Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


China 2009


ANOTHER RECORD IN THIS TOPSY-TURVY YEAR THAT HAS ALREADY SEEN BRAWN GP RECORD A 1-2 FINISH AT THE FIRST GRAND PRIX IN AUSTRALIA, THEIR FIRST RACE, AND WIN THE SECOND RACE IN MALAYSIA WITH BOTH MCLAREN AND, PARTICULARLY, FERRARI IN DISARRAY. NOW RED BULL HAVE SCORED NOT ONLY THEIR FIRST-EVER VICTORY BUT ALSO MADE IT A 1-2 FINISH AT A DRENCHED SHANGHAI CIRCUIT IN THIS ADRIAN NEWEY DESIGNED CAR. SEBASTIAN VETTEL TOOK THE VICTORY AND MARK WEBBER 2ND.

THE BRAWN, WILLIAMS AND TOYOTA DIFFUSERS WERE CONFIRMED AS LEGAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE NEW RULES LAST WEEK AND THE OTHER TEAMS ARE NOW SCURRYING TO BRING OUT THEIR OWN VERSIONS. HOWEVER, ROSS BRAWN HAS ALWAYS SAID THAT THE REASON THEIR CAR IS FAST IS NOT JUST THE DIFFUSER AND THE RED BULL VICTORY SUPPORTS THAT BECAUSE THEIR CAR DOES NOT HAVE THE 'DOUBLE-DECK' DIFFUSER, ALTHOUGH ADRIAN AND HIS TEAM ARE WORKING FLAT OUT TO INCORPORATE IT INTO THEIR DESIGN. (ROSS BRAWN APPARENTLY POINTED OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF DIFFERING INTERPRETATIONS TO THE OTHER TEAMS MONTHS AGO BUT NO UNANIMOUS VIEW COULD BE AGREED AT THE TIME).

JENSON BUTTON CAME 3RD AND RUBENS BARRICHELLO 4TH BUT BOTH REPORTED THAT THEIR CARS WERE SUFFERING FROM A LACK OF TEMPERATURE IN THEIR TYRES, AFFECTING GRIP. CLEARLY, PART OF THE PROBLEM WAS THE RAIN, WHICH CAUSED THE RACE TO BE STARTED BEHIND THE SAFETY CAR AND CONTINUED THROUGHOUT THE RACE, BUT THAT WOULD AFFECT EVERYONE. HOWEVER, THE BRAWN IS KNOWN TO BE 'KIND' TO ITS TYRES AND THIS LACK OF SCRUBBING ACTION, WHICH WEARS OUT THE TYRE WHILST GIVING GOOD GRIP, MAKES IT HARDER TO GET HEAT INTO THE TYRES.

MCLAREN HAD MANY NEW PARTS HERE AND HAVE CLEARLY MADE PROGRESS BECAUSE HEIKKI KOVALAINEN CAME 5TH AND LEWIS HAMILTON 6TH DESPITE 'FALLING OFF' A NUMBER OF TIMES. TIMO GLOCK (7TH) AND SEBASTIEN BUEMI (8TH) COMPLETED THE REST OF THE POINT-SCORING POSITIONS. FERRARI? THEIR DISMAL SEASON GOT WORSE! KIMI RAIKKONEN FINISHED 10TH AND FELIPE MASSA'S ENGINE DIED ON LAP 20, BEHIND THE SAFETY CAR, WITH POSSIBLY AN ELECTRICAL OR HYDRAULIC PROBLEM. NO POINTS YET - THEIR WORST START TO A SEASON SINCE 1982.

SO, SEBASTIAN CONFIRMED HIS BRILLIANCE IN THE WET YET AGAIN, HAVING SCORED HIS FIRST WIN IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES IN MONZA 2008 FOR SISTER TEAM SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO. HE HAD TAKEN POLE POSITION ON SATURDAY IN THE DRY WITH JUST A SINGLE LAP IN Q3 (RESTRICTED TO THAT SINGLE LAP BECAUSE OF A MECHANICAL DELAY) AND WAS NEVER HEADED IN THE RACE AND NEVER MADE A SINGLE ERROR AS FAR AS WE COULD SEE.

MARK DESERVES HIS SUCCESS, NOT JUST BECAUSE OF HIS COME-BACK FROM THE SEVERE INJURIES SUFFERED DURING THE OFF-SEASON, BUT ALSO BECAUSE OF HIS PATIENCE, LOYALTY AND REFUSAL TO GIVE UP DESPITE APPALLING BAD LUCK OVER THE YEARS. THIS 2ND PLACE IS HIS HIGHEST SCORE IN F1 AND, FOR A DRIVER OF HIS UNDOUBTED ABILITY, IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING.

IT WAS WIDELY PREDICTED THAT THIS WOULD BE AN UNPREDICTABLE SEASON FOLLOWING THE RULE CHANGES BUT NO ONE COULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT IT WOULD BE AS UNPREDICTABLE AS IT HAS TURNED OUT SO FAR. ANOTHER DOSE OF THE SAME IN BAHRAIN THIS WEEKEND? HOPEFULLY, BUT LET'S HAVE A DRY RACE FOR A CHANGE AND BAHRAIN SHOULD GIVE US THAT BUT THE RECENT MOTOGP EVENT IN THE DESERT OF QATAR WAS RAINED OFF AND POSTPONED TO THE FOLLOWING DAY SO TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED!





STARTING GRID

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




RESULT

1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Mark Webber
3. Jenson Button
4. Rubens Barrichello
5. Heikki Kovalainen
6. Lewis Hamilton
7. Timo Glock
8. Sebastien Buemi

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers :

Jenson Button 21
Rubens Barrichello 15
Sebastian Vettel 10
=Timo Glock 10
Mark Webber 9.5
Jarno Trulli 8.5
Nick Heidfeld 4
=Fernando Alonso 4
=Heikki Kovalainen 4
=Lewis Hamilton 4

Constructors :

Brawn GP 36
Red Bull Racing 19.5
Toyota 18.5
McLaren 8
BMW 4
=Renault 4
=Scuderia Toro Rosso 4
Williams 3.5
Force India 0
Ferrari 0

Race Results posted by
David Little
20th April 2009

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