Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


Europe 2009


AFTER AN EXTENDED 4-WEEK BREAK, DURING WHICH ALL THE TEAMS CLOSED DOWN THEIR FACTORIES, WIND-TUNNELS, E-MAIL SYSTEMS ETC. TO CUT COSTS, THE F1 SCENE RE-ESTABLISHED ITSELF VERY QUICKLY IN VALENCIA.

ONE OF THE BIG TALKING POINTS WAS HOW THE SEARING TEMPERATURES WOULD AFFECT THE RELATIVE PERFORMANCES OF THE VARIOUS CARS. IT WAS WIDELY EXPECTED THAT RED BULL WOULD SUFFER WHILST BRAWN WOULD GAIN AND SO IT PROVED.

ANOTHER TOPIC WAS THE SUBSTITUTION OF LUCA BADOER FOR THE INJURED FELIPE MASSA INSTEAD OF FERRARI'S INITIAL CHOICE OF MICHAEL SCHUMACHER. UNFORTUNATELY FOR THE WORLD AND, PARTICULARLY, THE WORLD'S PRESS, MICHAEL HAD FOUND THAT A SERIOUS NECK INJURY HE SUSTAINED IN A MOTOR-CYCLE ACCIDENT DURING FEBRUARY TESTING HAD NOT HEALED SUFFICIENTLY TO ENABLE HIM TO DRIVE WITHOUT SEVERE PAIN.

LUCA HAS BEEN A FERRARI TEST DRIVER FOR 10 YEARS OR SO BUT DURING THAT TIME HE HAS NOT DRIVEN COMPETITIVELY AND SO IT WAS PROBABLY HARDER FOR HIM TO ADAPT TO RACING IN TODAY'S F1 THAN RENAULT'S REPLACEMENT FOR THE SACKED NELSON PIQUET JUNIOR - ROMAIN GROSJEAN.

MCLAREN FILLED THE FRONT ROW AND LEWIS HAMILTON (POLE) LED HEIKKI KOVALAINEN FOR THE FIRST STINT BUT, WHEN HEIKKI PITTED, RUBENS BARRICHELLO (3RD) RAN 4 LAPS LONGER AND FASTER AND LEAPFROGGED KOVALAINEN AND SET ABOUT HAULING IN HAMILTON. JENSON BUTTON (5TH) HAD A GREAT START OFF THE LINE AND ALMOST SQUEEZED PAST SEBASTIEN VETTEL BUT, NOT WISHING TO DAMAGE HIS CAR HE HAD TO BACK OFF AND WAS SWALLOWED BY THE FIELD.

RUBENS WAS CLEARLY IN DETERMINED MOOD AND IT LOOKED LIKE HE WOULD BE ABLE TO GET PAST LEWIS AT THE SECOND PIT-STOP AND SO IT PROVED. MCLAREN WERE CAUGHT OUT SLIGHTLY WHEN THEY WERE MONITORING LEWIS'S FUEL CONSUMPTION HOPING TO GIVE HIM AN EXTRA LAP BUT THEY WERE FRACTIONALLY TOO LATE ON THE RADIO AND LEWIS WAS ALREADY IN THE PIT-LANE ENTRANCE.

CONSEQUENTLY, THE TYRES WERE A COUPLE OF SECONDS LATE COMING OUT OF THE GARAGE AND HE WAS DELAYED AS A RESULT BUT MCLAREN WERE ADAMANT THAT IT WAS THE BRAWN'S PACE THAT PUT HAMILTON BEHIND BARRICHELLO AND I TEND TO AGREE.

RUBENS WAS ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED TO GET HIS TITLE HOPES BACK ON TRACK WITH A WIN AND, AFTER 5 YEARS OF TRYING FOR THAT ELUSIVE VICTORY, THE EMOTIONAL BRAZILIAN BECAME THE HERO OF THE WHOLE PADDOCK WHEN HE CROSSED THE LINE TO WIN. KIMI RAIKKONEN TOOK THIRD WHILST JENSON BUTTON IN 7TH WAS ABLE TO INCREASE HIS LEAD OVER MARK WEBBER (OUT OF THE POINTS IN 9TH) AND SEBASTIEN VETTEL (RETIRED WITH HIS 2ND BLOWN ENGINE OF THE WEEK-END).





STARTING GRID

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




RESULT

1. Rubens Barrichello
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Kimi Raikkonen
4. Heikki Kovalainen
5. Nico Rosberg
6. Fernando Alonso
7. Jenson Button
8. Robert Kubica

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers :

Jenson Button 72
Rubens Barrichello 54
Mark Webber 51.5
Sebastian Vettel 47
Nico Rosberg 29.5
Lewis Hamilton 27
Kimi Raikkonen 24
Jarno Trulli 22.5

Constructors :

Brawn GP 126
Red Bull Racing 98.5
Ferrari 46
McLaren 41
Toyota 38.5
Williams 29.5
Renault 16
BMW 9
Scuderia Toro Rosso 5
Force India 0

Race Results posted by
David Little
24th August 2009

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