "2003 Malaysian Grand Prix". Formula1.com. Formula1.com Limited. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Malaysia 2003 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019.

External linksEdit