The winners and losers of 2004 26 Oct 2004
Who was on the up, and who was heading down...
Which teams have gained ground and which have gone backwards this season in relation to their 2003 performances? We take a look.
2004: 1st, 262 points
2003: 1st, 158 points
Position no change, points plus 104
A near perfect campaign for the world champions, with a record sixth consecutive constructors title and drivers crown number seven for Michael Schumacher, though they didnt quite manage to beat McLarens 1988 record of 15 wins in a season. After being pushed all the way last year, they responded in crushing fashion, adding over 100 points to their 2003 tally.
2004: 2nd, 119 points
2003: 5th, 26 points
Position plus 3, points plus 93
The surprise of 2004 and arguably the biggest winners. They had looked good in pre-season testing, but no one expected them to be quite so strong in race form. Unlike closest rivals Renault, they went from strength to strength as the year progressed, taking a total of 11 podium finishes and scoring more points than in all their previous seasons put together.
2004: 3rd, 105 points
2003: 4th, 88 points
Position plus one, points plus 17
As Ferraris traditional challengers McLaren and Williams faltered, Renault continued where they left off in 2003, taking the fight to the champions. Jarno Trulli scored a well-deserved maiden win in Monaco, but then the teams fortunes began to wane or at least Trullis did, culminating in his departure before the year was out. But despite their progress slowing, the team did better their target of a top four finish. However, being beaten by BAR was not part of the Renault script.
2004: 4th, 88 points
2003: 2nd, 144 points
Position minus 2, points minus 56
Major disappointment for the BMW-powered squad, who found themselves overshadowed by upstarts BAR and Renault. They worked hard to improve a fundamentally flawed car and eventually that work paid off, with victory in Brazil. It was too little too late though and couldnt prevent them dropping to their lowest championship position in five years.
2004: 5th, 69 points
2003: 3rd, 142 points
Position minus 2, points minus 73
A disastrous start to the season, from which no one expected them to recover. Confounding the critics, however, they went from zeroes to heroes, becoming only the second team of the season to beat Ferrari at Spa. From there the strong form continued, but the similar revival in Williams form meant fifth place was as high as they would go. Year on year, the biggest losers of 2004.
2004: 6th, 34 points
2003: 6th, 19 points
Position no change, points plus 15
No move up the table, but real progress from the Swiss team, reaping the benefits of their new wind tunnel facility. Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella both put in some sterling drives, the highlight being fourth and fifth places in Belgium. They had McLaren worried for a while and were definitely in a different league to the four teams behind them.
2004: 7th, 10 points
2003: 7th, 18 points
Position no change, points minus 8
Hard to draw positives from Jaguars season, given owners Fords decision to pull the plug at the end of the year. There were some though they stayed ahead of the far-better financed Toyota squad, and were not upstaged by fellow Ford team Jordan. And Mark Webbers second on the grid in Malaysia and his third at Suzuka were simply inspired.
2004: 8th, 9 points
2003: 8th, 16 points
Position no change, points minus 7
Not the move up the grid the Japanese had hoped for, but some would say its still early days for Mike Gascoynes technical team. Five different race drivers in the course of the season did not make for great continuity and they came agonisingly close to matching Jaguars ten-point haul for the year. Had it not been for a disqualification in Canada, they would have done it.
2004: 9th, 5 points
2003: 9th, 13 points
Position no change, points minus 8
Given that Eddie Jordans team unexpectedly won a race in 2003, they were always going to struggle relatively this season. And so it proved. Nick Heidfelds seventh at Monaco was well earned, while Williams and Toyotas disqualification in Montreal helped lift both cars into the points.
2004: 10th, 1 point
2003: 10th, 0 points
Position no change, points plus 1
Just a single point, but as is often said, at Minardi, scoring a point is the equivalent of winning the world championship at Ferrari. It came courtesy of Zsolt Baumgartner and eighth place at the US Grand Prix and was the first for the team since the start of 2002 when Mark Webber finished fifth in Melbourne.