Top 3 Grand Prix held on Easter Sunday

We’re JUST back from a very long winter but we’ve to wait another three weeks until our next slice of on track action. That’s because F1 is this year observing the Easter holiday and not holding a race around it.

In lieu of some live action, I’ve taken a look at all the Grand Prix held on Easter Sunday (Of which there are few) and selected the best three.

3. 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix

The drama began in the morning warm-up session when Enrique Bernoldi threw his Arrows too fast into the Senna S’s and hit the barriers. His Arrows, in flames, swiveled across the track and eventually came to a halt. The Medical Car was deployed to collect Bernoldi but as the driver, Alex Ribeiro opened the door, Nick Heidfeld came too fast into the section and took the door clean off the side of the Mercedes. Luckily for Ribeiro, he had not yet stepped out for he would have been killed.

For the race, Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya came together off the line. Through turn 1, the rivals were wheel to wheel with Schumacher eventually trumping the Columbian and pulling ahead. Montoya came back at him into turn 3 but Schumacher was having none of it and moved across which sent Montoya straight into the back of the Ferrari.

Montoya pitted while Schumacher allowed Barrichello to pass him as Schumacher had more fuel on-board. The laps rolled on and people began to believe that Schumacher was making the impossible, possible. He was going for a one-stop strategy to the shock of his rivals. Ralf Schumacher chased his brother down to failed to make a pass on the older German. Ralf stayed put, hoping against hope that Schumacher would make a mistake – but he didn’t.

Barrichello’s race came to a premature end when he suffered hydraulics issues and this allowed Michael to leap into the lead. After his sole pit stop, he kept the lead and there to take the chequered flag on Lap 71. Or at least he would have except when the Red Baron came over the crest in Interlagos, soccer star Pele who was supposed to be waving the flag, was caught snoozing and missed Michael. Sato in sixth, who was two laps down, was the first man to meet the flag, followed by Ralf Schumacher in 2nd, David Coulthard in 3rd, Jenson Button in 4th and Juan Pablo Montoya in 5th.

Final Standings:

1. Michael Schumacher
2. Ralf Schumacher
3. David Coulthard
4. Jenson Button
5. Juan-Pablo Montoya
6. Mika Salo
7. Eddie Irvine
8. Pedro De La Rosa
9. Takuma Sato
10. Jacques Villeneuve
11. Mark Webber
12. Kimi Raikkonen
13. Alex Yoong
Retired:

Nick Heidfeld (Brakes)
Jarno Trulli (Engine)
Felipe Massa (Accident)
Allan McNish (Spin)
Olivier Panis (Gearbox)
Heinz-Harold Frentzen (Rear Track Rod)
Enrique Bernoldi (Rear Track Rod)
Rubens Barrichello (Hydraulics)
Giancarlo Fisichella (Engine)

 

2. 2003 San Marino Grand Prix

Michael and Ralf Schumacher arrived at the Imola circuit on Sunday morning with pain in their hearts. Their mother, Elisabeth, had passed away on Saturday evening in a hospital in Cologne. The brother’s had competed in qualifying, Michael on pole position and Ralf in 2nd, before flying to Cologne to be at their mother’s bedside. They then made their way back to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the race. Both raced with a black armband.

The race began with the brothers duelling down into the first corner and this battle continued for several laps until the first round of the pit-stops. The tifosi were delighted to see Ralf Schumacher duck into the pits while their hero, Michael Schumacher stayed out for two laps, allowing the ferrari duo to stay out for a 1-2 before the pits stops.

Ralf finished fourth, his hopes of joining Michael on the podium dashed when Barrichello muscled his way past at the end of lap 52, and left Imola immediately afterwards.

The Schumachers had dominated the San Marino Grand Prix for five years, with Michael leading a Ferrari one-two in 2002 and winning in 2000 and 1999.

David Coulthard was fifth, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya followed by Jenson Button who collected the final point for BAR.

Michael was embraced by team mate Rubens Barrichello and kept his helmet on in the paddock. He made his way to the podium but no champagne was sprayed as a mark of respect for Elisabeth Schumacher. Jean Todt, The Ferrari team principal took Michael’s place in the post race press conference after the race as the two brothers flew straight home to Cologne.

Final Standings:

1. Michael Schumacher
2. Kimi Raikkonen
3. Rubens Barrichello
4. Ralf Schumacher
5. David Coulthard
6. Fernando Alonso
7. Juan Pablo Montoya
8. Jenson Button
9. Olivier Panis
10. Nick Heidfeld
11. Heinz Harold Frentzen
12. Cristiano da Matta
13. Jarno Trulli
14. Antonio Pizzonia
15.  Giancarlo Fisichella

Retired:

Mark Webber (Driveshaft)
Ralph Firman (Oil Line)
Jos Verstappen (Electrical)
Justin Wilson (Fuel Rig)
Jacques Villeneuve (Engine)

1. 1993 European Grand Prix (Donnington)

Everyone remembers this race! One of the most famous F1 races in history. Ayrton Senna starting from 4th dropped to 5th and then showed superior driving skills coming from 5th to 1st in just a few corners.

The Williams were 1-2 in Qualifying with Alain Prost on pole ahead of Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Karl Wendlinger and Michael Andretti. At the start, it was damp and Schumacher blocked Senna. Both lost time and Wendlinger took third. Senna dropped to fifth but then passed Schumacher and Wendlinger quickly. Schumacher and Andretti tried to follow Senna past Wendlinger but Andretti hit Wendlinger sending both of them out of the race.

Senna went straight after Hill and took him into McLean’s Corner. Senna then raced after Prost and passed him at the Melbourne Hairpin. Going into the second lap, Senna led Prost, Hill, Barrichello (who had started 12th), Schumacher and Lehto.

The track began to dry and everyone pitted for dry tyres. Lehto was fifth, having started from the pit lane, but he retired with handling problems on lap 14. Berger took the place but he too retired with suspension problems six laps later. It rained again and the leaders now pitted for wets. Schumacher stayed out and was leading but spun off on lap 23 because he was on the wrong tires. The track began to dry and again, everyone pitted with Senna having a problem and losing 20 seconds. Prost now led Senna, Hill, Barrichello, Warwick and Herbert.

Trusting the British weather, it changed again and began to rain forcing the two Williams to stop for wets while Senna stayed out. It was the correct decision because it began to dry again. The Williams stopped, yet again for dries. Prost stalled in the pits during his final stop and when he rejoined, he was a lap behind and down in fourth. Barrichello was now second but it rained and then stopped again. He went to the pits twice and by now Hill was in second, a lap down. Barrichello in third, had trouble with his fuel pressure and retired, giving the place to Prost.

Final Standings:

1. Ayrton Senna
2. Damon Hill
3. Alain Prost
4. Johnny Herbert
5. Riccardo Patrese
6. Fabrizzio Barbazza
7. Christian Fittipaldi
8. Alessandro Zanardi
9. Erik Comas
10. Rubens Barrichello
11. Michele Alboreto

Retired:

Derek Warwick (Gearbox)
Thierry Bousten (Throttle)
Andrea de Cesaris  (Gearbox)
Jean Alesi (Gearbox)
Aguri Suzuki (Gearbox)
Philippe Alliot (Collision)
Michael Schumacher (Spun-Off)
Mark Blundell (Spun-Off)
Gerhard Berger (Suspension)
Jyrki Jarvilehto (Handling)
Ukyo Katayama (Clutch)
Martin Brundle (Spun Off)
Karl Wendlinger (Collision)
Michael Andretti (Collision)

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