2002 Australian Grand Prix
|2002 Australian Grand Prix|
|Race 1 of 17 in the |
|Date||3 March 2002|
|Official name||LXVII Foster's Australian Grand Prix|
|Course||Temporary street circuit|
|Course length||5.303 km (3.295 mi)|
|Distance||58 laps, 307.574 km (191.118 mi)|
|Weather||Cloudy at start, clearing to sunny skies.|
|Time||1:28.541 on lap 37|
The 2002 Australian Grand Prix (formally the LXVII Foster's Australian Grand Prix) was a
Eleven of the twelve teams on the FIA's 2002 entry list made it to Melbourne, the
Heading into the new season, several teams opted to retain their
Four practice sessions were held before the race; two one-hour sessions held on Friday and two 45 minute sessions on Saturday. The Friday sessions were held in damp and wet conditions with scattered sunshine. Michael Schumacher, the reigning champion, set the session's fastest lap with a time of 1:28.804, three-tenths of a second faster than Barrichello.
Saturday's weather was again damp and wet, where grip was poor and many drivers were forced to use the
Saturday's afternoon qualifying session lasted for an hour. During this session, the
This section does not
The race was won by defending World Champion Michael Schumacher for Ferrari, becoming just the eighth driver to win the event three times since it was first held in 1928. Schumacher was also the first to achieve all three wins during the Formula One World Championship era. Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya finished 18 seconds behind in second position while McLaren driver Kimi Räikkönen came home in third place and was the only other driver apart from Montoya, not to be lapped by Schumacher.
The race was heavy on attrition, with eight cars eliminated in a multi-car pile-up at the first corner. Williams driver Ralf Schumacher ran into the back of polesitter Rubens Barrichello in the Ferrari. In the ensuing chaos Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber pair Felipe Massa and Nick Heidfeld, Jenson Button, Olivier Panis and Allan McNish retired. Both Arrows were disqualified for disparate reasons.
Eddie Irvine's Jaguar took fourth position while the late race battle for fifth captured the spectating crowd's attention. Mark Webber, the first Australian to start his home race since David Brabham eight years previously, drove his Minardi to fifth position, Minardi's first points in some years. The car was wounded, missing top gear and Mika Salo closing fast. With only a lap to go Salo spun trying to pass Webber. After the race, he celebrated with an enthusiasm more than equal to winner Schumacher. Webber and Australian team boss