It happened today – 26 September

It happened today – 26 September

On 26th September 2004, Rubens Barrichello won the Chinese Grand Prix. The Shanghai event came towards the end of what had been an extraordinary season for the Scuderia, with the Constructors’ title already in the bag after Hungary and the Drivers’ going to Michael Schumacher for the seventh time, the …

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On 26th September 2004, Rubens Barrichello won the Chinese Grand Prix. The Shanghai event came towards the end of what had been an extraordinary season for the Scuderia, with the Constructors’ title already in the bag after Hungary and the Drivers’ going to Michael Schumacher for the seventh time, the fifth in a row. However, despite the fact that both titles were safely kept in Maranello, Ferrari still had a great will to win, because Formula 1’s debut in China had attracted great media interest in terms of what the country represented economically, particularly as far as the motor industry was concerned. Honda, Renault, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Toyota: almost all the major car manufacturers in the world dreamed of being able to write their name on the first line of the Chinese Grand Prix roll of honour.

Unfortunately for them, the F2004 and the Scuderia were not in a giving mood, taking this win too, even if the victor was not the most likely candidate. Indeed, it wasn’t the seven times world champion who won, but his team-mate Rubens Barrichello, for whom this was his ninth and last victory with the Prancing Horse. It’s true that the Brazilian profited from Michael having a rare “off” weekend, spinning in qualifying and the race and suffering a puncture just as he was about to climb back up the order, but Rubens never put a foot wrong from Friday to Sunday afternoon, obtaining a very nice win which was well deserved and came on the back of the one he took two weeks earlier in Monza. On the podium, to celebrate what was something of a unique win, Barrichello found President Montezemolo waiting for him and he didn’t miss the opportunity to get him to taste the winner’s champagne!

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