San Marino GP 2004
APRIL 25, 2004
San Marino GP, 2004
Six time World Champion Michael Schumacher cruised in his Ferrari to his fourth consecutive win of the year at the San Marino GP, in Imola. Polesitter Jenson Button led the first nine laps in his BAR-Honda. When Button pitted, Schumacher put in two fast laps - making up two seconds - to get ahead of the young British driver after his pitstop. Schumacher then easily pulled away to take the win by ten seconds at the line - leading at times by as much as half a minute.
At the start of the race, Button got the jump on the field, while Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya battled down through Tosa, with Schumacher bumping Montoya and forcing the Colombian off the track at the exit of the corner. Up the hill, Montoya was then under pressure from his team mate Ralf Schumacher - who himself had to take to the grass to avoid an incident. At the end of the first lap Button led Schumacher and Montoya. Takuma Sato made a fast start in his BAR-Honda from seventh, and through the first lap tussles managed to get ahead of Ralf Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and the Renaults, to hold the others off in fourth place until the first round of stops.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished the race third in his Williams-BMW, eleven seconds behind Button - followed on his tail by Fernando Alonso in fourth, who made a strong run in the closing laps in his Renault. Fifth place was taken by his Renault team mate Jarno Trulli, who was battling with the second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello who finished in sixth place.
Seventh place went to Ralf Schumacher in the second Williams-BMW, who was punted out of fourth place by Alonso in the closing stages at Tosa. The incident was to be investigated by the stewards after the race.
The final points paying position went to the McLaren-Mercedes of Kimi Raikkonen - his first point of the season - after starting the race from the back of the field following an engine failure in qualifying.
Takuma Sato was in line to take eighth place, but suffered an engine failure with only four laps to go.
David Coulthard finished 13th in his McLaren-Mercedes - after having to replace his front wing after a first corner incident.