On 29th August 2004, Michael Schumacher finished second in the Belgian Grand Prix, behind Kimi Raikkonen. Why is worth highlighting a result that didn’t end on the top step of the podium? Because the eight points he brought home that day meant that Michael was assured of his seventh and last Drivers’ title in what was an extraordinary career. Ferrari had already clinched the Constructors’ crown in Budapest and, by then, only one of its drivers could win the Drivers’ championship. But only when the result was set in stone could the celebrations begin.
It was a chaotic race, even if unusually for Spa, the rain didn’t show up, but there were no less than three Safety Car periods. Michael was in the running right to the end for a top place finish and Rubens came back from last to third, after a double pit stop in the first two laps. “Every title has a special feel to it and brings out different emotions in me,” said Michael after the race. “This one is very special, just as it is special to win it here at Spa, a track that is particularly dear to me and also because it comes at the end of Ferrari’s seven hundredth Grand Prix. I am very proud of having won with an exceptional team, which did a fantastic job, which can be seen just by looking at how they managed to get Rubens back on track after the collision at the start. My team-mate drove a great race and this is the sort of thing that makes our team so strong.”
Final laps and podium celebration