Barrichello wins; Ferrari takes title
Rubens Barrichello won his second race of the year at the Hungarian Grand Prix today after starting from pole position, finishing ahead of Michael Schumacher who as predicted played the "assistant" role to help his team-mate.
In hot conditions the Ferrari package proved once again to be in another league, and it was therefore befitting that the one-two by Barrichello and Schumacher sealed the 2002 constructors' crown, Ferrari's fourth in succession.
Ralf Schumacher finished where he started, third, after driving a solid, unspectacular race, followed by the McLarens of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard. Both men benefited from a good race strategy by Woking officials implemented due to the poor starting positions which had them stay out longer and therefore enabled them to progress through the order during the afternoon.
Giancarlo Fisichella ended his magnificent weekend to take sixth place, just ahead of Sauber's Felipe Massa who silenced his critics with an excellent mature race in his Sauber Petronas.
Juan-Pablo Montoya had a disastrous day at the office. After a poor start that saw him drop to seventh from fourth place, he struggled badly on pace in the initial stages before running off the track at turn three and damaging bodywork following a scrap with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen. After losing considerable time he eventually came home to finish a wholly unfulfilling 11th, a lap down on the leaders.
In hot and sunny conditions the race start saw Barrichello lead Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher, Fisichella, Felipe Massa and Jarno Trulli into the first corner. Montoya dropped back while Button was on the move from ninth, passing one car at the start and then taking Trulli and Montoya on the outside of turn one.
Barrichello and Schumacher expectedly pulled out a significant gap in the first stint with Ralf Schumacher dropping back but managing to keep a safe distance from Giancarlo Fisichella, who in turn was comfortably staying ahead of Sauber's Felipe Massa.
The order stayed the same after the first pit stops and the Ferraris continued their calm but highly efficient momentum into the second stint. Schumacher at one point had a chance to pass Barrichello but keeping to previously agreed tactics, opted to maintain track position. Ralf Schumacher continued in third with Ralf Schumacher, Fisichella, and Massa behind, while the McLarens made a good move through strategy to move up to sixth and seventh, led by Kimi Raikkonen.
Hopes from other teams that the Ferraris would falter were useless as the machines effortlessly continued circulating for 40 laps, Barrichello maintaining a steady gap over Schumacher who was in no hurry either. Barrichello once again took the lead after emerging from the pits following his second and final stop, and there was no way Ralf Schumacher was about to challenge his brother. Meanwhile McLaren, after its cars had put in a strong second stint, put the "stay out longer" strategy to good use again when it managed to get Raikkonen and Coulthard past both Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa after the second round of pit stops.
Schumacher varied his pace somewhat in the closing stages to ensure Barrichello had enough breathing space but just to demonstrate Ferrari's superiority, he set the circuit's new fastest lap, a 1:16.207, eclipsing Mika Hakkinen's 2001 mark by five tenths of a second.
The Ferrari crew waved their men in on lap 77 after yet another crushing performance, Barrichello taking the win by just four tenths of a second in the end. Ralf Schumacher was a further 13 seconds back, followed by the McLarens who were half a minute in front of Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa.
Barrichello's victory makes it the 11th of the year for Maranello, and takes the Constructor tally to 157 points, which easily wins the stable the Championship.
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