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Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka) 2002 Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka) 2002 review.
Story by Andrew Frampton.

Click here to see the qualifying times. Image by John Rigby.
The 2002 Formula One season ended in the same way it had begun, with Michael Schumacher claiming a comprehensive victory, his twelfth of the season. Meanwhile, team-mate Rubens Barrichello claimed second position, resulting in Ferrari's ninth 1-2 finish of a dominating season.

Juan Pablo Montoya's mid-season run of pole positions now seem an aeon ago, as Michael Schumacher secured yet another top spot in qualifying, in a session halted by a ferocious accident that befell Toyota's Allan McNish. In his last event for the Japanese team, the Scot lost control exiting the 130R corner, clouting the barriers at over 130mph and coming to rest upside down. Thankfully the Scot emerged almost unscathed, although he was not allowed to compete in the race, suffering with a bruised knee. Barrichello got closest to toppling the German domination at the front of the grid, coming to within 0.4 seconds of claiming pole. David Coulthard lined up third, and was joined on the second row by his McLaren team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The Williams team was relatively off the pace at Suzuka, with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya over a second off pole position, languishing back on the third row. Takuma Sato put in his best performance of the season at his home event, taking seventh position on the grid, ahead of the second Jordan of Giancarlo Fisichella. The third Honda powered machine, the BAR of Jacques Villeneuve was ninth, ahead of Renault team-mates Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli.

After a dominant season, a Ferrari victory at Suzuka was never in doubt, as Michael Schumacher leaped ahead at the start, with Barrichello in pursuit. In recent events David Coulthard had been the most notable of Ferrari's rivals, but the Scot was forced out of third position after just seven laps with electronic problems. This left Ralf Schumacher and Raikkonen to battle over third position, albeit well down on the Ferrari duo. The Williams was all set to take the final podium position, only for the German's machine to succumb to an engine failure within four laps of the finish. This promoted Raikkonen to third, cementing his strong sixth position in the championship, in only his second season in F1.

Following the demise of his team-mate, Juan Pablo Montoya moved up to fourth position, despite his car suffering problematic handling all weekend. In what could have been his final race in Formula One (for a while), Jordan's Takuma Sato had a lot to prove in his home event. And on the back of a season marred by several accidents, he drove a superb race to claim fifth position and his first points of the year. His performance in the final round may have been enough to secure his future in Formula One, while Jenson Button, who scored his final points for the Renault team, followed him home. Sauber's Nick Heidfeld took seventh position from Mika Salo (Toyota), Eddie Irvine (Jaguar) and Mark Webber (Minardi).

2002 has yet again seen the domination of one man - Michael Schumacher. The German secured the title by 67 points, while his late season form saw Barrichello finish a comfortable second. The Williams duo of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher took third and fourth in the standings, securing second position in the constructor's championship for Williams in the process.

Race Results:
1. Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 53Laps
2. Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) +0.506s
3. Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) +23.292s
4. Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) +36.275s
5. Takuma Sato (Jordan) +1m22.694s
6. Jenson Button (Renault) +1Lap

Final Driver's Championship Standings:
1. Michael Schumacher 144pts
2. Rubens Barrichello 77pts
3. Juan Pablo Montoya 50pts
4. Ralf Schumacher 42pts
5. David Coulthard 41pts
6. Kimi Raikkonen 24pts
7. Jenson Button 14pts
8. Jarno Trulli 9pts
9. Eddie Irvine 8pts
10. Nick Heidfeld 7pts
= Giancarlo Fisichella 7pts
12. Felipe Massa 4pts
= Jacques Villeneuve 4pts
14. Olivier Panis 3pts
15. Mark Webber 2pts
= Mika Salo 2pts
= Heinz Harald Frentzen 2pts
= Takuma Sato 2pts

Final Constructor's Championship Standings:
1. Ferrari 221pts
2. Williams-BMW 92pts
3. McLaren-Mercedes 65pts
4. Renault 23pts
5. Sauber-Petronas 11pts
6. Jordan-Honda 9pts
7. Jaguar 8pts
8. BAR-Honda 7pts
9. Minardi-Asiatech 2pts
= Toyota 2pts
= Arrows-Cosworth 2pts

2002 F1 season calendar
03/03/2002 - Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne)
- Australia circuit by JR
- Australia preview by AF
- Australia grid by JR
- Australia review by AF
- Australia lap-by-lap by JR
17/03/2002 - Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang)
- Malaysia circuit by JR
- Malaysia preview by AF
- Malaysia grid by JR
- Malaysia review by AF
- Malaysia lap-by-lap by JR
31/03/2002 - Brazilian Grand Prix (Sao Paulo)
- Brazil circuit by JR
- Brazil preview by AF
- Brazil grid by JR
- Brazil review by AF
- Brazil lap-by-lap by JR
14/04/2002 - San Marino Grand Prix (Imola)
- San Marino circuit by JR
- San Marino preview by AF
- San Marino grid by JR
- San Marino review by AF
- San Marino lap-by-lap by JR
28/04/2002 - Spanish Grand Prix (Barcelona)
- Spain circuit by JR
- Spain preview by AF
- Spain grid by JR
- Spain review by AF
- Spain lap-by-lap by JR
12/05/2002 - Austrian Grand Prix (Spielberg)
- Austria circuit by JR
- Austria preview by AF
- Austria grid by JR
- Austria review by AF
- Austria lap-by-lap by JR
26/05/2002 - Grand Prix de Monaco (Monaco)
- Monaco circuit by JR
- Monaco preview by AF
- Monaco grid by JR
- Monaco review by AF
- Monaco lap-by-lap by JR
09/06/2002 - Canadian Grand Prix (Montreal)
- Canada circuit by JR
- Canada preview by AF
- Canada grid by JR
- Canada review by AF
- Canada lap-by-lap by JR
23/06/2002 - European Grand Prix (Nürburgring)
- Europe circuit by JR
- Europe grid by JR
- Europe review by AF
- Europe lap-by-lap by JR
07/07/2002 - British Grand Prix (Silverstone)
- Britain circuit by JR
- Britain grid by JR
- Britain review by AF
- Britain lap-by-lap by JR
21/07/2002 - French Grand Prix (Magny-Cours)
- France circuit by JR
- France preview by AF
- France grid by JR
- France review by AF
- France lap-by-lap by JR
28/07/2002 - German Grand Prix (Hockenheim)
- Germany circuit by JR
- Germany preview by AF
- Germany grid by JR
- Germany review by AF
- Germany lap-by-lap by JR
18/08/2002 - Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest)
- Hungary circuit by JR
- Hungary grid by JR
- Hungary lap-by-lap by JR
01/09/2002 - Belgian Grand Prix (Spa Francorchamps)
- Belgium circuit by JR
- Belgium grid by JR
- Belgium review by AF
- Belgium lap-by-lap by JR
15/09/2002 - Italian Grand Prix (Monza)
- Italy circuit by JR
- Italy grid by JR
- Italy lap-by-lap by JR
29/09/2002 - American Grand Prix (Indianapolis)
- USA circuit by JR
- USA grid by JR
- USA lap-by-lap by JR
13/10/2002 - Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka)
- Japan circuit by JR
- Japan grid by JR
- Japan review by AF
- Japan lap-by-lap by JR

2002 Japan GP circuit map. Image by John Rigby, FIA. Click here for a larger image. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1st place. Image by Shell. Click here for a larger image. Michael Schumacher dominated in Japan. Image by Shell. Click here for a larger image. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2nd place. Image by Shell. Click here for a larger image. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren, 3rd place. Image by www.mclaren.com. Click here for a larger image. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 4th place. Image by BMW. Click here for a larger image. Takuma Sato, Jordan, 5th place. Image by Honda. Click here for a larger image. Takuma Sato earned the adoration of the Japanese crowd with a solid drive to 5th. Image by Honda. Click here for a larger image. Jenson Button, Renault, 6th place. Image by Renault. Click here for a larger image. Nick Heidfeld, Sauber, 7th place. Image by Sauber. Click here for a larger image. 2002 Japan GP lap-by-lap. Image by John Rigby, FIA. Click here for a larger image.
 

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