The Schumacher era continues

World champion Michael Schumacher loses his front wing in the season finale in Japan - he went on to finish eighth © Sutton Images

Season's results | Drivers' Championship | Constructors' Championship

For the fourth successive year Michael Schumacher and Ferrari dominated the season, winning both constructors' and drivers' championships, although not by the massive margins seen the previous year.

Schumacher, who had secured the 2002 title by July and was never out of the top two all year, was made to work harder for his crown as eight different drivers won races. While he led the drivers' standings from early on, thanks to four wins in five races, there were three drivers separated by two points with three races remaining. Schumacher then saw off his rivals with back-to-back wins in Italy and the USA. Kimi Räikkönen, in a McLaren Mercedes, lost the championship to Schumacher by two points, although he won only one race to Schumacher's six.

Ferrari's defence of the constructors' title was equally tough as Williams and McLaren consistently snapped at its heels. Whereas in 2002 it scored more points than all the other teams combined, this time it edged home by 14.

For the marketing men and fans in general, the genuine competition on show after a few years of processional racing was welcomed and buoyant crowd numbers indicated the product remained popular.

The Brazilian Grand Prix was memorable for appalling conditions, endless tyre changes and an eventual win for Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella. Schumacher recorded an emotional triumph at San Marino hours after his mother's death, while Fernando Alonso became the youngest F1 winner with his victory in Hungary.

The FIA had already made changes to try to increase the appeal of the sport, allowing one-lap qualifying to allow smaller teams more exposure and also introducing optional Friday testing to help reduce costs. The choice of wet-weather tyres was reduced to one and the scoring system was also tweaked to try to make the championships closer. In that regard, it was a success.

One team did go under. Arrows, who failed to finish 2002 after being dogged by financial problems, was refused admission in 2003 and subsequently folded after a quarter of a century in F1.

Round Grand Prix Circuit Date Race result
1 Australian Albert Park March 9 1. DM Coulthard (GBR) 2. JP Montoya (COL) 3. KM Räikkönen (FIN)
Results | Photos (1) | Championship standings
2 Malaysian Sepang March 23 1. KM Räikkönen (FIN) 2. RG Barrichello (BRA) 3. F Alonso (ESP)
Results | Photos (3) | Championship standings
3 Brazilian Interlagos April 6 1. G Fisichella (ITA) 2. KM Räikkönen (FIN) 3. F Alonso (ESP)
Results | Articles (1) | Championship standings
4 San Marino Imola April 20 1. M Schumacher (GER) 2. KM Räikkönen (FIN) 3. RG Barrichello (BRA)
Results | Championship standings
5 Spanish Catalunya May 4 1. M Schumacher (GER) 2. F Alonso (ESP) 3. RG Barrichello (BRA)
Results | Photos (1) | Championship standings
6 Austrian Spielberg May 18 1. M Schumacher (GER) 2. KM Räikkönen (FIN) 3. RG Barrichello (BRA)
Results | Championship standings
7 Monaco Monaco June 1 1. JP Montoya (COL) 2. KM Räikkönen (FIN) 3. M Schumacher (GER)
Results | Photos (2) | Championship standings
8 Canadian Gilles Villeneuve June 15 1. M Schumacher (GER) 2. R Schumacher (GER) 3. JP Montoya (COL)
Results | Championship standings
9 European Nürburgring June 29 1. R Schumacher (GER) 2. JP Montoya (COL) 3. RG Barrichello (BRA)
Results | Championship standings
10 French Magny-Cours July 6 1. R Schumacher (GER) 2. JP Montoya (COL) 3. M Schumacher (GER)
Results | Championship standings
11 British Silverstone July 20 1. RG Barrichello (BRA) 2. JP Montoya (COL) 3. KM Räikkönen (FIN)
Results | Photos (1) | Championship standings
12 German Hockenheim August 3 1. JP Montoya (COL) 2. DM Coulthard (GBR) 3. J Trulli (ITA)
Results | Championship standings
13 Hungarian Hungaroring August 24 1. F Alonso (ESP) 2. KM Räikkönen (FIN) 3. JP Montoya (COL)
Results | Photos (1) | Championship standings
14 Italian Monza September 14 1. M Schumacher (GER) 2. JP Montoya (COL) 3. RG Barrichello (BRA)
Results | Championship standings
15 USA Indianapolis September 28 1. M Schumacher (GER) 2. KM Räikkönen (FIN) 3. HH Frentzen (GER)
Results | Championship standings
16 Japanese Suzuka October 12 1. RG Barrichello (BRA) 2. KM Räikkönen (FIN) 3. DM Coulthard (GBR)
Results | Photos (1) | Championship standings