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2003 Australian Grand Prix

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2003 Australian Grand Prix

  2003 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 16 in the 2003 Formula One season
Date 9 March 2003
Official name LXVIII Foster's Australian Grand Prix
Location Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia
Course Temporary street circuit
Course length 5.303 km (3.295 mi)
Distance 58 laps, 307.574 km (191.118 mi)
Weather Damp at beginning, dry later, cloudy, mild
Attendance 118,000
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 1:27.173
Fastest lap
Driver Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:27.724 on lap 32[1]
First McLaren-Mercedes
Second Williams-BMW
Third McLaren-Mercedes

The 2003 Australian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on 9 March 2003 at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit. The race was won by McLaren driver David Coulthard, who took the final race victory of his career.


  • Report 1
    • Background 1.1
    • Qualifying 1.2
    • Race 1.3
  • Classification 2
    • Qualifying 2.1
    • Race 2.2
  • Standings after the race 3
  • References 4



There was a lot of speculation about how the new set of rules that debuted in this race would affect Ferrari, which were the ones to cause the changes after their dominant 2002 season.


Qualifying was an all Ferrari affair, with Schumacher edging out Barrichello. Montoya took third, with Frentzen, Panis and Villeneuve putting in good performances for 4th, 5th and 6th. The McLarens had poor qualifying, with Coulthard in 11th, and Räikkönen making a mistake, and ending up 15th.


Weather conditions were changeable at the start. Räikkönen stopped for dry tyres at the end of the formation lap. Barrichello jumped the start, and would soon receive a drive-through penalty. Schumacher led at the end of lap 1, with Barrichello in close company. Montoya was 6 seconds behind in third, followed by Frentzen and Villeneuve. Panis went backwards on dry tyres, with the Renaults, Ralf Schumacher and Coulthard climbing quickly. Barrichello received his penalty, and on his in lap, he crashed, putting him out. It was soon time for dry tyres, with the leaders pitting just before a safety car (caused as a result of Firman and da Matta crashing). Mark Webbers car suffered a rear suspension failure and went out on lap 16, which caused the safety car being deployed once again.

By halfway through, it was Montoya who was holding the front, followed by Kimi Räikkönen and Michael Schumacher. Renault's Jarno Trulli also fought closely until he went into the pits. Räikkönen had his turn leading the race until a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. After a wheel-to-wheel dispute with the Finnish driver, Michael Schumacher was forced onto the grass, consequently losing his right deflector, which despite not having great overall impact on the car's aerodynamics, barred him from closing on Räikkönen again and made him miss the podium for the first time since the 2001 Italian Grand Prix and the first time Ferrari missed out on a podium since the 1999 European Grand Prix.

When Williams seemed to have the first victory of the year in their pocket, Montoya spun after entering the first corner too fast, with eight laps from the end and without any pressure from his rivals. Montoya returned to the track, but lost first place to Coulthard, who won what turned out to be his last race victory. Montoya was visibly frustrated in the podium with this incident that, he admitted later, was totally his fault.



Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Time Q2 Time Gap
1 1 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:27.103 1:27.173
2 2 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:26.372 1:27.418 +0.245
3 3 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 1:27.450 1:28.101 +0.928
4 10 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas 1:27.563 1:28.274 +1.101
5 20 Olivier Panis Toyota 1:27.352 1:28.288 +1.115
6 16 Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1:26.832 1:28.420 +1.247
7 9 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 1:27.510 1:28.464 +1.291
8 17 Jenson Button BAR-Honda 1:27.159 1:28.682 +1.509
9 4 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1:28.266 1:28.830 +1.657
10 8 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:27.255 1:28.928 +1.755
11 5 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.242 1:29.105 +1.932
12 7 Jarno Trulli Renault 1:27.411 1:29.136 +1.963
13 11 Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Ford 1:27.633 1:29.344 +2.171
14 14 Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 1:27.675 1:29.367 +2.194
15 6 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.551 1:29.470 +2.297
16 21 Cristiano da Matta Toyota 1:27.478 1:29.538 +2.365
17 12 Ralph Firman Jordan-Ford 1:29.977 1:31.242 +4.069
18 15 Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth 1:30.092 1:31.723 +4.550
19 19 Jos Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth 1:30.053 No Time
20 18 Justin Wilson Minardi-Cosworth 1:30.479 No Time


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 58 1:34:42.124 11 10
2 3 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 58 +8.675 3 8
3 6 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 58 +9.192 15 6
4 1 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 58 +9.482 1 5
5 7 Jarno Trulli Renault 58 +38.801 12 4
6 10 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas 58 +43.928 4 3
7 8 Fernando Alonso Renault 58 +45.074 10 2
8 4 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 58 +45.745 9 1
9 16 Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 58 +1:05.536 6  
10 17 Jenson Button BAR-Honda 58 +1:05.974 8  
11 19 Jos Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth 57 +1 Lap 20  
12 11 Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Ford 52 Gearbox 13  
13 15 Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth 52 Suspension 18  
Ret 20 Olivier Panis Toyota 31 Fuel pressure 5  
Ret 9 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 20 Suspension 7  
Ret 18 Justin Wilson Minardi-Cosworth 16 Radiator 19  
Ret 14 Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 15 Suspension 14  
Ret 21 Cristiano da Matta Toyota 7 Spin 16  
Ret 12 Ralph Firman Jordan-Ford 6 Accident 17  
Ret 2 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 5 Accident 2  

Standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "2003 Australian Grand Prix - Race". Manipe F1. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
Previous race:
2002 Japanese Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2003 season
Next race:
2003 Malaysian Grand Prix
Previous race:
2002 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix Next race:
2004 Australian Grand Prix

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