The 2004 Monaco Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the 62e Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco, was the sixth round of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on 23 May 2004. The race would see Jarno Trulli sweep to a maiden victory for Renault, as Michael Schumacher crashed out under a Safety Car.
Qualifying had seen Trulli claim pole position ahead of Ralf Schumacher, marking the Italian racer's first pole triumph. Championship leader Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, would lineup in fourth behind Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, Ralf Schumacher having been hit with a grid penalty for an engine change, with Kimi Räikkönen claiming sixth for his best quali result of the season.
Raceday saw little change to the overall order during the warm-up, with the Mediterranean Principality bathed in sunshine. There would, however, be some late chaos ahead of the start, with the first start itself having to be aborted when Olivier Panis stalled his Toyota.
When the race did get underway there would be nothing stopping Trulli, who duly streaked into Sainte Devote at the head of the field. Teammate Alonso also made a brilliant getaway to leap into second, while Takuma Sato shot into fourth behind teammate Button.
The rest of the opening lap proved fairly clean, until Christian Klien removed his front wing by hitting one of the Jordan-Ford Cosworths at Mirabeau. That, however, would be it for major dramas, until a failure for Sato saw the race brought under the safety car's domain for the first time.
Indeed, after two laps of having oil smoke trailing from his car, Sato would see his engine let go completely at Tabac, throwing out a huge cloud of white smoke. The two Ferraris and Räikkönen, immediately behind the #10 BAR-Honda made it through without issue, before David Coulthard slammed on his brakes, catching out Giancarlo Fisichella.
Fisichella's Sauber-Petronas would smash over the top of the McLaren-Mercedes, before sliding to a stop against the barriers on its side. Fisichella required the marshals' aid to pull his car away so he could escape, although fortunately no serious injuries resulted.
The race resumed with the top three once again pulling clear, leaving Räikkönen to hold up the two Ferraris. The status quo was maintained until the first drivers made their first pitstops, with Schumacher gaining a lot of ground in clear aid to jump Räikkönen and Button.
Indeed, the race would settle down after that, with Trulli and Alonso cruising ahead of Schumacher, with the gap between the Renaults and the Ferrari remaining stable. That was, until Ralf Schumacher intervened, forcing Alonso into a race ending mistake when lapping the #4 Williams, which saw the Renault demolish itself on the barriers heading to the Nouvelle Chicane.
The sheer amount of broken Renault saw the safety car called upon again, prompting Trulli and Button to pit, while Schumacher stayed out. He therefore briefly led the race, until he decided to mess about on the brakes through the tunnel, and was subsequently pitched into the barriers by Juan Pablo Montoya.
The sight of Schumacher's ruined Ferrari emerging from the tunnel caused outrage in the Ferrari pit and joy for everyone else, with an investigation by the officials deeming the incident a racing one. It did, however, lengthen the safety car period, although there would be no stopping Trulli when the race did resume.
The rest of the race would see Trulli defend from Button as the two sprinted away at the rest of the field, with only third placed Rubens Barrichello on the lead lap. Ultimately their duel would end with Trulli holding out to claim his maiden win by half a second, while Barrichello secured a distant third. Montoya, Felipe Massa, Cristiano da Matta, Nick Heidfeld and Panis claimed the remaining points.
A fifth straight victory in the opening five races left Michael Schumacher as the overwhelming favourite for the crown, leaving Spain on a maximum score of 50 points. That left him eighteen clear of Rubens Barrichello, with the Brazilian himself holding an eight point advantage over Jenson Button in third. Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli rounded out the top five, level on 21 points, while Giancarlo Fisichella had become the season's thirteenth different point scorer.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had once again extended their Championship lead, leaving Spain with 82 points after their third one-two of the campaign. Renault had retained second after their double score, while BAR-Honda had lost ground to their French rivals in third, slipping ten behind. Williams-BMW were next, two off the Anglo-Japanese alliance, while McLaren-Mercedes were an increasingly disappointing and distant fifth.
The full entry list for the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix is outlined below:
Free Practice 1
Free Practice 2
Free Practice 3
Free Practice 4
The full practice results for the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:17.937||9||1:16.097||10||1:16.559||9||1:14.212||5|
|14||Mark Webber||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:19.261||15||1:16.273||3||1:17.173||18|
|15||Christian Klien||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:19.487||17||1:17.988||20||1:18.390||16||1:16.101||13|
|16||Cristiano da Matta||Toyota||1:18.889||13||1:16.743||13||1:17.409||13||1:15.861||12|
|20||Gianmaria Bruni||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:21.201||22||1:18.822||21|
|21||Zsolt Baumgartner||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:22.203||23||1:18.829||22||1:23.963||18||1:19.467||19|
|37||Björn Wirdheim||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:20.680||20|
|40||Bas Leinders||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:23.361||24||1:20.370||23|
The full qualifying results for the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
|10||3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:15.029||1:15.039||+1.054s|
|12||14||Mark Webber||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:16.161||1:15.725||+1.740s|
|14||15||Christian Klien||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:16.379||1:15.919||+1.934s|
|15||16||Cristiano da Matta||Toyota||1:15.738||1:16.169||+2.184s|
|17||18||Nick Heidfeld||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:16.379||1:16.488||+2.503s|
|18||19||Giorgio Pantano||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:17.674||1:17.443||+3.458s|
|19||21||Zsolt Baumgartner||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:20.468||1:20.060||+6.075s|
|20||20||Gianmaria Bruni||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:20.740||1:20.115||+6.130s|
- 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 was awarded a ten place grid penalty for changing his engine.
|10||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|16||Cristiano da Matta|
- * Panis start the race from the pitlane after stalling on the grid.
The full results for the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Schumacher was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Michael Schumacher started his 200th Grand Prix.
- 500th individual entry for a BMW engine.
- Jarno Trulli claimed his maiden pole position.
- Trulli secured his first (and only) victory.
- Cristiano da Matta's last points.
- Renault secured their seventeenth win as a constructor.
- Also the 97th win for a Renault engine.
For the first time in 2004 Michael Schumacher had not only failed to win but also failed to score, meaning his Championship tally remained at 50 points. That had allowed Rubens Barrichello to close the gap at the head of the title hunt, although the Brazilian was still twelve points off his teammate's tally. Jenson Button was a further six behind, one point ahead of race winner Jarno Trulli, with just four drivers yet to score in 2004.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had seen their lead slightly reduced as a result of their lone score in Monte Carlo, although they still held a healthy 36 point margin. Renault had done the "damage" courtesy of Trulli's win, although they were still two races worth of points behind the Scuderia. BAR-Honda were next ahead of Williams-BMW, while Sauber-Petronas had claimed fifth from McLaren-Mercedes.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Monaco 2004 - Trulli beats Button in street-fight.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 23/04/2004), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/48889/1/monaco-2004-trulli-beats-button-in-street-fight, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- 'Monaco 2004: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/monaco/engages.aspx, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- 'FORMULA 1™ Grand Prix de Monaco 2004 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2004/races/758/monaco/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- 'FORMULA 1™ Grand Prix de Monaco 2004 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2004/races/758/monaco/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- 'Monaco 2004: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/monaco/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- 'Monaco 2004: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/monaco/classement.aspx, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- '6. Monaco 2004', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/monaco.aspx, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- '2004 Monaco GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2004&gp=Monaco%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
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