Fisi's chaotic first win

It was always going to require a bizarre set of circumstances for Giancarlo Fisichella to win his first Formula 1 race in this year's Jordan EJ13, but the Brazilian Grand Prix produced an event so downright unpredictable that the scriptwriters of Wacky Races probably would have rejected it

Fisi's chaotic first win

A torrential downpour in the hours before the race was the start of the trouble. Unfortunately, neither Michelin nor Bridgestone had opted to bring full wet tyres over to Brazil, leaving the field to slither about on wholly unsuitable Intermediate tyres.

This was fine around much of the track, but became a major problem heading into Turn 3, where a torrent of water akin to a tributary of the Amazon river was flowing straight across the track. It was inevitable that not all were to survive the crossing, and it wasn't long before the corner played host to the world's most expensive scrapyard. Justin Wilson was the first to crash, but he was soon in illustrious company, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher among the others to exit the race there.

In the end, the race boiled down to a fight between McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen and Fisichella, whose Bridgestone tyres were markedly superior in the conditions. After his final pit stop, the Italian consumed the Finn's advantage at a frightening rate, and soon took the lead with ease.

Moments later, however, more chaos broke out, as Mark Webber crashed heavily into the wall at the final corner, his Jaguar spewing a trail of debris as it slid across the track. Fernando Alonso, who seemingly missed the waved yellow flags, stormed into the wreckage at full tilt, adding to the general carnage at the corner.

With the end of the race in sight, the red flags were thrown on lap 54. Under the rules a countback system means that the race result is determined at the end of the last full lap. By the steward's (incorrect) count, that made Raikkonen the winner.

This came as something of a surprise to Fisichella, who was busily celebrating with his team, after the slight distraction that occurred when his engine caught fire as he came into parc ferme. Although second place was still a major achievement for a Jordan, Fisi's pained expression on the podium made his disappointment all too clear.

But that wasn't the end of the story, as analysis began to show that the wrong man mighty well have been awarded the win. On the Friday after the race, the stewards were reconvened and Fisichella was finally determined the rightful winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix. He was handed his trophy by a sporting Raikkonen before the next race at Imola.

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