On this day in F1 – 26th September 2004
With Michael Schumacher’s fifth consecutive title for Ferrari wrapped up before the end of August, it was team-mate Rubens Barrichello’s chance to take his rewards for his yeoman-like support, and he followed victory a fortnight earlier at Monza with another win at the debut Chinese Grand Prix.
The race as a spectacle was helped by Schumacher being forced to start from the back of the grid after a spin during qualifying, and without him dominating there was a real ding-dong battle, less than a second and a half covering Barrichello, Jenson Button and the McLaren- Mercedes of Kimi Raikkonen at the finish.
Richard Williams in the Guardian said of the new venue that it was an “outstanding new track, which combines a rich architectural spectacle with a layout that encourages the drivers to attempt the overtaking manoeuvres that used to be the point of motor racing. The result is remarkable enough to make it seem a shame that it took the course designer, Hermann Tilke, three goes to get it right. But where the German architect’s previous efforts in Malaysia and Bahrain produced circuits manifestly unconducive to proper racing.”