Schumacher makes it title seven at Spa 29 Aug 2004
Since Ferraris dominance of this season became clear the question has always been more when than if. But with a strong drive to second place at the Belgian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher has done enough to claim his seventh Drivers Championship crown with four races of the season still to go.
Statistically it was always on the cards, the world champion just needing to finish two points ahead of Rubens Barrichello to ensure keeping his crown for another season. Despite dropping right back in the early stages of the race as be battled with his cold Bridgestone tyres, Schumacher was quickly back in the running after the first series of pit stops, finding himself in second place.
The only question remaining was that of whether the German could seal his Championship with yet another victory? For most of the closing stages of the race it looked unlikely Raikkonens McLaren clearly having a performance advantage over the Ferrari and holding a comfortable 10 second margin. But after the final safety car period Schumacher closed right up, setting the then fastest lap of the race, and a move on Raikkonen looked likely until the Finn found his legs again and drove to a well-deserved victory. But Schumacher knew that he had done enough.
It was an eventful day with all the safety cars and the conditions that we had, he told the post-race press conference, Considering where I had dropped back to and where I finished I can only be happy. We have clinched the Championship, we had a tough fight and Kimi drove a superb race.
The only question remaining now is that of how many more Grands Prix victories Schumacher will be able to take in this record-breaking season.