Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


Singapore 2009


I WASN'T GOING TO DIGNIFY THE RENAULT SCANDAL WITH ANY COMMENT BUT, IN THE LIGHT OF THE RESULT OF THIS YEAR'S RACE, I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND. FLAVIO BRIATORE, PAT SYMONDS AND NELSON PIQUET JUNIOR HAVE ALL ADMITTED TO DELIBERATELY CRASHING PIQUET'S CAR IN LAST YEAR'S RACE THUS ENSURING THE APPEARANCE OF THE SAFETY CAR AT THE MOST PROPITIOUS MOMENT FOR FERNANDO ALONSO, WHO WENT ON TO WIN THE RACE.

BRIATORE HAS BEEN BANNED FOR LIFE FROM ANY FIA CONTROLLED EVENT, PAT SYMONDS FOR 5 YEARS AND PIQUET WAS GIVEN IMMUNITY TO ELICIT THE TRUTH. FERNANDO ALONSO APPARENTLY KNEW NOTHING OF THE RACE-FIXING AND STILL CLAIMS THE RACE AS A WIN BECAUSE THE FIA HAVE NOT CHANGED THE RESULT.

RENAULT SUFFERED A SUSPENDED BAN FROM F1 FOR TWO YEARS SO HAVE TO BE ON THEIR BEST BEHAVIOUR AND THE PARENT COMPANY, WHO CERTAINLY WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN OF THE FIX, DEMANDED THE RESIGNATIONS OF BRIATORE AND SYMONDS AND HAVE VOWED TO CONTINUE IN F1, ALTHOUGH THEIR MAIN SPONSOR, WHOSE CONTRACT WAS EXPIRING AT THE END OF THIS SEASON, HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM IMMEDIATE EFFECT.

ALL THE MORE REMARKABLE THEN, AFTER ALL THIS UPSET IN THE WEEK PRECEDING THE GP, THAT FERNANDO ALONSO WAS ABLE TO BRING THE RENAULT CAR HOME IN 3RD PLACE IN THE RACE. MOST BIZARRE WAS THAT PIQUET'S SUCCESSOR, ROMAIN GROSJEAN, MANAGED TO SPIN ON HIS FIRST PRACTICE LAP AT EXACTLY THE SAME POINT AS PIQUET HAD DONE, IN AN IDENTICAL MANNER AND THE CAR WAS ALSO TOO DAMAGED FOR HIM TO CONTINUE, ALTHOUGH NOWHERE NEAR AS BADLY AS PIQUET ACHIEVED.

LEWIS HAMILTON AND MCLAREN WERE ON TOP FORM AND CONTROLLED THE RACE FROM POLE POSITION, ALTHOUGH HAD RUBENS BARRICHELLO NOT CRASHED AND STOPPED THE SESSION WITH 26 SECONDS OF QUALIFYING REMAINING, EITHER SEBASTIAN VETTEL OR NICO ROSBERG WERE LIKELY TO HAVE DEMOTED LEWIS. TIMO GLOCK DROVE A SPLENDID RACE FROM 6TH ON THE GRID TO FINISH 2ND AND EARN VITAL POINTS FOR TOYOTA AS WE HEAD TO JAPAN AND THEY DECIDE ON THEIR FUTURE IN F1.

BOTH SEBASTIAN AND NICO SUFFERED MISFORTUNE IN THE RACE - NICO WAS DRIVING BRILLIANTLY AND KEPT LEWIS UNDER PRESSURE BUT INADVERTENTLY CROSSED THE WHITE LINE ON THE PIT-LANE EXIT AND THEN COULD ONLY SERVE HIS DRIVE-THROUGH PENALTY AFTER A SAFETY CAR PERIOD THAT HAD CLOSED THE FIELD UP. SEBASTIAN DAMAGED THE DIFFUSER BY RIDING OVER A KERB, LOSING DOWNFORCE FROM THEN ON, AND DURING A PIT-STOP HE WAS ADJUDGED TO HAVE BEEN SPEEDING IN THE PIT-LANE AND SO SUFFERED A DRIVE THROUGH PENALTY.

MARK WEBBER SUFFERED A SPECTACULAR BRAKE FAILURE THAT CAUSED HIM TO RETIRE SO BOTH THE RED BULL DRIVERS WERE IN THE WARS AT JUST THE SAME TIME THAT THE BRAWN DRIVERS WERE ON THE BACK FOOT. RUBENS HAD TO CHANGE HIS GEARBOX, CAUSING A 5-GRID SLOT PENALTY, IRONICALLY TO ENSURE THAT THE ORIGINAL GEARBOX, DAMAGED AT SPA, DID NOT EXPIRE DURING THE RACE. HE WAS 10TH ON THE GRID WHILST JENSON BUTTON HAD PROBLEMS SETTING HIS CAR UP AND COULD ONLY GET IT INTO 11TH SPOT.

NEVERTHELESS, JENSON MADE THE MOST OF THE SITUATION BY OVERTAKING KAZUKI NAKAJIMA AT THE START AND THEN DURING THE RACE, WHILST HE HAD AN EXTRA 4/5 LAPS OF FUEL THAN RUBENS, HE DROVE SOME SCINTILLATING LAPS TO EFFECTIVELY OVERTAKE RUBENS AND HEIKKI KOVALAINEN. BOTH BRAWN CARS WERE SUFFERING BRAKE PROBLEMS NEAR THE END BUT THEY FINISHED 5TH AND 6TH AND JENSON THUS OUTSCORED RUBENS BY ONE POINT.

SO ON A DAY WHEN RED BULL HAD HOPED TO OUTPACE THE BRAWNS, MARK WEBBER IS NOW OUT OF THE TITLE RACE AND SEBASTIAN'S TASK SEEMS DIFFICULT TO SAY THE LEAST - 25 POINTS BEHIND WITH ONLY 3 RACES LEFT - WHILST JENSON INCREASED HIS LEAD OVER HIS NEAREST CHALLENGER, RUBENS, WHO IS NOW 15 POINTS BEHIND. ANY ONE OF HIS 3 CHALLENGERS BEFORE THE RACE NEEDED TO SCORE MAJOR POINTS WITH JENSON OUT OF IT BUT IT DID NOT WORK OUT LIKE THAT.





STARTING GRID

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




RESULT

1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Timo Glock
3. Fernando Alonso
4. Sebastian Vettel
5. Jenson Button
6. Rubens Barrichello
7. Heikki Kovalainen
8. Robert Kubica

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers :

Jenson Button 84
Rubens Barrichello 69
Sebastian Vettel 59
Mark Webber 51.5
Kimi Raikkonen 40
Lewis Hamilton 37
Nico Rosberg 30.5
Fernando Alonso 26

Constructors :

Brawn GP 153
Red Bull Racing 110.5
Ferrari 62
McLaren 59
Toyota 46.5
Williams 30.5
Renault 26
BMW 21
Force India 13
Scuderia Toro Rosso 5

Race Results posted by
David Little
28th September 2009

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