Germany 2004 - Button steals the show 19 Jul 2005
Practice at Hockenheim last year indicated a great race in prospect, with Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and BAR all looking strong. It was Michael Schumacher who shone in qualifying, though, with a stunning final sector lifting him three tenths of a second clear of Juan Pablo Montoyas Williams. Jenson Button was a very close third for BAR, but an engine change meant he would drop to 13th on the grid, a penalty which most expected to keep the Brit off the podium come Sunday afternoon. How wrong they were.
As Schumacher took the lead at the start of the race, McLarens Kimi Raikkonen was the only man able to stay with the German. However, with a great tussle looking imminent, Raikkonen crashed out through no fault of his own on lap 14 after the rear wing came off his car at speed. With Fernando Alonso inheriting second place, Schumacher was never again threatened and attention switched to Buttons charge through the field. It culminated in a superb battle with Alonso, the BAR driver seizing what would eventually be a fairly comfortable second.
David Coulthard finished fourth for McLaren, ahead of Montoya, who never recovered from a slow start, and Mark Webbers Jaguar. Webbers former team mate, Antonio Pizzonia, scored his first championship points, as Williams gave the Brazilian a race outing, taking over from fellow tester Marc Gene as replacement for the injured Ralf Schumacher. Takuma Sato took the final point for BAR, but Ferraris Rubens Barrichello was out of luck. He lost a front wing at the first corner after running into the rear of Coulthard and then suffered a puncture on the final lap, bringing his car to a halt within sight of the line and leaving the Brazilian classified only 12th.
Links: Results / Live Timing Archive, Photos, TV images