/2002 - Michael Schumacher

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2002

ABOUT THIS SEASON

2002 The 5th World Championship

I love you,” a champagne drenched Michael shouts down from the podium. But on this 21st July, his profession of ardour is directed not just at wife Corinna but also the entire team – from mechanics to team principal, from trucker to race engineer.

For today, Michael is not only the fastest man on the track; he is also the fastest world champion of all time. By race eleven out of sixteen – and six GP outings before the end of the season – he secures his fifth championship title at Magny Cours and, at the same time, draws level with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio. But he doesn’t see himself as a living legend. “The team is the legend, not me,” he emphasises. Without his team, without the hard work on the track and in the factory in Maranello, this moment of triumph and the hat trick of titles for Ferrari would never have happened.

A little bit of luck

A little bit of luck does play a role in the outcome, not as to whether or not Michael will win the World Championship but rather how soon. “I can honestly say that I wasn’t thinking about the title because I didn’t have the feeling that it was going to happen here,” he says afterwards. Michael travels to France with a 54-point lead over team-mate Rubens Barrichello but a mistake, crossing the white line of the pit lane exit, sets him back. He claws his way up to the front again but it is only in the fifth from last lap that the title really comes within his grasp.

Kimi Räikkönen, who is in the lead, skids on an oil spill shed by Allan McNish’s Toyota. “It was pure luck,” Michael admits, “I had never expected anything like that.” As he takes the lead, the thought enters Michael’s mind for the first time this weekend that title might be winnable.

I think they were the worst five laps of my career. They never seemed to end, they went on for ever. Suddenly there was all this weight on my shoulders and the pressure not to make any mistakes or any false moves.”

After 72 laps five-time World Champion

After 72 laps, he crosses the finishing line as five-times Formula One World Champion. “Then suddenly, all the pressure is off; you realise you’ve done it – it’s a fantastic moment, all your feelings come spilling out…I can’t really find the right words to describe it.”

Next comes Hockenheim, a home race for the outgoing and incoming champion, where his fans fete him not so much in words as in jubilant cheering, blaring klaxons and fireworks. With his first home win since 1995, Michael puts the icing on the cake for the Ferrari championship party. But even in this celebratory year for the Reds, there are two races where triumph is clouded by controversy.

The world of Formula One marks down 12th May.

Rubens Barrichello is in the lead as the Austrian GP draws to a close. But even though he ought to be standing at the top of the podium at the awards ceremony, he is not the winner – as in the previous year, Michael overtakes him on the home stretch, on team orders. This re-imposition of team strategy causes a storm of outrage; and when Michael tries to cross the finishing line together with Rubens Barrichello at the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis, there is renewed criticism. Instead of Michael, Barrichello wins by 0.011 seconds or a lead of 48 centimetres.

But none of this puts a dampener on Michael’s triumphal procession. A uniquely reliable series of cars means that he finishes all 17 races, scores points in all 17 and even takes his place on the podium for all 17. In total, he achieves eleven wins, five 2nd places and one 3rd place. “The hunger is still there, not because I am out to set records, but purely for the joy of racing. Hopefully it will lead to another title win.”

Courtesy by motorsport-magazin.com

STATS

2002 Saison Figures

1

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP

11

GRAND PRIX WINS

17

PODIUM POSITIONS

144

POINTS TOTAL

7

FASTEST LAPS

7

POLE POSITION

THE CAR

Ferrari F2002

F2002

ALL GRAND PRIX

The races of 2002

MELBOURNE

03.03.2002

MELBOURNE

Australia

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 1

SEPANG

17.03.2002

SEPANG

Malaysia

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 3

SAO PAULO

31.03.2002

SAO PAULO

Brazil

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 1

IMOLA

14.04.2002

IMOLA

San Marino

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

BARCELONA

28.04.2002

BARCELONA

Spain

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

SPIELBERG

12.05.2002

SPIELBERG

Austria

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 3

Rennen 1

MONTE CARLO

26.05.2002

MONTE CARLO

Monaco

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 3

Rennen 2

MONTREAL

09.06.2002

MONTREAL

Canada

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 1

NÜRBURGRING

23.06.2002

NÜRBURGRING

EUROPEAN GP

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 2

SILVERSTONE

07.07.2002

SILVERSTONE

Great Britain

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 3

Rennen 1

MAGNY-COURS

21.07.2002

MAGNY-COURS

France

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 1

HOCKENHEIM

28.07.2002

HOCKENHEIM

Germany

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

BUDAPEST

18.08.2002

BUDAPEST

Hungary

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 2

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

01.09.2002

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

Belgium

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

MONZA

15.09.2002

MONZA

Italy

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 2

INDIANAPOLIS

29.09.2002

INDIANAPOLIS

USA

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 2

SUZUKA

13.10.2002

SUZUKA

Japan

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

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