14 Sep 2003
On 14th September 2003, Michael Schumacher won the Italian Grand Prix. The race was the turning point in a season that had got off on the wrong foot, then was back on track halfway through and then developed dangerously in a difficult summer. Monza was a battleground and not just on track, for Ferrari, Williams and McLaren and Schumacher at his very best was needed to make a go of it. The then five times world champion prevailed in qualifying by just 51 thousandths over Montoya, with Rubens Barrichello a strong third. The race featured a duel between the German and the Colombian: wheel to wheel on the opening lap and then fought out in hundredths of a second right to the end. Only after the second run of pit stops was Michael able to ease off in his F2003-GA, once he’d built a cushion over the Williams driver. The Ferrari man took the chequered flag, with a 5 second lead over Montoya, while Barrichello brought home a great third place, ahead of Raikkonen who was still in the hunt for the world title.