Finally, Kimi Raikkonen wins again at Spa; Rubens Barrichello leads Ferrari to victory in Monza.
If anyone who hasn’t watched the last two Formula One races and say that the sport is dead seriously needs to look at the replays of the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago and the Italian Grand Prix last Sunday.
In Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, a thrilling race that saw three safety car periods, numerous spins and lots of daring overtaking maneouvers ended with Kimi Raikkonen leading now 7-times World Champion Michael Schumacher home to win the Belgian Grand Prix. Kimi made a great start from 10th on the grid, gained enough ground to stay ahead of the first lap chaos that marred the midfield. He made a daring pass on Schumacher, whose Ferrari’s tyres were so cold
and was left with no other choice to lift his foot from the gas pedal as Raikkonen rocketed forward to take his then third position. And when Fernando Alonso of Renault spun out of the lead a few laps later, Kimi was left with a clean track to put in together a blazing set of laps that saw him lead comfortably ahead of the rest of the field, even when the safety car was deployed two more times during the race. His clever strategy of backing everyone up right before the
restarts under the safety car earned him comfortable cushions that were never threatened, ironically even by the dominant Schumacher. The win gave him his second 1st place trophy of his career.
Two weeks later, Rubens Barrichello led Michael Schumacher as they taught all Formula One teams a neat lesson in race crisis management. They scored their eighth 1-2 finish for Ferrari this year, and his first F1 win for 2004. Barrichello and Schumacher survived a disastrous first one-third of the race where the duo dropped to as low as 10th and 15th places respectively, as Barrichello had to come into the pit lane to change his overheating intermediate weather tyres while Schumacher, on the other hand, lost the back end of his car going into the second corner. The Ferrari team worked double than their usual share of hard work during weekends to avert a shameful home track loss to clearly inferior cars of the other teams. Barrichello notches his eighth career win over all and further solidified his place at 2nd in the F1 World Championship.