2004 Paris


ROC winnerHeikki Kovalainen
ROC finalistSébastien Loeb
ROC semi-finalistsMichael Schumacher, Marcus Grönholm
ROC Nations Cup winnersFrance (Jean Alesi/Sébastien Loeb)
ROC Nations Cup finalists Finland (Marcus Grönholm/Heikki Kovalainen)


2004 was the first year that The Race Of Champions moved up to the big league of international stadiums with its debut at the Stade de France in Paris. The switch made The Race of Champions much more accessible for fans and took the event to the next level of global prominence.

A new star was born at the 2004 Race of Champions as Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen defeated a string of superstar names to lift the title at his first attempt.

Kovalainen’s crucial moment came in the semi-final when he defeated the legendary Michael Schumacher, also making his first Race of Champions appearance – in front of the watchful gaze of Ferrari boss Jean Todt. The Finn jumped onto the roof of his Ferrari to celebrate as the 64,000 spectators cheered the surprise young winner.

Sébastien Loeb made it three finals out of three appearances at the event, but even he couldn’t stop the Finn’s inexorable ride to a surprising, but deserved title.

Loeb had earlier made up for it, however, by partnering Jean Alesi to triumph in the ROC Nations Cup. Team France defeated the Finnish team made up of Kovalainen and Marcus Grönholm.