The 2004 Spanish Grand Prix, officially known as the XLVI Gran Premio Marlboro de España was the fifth race of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, which took place at the slightly redesigned Circuit de Catalunya on 9 May 2004. The race would see Michael Schumacher continue his domination of the 2004 season, claiming his fifth straight victory ahead of Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello.
Qualifying would see Schumacher sweep to his fourth pole position of the season in the #1 Ferrari, beating Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams-BMW by 0.617s. Takuma Sato and Jarno Trulli were next for BAR-Honda and Renault respectively, while Barrichello was fifth.
The start saw an electric start from Trulli catapult the Renault from fourth to first, while Montoya comparatively limped away to drop to fourth. Schumacher, meanwhile, was left to fend off a strong starting Sato, while Barrichello just fell shy of beating Montoya's Williams into the first corner for fourth.
Elsewhere, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen and Giancarlo Fisichella all made ground, while Jenson Button remained in a lowly fourteenth. Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld were the big losers in the midfield, although an otherwise clean opening lap saw no major issues across the field.
The early stages saw Schumacher settle in behind Trulli's leading Renault, making no attempt to pass despite the fact that his Bridgestone tyres were suffering in the wake of the Michelin shod Renault. Yet, when Trulli pitted on lap eight for his first stop, Schumacher would have enough grip and pace on his worn tyres to secure the lead when he stopped two laps later.
The rest of the early stops would leave Barrichello, on a two-stop strategy, leading the field until lap seventeen, a decision which effectively jumped the Brazilian ahead of Montoya and Trulli. With that the Ferraris were away, while Trulli faced no opposition from Montoya, who was struggling with balance on his second set of tyres.
The second round of stops for those on three-stops were more interesting, as Barrichello had to push if he was to challenge Schumacher, who had built a 22 second lead over his heavier fuelled teammate. Ultimately, however, those hopes were extinguished as the Brazilian failed to react, and so the order remained unchanged out front.
Elsewhere the race was likewise proving fairly tame, with Montoya slipping down the order as his Williams remained stubbornly difficult to drive, no matter what tweaks to the aero the engineers made. Alonso hence moved into fourth after jumping both Montoya and Sato in the pits, while Fisichella was crawling all over the back of the Colombian ace, a fight mirrored behind by Ralf Schumacher and Felipe Massa.
The final round of stops saw the Ferrari team have a minor panic, with Michael Schumacher, now five seconds ahead, picking up a cracked exhaust, prompting Ross Brawn to tell his driver to ease the pace. That should have allowed Barrichello to challenge, although the Brazilian was undermined at his final stop when the mechanics forgot to bring out fresh tyres for the #2 Ferrari, costing him a lot of time.
Elsewhere, Button mounted a late race bid to get into the points, leap frogging several cars in the pitlane, before launching attacks on Massa, Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher as the final laps ticked away. His bid was further aided by Montoya's retirement, triggered by a brake failure, although having barged his way through to seventh, the BAR-Honda suddenly lost pace and fell back behind Schumacher's #4 Williams.
With that the race was run, with Michael Schumacher nursing his car through its cracked exhaust to claim his fifth straight win of the campaign, leaving him with a perfect score of 50 points. Barrichello was next having never seriously challenged, while Trulli was a fairly satisfied third to complete the podium, having just kept teammate Alonso at bay. Sato was next ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Fisichella, while Massa ran out of time to catch Button and hence missed out on the final point.
Michael Schumacher moved onto a maximum score of 40 points in front of the loyal tifosi, and hence established a sixteen point lead at the head of the Championship hunt. His teammate Rubens Barrichello had retained second, although Jenson Button was a strong third, just a point behind the Brazilian after three straight podium finishes. Behind the table was fairly static, with Kimi Räikkönen moving off the foot of the table after his first point score (and race finish) of the campaign.
Ferrari had likewise only dropped another five points from their almost flawless start to the campaign, leaving San Marino on 64 for the season. Renault, meanwhile, had slipped further behind, 33 behind having scored 31 points of their own, while BAR-Honda and Williams-BMW were level on 27 in third. McLaren-Mercedes then completed the top five, yet to break into double figures, with Sauber-Petronas and Jaguar-Ford Cosworth the only other scorers.
The full entry list for the 2004 Spanish Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2004 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:15.574||1:15.639||+0.617s|
|9||14||Mark Webber||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:16.212||1:16.514||+1.492s|
|11||16||Cristiano da Matta||Toyota||1:16.758||1:17.038||+2.016s|
|15||18||Nick Heidfeld||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:17.043||1:17.802||+2.780s|
|16||15||Christian Klien||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:17.864||1:17.812||+2.790s|
|18||20||Gianmaria Bruni||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:20.372||1:19.817||+4.795s|
|19||19||Giorgio Pantano||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:17.965||1:20.607||+5.585s|
|20||21||Zsolt Baumgartner||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:21.620||1:21.470||+6.448s|
- 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.
|______________||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|Cristiano da Matta||12|
The full results for the 2004 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- 200th Grand Prix entry for Michael Schumacher.
- Michael Schumacher claimed the 170th pole position for a Ferrari engine and chassis.
- Schumacher claimed his 75th career victory.
- Schumacher also matched Nigel Mansell's record for most consecutive wins at the start of the season - 5.
- 172nd win for Ferrari as a constructor and engine supplier.
- 60th fastest lap set by Schumacher.
- This was also the 100th fastest lap to be set by a car issued with #1 as its race number.
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.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Spanish GP 2004 - No bull from Schumi.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 09/05/2004), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/48754/1/spanish-gp-2004-no-bull-from-schumi, (Accessed 18/12/2019)
- 'Spain 2004: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/espagne/engages.aspx, (Accessed 18/12/2019)
- 'FORMULA 1™ Gran Premio Marlboro de España 2004 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2004/races/757/spain/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- 'FORMULA 1™ Gran Premio Marlboro de España 2004 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2004/races/757/spain/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- 'Spain 2004: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/espagne/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- 'Spain 2004: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/espagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- '2004 Spanish GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2004&gp=Spanish%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
- '5. Spain 2004', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2004/espagne.aspx, (Accessed 19/12/2019)
|V T E||Spanish Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Pedralbes (1951, 1954), Jarama (1967-1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976-1981), Montjuïc (1969, 1971, 1973, 1975), Jerez (1986-1990), Catalunya (1991-Present)|
|Races||1951 • 1952–1953 • 1954 • 1955–1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982–1987 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019 • 2020 • 2021|
|Non-Championship Races||1923 • 1924–1925 • 1926 • 1927 • 1928–1929 • 1930 • 1931–1932 • 1933 • 1934 • 1935 • 1936–1966 • 1967 • 1968–1979 • 1980|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|