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Last Updated:  Sunday, 6 April, 2003, 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
Raikkonen wins chaotic race
Kimi Raikkonen comes under pressure from Giancarlo Fisichella late in the race
Raikkonen could not hold off Fisichella's Jordan
McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen has won a crash-strewn Brazilian Grand Prix despite not being in the lead when the race was stopped after 55 laps.

Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella finished the race in first place, but Raikkonen was declared the winner because the result is counted back two laps before the red flag was shown.

Fisichella was forced to settle for second spot, with Renault's Fernando Alonso in third. David Coulthard, who had been leading but stopped for fuel at the end of lap 52, finished fourth.

The race was stopped because of a horrific accident to Alonso, who smashed into the wreckage of Mark Webber's Jaguar which had crashed on the pit straight.

That was just the final incident caused by the rain-drenched Interlagos track.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya and Britons Jenson Button and Justin Wilson were among those who spun off the track and out of the race - nearly all at the treacherous Turn Three.

RACE RESULT
1 Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)
2 Giancarlo Fisichella (Jordan)
3 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
4 David Coulthard (McLaren)
5 Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Sauber)
6 Jacques Villeneuve (BAR)
7 Mark Webber (Jaguar)
8 Jarno Trulli (Renault)

Schumacher's Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello retired when he ran out of fuel while leading the race on lap 47 - the ninth year in a row that the Brazilian had failed to finish his home race.

Torrential rain had hit Sao Paulo earlier in the afternoon and, despite a brief dry spell, returned in force to leave rivers of water running over the track.

The adverse weather conditions forced the race to be delayed by 15 minutes and the safety car led the drivers out for the first eight laps.

In the hectic early stages, Barrichello, Coulthard and Raikkonen all jostled for the lead as a series of crashes led to the reintroduction of the safety car at regular intervals.

Schumacher, who has had a miserable start to the season, spun off the track on the third corner of lap 25 - one lap after Montoya had done the same.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Barrichello's exit left McLaren team-mates Coulthard and Raikkonen in the lead, but they were rapidly losing ground to Fisichella, whose Bridgestone tyres were in better shape than McLaren's Michelins.

Coulthard came in for his final pit stop with 18 laps of the scheduled 72 remaining, handing the lead back to Raikkonen.

But Fisichella was already challenging for the lead - and the Italian made his move on lap 54 at the quick Mergulho corner.

The race was stopped in the course of the next lap.

Webber climbed out but seconds later Alonso piled into the wreckage.

The race was immediately red-flagged as Alonso staggered from his car and slumped at the side of the track.

The Spaniard was taken away on a stretcher but was said to be "out of danger" by doctors.

With Fisichella leading at the time, Jordan prematurely celebrated, but the Italian was demoted to second spot, denying him his maiden victory.

Raikkonen, by contrast, has now won two races in a row following his maiden win in Malaysia two weeks ago and leads the championship by 11 points from team-mate Coulthard.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Jonathan Legard
"The rain sank half the field"


BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX

INTERLAGOS CONTROVERSY

TRACK GUIDE

2003 SEASON RACE-BY-RACE
 

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