San Marino Grand Prix 2002 - a look back 15 Apr 2003
Last year's San Marino Grand Prix saw the real start of Ferrari's domination of the 2002 Formula One season. Although the F2002 had been raced in Brazil, it was not until Imola that both Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello had one each to use in the race. With two F2002's at the team's disposal Ferrari took it's first 1-2 at the track since Pironi and Villeneuve achieved the feat in 1982.
In 2002 all the top teams opted for a two stop strategy. Both Schumacher brothers pitted on identical laps for both of their stops but Rubens Barrichello's hard charging on his in laps saw him pick up second place and secure the top steps of the Imola podium for Ferrari. David Coulthard's strategy of holding a heavier fuel load for the first segment of the race cost him dear as he finished in sixth, one lap down.
In 2003 Ferrari's domination will be a little harder to achieve. With the F2003-GA being held back until the Spanish Grand Prix, Ferrari will again be running the F2002. So far this season the car has not been the force it was last year as its rivals look to have started to close the gap. Exactly how much this gap will be widened come the arrival of the "GA" remains to be seen. McLaren has won two of the first three races of 2003 and its new car is also not expected until at least the Spanish race.