2003

1 World Drivers’ Championship – All drivers

2003 - World Drivers' Championship - All drivers

Michael Schumacher edged Kimi Raikkonen for the title by just two points – for the first time since 1998 the battle for the championship went down to the final round.

2 World Drivers’ Championship – Battle for the title

2003 - World Drivers' Championship - Battle for the title

The new points system for 2003 allowed Raikkonen to keep in touch with Schumacher despite only wining one race to the German’s six. Juan Pablo Montoya drew to within a point of Schumacherwith three races to go, but after a controversial penalty in the United States Grand Prix his hopes were dashed.

3 World Drivers’ Championship – Points systems 1981-present

2003 - World Drivers' Championship - Points systems 1981-present

Raikkonen benefitted more than anyone under the new points system compared to the previous years. He collected an extra 24 points over what his total would have been in 2002 compared to Schumacher’s 16 and Montoya’s 20. However, none of the significant places would actually have been any different.

4 World Constructors’ Championships – All constructors

2003 - World Constructors' Championships - All constructors

After the embarassment of finishing behind Minardi in 2002, Toyota moved up to eighth in 2003. Ironically Jordan, who might have been expected to benefit from the new rules system more than other teams, would have fared better under the 2002 system as a result of Giancarlo Fisichella’s fluke win in Brazil.

5 World Constructors’ Championships – Battle for the title

2003 - World Constructors' Championships - Battle for the title

Williams’ attempts to the wrest the Constructors’ Title from Ferrari collapsed late in the season thanks to the controversial Michelin tyre ban.

6 Drivers’ Average Start Positions

2003 - Drivers' Average Start Positions

Rubens Barrichello surprisingly had the better average starting position of the two Ferrari drivers – note this does not necessarily mean that he was the fastest driver on average. Unlike team-mate Raikkonen, David Coulthard lost out to the Renaults most of the time.

Mark Webber’s average starting position of 11th was conspicuously higher than Antonio Pizzonia’s 19th, until the latter was dropped. But Justin Wilson’s average during his tenure at Jaguar was a near-identical 13.8.

7 Drivers’ Top 3 Qualifying Positions

2003 - Drivers' Top 3 Qualifying Positions

Ferrari might have been under pressure but their drivers nonetheless scored more top three qualifying positions than any other individual drivers. Webber and Jarno Trulli made it into the top three more often than Coulthard.

8 Drivers’ Average Position Changes and Participations

2003 - Drivers' Average Position Changes and Participations

No driver suffered the ignominy of having a negative average position change. Of the leaders, Raikkonen scored highest as he often struggled in qualifying but excelled on race day.

9 Drivers’ Points per Round and per Finish

2003 - Drivers' Points per Round and per Finish

This chart is most revealing about the battle for the championship – Raikkonen points-per-finish rate was 0.8 higher than Schumacher’s, meaning that with a better finishing record the championship could have been his. Rubens Barrichello had the greatest differential between points per race and point per finish.

10 Drivers’ DNFs (totals)

2003 - Drivers' DNFs (totals)

The first year of parc ferme rules overnight after Saturday did not cause the growth in unreliability that was widely predicted, as over two-thirds of entrants became classified finishers.

11 Drivers’ DNFs (by driver)

2003 - Drivers' DNFs (by driver)

Certain individual drivers still suffered from high rates of unreliability: Wilson, Fisichella and Jacques Villeneuve all suffered car failure in half of their races. Pizzonia’s propensity for incident cannot have endeared him to Jaguar. Champion Schumacher was blessed with perfect reliability for a second consecutive year.

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