Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


Belgium 2009


WHAT AN UNUSUAL BELGIAN GRAND PRIX!

APART FROM THE FIRST FREE PRACTICE ON FRIDAY MORNING, IT STAYED FINE ALL WEEKEND. VERY UNUSUAL FOR SPA! THEN IT WAS CLEAR THAT THE FRONT-RUNNING TEAMS COULDN'T FIND ENOUGH GRIP WHEREAS THE LOWER TEAMS SEEMED TO HAVE NO DIFFICULTY. THIS RESULTED IN A STARTING GRID THAT LOOKED MORE LIKE ONE FROM A WET QUALIFYING SESSION.

GIANCARLO FISICHELLA TOOK POLE POSITION WITH OTHER STRUGGLING TEAMS MAKING UP MOST OF THE TOP PLACES. AND THEN, TO CAP IT ALL, GIANCARLO CAME SECOND IN THE RACE TO SCORE FORCE INDIA'S FIRST-EVER POINTS AND THEIR FIRST PODIUM.

THE ONLY REASON THAT HE DIDN'T WIN WAS THAT TWO ROOKIES CAUSED MAYHEM AT TURN 5 ON THE OPENING LAP, RESULTING IN THEM, JENSON BUTTON AND LEWIS HAMILTON ALL RETIRING. GIANCARLO HAD MADE A SUPERB START AND WAS WELL AHEAD BY THE TIME THE SAFETY CAR CAME OUT. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS ALLOWED KIMI RAIKKONEN TO BE ON HIS TAIL AT THE RESTART AND HE COULD USE HIS KERS ADVANTAGE THROUGH EAU ROUGE AND BEYOND TO OVERTAKE THE FORCE INDIA CAR.

BUT GIANCARLO NEVER GAVE UP AND WAS RARELY MORE THAN 1 SECOND BEHIND ALL RACE, MOSTLY ONLY 0.6/7 SECOND BEHIND. FAST THOUGH THE FORCE INDIA IS NOW, WITH ITS MERCEDES ENGINE AND NEWLY UPDATED BODYWORK, KIMI'S KERS ADVANTAGE WAS JUST ENOUGH TO ENABLE HIM TO KEEP AHEAD TO WIN HERE FOR THE 4TH TIME OUT OF THE LAST 5 RACES AT SPA.

HAD THE SAFETY CAR NOT BEEN INVOLVED, IT IS DOUBTFUL THAT KIMI COULD HAVE GOT CLOSE ENOUGH TO ATTEMPT A PASS BUT THAT IS RACING. IN THE END, FORCE INDIA HAD MIXED EMOTIONS - GREAT JOY ON THE ONE HAND BUT DISAPPOINTMENT ON THE OTHER THAT THE ULTIMATE PRIZE ELUDED THEM.

THIS WAS NO FLUKE - GIANCARLO HAS CLEARLY LOST NONE OF HIS SKILL AND THE CAR IS QUICK AT MEDIUM/LOW DOWNFORCE CIRCUITS LIKE SPA AND WHO KNOWS WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN AT MONZA IN TWO WEEKS TIME. THAT IS AN EVEN LOWER DOWNFORCE TRACK.

BUTTON'S EXIT - HIS FIRST NON-SCORING EVENT OF THE SEASON - COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT WORSE. SEBASTIAN VETTEL (4TH BEFORE TODAY) MADE UP 6 POINTS BY COMING THIRD AND RUBENS BARRICHELLO (2ND) SALVAGED 2 POINTS FOR 7TH PLACE WHILE MARK WEBBER (3RD) FINISHED OUT OF THE POINTS IN 9TH. SO JENSON ONLY LOST 2 POINTS OF HIS LEAD DESPITE NOT SCORING ANY POINTS AT ALL HIMSELF. IT COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH, MUCH WORSE.





STARTING GRID

1. Giancarlo Fisichella
2. Jarno Trulli
3. Nick Heidfeld
4. Rubens Barrichello
5. Robert Kubica
6. Kimi Raikkonen
7. Timo Glock
8. Sebastian Vettel
9. Mark Webber
10. Nico Rosberg
11. Aidrian Sutil
12. Lewis Hamilton
13. Fernando Alonso
14. Jenson Button
15. Heikki Kovalainen
16. Sebastien Buemi
17. Jaime Alguersari
18. Kazuki Nakajima
19. Romain Grosjean
20. Luca Badoer




RESULT

1. Kimi Raikkonen
2. Giancarlo Fisichella
3. Sebastian Vettel
4. Robert Kubica
5. Nick Heidfeld
6. Heikki Kovalainen
7. Rubens Barrichello
8. Nico Rosberg

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers :

Jenson Button 72
Rubens Barrichello 56
Sebastian Vettel 53
Mark Webber 51.5
Kimi Raikkonen 34
Nico Rosberg 30.5
Lewis Hamilton 27
Jarno Trulli 22.5

Constructors :

Brawn GP 128
Red Bull Racing 104.5
Ferrari 56
McLaren 44
Toyota 38.5
Williams 30.5
BMW 18
Renault 16
Force India 8
Scuderia Toro Rosso 5

Race Results posted by
David Little
31st August 2009

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