The 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix, officially the XXXIII Grande Prêmio do Brasil was the eighteenth and final race of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, which took place at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo, Brazil, on 24 October 2004. The race, which had been moved from its mid-Autumn slot due to the horrendous weather of the 2003 edition, was won by Williams-BMW driver Juan Pablo Montoya, defeating Kimi Räikkönen in a near race-long duel.
Qualifying had seen home hero Rubens Barrichello continue his recent run of strong form, claiming pole position ahead of fellow South American racer Montoya. Räikkönen would line up in third ahead of Brazil's next big hope Felipe Massa, while World Champion Michael Schumacher would only manage to secure eighth before an engine change dumped him further down the field.
Rain ahead of the race brought back fears of a 2003 repeat, with everyone bar David Coulthard and the two Renaults starting on intermediate tyres. That, ultimately, proved to be a mistake by the dry-shod trio, with all three losing ground when the race got underway.
Indeed, a lively start would see Räikkönen streak into the lead from third on the grid, easing ahead of Barrichello on the brakes for the Senna S. Behind, Massa would likewise get the jump on Montoya to secure third, while Jacques Villeneuve ran out of track on his slicks and so fell to the back of the pack.
Räikkönen quickly established a small lead over Barrichello, although the Brazilian ace retaliated and took the lead on lap four. Their escape was aided by the fact that the #12 Sauber-Petronasof Massa was defending heavily from Montoya, which allowed Jenson Button to pass the pair of them moments before his BAR-Honda expired.
Elsewhere, Schumacher had made rapid progress to climb to twelfth, although for the second time in three races he would find himself stuck behind Christian Klien, and would ultimately spin trying to pass the Austrian. Ralf Schumacher, meanwhile, would open the flood gates in the pits, having been the first driver to swap to slicks.
Barrichello was the loser of the sudden pitstop war, tumbling back down to fifth as Montoya claimed the lead from Räikkönen. The Brazilian ace duly began to battle his way back up the order, exchanging fastest laps with the lead duo, as Jaguar-Ford Cosworth's final race was ruined by contact between Klien and Mark Webber.
The order remained stable through the second and third round of stops, before a light drizzle swept across the circuit as Räikkönen remained glued to Montoya's tail. Yet, any hopes of that affecting the race with another charge into the pits for intermediates were ended when the drizzle stopped, with the attention in the final laps instead focusing on a quartet battling for fourth, headed by Fernando Alonso.
With that the race was run, with Montoya keeping Räikkönen at bay by a second to claim his first win of the season. Barrichello would complete the podium in a lonely third, while Alonso held on to fourth ahead of Ralf Schumacher, Takuma Sato, Michael Schumacher and Massa.
The race would be further notable as the last race for Ford as an official engine supplier in partnership with Cosworth, as well as the last win for Williams until the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. It was also the last race for Jaguar in F1, and their last factory single-seater appearance until they joined the FIA Formula E Championship in 2016.
A thirteenth win of the season for Michael Schumacher left the German ace on 146 for the season, meaning just fifth in the final race of the season would take him past 150 points, a dauntingly impressive points haul. Behind, Rubens Barrichello had failed to score having already secured second in the title hunt, while Jenson Button had likewise already secured third before the battle of Japan. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, had inched closer to ensuring that he claimed fourth, inching six clear of Juan Pablo Montoya.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari ended the weekend on 254 points for the season, resulting in a huge 138 point lead over second placed BAR-Honda. The Anglo-Japanese squad themselves had all but guaranteed their spot as runners-up, needing to score just three points at the season finale in Brazil to beat Renault. The French squad were hence set to finish third, while Williams-BMW and McLaren-Mercedes would duel for fourth on the final day.
The full entry list for the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:09.862||1:10.850||+0.204s|
|12||14||Mark Webber||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:11.230||1:11.665||+1.019s|
|16||15||Christian Klien||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:11.912||1:12.211||+1.565s|
|17||18||Nick Heidfeld||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:11.394||1:12.829||+2.183s|
|18||19||Timo Glock||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:12.242||1:13.502||+2.856s|
|19||21||Zsolt Baumgartner||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:13.032||1:13.550||+2.904s|
|NC||20||Gianmaria Bruni||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:12.916||—|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
- * Schumacher received a ten place grid penalty for changing his engine.
|Juan Pablo Montoya||______________|
- * Bruni would start the race from the pitlane.
The full results for the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- 567th and final Grand Prix for Ford Cosworth as an engine supplier (in partnership).
- Jaguar made their 85th and final Grand Prix appearance as a constructor.
- Mark Webber made his 50th start.
- Zsolt Baumgartner made his twentieth and final start.
- Eighteenth and final start for Gianmaria Bruni.
- Juan Pablo Montoya scored his fourth career victory.
- Williams claimed their 113th win as a constructor.
- Kimi Räikkönen scored the 130th podium finish for a Mercedes engine.
Michael Schumacher ended his record title winning campaign with a colossal tally of 148 points, establishing a new points record alongside his seventh title. Rubens Barrichello finished as a lonely runner-up, 34 behind, while Jenson Button enjoyed his best season claiming third with 85 points. Fernando Alonso and race winner Juan Pablo Montoya completed the top five, with twenty of the 25 entered drivers registering a points finish in 2004.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari were the undisputed Champions once again, ending their season with 262 points and fifteen victories. BAR-Honda, meanwhile, would emerge as a surprise second in the Championship ahead of Renault, although their combined tally of points was not enough to overhaul Ferrari's score. Behind, Williams-BMW had secured fourth ahead of McLaren-Mercedes, with all ten constructors scoring points across the campaign.
Only point scoring drivers are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 'Brazilian GP 2004: Montoya rhythm has Kimi off key', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 24/10/2004), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/50494/1/brazilian-gp-2004-montoya-rhythm-has-kimi-off-key, (Accessed 30/12/2019)
- ↑ 'Jaguar returns to global motor sport', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/december/jaguar-returns-to-racing.aspx, (Accessed 15/12/2015)
- ↑ 'Brazil 2004: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/bresil/engages.aspx, (Accessed 30/12/2019)
- ↑ 'FORMULA 1™ Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2004 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2004/races/770/brazil/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 30/12/2019)
- ↑ 'FORMULA 1™ Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2004 - OVERALL QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2004/races/770/brazil/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 30/12/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 'Brazil 2004: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/bresil/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 30/12/2019)
- ↑ 'Brazil 2004: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/bresil/classement.aspx, (Accessed 30/12/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 '18. Brazil 2004', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/bresil.aspx, (Accessed 30/12/2019)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 '2004 Brazilian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2004&gp=Brazilian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 30/12/2019)
|V T E||Brazilian Grand Prix|
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