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   Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Schumacher steals Austrian win
Rubens Barrichello (right) hands Michael Schumacher victory in the Austrian Grand Prix
Schumacher (left) only led in the last few feet


Ferrari's Michael Schumacher claimed a controversial victory in an incident-packed Austrian Grand Prix.

The four-time champion went in front for the first time in the race with just a few metres to go after long-time leader Rubens Barrichello slowed up to let his team-mate through.

The contrived finish angered fans at the A1-Ring, who booed and whistled the Ferraris as they came into the pits at the end of the race.

Race result
1. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1hr 33min 51.562sec
2. Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Ferrari at 0.182sec
3. Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) Williams-BMW 17.730
4. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Williams-BMW 18.448
5. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Jordan-Honda 49.965
6. David Coulthard (Gbr) McLaren-Mercedes 50.672

The win saw Schumacher tighten his grip on the World Drivers Championship, extending his lead at the top to 27 points.

As whistles and jeers bombarded the pits, a shame-faced Schumacher urged Barrichello, who started on pole, to stand on top of the podium.

Juan Pablo Montoya was third in his Williams in a race that was disrupted by a major incident involving Takuma Sato and Nick Heidfeld.

Sato somehow escaped serious injury after his Jordan was virtually destroyed in a collision with the Sauber of Heidfeld.

Germany's Ralf Schumacher was fourth in the other Williams, with Giancarlo Fisichella of Italy fifth in a Jordan and David Coulthard of Britain sixth in his McLaren.

Heidfeld got off to a flyer, moving briefly up to third behind the two Ferraris from his position of fifth on the grid.

It was a largely uneventful start, although Jacques Villeneuve's minor shunt with Heinz-Harald Frentzen earned the Canadian a drive-through penalty.

I thank Rubens for the points, but I am not very happy

Michael Schumacher

The Ferraris quickly took control of the race, opening up a sizeable lead before the safety car was called out for the first time on lap 24.

Olivier Panis showed tremendous skill in preventing his BAR from crashing into the pit wall after spinning on the finish straight.

But with flames coming out of the rear of the vehicle, officials decided the safety car was needed.

Both Barrichello and Michael Schumacher opted to pit, allowing Ralf Schumacher to move up to second.

And Michael Schumacher remained in third when the race was slowed for a second time following the horrific crash on lap 28 involving Sato and Heidfeld.

The German skidded off the track, along the gravel and onto the track again at Remus Curve, taking out Sato and just missing Montoya at the same time.

Initially, both Sato and Heidfeld looked to be unhurt, but then concern quickly mounted for Sato.

Takuma Sato gets treatment
Sato's Jordan (left) was virtually destroyed
He was treated while still in his car before being whisked away for further examination.

News eventually filtered through that the Japanese driver had escaped serious injury, although he was transported to a local hospital by helicopter.

Jordan team boss Eddie Jordan later revealed that one of the doctors treating Sato had described the incident as "one of the biggest miracles they've ever seen".

Jordan added: "It would appear that there are no injuries at this stage. Fingers crossed everything seems to be fine - no broken bones or anything."

Once the race was up to top speed again, Michael Schumacher overtook his younger brother before taking victory when Barrichello slowed up.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live - BBC Five Live's Jonathan Legard
"Schumacher was clearly embarrassed"
In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

Ferrari in the dock

Race day

Qualifying session

Pre-qualifying

F1 2002
See also:

12 May 02 | Photo Galleries
Links to more Formula One stories are at the foot of the page.


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