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Track protest overshadows Barrichello's win
Alan Baldwin |
July 20, 2003 20:29 IST
A death-defying track invasion by a kilted protestor has overshadowed Rubens Barrichello's first win of the year for Ferrari at the British Grand Prix.
The Brazilian beat Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams in a thrilling and chaotic race that tightened up the title battle and plunged the embattled Silverstone circuit owners deeper into trouble.
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen was third for McLaren ahead of Ferrari's championship leader Michael Schumacher in fourth place.
Five times champion Schumacher's overall lead over Raikkonen has been trimmed to seven points from eight with five races remaining. Ralf Schumacher, winner of the last two races for Williams, finished ninth.
The race was thrown into confusion on lap 12 when the protestor -- seemingly dressed as former world champion Jackie Stewart -- appeared on the track, trotting down the middle of Hangar Straight as cars roared past at about 200 kph.
He wandered to the side of the circuit and was bundled to the ground by a marshal as the safety car came out for the second time in the race.
Police arrested the 56-year-old man and charged him with 'aggravated trespass'. He will be interviewed by police later on Sunday in Northampton, central England.
In the confusion, there was a mass of hurried pitstops and Toyota's Brazilian rookie Cristiano da Matta found himself leading a grand prix for the first time with French team mate Olivier Panis in third place.
The protest came against a backdrop of bickering over Silverstone's future between Stewart, president of the British Racing Drivers' Club that owns Silverstone, and Formula One bosses Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone.
Briton David Coulthard was fifth for McLaren, ahead of Italian Jarno Trulli for Renault. Brazilian Cristiano Da Matta was seventh for Toyota and Briton Jenson Button took the final point for BAR.