Race Results 2004


Round 14 - BELGIUM, Spa Francorchamps - Race Results

Conditions: ; Temperatures: track 22-24°C, air 20°C

Position  Driver  Car (Tyres)  Time/Retirement Laps Pitstops
1  Kimi RAIKKONEN  McLaren Mercedes (M)  1h 32m 35.274s 44 2
2  Michael SCHUMACHER  Ferrari (B)  + 0m 03.132s 44 2
3  Rubens BARRICHELLO  Ferrari (B)  + 0m 04.371s 44 3
4  Felipe MASSA  Sauber Petronas (B)  + 0m 12.504s 44 4
5  Giancarlo FISICHELLA  Sauber Petronas (B)  + 0m 14.104s 44 2
6  Christian KLIEN  Jaguar Cosworth (M)  + 0m 14.614s 44 3
7  David COULTHARD  McLaren Mercedes (M)  + 0m 17.970s 44 3
8  Olivier PANIS  Toyota (M)  + 0m 18.693s 44 3
9  Jarno TRULLI  Renault (M)  + 0m 22.115s 44 2
10  Ricardo ZONTA  Toyota (M)  Engine 41 2
11  Nick HEIDFELD  Jordan Ford (B)  + 4 laps 40 5
 Not classified
Ret  Juan Pablo MONTOYA  Williams BMW (M)  Puncture 37 3
Ret  Antonio PIZZONIA  Williams BMW (M)  Gearbox 31 2
Ret  Jenson BUTTON  BAR Honda (M)  Tyre failure 29 2
Ret  Zsolt BAUMGARTNER  Minardi Cosworth (B)  Accident 28 2
Ret  Fernando ALONSO  Renault (M)  Spin (oil leak) 11 0
Ret  Mark WEBBER  Jaguar Cosworth (M)  Accident 0 0
Ret  Takuma SATO  BAR Honda (M)  Accident 0 0
Ret  Gianmaria BRUNI  Minardi Cosworth (B)  Accident 0 0
Ret  Giorgio PANTANO  Jordan Ford (B)  Accident 0 0

Well, that was more like it ... no lack of action this week! and it started at the start ... Trulli retained the lead from the grid, Alonso sneaking through into second. La Source has been the scene of first lap incidents before, this year's was not as dramatic as 1998, but damage was sustained by Barrichello when Webber braked too late (Webber would retire on the same lap with suspension damage), and Button. More was to follow however as Sato spun at the top of the hill coming out of Eau Rouge, taking out Bruni in the process. Pantano joined the party by driving into the stricken Bruni.

So, end of lap 1, four retirements, six drivers in the pits (Panis, Massa, Heidfeld and Baumgartner also stopping) and the Safety Car out. Barrichello and Massa stop again on the next lap, Barrichello for a time-consuming rear wing change.

When the SC pulled in, Raikkonen shot past Michael Schumacher, the Bridgestones slower to regain optimum performance on the restart. Montoya, next down the road, knew he had only one lap to try and follow Kimi through ... a beautiful move round the outside at the redesigned Bus Stop saw him take 4th.

Trulli is the first of the leaders to pit, but Alonso then spun out from the lead with the engine leaking oil on to his rear tyres ... he recovered the track only to spin again and beach his Renault in the gravel. So, it's McLarens 1st and 2nd ... but not for long, Coulthard suffered a puncture, presumably having picked up debris. He had to do nearly a full lap to recover the pits and pick up a new set of boots, putting him to the back of the field.

Raikkonen came in for his schedule stop immediately after Coulthard pulled out ... slick work from the McLaren pit crew. Montoya pits from the lead on lap 15, with Schumacher closing the gap behind him. He comes out right alongside Massa however and can't take the place going into Eau Rouge so loses 2 seconds to Schumacher who pits on the following lap and comes out ahead.

Pizzonia, standing in again for the injured Ralf Schumacher and trying to stake a claim on the second Williams race seat for 2005 should Button's move to Williams not get upheld by the Contracts Recognition Board, finds himself leading the race until he pits on lap 17. Deep breath ... Raikkonen leading, Button 2nd (yet to stop), Schumacher 3rd, Trulli 4th, Massa 5th, Montoya 6th.

Massa finally pits, freeing Montoya who sets about chasing down Trulli. Trulli seems off the pace following his stop and Montoya tries a repeat of his successful move on Schumacher at the Bus Stop ... this time Trulli doesn't give him room and gets tipped into a spin ... Pizzonia nips through into 4th. Montoya and Trulli both continue, in 5th and 8th respectively, but the incident will be investigated by the stewards after the race.

In the meantime, Fisichella bounces across the grass damaging his barge boards, which will affect his race pace. Button pits from 2nd, coming out behind Barrichello who is battling with the damaged Sauber of Fisichella. Barrichello goes through and Button follows him not long afterwards in an easy move at La Source.

Things settle down for a while, Raikkonen has a 13 sec lead over Schumacher, Pizzonia and Montoya are battling for 3rd. Raikkonen pits on lap 29, fuelled to the finish ... looking good for his second career win. On lap 30, Button's right rear tyre lets go in spectacular fashion at one of the fastest points of the circuit, pitching him into a spin and into the hapless Baumgartner who he was lapping at the time. Both are out of the race (that's both Minardis taken out by spinning BARs) and the Safety Car is deployed for the second time. Schumacher pits immediately and comes behind Raikkonen, who's hard-won lead has been wiped out.

Pizzonia pulls over and stops under the SC, his gearbox gone ... a sad end to a good race. Raikkonen retains the lead at the restart and Klien slips past Panis for 8th, on track for his first career point. Coulthard also passes Panis for 9th, trying to salvage something from a difficult afternoon. On lap 38, Montoya suffers a puncture and drops to 11th as he recovers to the pits, but the rear suspension had been damaged and he's out. Coulthard is in the points!

But not for long ... on lap 39, he runs up the back of Klien when lining up a pass ... big impact, debris flies over his head taking out the on-car camera and lodging on his rear wing, but he limps back to the pits as the Safety Car is deployed for the third time.

The Safety Car pulls in at the end of lap 41 with just 3 laps to go ... Raikkonen again holds the lead and his desire to win is clearly evident as he pulls out a 3 sec lead over Schumacher in the closing laps, putting in the fast lap of the race on lap 42. On the same lap, Zonta pulls off with smoke pouring from his Toyota, retiring from 4th (just how did he manage to get there from the back of the grid!?) Coulthard, refusing to give up, passes Panis at La Source to take 7th, 2 points salvaged from a disastrous afternoon.

So, finally, Raikkonen crosses the line for the win, Schumacher finishes in 2nd, securing his 7th Drivers' World Championship title, with Barrichello in 3rd. The Saubers of Massa and Fisichella finished 4th and 5th respectively, with Klien 6th, Coulthard 7th and Panis 8th. Phew!!!

Back to Top

Copyright © 2011 - Carolyn Abberley
All Rights Reserved