2004 Spanish Grand Prix Review

By Pablo Elizalde, Spain
Atlas F1 News Editor

The 2004 Spanish Grand Prix was all about numbers and there was little more than that; it was all about Michael Schumacher's numbers, to be precise.

Schumacher celebrated his fifth win of 2004The German six-time World Champion, competing in his 200th Formula One Grand Prix, scored the 75th victory of his career, the fifth consecutive of the year to keep a 100 percent winning record and to equal Nigel Mansell's record for a best start to a Formula One season.

There wasn't really much more than that to a race that provided little entertainment for the record crowd that attended the Barcelona circuit on Sunday. Schumacher's and Ferrari's only concern during the race was a hole in an exhaust pipe that both team and driver said had them worried for the whole race. Perhaps had the public known about it the race would have provided some excitement, but it was not the case.

As luck - if at this point it is a case of luck - would have it, Schumacher completed a trouble-free race that looked very similar to the one at Imola two weeks ago. Just as expected, really, because the German's current form makes any race a predictable affair.

Even when Jarno Trulli took the lead of the race at the start, everybody was expecting Schumacher to jump ahead of the Italian during the first pitstop, just like he had done with Jenson Button two weeks earlier. The Ferrari driver waited patiently and only needed one lap in clean air before pitting and emerging ahead of Trulli.

Montoya's race ended with brake problemsFive races into the season and Schumacher is yet to have to overtake someone for position on track. Why change your strategy when it has worked so well in the past? At the end of the race Schumacher said he was mentally exhausted due to the problem with the exhaust. From the outside, however, it looked like another walk in the park for the World Champion, who continued his seemingly unstoppable run towards a seventh title.

As quickly as things can change in Formula One, it looks safe to say that, right now, it's not a question of who will stop Schumacher from winning the title, but who, and when, will make his winning streak come to an end. It took one of Ayrton Senna's most memorable drives on the streets of Monte Carlo to break Mansell's streak of victories in 1992. The race at the Principality is next, but there are no Ayrton Sennas in the current field, and only one Michael Schumacher.

As it has usually been the case this season, or in the past years for that matter, those who were supposed to challenge Schumacher's dominance, faltered pretty badly.

BAR's Button, following his competitive performances in previous races, was to be, at least in theory, Schumacher's main challenger on a track where the Honda-powered team had shone in testing. The Briton made a small mistake in qualifying and that was the end of his hopes of a podium finish, let alone his maiden Grand Prix victory.

Button's error allowed Takuma Sato to emerge as BAR's top man, but the Japanese did not have enough speed during the race and he was never a factor, allowing the Renault drivers to, once more, show their consistency to become Ferrari's main rivals at the end of the day.

Trulli led the race, but Schumacher was too fast in the endTrulli had a very good race - or as good as a non-Ferrari driver's race can be - and at the end of the day his efforts were rewarded with his first podium of the season. Renault's good weekend was completed by Fernando Alonso's fourth place, which allowed the French squad to consolidate their second place in the Constructors' Championship.

Even with the R24 not looking like the quickest car out there, Renault are making the most of their races thanks to their drivers, their strategies, and their reliability, which, in the case of the Spanish race, was a lot more than could be said about Williams.

The BMW-powered squad were unlikely to be able to fight with Ferrari for victory, but surely more than three points for sixth place were expected ahead of the weekend. In the end, however, a costly mistake when choosing the size of the brake ducts saw Juan Pablo Montoya retiring while out of contention, and Ralf Schumacher struggling to bring the car home almost a lap behind his brother.

In Spain, Sauber emerged as the "best of the rest", if that expression can be used now considering Ferrari's advantage to their rivals. The Swiss squad, and especially Giancarlo Fisichella, left Barcelona with two more points, which, given the reliability of the top teams, must have felt like victory.

Judging by how hard it has become for a small team to score points this year, Fisichella's drive was worth its weight in gold, and put Sauber just two points behind McLaren in the standings.

Button faltered this timeThe Woking-based team's situation was hard to believe at Barcelona where, having a trouble-free race, neither their drivers could finish higher than 10th, that on a track where not so long ago they were the clear dominant force. The down side of having good reliability is that, at the end of the day, your car's speed, or rather the lack thereof, is highlighted even more.

The Spanish Grand Prix showed that, although McLaren may have solved some of their reliability problems, there is no quick fix in sight for their lack of pace. There is talk of a revised chassis to be introduced as early as July. Until that happens, David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen look likely to continue fighting in the middle of the field.


The strong wind and Michael Schumacher were the two most influential factors in the results of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. The latter always plays an important part at the Circuit de Catalunya, with the strong gusts having a big influence in the cars' handling. Jumping onto the track at the right moment can be of prime importance on windy days, and that proved to be the case on Saturday.

As for Schumacher, there was no wind strong enough to stop his dominance, the German in a league of his own as he searched for his fifth consecutive - and seventh in total - pole position at the Spanish track. The early impression that Jenson Button would have made the German sweat to clinch the top spot was gone when the BAR driver went off the track during his flying lap, handing Schumacher pole in a silver platter.

The Grid

1. Michael Schumacher
First Qualifying: 1:16.320; Second Qualifying: 1:15.022

Schumacher was out of reach in qualifyingIf there were any hopes of Schumacher not clinching his fourth pole position in five races, they vanished as soon as the German completed his flying lap. Whether it was because he was playing mind games or just taking things easy, the Ferrari driver gave the impression that he was not the favourite to top the times in the grid-deciding session. Technical director Ross Brawn even said on Friday that pole would be hard to achieve. So much for all that. Schumacher was untouchable after a flawless flying lap which saw him going over 2.5 seconds quicker than last year's pole position time, and that considering he was 12th in the running order for final qualifying. Had he been closer to the top in the first session, he claimed he could have gone even faster.

2. Juan Pablo Montoya
First Qualifying: 1:15.574; Second Qualifying: 1:15.639

The Barcelona circuit has never been kind to Williams, and considering the British squad did not expect to be able to fight at the top this year either, Montoya's performance was all the more satisfying. The Williams driver had already fired a warning shot when he topped the times in the pre-qualifying session, and his final effort rewarded him with his first front row since last year's Japanese Grand Prix. Montoya was over half a second behind Schumacher, but considering the German's current form there was little he could do to get any closer. The Colombian said he had suffered from oversteer during the final part of his flying lap, but even without that pole position would have been too far away.

3. Takuma Sato
First Qualifying: 1:16.434; Second Qualifying: 1:15.809

At Barcelona, the Japanese driver seized the best chance he has had so far this year to match the impressive performances of teammate Button. Sato had always done well at the Spanish circuit, and had showed good form right from the start despite some problems during Friday's practice sessions. His third place on the grid was not only his best ever qualifying performance, but also the best by a Japanese driver in Formula One, which was an added bonus for Honda. Sato said he had lost some time towards the end of the flying lap, something without which he could have managed the front row.

4. Jarno Trulli
First Qualifying: 1:16.156; Second Qualifying: 1:16.144

Sato shone in qualifying, but was unable to keep the pace in the raceIn what was supposed to be Alonso's weekend, Trulli was the strongest of the Renault drivers during most of the timed sessions. The Italian was right on the pace from the start and performed solidly in both qualifying sessions despite the tricky windy conditions. Critically and unlike his Spanish teammate, the Renault driver started the second session towards the end, which made a big difference in the resulting times, with Alonso suffering more from the conditions. Trulli's performance was the best from a Renault driver so far this season.

5. Rubens Barrichello
First Qualifying: 1:16.655; Second Qualifying: 1:16.272

It was easy to misjudge Barrichello's performance considering he was the only of the top runners to opt for a two-stop strategy rather than the expected three-stopper. The Brazilian completed his flying lap with enough fuel to go for seven laps more than his teammate Schumacher, which was good enough to explain at least a big part of his gap to the German. Nonetheless, Barrichello was not too happy with his performance, which he rated as average, after finishing over 1.2 seconds behind his teammate.

6. Ralf Schumacher
First Qualifying: 1:16.040; Second Qualifying: 1:16.293

For the fifth time in five races, the German was unable to match the pace of his Williams teammate Montoya in qualifying, and that on a track where, historically, Ralf had done better than the Colombian. Suffice to say that Montoya had never outqualified Ralf in Barcelona until this year, when he finished over six tenths of a second ahead of his teammate. Despite being very happy with his car after Friday's practice, Ralf complained that his FW26 had been very nervous in the middle part of his flying lap and that reflected on his times at the end of the day.

7. Olivier Panis
First Qualifying: 1:16.168; Second Qualifying: 1:16.313

The Frenchman put on another of those performances that he has been accustomed to since he joined the Toyota team last year, extracting the best from the TF104, which again looked quick in qualifying trim, only to drop back in the race. Despite having less track time than teammate da Matta after his car broke down in final practice with only just five laps completed, Panis performed better than the Brazilian in qualifying, finishing almost eight tenths of a second ahead.

8. Fernando Alonso
First Qualifying: 1:17.011; Second Qualifying: 1:16.422

The local hero was one of the many drivers who were hampered by the strong gusts of wind that usually have a big impact on the performance of the cars at the Spanish circuit. The main problem for Alonso was not that the wind was blowing so strongly, but that it was inconsistent enough to make his Renault very hard to drive on the limit. Although the Spaniard claimed the press had overestimated Renault's chances at Barcelona, the result was disappointing for Alonso, whose chances of repeating last year's feat looked grim prior to the race.

9. Mark Webber
First Qualifying: 1:16.212; Second Qualifying: 1:16.514

Panis was quick in qualifyingWebber was his usual consistent self during the whole weekend, emerging again as the fastest of the Jaguar drivers and getting himself into a strong position to challenge for a points finish on Sunday. Although the Australian missed the whole first practice session on Saturday, he faced qualifying confident of the performance of his R5. His showing was as solid as expected, and although he made a slight error towards the end of his flying lap, the result was satisfying for the Jaguar driver.

10. David Coulthard
First Qualifying: 1:16.465; Second Qualifying: 1:16.636

As much as Coulthard claimed McLaren continued to make progress, the laptimes at the end of qualifying did not reflect it, as the Scot finished over 1.5 seconds off the pole position time on a track where the British squad have usually done well in the past. Coulthard said his flying lap had not been very clean, which reflected in the fact that he could not match his best lap from practice.

11. Cristiano da Matta
First Qualifying: 1:16.758; Second Qualifying: 1:17.038

Although the Brazilian felt comfortable with his Toyota prior to qualifying, the grid-deciding session proved to be a different affair. Da Matta struggled with understeer during most of his lap, and although he tried to compensate it from inside the car, the Brazilian ended up overdriving his Toyota and unable to match the pace of his teammate Panis.

12. Giancarlo Fisichella
First Qualifying: 1:15.746; Second Qualifying: 1:17.444

Still suffering from the same tyre problem that hindered him at San Marino two weeks earlier, Fisichella's life at Sauber continued to be hard. Like in Imola, the Italian did the best he could with the package available to him, his highlight of the weekend coming when he set the second quickest time in pre-qualifying. Sauber claimed they had gone out very light on fuel in the opening session in the hope that track conditions would be better at the end of the final hour. In the end it did not make a big difference and Fisichella completed a clean flying lap that put him in a decent position to fight for his first points of the year.

13. Kimi Raikkonen
First Qualifying: 1:16.240; Second Qualifying: 1:17.445

McLaren continued to struggle for paceAfter two races in which the Finn was forced to start from the back of the grid due to engine problems, 13th place may have felt like a place on the front row for Raikkonen. The reality, however, was the things did not look much better for him for most of the weekend, and he even suffered a scare on Friday when he had to park his car on track during practice. Although he went through qualifying without problems, the Finn said he did not understand why, but during the final part of the lap he had felt really uncomfortable with the handling of the MP4-19. The bottom line was the he ended up outside the top ten for the third consecutive time.

14. Jenson Button
First Qualifying: 1:16.462; Second Qualifying: 1:17.575

Button was supposed to give Michael Schumacher a good run for his money at Barcelona. The Briton even looked like the hot favourite to clinch pole following some impressive times, both during the weekend and prior to arriving at Barcelona, where the BAR was expected to be very competitive. Things were going well for Button on his flying lap, and although it was hard to tell whether he would have challenged Schumacher's time in the end, he could have been very close to the German. Button, however, was one of the drivers hampered by the wind, which caught him after the first split, the BAR driver going off the track, losing all his momentum and paving the way for Schumacher.

15. Nick Heidfeld
First Qualifying: 1:17.043; Second Qualifying: 1:17.812

The Spanish Grand Prix offered Heidfeld the best opportunity he's had so far this season to get closer to the men in front of him, and the German did a pretty good job, extracting the maximum from the uncompetitive Jordan EJ14. Although Heidfeld was happy with the improved competitiveness of the Jordan, the young German claimed he had struggled during his flying lap, his car lacking grip. Even so, he managed to equal his best qualifying position of the year, only this time it was on merit, as none of the superior cars had suffered any problems.

16. Christian Klien
First Qualifying: 1:17.863; Second Qualifying: 1:17.866

Jaguar were surely expecting more from the Austrian at one of the tracks he is more familiar with, having driven there several times before and after making his Formula One debut with the Ford-owned squad. As it was, however, Klien was unable to get close to Webber during most of the Grand Prix weekend. Things started badly for him on Friday after spinning off the track and missing the whole second session. He could make up for the time lost on Saturday, and although in qualifying he claimed he was pleased with his car, the end result was disappointing, finishing over one second behind his teammate.

17. Felipe Massa
First Qualifying: 1:15.771; Second Qualifying: 1:17.866

Webber was again the best Jaguar driverLike teammate Fisichella, Massa continued to struggle with his tyres on the first lap, something which did not stop him from setting the third quickest time in the pre-qualifying session. Final qualifying, however, was a very different story and, with a car that looked heavy on fuel, the Brazilian was unable to get close to repeating the feat. His poor position, however, was the result of a big error at turn seven, when he lost almost half a second that made the difference from qualifying near the top ten or qualifying at the bottom of the grid.

18. Gianmaria Bruni
First Qualifying: 1:20.372; Second Qualifying: 1:19.817

With Minardi being the only team who had not tested at Barcelona this year, the Italian squad faced an even tougher challenge coming into the Spanish Grand Prix. If that was not enough, Bruni's life was made harder as he was hit by mechanical problems prior to qualifying and he could only complete a handful of laps during Saturday's practice. With that in mind, Bruni's performance at the wheel of the recalcitrant PS04B was as good as anyone could have expected. Outqualifying a Jordan was a bonus for the rookie.

19. Giorgio Pantano
First Qualifying: 1:17.965; Second Qualifying: 1:20.607

Driving on a track he knew very well, and which he claimed was one of his favourites prior to the start of the weekend, Pantano's performance was nothing but disappointing. For most of the weekend, the Italian rookie was unable to match the pace of teammate Heidfeld, and ended up making a mess of his final qualifying lap, going off the track at turn six. Pantano was able to return to the track and even finish ahead of a Minardi, but the end result was far from what he wanted. With Jos Verstappen set to test for Jordan next month, the Italian will be under more pressure to raise his game quickly.

20. Zsolt Baumgartner
First Qualifying: 1:21.620; Second Qualifying: 1:21.470

As expected, the Hungarian driver had nothing to write home about after the Barcelona weekend. Baumgartner struggled badly with the balance of his Minardi, something that was evident when you looked at the way he was fighting the wheel of his car during qualifying. Compared to teammate Bruni, Baumgartner again looked to be out of his depth, finishing nearly two seconds behind the Italian.

Trulli flies at the startThe rain that was forecast for Sunday was only a shower on Saturday evening, and race day dawned with a dry track, although the temperatures were cooler than expected.

Prior to the start and in an event not so rare as of late, a protestor jumped onto the track and ran along the main straight as the cars were about to complete the warm-up lap. Fortunately, the marshals tackled him efficiently and the start was not delayed.

The rain was not the only thing that was forecast but didn't happen, as the anticipated wheel-to-wheel battle between Schumacher and Montoya never took place, with the Colombian making a worse start than his German rival, who lost his lead when Trulli flew past after a blinding start from the second row of the grid.

"I had a very good start, but it was right on the limit of a jump start," admitted Trulli, who led the race from Schumacher at the end of the first lap. Sato was third ahead of Montoya, with Barrichello in fifth, followed by Alonso, Panis and Coulthard. Button's chances took a further hit after the Briton failed to make a good start from his low grid position.

With Sato unable to follow the pace of the leaders, Trulli and Schumacher began to open a gap quite quickly as the positions all throughout the field remained basically unchanged. Schumacher sat comfortably behind Trulli for a few laps and waited for the Italian to make his first pitstop.

Alonso chases Barrichello"I just needed one lap earlier, one lap later than him, to be honest, because I was feeling I could go quicker and when he went in obviously I was able to do so, to jump him," said Schumacher, whose confidence was justified, as he pitted only a lap after Trulli and even so he managed to emerge ahead of the Italian.

Knowing of Schumacher's pace and Ferrari's reliability, the general consensus was that, after 10 laps, the race for first place was effectively over. Schumacher's engine, however, began to make irregular sounds so there was still hope for his rivals that he would suffer his first mechanical retirement since the 2001 German Grand Prix. It was not to be, though.

"We found it after the first pitstop and Ross [Brawn] came on and said there was little we could do about it. We just hoped it would last although he was not very optimistic and neither was I," the German explained.

Everybody except Barrichello completed their first pitstop before the end of lap 13, the Brazilian leading the race after opting for a two-stop strategy. The risk paid off and when Barrichello finally pitted on lap 17, he returned to the race in third place, having jumped ahead of Sato and Montoya, the Colombian already beginning to struggle with the brakes of his Williams.

Ralf scored three points for Williams"We made a decision to go for much smaller (brake) ducts to try and get some more aerodynamic performance out of the car and really it was wrong," explained William's Sam Michael. "Every circuit is hard on brakes anyway these days because you are always pushing everything as far as you can but here we just stepped over the limit obviously."

So after everyone had stopped for the first time, Schumacher led from Trulli, Barrichello, Sato, Alonso, with Montoya already down in sixth after battling with Fisichella, who was one of the last men to pit, dropping down to ninth place after a good first stint with the Sauber.

Up in front, Schumacher began to open the gap to Trulli quite easily, and before the start of the second round of pitstops, the Ferrari driver was over eight seconds ahead of the Italian, who made his second stop on lap 23, staying stationary for an amazing 5.3 seconds which allowed him to return to the track right behind his teammate Alonso, in fifth place.

Schumacher pitted on the following lap and did not even relinquish the lead, rejoining the race ahead of Barrichello. In another great example of Renault's excellent pitwork, Alonso managed to jump in front of Sato after both had made their second pitstop, relegating the Japanese to fifth place ahead of Fisichella.

The Italian was embroiled in a battle with the struggling Montoya, who was unable to do anything to move ahead of the Sauber driver as he continued to suffer brake problems in his Williams. The problem was getting worse and it was allowing teammate Ralf to close in, despite the German also having to take care of his brakes.

Further back, Button was still making slow progress with his BAR, moving into the top ten with half the race already gone. The only change in the order over the following laps came when Fisichella made his second stop on lap 40, dropping from sixth to tenth, although the Italian would not have to stop anymore.

Schumacher leads BarrichelloBy then, Schumacher was leading Barrichello by over five seconds, with both drivers still to make their final pitstop. Trulli was still third, albeit over 17 seconds behind Schumacher, while Alonso followed his teammate some 10 seconds behind. The Italian driver would pit a lap later, rejoining the race behind Alonso, who followed his teammate into the pits on the following lap.

Barrichello made his second and final stop on lap 43, and although he returned to the track in third place, he regained second once Sato pitted and dropped back to fifth once more. Schumacher dived into the pits on lap 45, only to continue in the lead once he was back out.

Montoya was one of the last men to pit, on lap 45, but the Colombian would not return to the race, as his brakes were already cooked. The retirement left Williams with only Ralf in the race, the German at least finding a way past Fisichella, who was relegated to seventh position ahead of Button, who had moved into the point-scoring positions at last.

For the last part of the race, Alonso's charge to close the gap to Trulli was the only point of interest as the order remained unchanged. The Spaniard pleased his crowd with some flying laps which allowed him to get right behind Trulli, although he did not have the chance to pass and had to settle for fourth behind the Italian.

Schumacher, meanwhile, cruised home despite his problems with the exhaust, scoring his fifth win in five races on a day where his numbers were once more the protagonists, as much as the German has repeatedly said that he doesn't race for statistics.

The podium"What means a lot is that it is 200, it's 75...It's obviously a lot of nice numbers that come together at one weekend, which I am proud of," Schumacher, now 18 points ahead of Barrichello, said after the race. "But on the other side, now we look forward to the next one."

And the next one is the Monaco Grand Prix, which last year marked the turning point of the season, with Williams beginning their charge back to the top of the standings. Right now, stopping Schumacher's winning streak seems like a monumental task. Making him sweat to clinch his seventh title, however, is likely to require nothing short of a miracle.

Race Results

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine                Time        
 1.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari          (B)  1h27:32.841
 2.  Barrichello   Ferrari          (B)  +    13.290
 3.  Trulli        Renault          (M)  +    32.294
 4.  Alonso        Renault          (M)  +    32.952
 5.  Sato          BAR-Honda        (M)  +    42.327
 6.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW     (M)  +  1:13.804
 7.  Fisichella    Sauber-Petronas  (B)  +  1:17.108
 8.  Button        BAR-Honda        (M)  +     1 lap
 9.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas  (B)  +     1 lap
10.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  +     1 lap
11.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  +     1 lap
12.  Webber        Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)  +     1 lap
13.  da Matta      Toyota           (M)  +     1 lap

Fastest Lap: M.Schumacher, 1:17.450

Not Classified/Retirements:

Driver        Team                  On Lap
Pantano       Jordan-Ford      (B)    53
Montoya       Williams-BMW     (M)    47
Klien         Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)    44
Panis         Toyota           (M)    34
Heidfeld      Jordan-Ford      (B)    34
Bruni         Minardi-Cosworth (B)    32
Baumgartner   Minardi-Cosworth (B)    21

World Championship Standing, Round 5:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  M.Schumacher  50        1.  Ferrari           82
 2.  Barrichello   32        2.  Renault           42
 3.  Button        24        3.  BAR-Honda         32
 4.  Alonso        21        4.  Williams-BMW      30
 5.  Trulli        21        5.  McLaren-Mercedes   5
 6.  Montoya       18        6.  Sauber-Petronas    3
 7.  R.Schumacher  12        7.  Jaguar-Cosworth    1
 8.  Sato           8       
 9.  Coulthard      4       
10.  Fisichella     2       
11.  Massa          1       
12.  Webber         1       
13.  Raikkonen      1    

Fastest Race Laps

Pos  Driver        Team                  Lap  Time              
 1.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari          (B)  12   1:17.450        
 2.  Button        BAR-Honda        (M)  46   1:17.495 + 0.045
 3.  Alonso        Renault          (M)  27   1:17.556 + 0.106
 4.  Sato          BAR-Honda        (M)  47   1:17.678 + 0.228
 5.  Barrichello   Ferrari          (B)  16   1:17.887 + 0.437
 6.  Trulli        Renault          (M)  12   1:18.178 + 0.728
 7.  Montoya       Williams-BMW     (M)  28   1:18.262 + 0.812
 8.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW     (M)  27   1:18.548 + 1.098
 9.  Webber        Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)  11   1:18.617 + 1.167
10.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas  (B)  43   1:18.819 + 1.369
11.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  48   1:18.842 + 1.392
12.  Heidfeld      Jordan-Ford      (B)  25   1:18.971 + 1.521
13.  Fisichella    Sauber-Petronas  (B)  37   1:19.062 + 1.612
14.  da Matta      Toyota           (M)  29   1:19.112 + 1.662
15.  Klien         Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)  18   1:19.142 + 1.692
16.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  38   1:19.175 + 1.725
17.  Panis         Toyota           (M)  10   1:19.199 + 1.749
18.  Pantano       Jordan-Ford      (B)  27   1:19.896 + 2.446
19.  Bruni         Minardi-Cosworth (B)   3   1:22.323 + 4.873
20.  Baumgartner   Minardi-Cosworth (B)   8   1:23.390 + 5.940

Pitstop Times

Pos  Driver        Team                  Time      Lap
 1.  Panis         Toyota           (M)  12.377   29
 2.  Trulli        Renault          (M)  20.997    9
 3.  Alonso        Renault          (M)  21.427    8
 4.  Alonso        Renault          (M)  21.816   25
 5.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW     (M)  21.879   10
 6.  Trulli        Renault          (M)  21.900   23
 7.  Webber        Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)  22.028   50
 8.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari          (B)  22.068   10
 9.  Heidfeld      Jordan-Ford      (B)  22.122    9
10.  Panis         Toyota           (M)  22.322    8
11.  Montoya       Williams-BMW     (M)  22.687   26
12.  da Matta      Toyota           (M)  22.699   46
13.  Montoya       Williams-BMW     (M)  22.742    9
14.  Button        BAR-Honda        (M)  22.781   28
15.  Klien         Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)  22.991   32
16.  Pantano       Jordan-Ford      (B)  23.013   10
17.  Heidfeld      Jordan-Ford      (B)  23.017   23
18.  da Matta      Toyota           (M)  23.026   27
19.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari          (B)  23.141   25
20.  Klien         Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)  23.237   16
21.  Alonso        Renault          (M)  23.465   42
22.  Sato          BAR-Honda        (M)  23.555   11
23.  Sato          BAR-Honda        (M)  23.597   26
24.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  23.659    9
25.  Pantano       Jordan-Ford      (B)  23.840   25
26.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari          (B)  23.870   45
27.  Baumgartner   Minardi-Cosworth (B)  23.934   12
28.  Panis         Toyota           (M)  24.003   26
29.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW     (M)  24.049   45
30.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  24.063   27
31.  Button        BAR-Honda        (M)  24.109   44
32.  Sato          BAR-Honda        (M)  24.238   45
33.  Trulli        Renault          (M)  24.338   41
34.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  24.370   29
35.  Montoya       Williams-BMW     (M)  24.378   43
36.  Fisichella    Sauber-Petronas  (B)  24.624   17
37.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas  (B)  24.687   18
38.  Barrichello   Ferrari          (B)  24.755   17
39.  Webber        Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)  24.781   26
40.  Button        BAR-Honda        (M)  24.792   10
41.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas  (B)  24.980   41
42.  Bruni         Minardi-Cosworth (B)  25.024    4
43.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  25.112   43
44.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW     (M)  25.277   25
45.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  25.497   10
46.  Fisichella    Sauber-Petronas  (B)  25.879   40
47.  Bruni         Minardi-Cosworth (B)  25.974   24
48.  Pantano       Jordan-Ford      (B)  26.622   44
49.  Barrichello   Ferrari          (B)  27.180   43
50.  da Matta      Toyota           (M)  28.750    9
51.  Webber        Jaguar-Cosworth  (M)  29.193    9
52.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes (M)  31.696   46

The Spanish Grand Prix, Lap by Lap

As the cars are on the final parade lap for the Spanish Grand Prix, a Spanish prankster, known for acts of self-promotion, runs onto the start-finish line. The cars are on the other side of the track and the man is apprehended by marshals before the cars return for the start of the race. The man is later handed over to the local police.

Alonso climbed back to fourth placeLap 1: At the start of the race Juan Pablo Montoya is slow away and it is Jarno Trulli who makes the biggest impression by getting off the line quickly and passing Michael Schumacher on the way down to the first corner. Takuma Sato is able to squeeze ahead of Montoya to grab third place. Rubens Barrichello is able to hold on to his fifth place while Fernando Alonso makes a great start to be sixth at the end of the first lap. Ralf Schumacher does not have a good lap and drops from sixth on the grid to ninth at the end of the first lap. Mark Webber is slow off the line and drops to 15th but fights back to end the first lap in 12th place. At the end of the lap Trulli is half a second ahead of Schumacher with Sato 1.2 seconds behind the Ferrari.

Lap 2: Trulli and Schumacher continue their battle while Sato tries to hold on. The order remains unchanged.

Lap 3: The pattern remains the same although in the midfield Jenson Button passes Cristiano da Matta for 13th place.

Lap 4: Trulli pulls out a couple of tenths, while down at the back of the field Gianmaria Bruni goes into the pits. He rejoins behind his team mate Zsolt Baumgartner.

Lap 8: The pit stops begin with Alonso and Panis stopping. They drop from sixth and seventh. They rejoin in 14th and 17th respectively.

Lap 9: Trulli pits and Michael Schumacher is able to speed up. Further back Montoya, Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber, da Matta and Nick Heidfeld all pit.

Lap 10: Schumacher comes into the pits and Sato goes into the lead, while Barrichello chases him. Michael comes out of the pits just ahead of Trulli. The pit stops continue with David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button all stopping.

Lap 11: Sato's moment of glory ends and Barrichello goes into the lead. Michael Schumacher is 11 seconds behind him with Trulli third, Giancarlo Fisichella fourth, Sato fifth and Felipe Massa sixth. It looks like Barrichello and the two Saubers are on two-stop strategies.

Lap 12: At the back of the field Baumgartner pits and falls behind Bruni.

Button could only score one pointLap 13: Schumacher's engine begins to sound a little rough but it does not seem to be affecting his performance. He is unable to catch Barrichello. Further back Alonso passes Massa for sixth place. Further back Ralf Schumacher passes Panis for 10th place.

Lap 14: Montoya passes Massa for seventh place.

Lap 15: Ralf Schumacher moves up another place by passing Christian Klien for ninth place when the young Austrian, who has yet to stop, goes wide at one corner.

Lap 16: Klien stops.

Lap 17: Barrichello finally stops and so Michael goes into the lead again. He is 5.7secs ahead of Trulli with Barrichello third, Sato fourth and Alonso fifth after Fisichella pits. The Sauber driver drops to ninth place. Montoya is sixth.

Lap 18: Massa, who is running seventh, stops and falls down to 15th place. At the back of the field Baumgartner spins out of the race

Lap 23: Michael Schumacher has increased his lead to more than eight seconds. Trulli comes into the pits and falls back to fifth place behind Barrichello, Sato and Alonso.

Lap 25: Schumacher stops for a second time but he remains in the lead. Also stopping is Alonso and Ralf Schumacher.

Lap 26: Sato, Montoya, Panis and Webber all pit and the order shuffles once again.

Fisichella gave Sauber a boost with seventh placeLap 27: As the pit stops continue in the midfield the order re-emerges with Schumacher, a couple of seconds clear of Barrichello with Trulli third and Alonso now ahead of Sato. The two-stopping Fisichella is back up to sixth ahead of Montoya. Kimi Raikkonen is next but is due to stop again.

Lap 28: Button is up to ninth place when he stops for the second time. He drops back to 12th place

Lap 29: Raikkonen stops and the McLaren driver falls back to 12th. Panis comes into the pits for a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

Lap 31: Button overtakes Klien for 10th place.

Lap 32: At the back of the field Bruni retires.

Lap 34: Nick Heidfeld goes out with an apparent engine problem. On the same lap Panis stops.

Lap 40: The order has remained unchanged right through the field until Fisichella stops. He falls from sixth to 10th.

Lap 41: The final stops begin with Trulli pitting for the third time. Alonso moves to third. Also pitting is Massa.

Lap 42: Alonso stops and so Sato moves back to third.

Lap 43: Barrichello comes in for his final stop and Sato moves to second. Rubens rejoins in third. Montoya stops from sixth place and drops to eighth. A lap down Coulthard pits, the McLaren driver dropping from 11th place to 14th.

Lap 44: As Button stops for the last time, dropping from seventh to 10th, Klien retires out on the track.

Lap 45: Schumacher and Sato both pit for the last time. Michael rejoins still in the lead but Sato falls back to fifth place behind Barrichello, Trulli and Alonso. Ralf Schumacher also stops and he falls from sixth place to seventh.

Sato finished fifthLap 46: Montoya comes into the pits and retires. Raikkonen also pits but he rejoins, albeit down in 12th place.

Lap 47: Ralf Schumacher passes Fisichella for sixth place.

Lap 50: The order at the front is set as Webber completes the pit stops. He falls behind the two McLarens.

Lap 51: At the back of the field Giorgio Pantano comes into the pits and retires.

Lap 66: Michael Schumacher wins his 75th victory and his fifth consecutive victory. Barrichello is second, with Trulli third, Alonso fourth, Sato fifth and Ralf Schumacher sixth. The final points are scored by Fisichella in seventh and, a lap down, Button in eighth. Massa, Coulthard, Raikkonen, Webber and da Matta complete the finishers.

  Contact the Author
Contact the Editor

© 1995-2005 Kaizar.Com, Inc. . This service is provided under the Atlas F1 terms and conditions.
Please Contact Us for permission to republish this or any other material from Atlas F1.
Email to Friend

Print Version

Download in PDF

Review QuickLink:

  • Race Results
  • Fastest Laps
  • Pitstop Times
  • Lap by Lap Account

    Volume 10, Issue 19
    May 12th 2004

    Atlas F1 Exclusive

    Exclusive Interview with Mike Gascoyne
    by Biranit Goren

    Bjorn Wirdheim: Going Places
    by Bjorn Wirdheim

    Ann Bradshaw: Point of View
    by Ann Bradshaw

    2004 Spanish GP Review

    2004 Spanish GP Review
    by Pablo Elizalde

    Technical Review: Spain 2004
    by Craig Scarborough

    Full House
    by Richard Barnes

    Stats Center

    Qualifying Differentials
    by Marcel Borsboom

    by David Wright

    Charts Center
    by Michele Lostia


    The F1 Insider
    by Mitch McCann

    Season Strokes
    by Bruce Thomson

    Elsewhere in Racing
    by David Wright & Mark Alan Jones

    The Weekly Grapevine
    by Dieter Rencken

      Contact the Author
    Contact the Editor

      Find More Articles by this Author

       > Homepage
       > Magazine
       > News Service
       > Grapevine
       > Photo Gallery
       > My Atlas
       > Bulletin Board
       > Chat Room
       > Bet Your Nuts
       > Shop @ Atlas
       > Search Archive
       > FORIX
       > Help