|The championship-contenders start in reversed order: Räikonnen on Pole, Montoya on 4th place and Schumacher on a dissapointing 7th place. If the drivers would have had the same positions in the finish, they would have been seperated from each other with just one point for a great championship finale in Suzuka, but the weather changed everything.
A short time after the start Montoya touches Barrichello who gets stuck in the gravel. Later Montoya gets punished with a drive-through penalty. All drivers are on dry tyres, but it starts to drizzle, then stops again. Many drivers lose lots of time changing tyres twice.
Yet, in the 21st lap it starts to rain heavily. Even though Schumacher just got dry tyres in the 20th lap and has to change again after just one lap, he is able to drive through the field and leads when the rain stops.
Montoya has big troubles in the rain and loses some places, Räikonnen is able to keep up, but the Bridgestone-tyres really shine today: Button retires in leading position because of a motor problem and both Sauber are able to drive to places 2 and 3.
In the second half of the race, the track is getting dry again and Räikonnen is still able to get second position and a theoretical chance for world champion 2003.