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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:2004
Internal name:655
Predecessor:Ferrari F2003-GA
Successor:Ferrari F2005
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 30, 2019
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Click here to download printer friendly versionContinuing the longstanding and often successful Ferrari tradition of gradual development, the Italian team opted to run an evolution of the existing Grand Prix car in the 2004 Formula 1 World Championship. In this particular case that was for good reason as the F2003-GA had provided the team with the fifth consecutive Constructors' title and fourth Drivers' World Championship in a row. Dubbed the F2004, the 'new' machine featured subtle modifications to address the outgoing machine's few weak spots and comply with the new regulations.

Known internally as the Tipo 655, the F2004 was built around a slightly lighter monocoque with revised rear suspension geometry to address the F2003-GA's relatively high tyre wear. The powerful yet reliable V10 was also redesigned to meet the new regulations that stipulated that only a single engine could be used during a Grand Prix weekend. The weight balance was also perfected while the centre of gravity was lowered even further. Subtle revisions were also made to the aerodynamics and a cleaner airflow to the widened rear wing was created by moving the periscope exhaust closer to the car's centre line.

Whereas in previous seasons, Ferrari opted to hand drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello the outgoing cars for the opening races, the F2004 was ready to go for round one, the Australian Grand Prix. Just how ready the car was, was underlined by Schumacher and Barrichello, who started first and second on the grid and went on to score a one-two victory. It would be the start of another dominant performance with Schumacher winning 12 of the first 13 races. Barrichello also added two wins to his tally. By the end of the year, the F2004 had won 15 of the 18 Grands Prix it started in and once again secured both titles for the Italian team.

One of the key elements to Ferrari's success had been the close working relationship with tyre supplier Bridgestone. By 2005, rival Michelin had really got their act together as the subsequent Ferrari F2005 would turn out to be one evolution too many. The Ferrari dominance came to a dramatic end, with Schumacher taking a single win and only because the Michelin shod cars were withdrawn from the American Grand Prix. As a result, the Ferrari F2004 remains as the last hurrah of the team's most successful era that resulted in six consecutive Constructors' titles and five World Drivers' Championships for Schumacher.

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  Article Image gallery (19) 234 Specifications User Comments (2)