Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello led team-mate Michael Schumacher to a celebratory one-two finish in front of the at the Scuderia’s home circuit on Sunday.tifosi at the Scuderia’s home circuit on Sunday.content here
Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello led team-mate Michael Schumacher to a celebratory one-two finish in front of the at the Scuderia’s home circuit on Sunday.
Barrichello’s first win of the season started in fine form with his pole position, but heavy rain in the morning had left the track with wet patches and several teams undecided about the tyre choice in the first stint. Electing to go out on intermediate tyres, the Brazilian suffered early when he lost his lead to Renault’s Fernando Alonso before dipping into the pits for his first tyre change on lap five.
"This has been the best season ever and all that was missing for me was a win,” the race winner said. “Some people say F1 is boring but there was nothing boring about today's race. It is an unbelievable feeling. "
"It was a difficult decision regarding tyres at the start, but I was worried I might be caught up in an accident with people spinning so I felt it was better to fit the rain tyres and push as hard as possible and try and escape the pack. I had actually chosen a set-up that slightly favoured the wet.
"Maybe if I had come in to change to slicks one lap earlier, my middle stint would have been easier. Then when Michael (Schumacher) and (Antonia) Pizzonia passed me I thought all was lost. But when my fuel load came down I was just pushing all the time and it was a good call from the team to change the strategy. I said to myself, 'just push the throttle and go'."
Team-mate Schumacher spun out early in the race, rejoined the pack at position 15, and powered his way to the front to seal Ferrari’s eighth one-two of the season. BAR’s Jenson Button finished third to claim his eighth podium finish of the season.
Alonso, BAR’s Jenson Button and Williams’ Juan Pablo Montoya, who was second off the grid, battled for first place after Barrichello’s early misfortune. Button dominated the middle section of the race, but his BAR provided no competition to the Ferraris’ great pace.
Button’s team-mate Takuma Sato finished fourth and BAR’s strong finish placed the team ahead of Renault in the constructor’s championship with very few races remaining in the season.
Montoya eventually finished fifth behind BAR’s Sato while Alonso again failed to finish a race after a promising start.
McLaren’s David Coulthard finished in sixth place after literally starting from the back of the field. Even a last-minute bump from William’s Antonia Pizzonia could not derail him… Scheduled to start at tenth place on the grid, Coulthard dipped into the pits after the parade lap to change his tyres and top up his fuel. This manoeuvre placed him at the back of the pack, but he was able to fight his way into the points.
After losing some bodywork in the scrap with Coulthard, Pizzonia finished seventh. Sauber’s Giancarlo Fisichella took the final point after starting the race in the sixteenth position.
After Renault’s hopes had been high before the race, Jarno Trulli finished in a lonely tenth position while Alonso had earlier spun out of the race.
Kimi Raikkonen again suffered some misfortune when he had to pit his McLaren with engine problems at the end of lap 13, but was optimistic about future victories.
"I think we could have been in a strong position for a podium finish today,” the Finn said after the race. “However after only two laps it became clear that my engine was losing water pressure. It was a shame as I made a good start and gained a few places. Things were looking good, but at least we now have the pace to fight for victories."