The 2004 United States Grand Prix was held on June 20, 2004 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana and was the ninth round of the 2004 Formula One championship, a season which was completely dominated by Scuderia Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, as the German driver had won all but one race in 2004 ahead of the United States GP, in Monaco, due to a crash with Juan Pablo Montoya, and so had 70 points out of a possible 80 until that moment.
Rubens Barrichello began the race in Indianapolis from pole position in his Ferrari ahead of team mate Michael Schumacher and managed a good start, leading into the first corner. However, following a start-line incident between five cars, four of whom retired as a result, the German world champion overtook his Brazilian team mate on the safety car restart (lap six – as Michael had anticipated that here might be a restart and had warmed his tyres), and despite a threat from Barrichello in the second part of the Grand Prix, after the final pit stops, Michael Schumacher held on to take an impressive eighth win of the season. Takuma Sato (BAR-Honda) finished third at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and thus became only the second Japanese Formula One driver to achieve a podium finish, after Aguri Suzuki.
The 2004 race is most remembered for the problems encountered by the F1 teams using Michelin tyres, in what would be a precedent for the 2005 United States Grand Prix unfortunate events. First, Fernando Alonso’s Renault speared off the track at the end of the pit straight on lap nine, before Ralf Schumacher’s Williams suffered the same fate, but in a much more dangerous part of the circuit.
2004 United States GP full race: