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2004 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Title: 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix  
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2004 Malaysian Grand Prix

  2004 Malaysian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 2 of 18 in the 2004 Formula One season
Date 21 March 2004
Official name VI Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix
Location Sepang International Circuit, Sepang, Malaysia
Course Permanent race circuit
Course length 5.543 km (3.444 mi)
Distance 56 laps, 310.408 km (192.879 mi)
Weather Dry, light rain at the start
Air Temp 34 °C (93 °F)[1]
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 1:33.074
Fastest lap
Driver Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW
Time 1:34.223 on lap 28 (lap record)[N 1]
First Ferrari
Second Williams-BMW
Third BAR-Honda

The 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on 21 March 2004 at the Sepang International Circuit.


  • Race report 1
  • Classification 2
    • Qualifying 2.1
    • Race 2.2
  • Notes 3
  • Standings after the race 4
  • Footnotes 5
  • References 6

Race report

With all drivers starting on dry tyres, the action started sooner than expected as on the parade lap Kimi Räikkönen spun but was able to retake his grid position. Mark Webber, starting from P2, made a woeful start and slid down the field to be 9th by the 1st lap. Fernando Alonso on the other hand, made a brilliant start from 19th (2nd last) and was up behind Webber in 10th after lap 1. Michael Schumacher led from the start while drivers behind jostled for position. By the second lap, rain started to fall and cars were starting to lose traction on the dry tyres. Trulli overtook Button but the Brit promptly took the place back again. Alonso barreled past Webber for eighth and closed in on the McLaren of David Coulthard. From the back to a points position within four laps was an outstanding performance from Alonso but it was the best he got all race. By this time Michael Schumacher had already built up quite an advantage, but this was quickly eroded by the hard-charging Juan Pablo Montoya. It was to prove to be just a brief shower as soon the precipitation passed and Schumacher was back on his way.

Webber managed to get past Ralf but the Williams retaliated and got ahead again, puncturing the Jaguar's rear right tyre on his way. Takuma Sato spun into the gravel but recovered the BAR smartly and Webber had to pit for a tyre change. To add insult to injury he got a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane and finally compounded his misery by spinning out of the race a few laps later.

A string of cars in the midfield were jostling for position, starting with Nick Heidfeld's Jordan in 11th, then Cristiano da Matta's Toyota, the second Jaguar of Christian Klien, Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella and da Matta's teammate Panis. In the first round of pit stops Heidfeld's fuel rig failed and he had to go out and back in again. He eventually pulled into the pits to retire with a gearbox problem.

Trulli got ahead of Coulthard in the first stops and running order at the front, where not much was happening, was Michael, Montoya, Raikkonen. Montoya was falling away from the Ferrari in the second stint of the race but not letting him get too far ahead. Alonso took Coulthard for sixth but then the pair pitted for the second time and the McLaren got out ahead.

Alonso swapped to a two-stop strategy but it gave him no advantage and he seemed resigned to staying behind Coulthard, while Trulli, who had been on quite an early charge, also seemed to lose momentum. Ralf's engine unexpectedly gave up midway through the race, the first failure for BMW for 17 races. Felipe Massa, who was having a pretty good race, got held up by a Minardi and did a bit of agitated hand waving as he went by. The gap between Michael and Montoya was holding at around four seconds and Button moved up to third, jumping Raikkonen in the second pit stops. Both of the Finn's stops seemed quite long and eventually he pulled off to the side of the track with a transmission failure. Disappointing for Raikkonen and McLaren as Kimi was showing good pace until then.

Panis ducked into the pits only to find no crew ready for him and had to go straight back out. Then next lap he was back in again to serve a drive-through for speeding on his previous effort. Not a good day for Panis, or Toyota in general. Da Matta finished ninth after a fairly anonymous race.

In the final laps the BAR crew froze as one of the cars pulled off with an engine failure but it was Sato rather than third placed Button. Bad luck for Sato but the relief that it wasn't his teammate was palpable. Barrichello was gaining ground on Button but with only a few laps to go, he wasn't in a position to challenge.

Michael took the win with Montoya five seconds behind. BAR and Button were by far the happiest of the lot and the Englishman got the biggest cheer from the crowd as he lifted his first trophy on the third step of the podium.



Pos No Driver Constructor Time[2] Gap
1 1 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:33.074
2 14 Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 1:33.715 +0.641
3 2 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:33.756 +0.682
4 3 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 1:34.054 +0.980
5 6 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.164 +1.090
6 9 Jenson Button BAR-Honda 1:34.221 +1.147
7 4 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1:34.235 +1.161
8 7 Jarno Trulli Renault 1:34.413 +1.339
9 5 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.602 +1.528
10 16 Cristiano da Matta Toyota 1:34.917 +1.843
11 12 Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 1:35.039 +1.965
12 11 Giancarlo Fisichella Sauber-Petronas 1:35.061 +1.987
13 15 Christian Klien Jaguar-Cosworth 1:35.158 +2.084
14 17 Olivier Panis Toyota 1:35.617 +2.543
15 18 Nick Heidfeld Jordan-Ford 1:36.569 +3.495
16 20 Gianmaria Bruni Minardi-Cosworth 1:38.577 +5.503
17 21 Zsolt Baumgartner Minardi-Cosworth 1:39.272 +6.198
18 19 Giorgio Pantano Jordan-Ford 1:39.902 +6.828
19 10 Takuma Sato BAR-Honda no time no time
20 8 Fernando Alonso Renault no time no time


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 56 1:31:07.490 1 10
2 3 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 56 +5.022 4 8
3 9 Jenson Button BAR-Honda 56 +11.568 6 6
4 2 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 56 +13.615 3 5
5 7 Jarno Trulli Renault 56 +37.360 8 4
6 5 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 56 +53.098 9 3
7 8 Fernando Alonso Renault 56 +1:07.877 20 2
8 12 Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 55 +1 Lap 11 1
9 16 Cristiano da Matta Toyota 55 +1 Lap 10  
10 15 Christian Klien Jaguar-Cosworth 55 +1 Lap 13  
11 11 Giancarlo Fisichella Sauber-Petronas 55 +1 Lap 12  
12 17 Olivier Panis Toyota 55 +1 Lap 14  
13 19 Giorgio Pantano Jordan-Ford 54 +2 Laps 18  
14 20 Gianmaria Bruni Minardi-Cosworth 53 +3 Laps 16  
15 10 Takuma Sato BAR-Honda 52 Engine 19  
16 21 Zsolt Baumgartner Minardi-Cosworth 52 +4 Laps 17  
Ret 6 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 40 Transmission 5  
Ret 18 Nick Heidfeld Jordan-Ford 34 Transmission 15  
Ret 4 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 27 Engine 7  
Ret 14 Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 23 Spin 2  


Standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ Although Michael Schumacher set a lap time of 1:33.074 in qualifying, Juan Pablo Montoya's time of 1:34.223 is recognised as the lap record as it was set under race conditions.


  1. ^ "2004 Malaysian Grand Prix (Race)". ( 
  2. ^ "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
Previous race:
2004 Australian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2004 season
Next race:
2004 Bahrain Grand Prix
Previous race:
2003 Malaysian Grand Prix
Malaysian Grand Prix Next race:
2005 Malaysian Grand Prix

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