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2004 Formula 1 World Championship

2004 - Schumacher's Record Breaking 7th Title

After the excitement and close fought racing of 2003, 1 man and 1 team would dominate 2004 – that of course being Michael Schumacher and Ferrari. Records would be broken and one man would set the precedent as the all time greatest racing driver.

The Line-Up

The driver line-up at Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Renault & Toyota remained the same. Takuma Sato took a full time race seat at BAR after replacing Jacque Villeneuve at the end of 2003. Sauber were the biggest change, sporting a completely new line up of Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa. Several rookies made their debut in F1, mot notably Christian Klien, who took up a berth next to Mark Webber at Jaguar and Timo Glock, who would join the Jordan Team mid season. 

Constructors

2004 would see the established teams of McLaren & Williams fall away to the mid field after producing two duff cars. Ferrari looked invincible as they scored over double the points of their nearest rivals. It was up to BAR Honda and Renault to take up the challenge. BAR would secure its first ever Pole Position, thanks to Jenson Button, while Renault would win their first race since returning to F1 at the Monaco GP. 

2004 also saw the demise of Jaguar and Jordan. Jaguar was to be sold at the end of the year to Red Bull to continue under the drinks company name in 2005, while Jordan recorded their worst result since 1993, scoring only 5 points. Eddie Jordan would later sell the team to Alex Shnaider. 

Drivers

Michael Schumacher would win an unprecedented 13 races that year. He won in all but 1 of the first 13 rounds. His only real challenge was to come from his teammate Rubens Barrichello, but Ferrari’s team structure was never going to let it be a real battle.

Jarno Trulli would record his maiden victory in F1 and Jenson Button would secure his first ever Pole Position on way to his best ever result in F1 to date. Only 4 men other than Schumacher would stand on the top step. Raikkonen showed his class with a supreme win at the Belgium GP for McLaren, while Montoya won Williams last race to date in F1 at the season finale in Brazil.

2004 would also be David Coulthard’s last season racing for McLaren after 9 seasons with the Woking based outfit, he will be replaced by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005.

Shanghai Pit Straight - © Emily Walker

Shanghai Pit Lane Complex © Emily Walker

Position Driver Team Time
1 JP Montoya Williams 1:28:01.451
2 K Raikkonen McLaren +1.0 secs
3 R Barrichello Ferrari +24.0 secs
4 F Alonso Renault +48.9 secs
5 R Schumacher Williams +49.7 secs
6 T Sato BAR +50.2 secs
7 M Schumacher Ferrari +50.6 secs
8 F Massa Sauber +62.3 secs
9 G Fisichella Sauber +63.8 secs
10 J Villeneuve Renault +1 Lap