The 2003 San Marino GP: Schumacher’s Emotional 65th Win

Updated on March 5, 2020
Oivas Namok profile image

F1 Enthusiast | Michael Schumacher Fan | Grown to Respect Ayrton Senna | Discovering Past Masters in F1 | Amazed by F1 Cars!

The 2003 Season

Source

After the end of the 2002 season, Michael had touched the heights of F1 achievement as he equalled Juan Manuel Fangio’s five world titles. The Ferrari domination had continued since 2000, all thanks to the excellent work that the team had put in since 1996. But 2003 was proving to be a bit difficult.

What happened, you ask? Well, the new car to arrive in 2003 had reliability issues, and the team decided not to risk the drivers with the new car until it was sorted out. Michael believed that the 2002 car was still good enough to put up a fight. So, the Ferrari team decided that they would go ahead with the previous year’s car for a few races.

The first few races did not turn out as expected, with the defending champion having fourth as his best finish and a retirement. Barrichello had a better run with a second-place podium finish, at least, but he too had to retire once. Michael Schumacher was a lowly sixth place in the drivers' points table by the end of the first three races of the 2003 season.

The team was hoping to change all that by the time they arrived at the San Marino circuit, the fourth race of the season.

Would the fortunes change for Ferrari?

Only time would tell, but let’s find out what time had in store.

Did You Know?

Since the 2000 juggernaut of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, the 2003 season was the only one with a below-average first three races for the team.

Not one of the Ferraris took the top spot in the first three races, despite Michael and Barrichello taking pole once each.

The 2003 San Marino Grand Prix

Ferrari was determined to stand against the challenge posed by not one but two teams. The McLarens and the Williams team both appeared strong on pace and reliability. Ferrari was confident about changing the outcome. Just when things appeared in place with the Ferrari of Michael at the pole and the second Ferrari at third place, there was something unexpected that happened in the Schumacher family. Michael and Ralf Schumacher’s mother passed away hours before the race. Both the brothers flew back home for the last rites.

Both decided to join back and race despite the turn of events. Interestingly, it was both the brothers at the front row. Ralf was in second place and was the one to get ahead at the start of the race.

Ralf led the race until the first pitstop, and then the positions changed across. Michael got ahead of the Williams, and later Raikkonen took the second spot. All looked fine for a third-place finish for Ralf when Barrichello upped the ante to pass him. Ralf made a mistake and the Brazilian in the second Ferrari stormed past. And that’s how the race ended with Schumacher leading Raikkonen, Barrichello and Ralf.

Back to Business – The Ferrari Way

Ferraris finally got their game plan right. For once, both Ferraris made it to the podium with Michael at the top; it was a sight familiar to the audience and one that they missed since the beginning of the 2003 season. The excitement notwithstanding, the Schumacher family loss was kept in mind, and the management decided against the customary champagne spray.

The victory celebration remained muted, and both Michael and Ralf were excused from the post-race press conference. Jean Todd represented Michael in the press-conference. It was a great win for Michael but an emotional one. Ferraris were back in business with a hint of sadness.

Did You Know?

The 2003 season was one of the rare seasons which saw not two but three teams competing for the top spot in the Constructors’ Championship.

It was Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in a three-way battle. The teams finished the season quite close with Ferrari on 158 points, Williams on 144 points and McLaren on 142 points.

This is as close as it gets between three constructors.

Back to the Garage

Since the 2003 San Marino GP, Ferrari was back in the game. The utter ruthless domination that the Ferraris exhibited in the 2002 season appeared to contrast the 2003 beginning. However, there were enough and more races left in the season to show what Ferrari could do.

Despite the win, Michael would have hoped for a happier victory; Elisabeth Schumacher – may she find eternal bliss!

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 S K

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)