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2002 Japanese Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2002 Japanese Grand Prix
Race 17 of 17 in the 2002 Formula One World Championship
Suzuka circuit map (1987-2002).svg
Race details
Date 13 October 2002
Official name XXVIII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix
Location Suzuka Circuit
Suzuka, Mie, Japan
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.821 km (3.617 mi)
Distance 53 laps, 308.513 km (191.701 mi)
Weather Sunny, Air: 26 °C (79 °F), Track 30 °C (86 °F)
Attendance 155,000[1]
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 1:31.317
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Time 1:36.125 on lap 15
First Ferrari
Second Ferrari
Third McLaren-Mercedes

The 2002 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Suzuka on 13 October 2002. It was the seventeenth and final race of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship. It is also the last race held on this layout.

The 53-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher, driving a Ferrari. Schumacher took pole position, led the whole race except during the pit stops, and set the fastest race lap. It was his eleventh win of the season and the fifteenth for the Ferrari team, thus equalling the record set by McLaren in 1988. Teammate Rubens Barrichello finished second, with Kimi Räikkönen third in a McLaren-Mercedes.

This was the last race for Eddie Irvine and Mika Salo, who had been in F1 since 1993 and 1994 respectively. It was also the last race for Alex Yoong and Allan McNish, though the latter could not participate in the race itself due to injuries suffered in a heavy crash during qualifying.



With both drivers and constructors title already decided, the fight in the championships now concentrates on the lower ranks. In the Drivers' Championship, Juan Pablo Montoya in 3rd is 5 points ahead of teammate Ralf Schumacher and for Ralf to take 3rd he would need to either win the race provided that Montoya finishes lower that second or to finish second with Montoya out of the point-scoring positions. David Coulthard has a slim chance of winning 3rd place but that can only happen if he wins the Japanese Grand Prix with Montoya finishing 3rd or lower. Coulthard could take 4th in the Championship by finishing 4th and ahead of Ralf Schumacher. Further down, a number of drivers will have a chance to improve their final ranking but it will all depend on whether they can actually score points. In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari, Williams and McLaren have secured 1st to 3rd. Renault have almost clinched 4th as Sauber would need to win the race with their second car finishing in the points to take 4th and provided that Renault would not finish either of their cars in the points and that is nearly impossible. However, with just 4 points separating 4 teams (Sauber on 11, Jaguar with 8 and both Honda runners BAR and Jordan with 7 points each), it will be a tough fight between those teams to decide the order in which they finish the season as the final ranking influences how much a team receives from the revenue of TV rights. Ferrari are expected to dominate this race. If Michael manages to win the race, he will not only improve his record number of wins in a season but will also have a perfect finishing record this season as Michael has not retired from any race so far in the season. And, if he finishes the race on the podium, he will have finished on the podium in every race of the season.[2] The fight between Williams and McLaren will be very close. Williams will benefit from their BMW power but McLaren have been improving and this circuit will suit their chassis. Both teams have suffered from engine failures lately and that could influence the outcome of this race. Behind the top 3, Renault continue to score points left over from the top 3 teams while Sauber continues to struggle in the face of the tough competition. Jaguar struggled at the United States Grand Prix but they should do better here and both BAR and Jordan would be hoping to get a boost from Honda and Bridgestone at their home track. It is also the first Formula 1 race for Toyota at home and they would want to put on a strong showing with the aim of scoring a point or two so that they finish ahead of Minardi and Arrows in the championship.

In 2001, Michael Schumacher won the race starting from pole with Juan Pablo Montoya finishing a strong second while David Coulthard finishing in 3rd. Mika Häkkinen, Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher made the top 6. The top 3 teams took the top 6 places.

A number of teams were testing the previous week before the Grand Prix. McLaren, Williams, Toyota and BAR were at Barcelona and McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz broke the lap record there. Ferrari were testing at Mugello with Sauber and at Jerez and Fiorano while Renault and Jordan tested at Silverstone. The teams concentrated on set-up for the Grand Prix as well as testing components for the 2003 season.[3]


Michael Schumacher grabbed his 7th pole position of the season and the 50th of his career ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard. Kimi Räikkönen was 4th ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya. Takuma Sato managed 7th and his best ever qualifying ahead of his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella. Jacques Villeneuve was 9th with Jenson Button wrapping up the top 10.

The session was interrupted for over 75 minutes after Allan McNish appeared to have lost control of his car and crashed backwards through the safety barrier at the 130R curve. The back of his car was destroyed, luckily though he didn't sustain any major injuries. He qualified in 18th, however was unfit to start the race.[4]

The fight for pole turned to be a no-contest with Michael Schumacher convincingly faster than anyone else here including his teammate. The fight at the front was really between the other 5 drivers of the top 3 teams. For most of the session they appeared to be evenly matched however Barrichello, Coulthard and Räikkönen all managed to improve late in the session while Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya didn't and hence the final order.

Behind the top 3 teams, the Jordan team took the honours of the best of the rest thanks to a more powerful Honda engine. Takuma Sato impressed his home crowds by not just outqualifying his teammate but also ending up in 7th and only 1.773 seconds off Michael's pace despite this being his first time on the track in a Formula 1 car. Behind Sato, it was close as expected with 1 second separating Sato in 7th and Massa in 15th.

In addition to McNish's crash, Olivier Panis and Eddie Irvine suffered from car problems and had to stop on the track. Panis managed to get back and use the spare but Irvine didn't.

In the battle of the teammates, Mika Salo managed to qualify 1.449 seconds ahead of Allan McNish although McNish had his crash and only had 1 run. Jacques Villeneuve managed to qualify 0.843 seconds ahead of Olivier Panis but again Panis had car problems and had to switch to the spare and Michael Schumacher managed to out-qualify Rubens Barrichello by 0.432 seconds. Closest were Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya with just 0.063 seconds separating them. David Coulthard managed to be 0.109 seconds ahead of Kimi Räikkönen and Jenson Button was 0.118 seconds ahead of Jarno Trulli who also suffered a car problem on his final run.

Takuma Sato had his best qualifying position the season while Michael Schumacher once again equalled his best. Both Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya equalled their worst qualifying positions this season.



Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:31.317
2 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:31.749 +0.432
3 3 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.088 +0.771
4 4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.197 +0.880
5 5 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1:32.444 +1.127
6 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 1:32.507 +1.190
7 10 Japan Takuma Sato Jordan-Honda 1:33.090 +1.773
8 9 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Honda 1:33.276 +1.959
9 11 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1:33.349 +2.032
10 15 United Kingdom Jenson Button Renault 1:33.429 +2.112
11 14 Italy Jarno Trulli Renault 1:33.547 +2.230
12 7 Germany Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 1:33.553 +2.236
13 24 Finland Mika Salo Toyota 1:33.742 +2.425
14 16 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 1:33.915 +2.598
15 8 Brazil Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 1:33.979 +2.662
16 12 France Olivier Panis BAR-Honda 1:34.192 +2.875
17 17 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Jaguar-Cosworth 1:34.227 +2.910
18 25 United Kingdom Allan McNish Toyota 1:35.191 +3.874
19 23 Australia Mark Webber Minardi-Asiatech 1:35.958 +4.641
20 22 Malaysia Alex Yoong Minardi-Asiatech 1:36.267 +4.950


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 53 1:26:59.698 1 10
2 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 53 + 0.506 2 6
3 4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 53 + 23.292 4 4
4 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 53 + 36.275 6 3
5 10 Japan Takuma Sato Jordan-Honda 53 + 1:22.694 7 2
6 15 United Kingdom Jenson Button Renault 52 + 1 Lap 10 1
7 7 Germany Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 52 + 1 Lap 12  
8 24 Finland Mika Salo Toyota 52 + 1 Lap 13  
9 16 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 52 + 1 Lap 14  
10 23 Australia Mark Webber Minardi-Asiatech 51 + 2 Laps 18  
11 5 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 48 Engine 5  
Ret 17 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Jaguar-Cosworth 39 Transmission 17  
Ret 9 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Honda 37 Engine 8  
Ret 14 Italy Jarno Trulli Renault 32 Mechanical 11  
Ret 11 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 27 Engine 9  
Ret 22 Malaysia Alex Yoong Minardi-Asiatech 14 Spun Off 19  
Ret 12 France Olivier Panis BAR-Honda 8 Mechanical 16  
Ret 3 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 7 Throttle 3  
Ret 8 Brazil Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 3 Accident 15  
DNS 25 United Kingdom Allan McNish Toyota Injured in qualifying  
Sources:[5][6] [7]

Championship standings after the race

  • Bold text indicates the World Champions.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ F1 Racing. November 2002.
  2. ^ "Hall of Fame - Michael Schumacher". Archived from the original on 28 June 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  3. ^ "2002 Japanese GP - Race Preview". NewsOnF1. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  4. ^ McNish, Allan (13 October 2002). "McNish ruled out of Japanese GP". The Official Website of Allan McNish. Allan McNish. Archived from the original on January 30, 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Grand Prix of Japan". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  6. ^ "2002 Japanese Grand Prix". Limited. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  7. ^ "2002 FIA Formula One World Championship Japanese Grand Prix".
  8. ^ a b "Japan 2002 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 18 March 2019.

Previous race:
2002 United States Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2002 season
Next race:
2003 Australian Grand Prix
Previous race:
2001 Japanese Grand Prix
Japanese Grand Prix Next race:
2003 Japanese Grand Prix

This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 03:36
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