On 21 March 2004 the Malaysian Grand Prix was held at the Sepang circuit. It was a much awaited race, because the Michelin runners thought and hoped that the expected very hot conditions would suit them better than those running Bridgestone, including Ferrari.
The English teams had high hopes, especially after Ferrari had been crushingly dominant in the previous round in Australia. However, it was not to be, as could be seen already in qualifying, when Michael Schumacher and the F2004 was dominant. The then six times world champion was ahead of Australia’s Mark Webber in the Jaguar by over 6 tenths, with Barrichello just behind in third. Montoya in fourth was the only other man to be within the same second.
Then, in the race, with temperatures over 30 degrees, Schumacher’s Ferrari suffered more than in Australia, but was still able to keep his pursuers at bay. After early excitement when a few drops of rain fell in the early laps, the race then settled into a pleasant drive for Schumacher. Barrichello failed to shine in the other Ferrari and came home fourth.