A good start to the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. Juan Pablo Montoya led this exciting Australian Grand Prix for many laps and just missed out on a victory due to a spin 11 laps from the chequered flag. The...
A good start to the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. Juan Pablo Montoya led this exciting Australian Grand Prix for many laps and just missed out on a victory due to a spin 11 laps from the chequered flag. The Colombian finished second -- just as in 2002 - after having started third. According to the new points system, he gets eight championship points. Team mate Ralf Schumacher was ninth on the grid and finished eighth after some trouble with a wheel change during his first pit stop. He gets one point. The team's strategy of starting the race on dry tyres played a role in the positive outcome of the race.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"In spite of this good outcome I must say this was a pretty disastrous race for me. We started on dry tyres and this was an excellent decision but then the safety car came out twice and just cancelled our advantage both times. Then when I finally got the lead again I went into turn one and simply went sideways when I picked up the throttle. It was absolutely my fault, but also the only mistake I made this weekend. In my second pit stop I did not change tyres as they were excellent and I was sure the car would be less competitive on new tyres. The last laps were very difficult as I felt a lot of pressure from Kimi Raikkonen."
"It was an exciting race with mixed emotions for the team. Juan's second place is obviously good for us, but at my first pit stop a problem occurred during the tyre change. I was third when I came in but dropped to last position when I went back on track. My race was over there already. However, I think we shouldn't rely too much on today's result. McLaren did a fantastic job and won the race despite starting on the wrong tyres. I found it strange that Ferrari too started on wet tyres. It is obviously wonderful for the team to have achieved a place on the podium in the first race . However, something is clear, we have a lot of work ahead of us as the new Ferrari is going to arrive shortly as well as the new McLaren."
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"It is very good for Juan and for the team to start the season with a second place. We are obviously very happy. It is a pity that at Ralf's pit stop a problem with the right rear wheel cost him about ten seconds. After all the winter testing it was very interesting to see how strong the other cars were in the race. Obviously Ferrari and McLaren are very competitive again."
Gerhard Berger (BMW Motorsport Director):
"This was an exciting and turbulent race from the start to the end. We went for a good strategy but unfortunately Juan Pablo missed his chance of a victory. After his spin he defended his second place in a fantastic way. We are happy with this second place in the first race even if we could actually have won."