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   Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK
Schumi on top in Brazil
Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya go into the first corner neck and neck
Montoya and Schumacher clashed on the first lap
  • Click here for final standings

    Michael Schumacher has powered his way to a nailbiting victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix, beating brother Ralf into second place by just half-a-second.

    The four-time world champion had been expected to struggle against the Williams duo of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya, on top for much of the race weekend.

    But Montoya, on pole after an excellent qualifying run, clipped the elder Schumacher's Ferrari seconds after the race start, sending the Colombian back to the pits and effectively ruling him out of a second Grand Prix victory.

    In his absence, Ralf Schumacher was rarely more than a second behind his brother in the second half of the race but eventually had to make do with the runners-up spot.

    McLaren had another difficult afternoon, Kimi Raikkonen spinning into the gravel trap while fourth.

    Team-mate David Coulthard finished a creditable third, a minute off the pace.

    England's Jenson Button had a strong afternoon
    Button and Renault fared well in Brazil

    Jenson Button's excellent start to the season continued at the Interlagos circuit, the Briton earning himself three championship points with fourth.

    Montoya put on a strong comeback drive to challenge Button in the last few laps, but the Williams star had to be happy with fifth, ahead of Mika Salo in the Toyota.

    The race got off to a sensational start with Montoya and Michael Schumacher on the front of the grid.

    The pair came off the race start neck and neck, but the German took a marginal advantage with the inside line on the first corner.

    As Montoya tried to recapture the lead, Schumacher moved over to cover the inside of the track, and the Williams clipped the back of Schumacher's new Ferrari.

    The impact ripped off Montoya's front wing, puncturing a tyre and sending him back for an early pit stop.

    In all he lost a minute to Schumacher, who reported no damage from the incident.

    Giancarlo Fisichella and Allan McNish joined Montoya in the pits after hitting the resulting debris.

    Fisichella retired six laps later, while McNish spun off with 29 laps left.

    Barrichello waves to the crowd following his eighth consecutive retirement at the Brazilian Grand Prix
    Barrichello's Brazilian woes continued

    Rubens Barrichello briefly thrilled his home crowd when Schumacher allowed him into the lead on lap 13 - the Brazilian was on a different race strategy from the German.

    But Barrichello ground to a halt three laps later with hydraulic failure, his eighth consecutive retirement in Brazil.

    And a dire afternoon for the Brazilian contingent was accentuated by the retirements of both Felipe Massa and Enrique Bernoldi.

    Michael Schumacher's afternoon did not go entirely go to plan, the German enduring a slight scare minutes after his teammate's retirement when he locked his left front wheel in an otherwise faultless drive.

    The defending world champion conceded the race lead for the second and final time, on this occasion to brother Ralf, after his one and only pit stop on lap 39.

    And, despite a poor pit effort by his Ferrari mechanics, he found himself back in front when his Williams rival came in for his stop.

    Ralf Schumacher continued to push in the Williams and, although he came within the narrowest of margins of recapturing the race lead, he could not match his brother.

    He moves to second in the world championship standings, eight points behind his brother.


    Brazilian Grand Prix final standings:

    1 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1hr 31min 43.663secs
    2 Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Williams BMW at 0.588secs
    3 David Coulthard (GB) McLaren Mercedes at 59.109
    4 Jenson Button (GB) Renault at 1:06.883
    5 Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) Williams BMW at 1:07.564
    6 Mika Salo (Fin) Toyota at 1 lap
    7 Eddie Irvine (GB) Jaguar at 1 lap
    8 Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) Jaguar at 1 lap
    9 Takuma Sato (Jap) Jordan at 2 laps
    10 Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BAR Honda at 3 laps
    11 Mark Webber (Aus) Minardi at 3 laps

    Did not finish:

    12 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin), McLaren Mercedes at 4 laps
    13 Alex Yoong (Mal) Minardi at 4 laps
    14 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Sauber at 10 laps
    15 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Renault at 11 laps
    16 Felipe Massa (Bra) Sauber at 30 laps
    17 Allan McNish (GB) Toyota at 31 laps
    18 Olivier Panis (Fra) BAR Honda at 46 laps
    19 Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Ger) Arrows at 46 laps
    20 Enrique Bernoldi (Bra) Arrows at 52 laps
    21 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Ferrari at 55 laps
    22 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Jordan at 65 laps

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  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
     BBC motor racing correspondent Jonathan Legard
    "Montoya got it wrong at the start"
    In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

    The race

    Reaction

    Race build-up

    F1 2002

    SPORTS TALK
    See also:

    31 Mar 02 | Formula One
    31 Mar 02 | Photo Galleries
    Internet links:


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