Spanish Grand Prix 2002 - a lookback 30 Apr 2003
In 2002, having bedded in the F2002 at Interlagos and then Imola, Ferrari was totally dominant in Spain. Such was the scarlet team's dominance that there was little overtaking on track, but the race was full of incident and excitement nonetheless.
On Saturday, the Minardi cars started to suffer wing failures. In practice, Mark Webber's front wing detached on the start-finish straight. With his front wheels lifted from the track he flew into a gravel trap at around 190 mph. A different specification front wing was used for qualifying but Alex Yoong's fell off after a trip over a rumble strip. When Webber's rear wing fell off on Sunday morning, Minardi had no option other than to pull out of the race on safety grounds.
And so to the race. At the start Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari failed to leave the grid. The car was wheeled back to the pits but despite much frantic work by the Ferrari mechanics, Barrichello climbed out of his Ferrari and into retirement.
Michael Schumacher was putting in fastest lap after fastest lap and was able to take his first pit stop and emerge with his lead in tact. In the mean time Ralf Schumacher was desperately trying to catch his brother, but flew across a rumble strip, ripping off his front end.
On lap 45 the race's most memorable moment arrived. Juan Pablo Montoya took his second stop and, desperate to get away, pulled off with the fuel hose still attached to his Williams BMW. The team's lollipop man Carl Gaden jumped in front of Montoya's car and got his foot run over in the process. As the rest of the fuel was put in the car, mechanics desperately struggled to lift Montoya's Williams off Gaden's foot.
Montoya maintained his second position however and ran in for a podium finish, followed home by David Coulthard in third. But the day and the weekend belonged to Ferrari and Michael Schumacher. Having taken his second stop, and thus running a car heavy with fuel, he set his fastest laps of the race. Such astounding pace with a heavy car begged the question of how fast the world champion could have gone had he been pushed. The signs for the rest of the season were ominous.