The Michelin fiasco at Indianapolis meant only the Ferrari drivers took part in the race and Schumacher won from his annoyed teammate after a frought battle - they now jointly led 54 each with Schumi ahead having more wins.
The next four races were dominated by Schumacher and Fisichella who started to challenge - they each scored two wins and two 2nds up to the summer break after Hungary, but Fisi was still 24 points behind the lead Ferrari, Barrichello kept on picking up points and was still only 14 points behind despite now being a proper number 2 driver, while Coulthard was beginning to fade - even though he was still ahead of Fisichella, his car was MUCH slower.
After a costly retirement by Schumacher in Turkey, four drivers were all within 14 points again. Fisichella then won the class at his home race in Monza, with the Ferraris behind him.
Spa really mixed things up - Fisichella, Coulthard and crucially Schumacher all crashed out and Barrichello benefitted to take the win - he was now only a single point behind his teammate, Fisi was 12 behind and Coulthard's chances were all but over.
Schumacher managed to sneak in front of Fisichella in Brazil with Barrichello suffering from his home curse - not only was he beated by his teammate he had Fisichella between them. It now looked an in-house fight but Fisichella had other ideas, he won the class at Suzuka to keep himself in it as Schumacher finished behind Coulthard - and with Barrichello 4th, it was Schumacher 114, Barrichello 108 and Fisichella 104 but with both Fisichella and Schumacher having 7 wins each, a win by him in China and a retirement for Schumacher would have him ahead on countback.
Schumacher had a complete disaster in China and spun out early - Fisichella was in the lead which would give him 114 points and Ferrari's hope rested with the number 2 to step up - 2nd in the class would give him the title but 3rd wouldn't as he only had two wins. Barrichello was running 2nd towards the end which would have been good enough but the Bridgestone tyres which Ferrari had were not as good as the Michelins for the no tyre stops rule they had that year - consequently Barrichello fell behing both Coulthard and Villeneuve and even a drive-through penatly for Fisichella couldn't stop him taking the win - and the title!!!!
Giancarlo Fisichella 114 (8 wins - AUS ESP GBR GER TUR ITA JPN CHN)
Michael Schumacher 114 (7 wins - RSM MON CAN USA FRA HUN BRA)
Rubens Barrichello 113 (2 wins - EUR BEL)
David Coulthard 95 (1 win - MAL)
Jacques Villeneuve 81 (2 2nd)
Pedro De La Rosa 10 (1 win - BRN)
Barrichello shot himself in the foot by retiring due to handling difficulties in Malaysia - one more lap completed would have had him classfied and 3rd in the class as Fisichella and Villeneuve had retired!! Also De La Rosa's cameo appearance in Bahrain cost Barrichello 2 crucial points - Schumacher and Fisichella retired there so it didn't affect them!!