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2004 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix
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Reports & Results from the Brazilian GP

Formula 1 Seasons

'14  '13  '12  '11  '10  '09  '08  '07  '06 
 '05  '04  '03  '02  '01  '00  '99  '98  '97


 Track Layout (from the FIA)


The final race of the season

The 2004 Formula 1 season comes to an end in Brazil. Both championships have long been decided and only a handful of lower rankings can change. This will lead to some teams and drivers taking extra risk and that could make the race exciting.
Ferrari are still expected to dominate though but BAR, McLaren, Williams or Renault could put up a fight.

Interlagos is a high speed track (track layout) and is run with a medium level downforce configuration. The tight and twisty middle section requires a high downforce configuration to maximise grip but the rest of the track requires a low 

downforce configuration to maximise top speed. This results in a compromise that the teams have to manage to produce the optimum setting. 

A number of teams tested at Jerez last week in preparation for this race. Williams were fastest on the first two days with Antonio Pizzonia topping the timesheets while Renault were fastest on the final day with Franck Montagny topping the timesheets. Ferrari tested privately at Fiorano and Vallelunga. 

Here is a team by team review:

Ferrari: Dominated in Japan and are expected to dominate again in Brazil although they may face some competition from other teams particularly BAR and McLaren. 
Reliability 10.0/10 - Speed 9.5/10

Drivers: Michael Schumacher returned to form at Suzuka and wants to erase the memory of Interlagos '03 when he spun in the wet. Ending his most successful season with a win is likely. 

Rubens Barrichello would be hoping to reverse his fortunes at his home race. Of the 11 appearances here Rubens has only finished once and that was in 1994. Last year he ran out of fuel while leading!. One wonders what he needs to do to finish here.

BAR: They have second place all but secured. Luck will have to turn severely against them for Renault to reclaim second from them. They will be strong here and if they get lucky could secure their first ever win. 
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Jenson Button had yet another podium finish in Japan and he is capable of getting another one here. The Contract Recognition Board is expected to make a decision this week regarding his contract for next year and that could cause some distraction.

Takuma Sato performed strongly at his home race but missed out on a podium finish to his team-mate. He won't be as strong here but if Button is distracted with his contractual issues Sato could beat him.

Renault: They are well aware that second place in the championship is nearly impossible. Not only will BAR have to finish outside the points but both Renaults have to finish on the podium with one winning. That is very unlikely. They will be stronger here than in Japan and have a chance of finishing on the podium.  
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Fernando Alonso managed 5th in Japan after starting from 11th which is a good result. Expect a strong showing in Brazil with a chance of a podium finish.

Jacques Villeneuve has failed to live up to expectations so far. He has done well at Interlagos in the past so he should be able to finish his 3 race run with Renault on an encouraging note. 

Williams: Increased the gap to McLaren in the championship following the Japanese race and now have a comfortable gap. They'll need to be very unlucky and McLaren very strong for them to lose 4th place. That is very unlikely.
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 8.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya had a poor race in Japan when compared to his team-mate. He was expected to do better. The lack of track time may have contributed. Montoya will be racing for Williams for the last time before moving to McLaren. He has been with Williams for all his F1 career and will want to end his career with them on a high.   

Ralf Schumacher had a strong race in Japan and surprise many with his second place finish. That could motivate him to do well in Brazil although his performances aren't usually consistent.

McLaren: They have a huge task at hand if they are to claim fourth place from Williams and they need both drivers to perform exceptionally well to even have a chance of achieving that. They can rely on Kimi to finish on the podium but it will be a near miracle for David to achieve that given that he hasn't finished on the podium this year. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 9.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen had a poor race in Japan by his standards. Again the lack of running time made it a guessing game and he didn't guess right. He'll do well here. 

David Coulthard was racing towards his usual finishing places when he collided with Rubens Barrichello. Expect a points finish for his last race with McLaren and possibly his career.

Sauber: Continue to improve their car thanks to the modifications coming through as a result of the wind tunnel. They are now on the verge of competing with the top teams. Another point or two are a possibility here. 
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella had his 5th points finish in a row. That is remarkable given the car he is driving. He'll have another chance to score a point or two here.

Felipe Massa continues to improve and finished just outside the points at Suzuka. He should do well at his home race but don't expect him to beat his team-mate.

Jaguar: Still lead Toyota by a single point. They are leaving Formula 1 at the end of this race but they'll be aiming to leave the sport ahead of another 'works' team.   
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Mark Webber had a strong qualifying performance but his car failed him during the race. If the team give him a reliable car he could score a point but it will be very difficult. 

Christian Klien had a reasonable performance in Japan considering the lack of running and his lack of experience. He'll want to put on a good performance in the hope of securing a drive for next year.

Toyota: Didn't deliver at their home race and it will be hard to imagine that they will score any points in Brazil. They could get lucky!. 
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Jarno Trulli returned to racing with Toyota at Suzuka but his performance was almost a copy of his performances in the Renault, strong at the start but then goes off the pace. Expect more of the same.

Ricardo Zonta makes his third appearance at his home race (the first two were with BAR in '99 and '00). He'll try to put on a good performance in front of his home crowd and may surprise us with a top 10 finish.

Jordan: Did well to have one of their cars finish yet again ahead of a Toyota. They return to Brazil as winners from last year. That won't be repeated again this year unless we have similar bizarre circumstances!.  
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Nick Heidfeld continues to perform well given the car he is driving. A top 10 finish would be a dream.

Timo Glock also did well given the lack of running time and experience. He'll try his best at Interlagos.

Minardi: Another season ends with Minardi at the back. One would really like to see them close the gap to the rest next season but with Cosworth up for sale that is unlikely.
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10 

Drivers: Zsolt Baumgartner was the only driver to spin out of the race. Lack of experience showed. Interlagos will be another tough circuit.

Gianmaria Bruni finished a race after three retirements in a row. Interlagos will be tough.

Bridgestone Preview - Michelin Preview

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Main Brazilian Grand Prix Page

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First Friday Practice - 11:00 am Results Report Results
Second Friday Practice - 2:00 pm Results Report Results
First Saturday Practice - 8:00 am Results   Results
Second Saturday Practice - 9:15 am Results Report Results
Qualifying P1 - 12:00 pm - P2 1:00 pm Results Report Results
Race - 2:00 PM Results Report Results

What the teams and drivers said
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