Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Carlo Carluccio
– 2004: M Schumacher – Two records in one day
Michael Schumacher qualified on pole position. In itself, not something overly remarkable but this one was a little different and unlikely to ever be matched by anybody.
(Until 2010 by little Schumi! The parallels are quite overwhelming!)
The qualifying session on the Saturday had had to be cancelled due to Typhoon Ma-on.
What this meant was that all the drivers would have to be up early on Sunday to run their two qualifying sessions for grid positions.
The result of this was M.Schumacher on pole, from his brother Ralf, followed by Mark Webber, Takuma Sato and Jenson Button. Qualifying had been disrupted with some inclement weather which left some of the favoured runners completely out of position. Alonso – 11th, Raikkonen – 12th, Montoya – 13th and Barrichello – 15th.
The race started at the usual time with some team members openly worried that running so much in a single day would affect their reliability. In the end, only Webber would retire with a car issue and one so unusual it could only have happened to Mark!
“It wasn’t clear who would be running heavy,” Michael said, “We had no indication from practice. So we had to be flat-out in the early part of the race, until the pit stops had been done and we could judge who was on what strategy.”
Schumacher was twenty seconds ahead when he stopped for fuel and tyres on lap 20. By this point it was obvious he had no competition and maintained this margin until backing off in the last couple of laps. It would be his thirteenth victory of the season.
Ralf Schumacher would finish second but it was close.
Sato made a poor start and was caught behind Button for seven laps. He was running a three stop strategy as opposed to Button’s two stops. Eventually, the team “reminded” Button of these fact and he released Sato. This manoeuvre alone would cost Button two seconds, which would be pivotal later.
As the last stops were completed, Ralf came out of the pits barely in front of Button and maintained his position to the flag. The BAR team wasn’t too disappointed as their results had effectively secured the runner up position behind Ferrari.
Barrichello and Coulthard collided, eliminating them from the race and practically secured Williams fourth in the Constructors title ahead of Mclaren.
Alonso had recovered to fifth but his team-mate Villeneuve had simply gone backwards in the race, and would contribute nothing to the teams score.
Raikkonen finished sixth after damaging his steering against Glock..
Mark Webber? Well… he was slow off the line and had lost three places before the first corner. As he followed the Toyota of Trulli, he started to feel heat inside the cockpit. It continued rising until his scheduled pit-stop and the team threw a bucket of water over him.
“I just carried on, hoping that it would go away,” said Webber, “But it didn’t and in the end the heat became unbearable. It was distracting and so I took the decision to stop”
Air which had passed over the exhaust was being forced forwards into the cockpit through a small hole that was designed to pass wiring through just by the drivers right hip.