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United States Grand Prix 2002 - a look back 23 Sep 2003

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari, and team mate Rubens Barrichello (BRA) on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, United States Grand Prix, Indianapolis, USA, 29 September 2002

Confusion reigned as the chequered flag fell at Indianapolis last year. Ferrari had definitely won, but exactly which Ferrari was less clear. Michael Schumacher had headed team mate Rubens Barrichello throughout the race, but on the final straight he backed off in an apparent bid to stage a grandstand finish.

The pair crossed the line side-by-side, but a quick glance at the timing screens showed that in fact the Brazilian had got there first - by just a hundredth of a second. Whether Schumacher intended to hand Barrichello the win, or whether he simply eased off too much remained a mystery, even after the press conference. Either way, it was another Ferrari whitewash - their eighth one-two of the season.

McLaren were ultimately the scarlet cars' closest rivals. David Coulthard qualified, and finished, third behind the two Ferraris. He even looked to be within striking distance at one point, but was forced to back off in the latter stages after seeing the engine blow on team mate Kimi Raikkonen's car.

It was red faces all round at Williams. Juan Pablo Montoya qualified fourth, just a tenth faster than Ralf Schumacher. However, the Colombian lost out at the start and then tried to re-pass his team mate round the outside of Turn one in an ambitious second-lap move. The pair touched, dropping Montoya to seventh and forcing Schumacher to pit for a new rear wing.

Montoya fought his way back up to fourth, but was unable to catch Coulthard in time to scrap for a podium placing. Behind him, an entertaining battle between Renault's Jarno Trulli and BAR's Jacques Villeneuve eventually saw the Italian come home fifth, thanks to one less stop than his Canadian rival, who had to be content with the final point.

Points were something Ferrari had in abundance. Having already comfortably wrapped up both the drivers' and constructors' titles, their perfect US result took their points tally for the season to 205, eclipsing McLaren's 1988 record of 199. On top of that, Michael Schumacher broke his own record for the most drivers' points in a season.

In contrast, at this year's race Schumacher will face one of the toughest tests of his career as he bids to keep his charge for a record sixth world title on track. Ferrari may have won at Monza, but many pundits expect Williams to fight back at Indianapolis with its relatively high downforce requirements.