Ferrari F2004 - Probably the Best Ever
The Ferrari F2004 is one of the best cars made by Scuderia but also one of the most successful and dominant cars in the history of Formula 1 World Championship.
Ferrari was a dominant constructor in Formula 1 at the beginning of the 21st century. The F2002 was one of the best ever, its successor Ferrari F2003-GA was good but not so dominant, while Ferrari F2004 greatly surpassed the glory and success of its predecessors.
Similar to its predecessors but with many upgrades and modifications
Designers Rory Byrne, Ross Brawn, and Aldo Costa continued to develop their work started with F2002. The principle was the same but many elements were improved. The periscope exhausts were smaller and mounted closer to the center of the car what hugely improved aerodynamic efficiency. The rear-wing was enlarged, while the rear suspension was adjusted to be more gentle to the tires what was one of the problems with F2003-GA model.
The chassis at Ferrari F2004 was lighter than on the previous car, thanks to the new materials, just as the engine and gearbox. The F2004 had a lower center of gravity, while weight distribution has been improved as regards the chassis and the engine which was more durable and reliable. The team recorded only two retirements in 2004 season, both after collisions.
The winning team shouldn’t be changed
Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello did a perfect job in the previous year, so Ferrari had no reason to change anything. The reigning champion won the five opening races – in Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Imola, and Spain – while Barrichello thrice finished 2nd. Schumi’s winning stream has ended in Monaco where he retired after a collision with Juan Pablo Montoya but his teammate scored another podium after finishing 3rd.
After the first third of the season, Schumacher topped the standings with 50 points, while Barrichello was 2nd with 38, six more than Jenson Button in the 3rd position. In the Constructors’ Championship, Ferrari was 36 points ahead of the 2nd-placed Renault.
Schumacher won seven races in a row
Bad luck at Monaco not affected Schumacher. In European Grand Prix at Nurburgring, he began the new series of wins. After a triumph at Nordschleife, German racer won the races in Canada and in the US, while Barrichello finished 2nd in each. It was followed with another four Schumacher’s wins – at Magny-Cours, Silverstone, Hockenheim, and Hungaroring.
At the same time, Rubens scored three podiums and Ferrari already had another title in their pocket, while Schumi was 38 points clear of his team-mate in the Drivers’ Championship.
In the last five races, Barrichello scored better results than a champion. Brazilian triumphed in Italy and China and was 3rd in Belgium and Brazil, while Schumacher won the Japanese Grand Prix and finished 2nd in Belgium, where he clinched another title, and in Italy.
Breaking the records
Scuderia in 2004 set the new Formula 1 record winning the 6th consecutive Constructors’ Championship title, while Michael Schumacher won his 7th overall and 5th consecutive Drivers’ Championship what also was a new record.
With Ferrari F2004 was ended Scuderia’s supremacy in the Formula 1 for a while, but the most popular team bounced back a couple of years later.
What do the number say?
The Ferrari F2004 appeared in a total of 20 races and scored 15 wins (13 by Schumacher), 30 podiums, 12 pole positions and 14 fastest laps, setting numerous track records. Some of those fastest laps are still standing as the track record, for example at Nurburgring, Hungaroring, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Monza, Shanghai, and Magny-Cours.
This fabulous car scored a total of 262 points during the 2004 season and another 10 points in the two opening rounds of 2005 campaign.
Video – Ferrari F2004, Italian Grand Prix at Monza
Ferrari F2004 technical specifications
|Chassis||Carbon fiber and honeycomb composite structure|
|Weight||605 kg (including driver)|
|Front track||1.470 mm|
|Rear track||1.405 mm|
|Engine||Ferrari Tipo 053 V10 92°, 2.997 cc, mid-mounted, naturally aspirated|
|Power||880 – 950 hp / 660-710 kW at 19.000 rpm|
|Gearbox||Longitudinal semi-automatic sequential electronically controlled gearbox 7+1 gears|
|Suspension (front & rear)||Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear|
|Brakes||Carbon brake discs, pads, and calipers|