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The world is talking about Formula One™ again, and here is your chance to see why. 2002 was marked by one team’s dominance, but 2003 was anybody’s game. Drastically improved displays from McLaren, Williams and Renault made life extremely tough for Ferrari and Michael Schumacher. New regulations, and a shift in the balance of power in the tire war, ensured that predicting the winner of each race was never easy, and as for the Championship...Eight different drivers stood on the top step of the podium. Three of them secured their maiden victories in FORMULA ONE! Kimi Räikkönen calmly took the title right down to the wire in only his second season with a top team! Juan Pablo Montoya upped his game and came so close. Nothing could faze Fernando Alonso. He became the youngest F1™ race winner in history! Go on board with him as he laps Michael Schumacher! Experience the fastest race in F1 history. Get to the heart of this roller coaster of a season and follow Michael’s struggle to win an unprecedented sixth world title. Color, 145 min.
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Michael Schumacher's historic sixth World Championship is just one of many memorable highlights in the Official Review of F1's eventful 2003 season. Compiled from official broadcast coverage including excerpts from post-race interviews and qualifying pole-winners, this annual survey offers concise summaries of all 16 races from Australia (where Finland's Kimi Räikkönen scored a pivotal victory for McLaren) to Japan, where Rubens Barrichello secured a win for himself, the constructor's championship for Ferrari, and all-time greatest honors for his teammate, the über-German Schumacher. Brazil was crazy all around, with sporadic rain, frequent tire changes, a spectacular wipeout by Renault's Fernando Alonso (who still earned a third-place finish), and a judgment-decided victory for Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella. (Better use of graphics and narration would clarify race-to-race transitions, but knowledgeable F1 fans probably won't notice this forgivable flaw.)
"Schumi" scored an emotional victory at San Marino just hours after his mother's death, and won again in Italy (including his fastest-ever lap), Austria, Canada, and the rainy-day U.S. GP (while brother Ralf won the European and French GPs). Ferrari's new "shark-vented" F2003GA debuted at Imola; Juan Pablo Montoya challenged the championship with a win at Monaco (where 2002-to-2003 track changes are shown in split-screen from the cockpit of JPM's Williams); and Alonso's first-place finish at Hungary made him the youngest-ever GP winner. Despite numerous revisions in regulations and Ferrari's mid-season protest over apparent Michelin tire-width violations (judges dismissed the claim while Michelin corrected its tire size), the 2003 F1 season achieved its commercial goal with huge crowds, wacky highlights (remember that kilted loony on the track at Silverstone?), celebrity appearances, climactic races, intense competition from Williams, McLaren, and Renault (to contrast Ferrari's dominance in 2002), and the amazing achievement of Schumacher, now indisputably the greatest driver (statistically speaking) in the history of Formula One. --Jeff Shannon
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