The 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 58th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 55th FIA Formula One World Championship, which was contested over eighteen races which ran from 7 March to 24 October 2004. The championship was dominated by Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro with the German driver winning the Drivers' Championship for the fifth consecutive year since 2000 and the Italian constructor winning the Constructors' Championship for the sixth straight season since 1999. Also notable were the success of BAR and Renault, and the relatively poor performance of Williams and McLaren.
Michael Schumacher won 12 of the first 13 races and eventually scored 13 race victories, breaking his own record of 11 race wins in a season, set in 2002. He also won a record seventh Drivers' Championship with his teammate Rubens Barrichello winning two of the last four races and finishing second in the title. Jenson Button, though failing to win a Grand Prix, secured ten podium finishes and one pole position to finish third in the Drivers' Championship. Along with Japanese teammate Takuma Sato, Button delivered BAR an impressive second place in the Constructors' Championship behind Ferrari.
Four of the ten teams, Ferrari, Renault, Jaguar, and Toyota, were subsidiaries of major car companies and one, BAR, was a division of a tobacco company. Williams and McLaren, both privately owned teams, had engine supply agreements with major car companies, BMW and Mercedes-Benz respectively, and Honda produced engines for BAR. The other three teams, Jordan, Sauber and Minardi, were also privately owned but received little substantial sponsorship, and consequently tended to end up toward the back of the grid. Sauber received Ferrari engines badged under the Petronas name, and also received sponsorship from the Malaysian oil and gas company.
The 2004 Canadian Grand Prix was a very dramatic race. First, Timo Glock replaced Giorgio Pantano in this race, for financial reasons. Then, Williams and Toyota were excluded from the race due to an irregularity in the brake ducts. That meant the Jordan and McLaren teams were the main beneficiaries of the disqualifications, with Jordan's Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock both scoring points, Glock in his debut Formula One race. Immediately before the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix, Giorgio Pantano was dropped by the Jordan team and Timo Glock replaced him for the last 3 races.
Ralf Schumacher had a difficult season. He suffered a massive accident during the 2004 United States Grand Prix and was out of action for 6 races. Marc Gené and Antônio Pizzonia replaced him during his absence.
Jarno Trulli's relationship with the Renault team deteriorated after his first victory at the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix. He left the team after the 2004 Italian Grand Prix, which was also Pantano's last race for the Jordan team. Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve replaced Jarno Trulli at Renault for the final 3 races. Trulli missed the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix, but he returned in the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix and the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix with the Toyota team. That meant the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix was Jarno Trulli's first race with the new team.
Cristiano da Matta's string of disappointing results during the season led to his replacement by test driver Ricardo Zonta from Hungary onwards except the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix. Da Matta did not race for Toyota again and in 2005 he returned to Champ Car racing.
This season saw all ten teams score at least one World Championship point.
From the 2004 season onward, all teams which had not finished in the top four in the previous year's Constructors' Championship were allowed to run a third car in the Friday practice session before each Grand Prix, for testing purposes. Other teams were also permitted to have test drivers, although they were not allowed to compete in Friday practice. Sauber chose not to run its third driver in these sessions because of the added expense.
|Entrant||Constructor||Chassis||Engine†||Tyre||No||Driver||Rounds||No||Free Practice driver(s)|
|Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||F2004||Ferrari 053||B||1||Michael Schumacher||All||N/A|
|BMW WilliamsF1 Team||Williams-BMW||FW26||BMW P84||M||3||Juan Pablo Montoya||All||N/A|
|4||Ralf Schumacher||1–9, 16–18|
|West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||MP4-19
|Mercedes FO 110Q||M||5||David Coulthard||All||N/A|
|Mild Seven Renault F1 Team||Renault||R24||Renault RS24||M||7||Jarno Trulli||1–15||N/A|
|Lucky Strike BAR Honda||BAR-Honda||006||Honda RA004E||M||9||Jenson Button||All||35||Anthony Davidson|
|Sauber Petronas||Sauber-Petronas||C23||Petronas 04A||B||11||Giancarlo Fisichella||All||N/A|
|Jaguar Racing F1 Team||Jaguar-Cosworth||R5||Cosworth CR-6||M||14||Mark Webber||All||37||Björn Wirdheim|
|Panasonic Toyota Racing||Toyota||TF104
|Toyota RVX-04||M||16||Cristiano da Matta||1–12||38|| Ricardo Zonta|
|Jordan Ford||Jordan-Ford||EJ14||Ford RS2||B||18||Nick Heidfeld||All||39|| Timo Glock|
|19||Giorgio Pantano||1–7, 9–15|
|Timo Glock||8, 16–18|
|Minardi F1 Team||Minardi-Cosworth||PS04B||Cosworth CR-3 L||B||20||Gianmaria Bruni||All||40||Bas Leinders|
† All engines were 3.0 litre, V10 configuration.
The 2004 Formula One calendar featured two new events, the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Chinese Grand Prix, held at two newly built circuits in Sakhir and Shanghai. The season featured the most races outside Europe to that point, with eight Grands Prix in the Americas, Asia and Oceania. The Brazilian Grand Prix moved from its traditional early season slot to become the season finale, whereas the United States Grand Prix moved from its previous date in late September to late June as a back-to-back race with the Canadian Grand Prix.
The only exit was the Austrian Grand Prix, after seven years raced at the A1-Ring, the modified circuit old Österreichring. The grandstands and pit buildings were demolished during the year, rendering the track unusable for any motorsport category. The circuit eventually reopened in 2011 as the Red Bull Ring, and was later reinstated to the F1 calendar in 2014.
|1||Australian Grand Prix||Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne||7 March|
|2||Malaysian Grand Prix||Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur||21 March|
|3||Bahrain Grand Prix||Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir||4 April|
|4||San Marino Grand Prix||Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola||25 April|
|5||Spanish Grand Prix||Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona||9 May|
|6||Monaco Grand Prix||Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo||23 May|
|7||European Grand Prix||Nürburgring, Nürburg||30 May|
|8||Canadian Grand Prix||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal||13 June|
|9||United States Grand Prix||Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis||20 June|
|10||French Grand Prix||Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny Cours||4 July|
|11||British Grand Prix||Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone||11 July|
|12||German Grand Prix||Hockenheimring, Hockenheim||25 July|
|13||Hungarian Grand Prix||Hungaroring, Budapest||15 August|
|14||Belgian Grand Prix||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot||29 August|
|15||Italian Grand Prix||Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza||12 September|
|16||Chinese Grand Prix||Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai||26 September|
|17||Japanese Grand Prix||Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka||10 October|
|18||Brazilian Grand Prix||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo||24 October|
The season started in Australia at Albert Park and Michael Schumacher led a Ferrari 1–2. He followed that up with another victory at Sepang and led another Ferrari 1–2 at Bahrain. Jenson Button scored his maiden pole in San Marino but Michael Schumacher beat him to the line. Thereafter Schumacher dominated the Spanish Grand Prix as well. In Monaco Jarno Trulli won from pole after surviving intense pressure from Jenson Button in a race that saw Michael Schumacher crash out. Schumacher won the European GP at the Nurburgring and won the Canadian GP in a strategic battle. The US GP was a dramatic race with a high attrition rate that saw only 8 cars cross the finish line in a race dominated by accidents and saw Ralf Schumacher make a massive accident. That race was also won by Michael Schumacher. In France Schumacher beat Fernando Alonso in a strategic move. In Britain he overpowered polesitter, Kimi Räikkönen, to take his 10th win of the season. In Germany he won after his main opponent, Kimi Räikkönen, suffered a rear wing failure after setting faster laps than Schumacher. Schumacher led another Ferrari 1–2 in Hungary to secure Ferrari the Constructors' trophy. The Belgian GP was also dominated by accidents and safety car periods and Kimi Räikkönen eventually won the race from a low 10th place on the grid. Michael Schumacher finished second and thus secured himself the world title. In a rain affected Italian GP Barrichello led a Ferrari 1–2 in front of the loyal tifosi. The Chinese GP was also won by Barrichello with Button and Räikkönen finishing within 2 seconds of him while Michael Schumacher could only manage a 12th place after starting from the pitlane. The Japanese GP weekend was somewhat spoiled by a Typhoon that caused widespread damage to parts of Japan and which saw the postponement of qualifying to the morning of race day. Michael Schumacher took his 13th race win in a dry race that saw the rain hold off. The Brazilian GP was won by Juan Pablo Montoya on his last outing for the Williams team scoring their last victory until the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. In the end Schumacher was on top with 148 points followed by Barrichello on 114 points and Ferrari on top in the Constructors' Championship with 262 points.
|Round||Grand Prix||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Winning constructor||Report|
|1||Australian Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|2||Malaysian Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Juan Pablo Montoya||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|3||Bahrain Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|4||San Marino Grand Prix||Jenson Button||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|5||Spanish Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|6||Monaco Grand Prix||Jarno Trulli||Michael Schumacher||Jarno Trulli||Renault||Report|
|7||European Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|8||Canadian Grand Prix||Ralf Schumacher||Rubens Barrichello||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|9||United States Grand Prix||Rubens Barrichello||Rubens Barrichello||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|10||French Grand Prix||Fernando Alonso||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|11||British Grand Prix||Kimi Räikkönen||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|12||German Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Kimi Räikkönen||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|13||Hungarian Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|14||Belgian Grand Prix||Jarno Trulli||Kimi Räikkönen||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|15||Italian Grand Prix||Rubens Barrichello||Rubens Barrichello||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||Report|
|16||Chinese Grand Prix||Rubens Barrichello||Michael Schumacher||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||Report|
|17||Japanese Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Rubens Barrichello||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|18||Brazilian Grand Prix||Rubens Barrichello||Juan Pablo Montoya||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||Report|
Points were awarded to the top eight classified finishers.
Bold - Pole
The 2004 Australian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 7 March 2004 at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit. Michael Schumacher won the race for Ferrari from pole position in very dominant fashion, with his teammate Rubens Barrichello finishing behind him in second. This one-two finish gave Ferrari a strong 9 point lead in the constructors' standings after just one race. Williams, Renault and BAR each had both cars finish in the points, while McLaren, a team that had enjoyed success in years preceding this, only managed one point, with David Coulthard finishing a lapped 8th.2004 Bahrain Grand Prix
The 2004 Bahrain Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 4 April 2004 at the Bahrain International Circuit. It was the first Formula One race to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the Middle East. The 57-lap race was the third round of the 2004 Formula One season. The race was won by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher. His teammate Rubens Barrichello completed a 1-2 for the team, whilst Jenson Button completed the podium for the BAR team by finishing in third position.2004 Belgian Grand Prix
The 2004 Belgian Grand Prix (formally the Belgian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 29 August 2004, at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, near the town of Spa, Belgium. It was the 14th race of the 2004 Formula One Season. The race was contested over 44 laps and was won by Kimi Räikkönen, taking his and McLaren's only race win of the season from tenth place on the grid. Second place for Michael Schumacher won his seventh world championship, after beating third-placed Rubens Barrichello.
Jarno Trulli started from pole position alongside Schumacher. The race saw many changes of the lead, but following several fortuitous safety cars, Räikkönen was leading the race for the final few laps. Mark Webber triggered a pile-up at the start, eliminating four cars and damaging several others, although he did admit to his mistake later. The race saw Christian Klien score his first championship points, and Olivier Panis and the Jaguar team their last.2004 Brazilian Grand Prix
The 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 24 October 2004 at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace. It was the final race of the 2004 season and the first time that a GP in Brazil was not one of the first three rounds of an F1 season, and local fans were delighted when Brazil's Rubens Barrichello took pole for his home race. It would be Barrichello's first non-retirement at Interlagos in ten years, his previous finish at the circuit being at the season opener in 1994. The early laps were held in changeable conditions, and the race ended up as a duel between Kimi Räikkönen and Juan Pablo Montoya, who were to be McLaren teammates for 2005. The Colombian took victory in his final race for Williams, which was also the last win for the Williams team until the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. Montoya's move to take the lead was brave even by his standards. Elsewhere, Jaguar's final race was a failure of epic proportions, with their two drivers colliding, with Webber trying an optimistic-looking move on Klien whilst expecting his teammate to move over.
Ricardo Zonta returned to his home race for the Toyota team, replacing Olivier Panis. This was the last race for Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner.2004 British Grand Prix
The 2004 British Grand Prix (formally the LVII Foster's British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at the Silverstone Circuit on 11 July 2004. It was the eleventh race of the 2004 Formula One season.2004 Canadian Grand Prix
The 2004 Canadian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 13 June 2004 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
It was won by Michael Schumacher, with teammate Rubens Barrichello second, making for a 1-2 finish for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro as part of a season where Ferrari took the most wins of the season and the driver's championship.
In the post race inspections, Williams and Toyota were excluded from the race due to illegal brake ducts.
This would be the last time that Scuderia Ferrari won in Canada until the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix, at the same circuit.2004 Chinese Grand Prix
The 2004 Chinese Grand Prix (formally the I Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 26 September 2004 at the Shanghai International Circuit. It was the sixteenth race of the 2004 Formula One season and the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix. The 56-lap race was won by Rubens Barrichello for the Ferrari team, from a pole position start. Jenson Button finished second for the BAR team, with Kimi Räikkönen third in a McLaren.2004 European Grand Prix
The 2004 European Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 30 May 2004 at the Nürburgring. The race was noticeable due to the race strategy employed by Ferrari. Michael Schumacher extended his gap over his rivals to close to 18 seconds in the first 7 laps, when the top-runners seemed to bunch up behind Kimi Räikkönen. After his pitstop, Schumacher exited in 6th place, moved back up when others made their pitstops and cruised to a dominant victory in front of his teammate Rubens Barrichello, who survived an ambitious overtaking attempt by Takuma Sato. This ended the Japanese driver's chances of a podium spot.2004 French Grand Prix
The 2004 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 4 July 2004 at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. This race has become famous for a 4 stop strategy used by Michael Schumacher to beat Fernando Alonso's Renault. Rubens Barrichello finished third in his Ferrari, having overtaken Jarno Trulli in the last corners of the last lap.2004 German Grand Prix
The 2004 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Hockenheim on 25 July 2004. It was the twelfth race of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship.
The 66-lap race was won by local driver Michael Schumacher, driving a Ferrari. Schumacher took his eleventh victory of the season, equalling his record from 2002, after starting from pole position. Englishman Jenson Button finished second in a BAR-Honda despite a ten-place grid penalty for an engine change in practice, with Spaniard Fernando Alonso third in a Renault.
This was the final Grand Prix for Brazilian driver Cristiano da Matta.2004 Hungarian Grand Prix
The 2004 Hungarian Grand Prix (formally the XX Marlboro Magyar Nagydíj) was a Formula One motor race held on 15 August 2004 at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. It was the thirteenth race of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship and the 20th Hungarian Grand Prix. The 70-lap race was won from pole position by Michael Schumacher, driving a Ferrari, with teammate Rubens Barrichello second and Fernando Alonso third in a Renault.
The win was Michael Schumacher's twelfth of the season and his seventh in succession. The result meant that Schumacher increased his lead in the Drivers' Championship to 38 points over Barrichello. Jenson Button, who finished fifth in the race in his BAR-Honda, remained in third but was mathematically eliminated from the championship. Ferrari's one-two finish meant that they secured their sixth consecutive Constructors' Championship.2004 Italian Grand Prix
The 2004 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 12 September 2004 at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Ferrari took a 1–2 in front of the delighted Tifosi, with Rubens Barrichello ahead of teammate Michael Schumacher. Both cars had to make their way through the field from the back, Barrichello having made an early pitstop after choosing the wrong tyres at the start and Schumacher having spun on the first lap. This was the last race for Giorgio Pantano.
The race was perhaps best known for speed records set during the race. In the first part of qualifying (which did not count towards grid positions), Juan Pablo Montoya lapped Monza in his Williams FW26 at an average speed of 262.242 km/h (162.9 mph), the fastest lap ever, at the time, in the history of Formula One which was subsequently surpassed by Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen at the 2018 edition. The next day in the race, Montoya's teammate Antônio Pizzonia reached a top speed of 369.9 km/h (229.9 mph), the fastest speed ever recorded in Formula One at the time (it was to be exceeded by Montoya in 2005).
In the Minardi pit garage, the car of Gianmaria Bruni caught fire after fuel escaped from the hose onto the hot bodywork during a routine pit-stop, and it was put out without any serious injury. Bruni inhaled some of the extinguishant and was having trouble breathing and so the team decided to retire the car.This race was Scuderia Ferrari's 700th start in a World Championship event as a team.2004 Japanese Grand Prix
The 2004 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 10 October 2004 at the Suzuka Circuit. All the running on Saturday was cancelled due to Typhoon Ma-on, meaning that both the qualifying sessions were run on Sunday morning. The grid was shaken up due to rain, Ralf Schumacher and Mark Webber taking fortunate grid positions due to being allotted early running in the session.
While Michael Schumacher was not as competitive towards the end of the season as he had been en route to his seventh title, Japan could be seen as normal service resumed, the German winning comfortably from pole. This was his 13th and last win of the season, breaking his own record from 2002 with 11. Ralf was behind him, taking his first podium since breaking his back at Indianapolis. It was the last time the Schumacher brothers finished in 1–2 formation (having done so on four other occasions: 2001 Canadian Grand Prix, 2001 French Grand Prix, 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix, 2003 Canadian Grand Prix). At Suzuka in 2003 BAR upset the form book with a double points finish – in 2004 this was commonplace, although 11 points was still their biggest haul of the season. Contact between David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello ended the race for both drivers. Webber retired in bizarre circumstances – part of the seat had overheated, causing burns to his buttocks.
This was Jarno Trulli's first race with the Toyota team. This was Olivier Panis's last race as he decided to retire from the race seat. But he stayed with the Toyota team, as the test driver. This was Rubens Barrichello's only DNF of the season after colliding with David Coulthard on lap 38.2004 Malaysian Grand Prix
The 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 21 March 2004 at the Sepang International Circuit won by Michael Schumacher for Ferrari. This was also the first podium for future World Champion Jenson Button who finished in 3rd place.2004 San Marino Grand Prix
The 2004 San Marino Grand Prix (formally the XXIV Gran Premio Foster's di San Marino) was a Formula One motor race held on 25 April 2004 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola. The 62-lap race was the fourth round of the 2004 Formula One season and was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari.2004 Spanish Grand Prix
The 2004 Spanish Grand Prix (formally the XLVI Gran Premio Marlboro de España) was a Formula One motor race held on 9 May 2004 at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. It was the fifth round of the 2004 Formula One season. The 66-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher for the Ferrari team. His teammate Rubens Barrichello finished second with Jarno Trulli third in a Renault car.2004 United States Grand Prix
The 2004 United States Grand Prix, officially the XXXIII Foster's United States Grand Prix, was a Formula One motor race held on June 20, 2004 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was the ninth round of the 2004 Formula One season.
Rubens Barrichello started from pole position in his Ferrari ahead of teammate Michael Schumacher. However, following a start-line incident between five cars, four of whom retired as a result, Schumacher overtook Barrichello on the safety car restart on lap six, and despite a threat from Barrichello after the final pit stops, Schumacher held on to take his eighth win of the season. Takuma Sato became only the second Japanese driver to achieve a podium finish.
The race is most remembered for two Michelin tyre failures in what would be a precedent for the 2005 United States Grand Prix. First, Fernando Alonso's Renault speared off the track at the end of the pit straight on lap nine, before Ralf Schumacher's Williams suffered the same fate, but in the most dangerous part of the track, causing him to hit the wall at a ninety-degree angle rearwards. The impact concussed Schumacher and prevented him from racing until the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix.Bas Leinders
Bas Leinders (born 16 July 1975) is a professional racing driver from Belgium. He was a Formula One test and reserve driver in 2004 for the Minardi F1 team, taking part in the Friday practice sessions during Grand Prix weekends, making 17 appearances in all.Gianmaria Bruni
Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni (born 30 May 1981) is an Italian Porsche factory auto racing driver who drove in the 2004 Formula One World Championship for Minardi. He is a GP2 Series race winner and is now racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship, in which he gained the 2013 and 2014 GT Drivers' Titles whilst driving as a factory Ferrari driver. He won the 2008 FIA GT Championship, 2011 Le Mans Series and 2012 International GT Open and took three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 2008, 2012 and 2014. He also was successful at the 2009 and 2015 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, 2010 12 Hours of Sebring and 2011 Petit Le Mans.