Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


Spain 2009


ANOTHER BRAWN 1-2 HERE, AS THEY DID AT THE OPENING RACE IN MELBOURNE, IN SPITE OF ALL THE TEAMS INTRODUCING NEW PARTS TO THEIR CARS NOW THAT THE 'PADDOCK' HAS ARRIVED IN EUROPE. THE SO-CALLED FLY-AWAY RACES MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO UPDATE THE CARS. HOWEVER, WITH THE BAN ON IN-SEASON TESTING, THE NEW PARTS ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOMETHING OF AN UNKNOWN QUANTITY, DESPITE ALL THE COMPUTER PREDICTIONS AND WIND-TUNNEL TESTING, UNTIL THEY ARE ACTUALLY BEING USED ON THE CAR.

QUALIFYING WAS A CLOSE RUN THING IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE. KIMI RAIKKONEN'S TEAM THOUGHT HIS TIME IN Q1 WOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH WITHOUT HAVING TO USE UP ANOTHER SET OF TYRES BY GOING OUT AGAIN. HE NEVER MADE IT TO Q2! RUBENS BARRICHELLO SET A TIME CLOSE TO THE END OF Q3 THAT LOOKED LIKE POLE BUT THEN SEBASTIAN VETTEL EDGED IN FRONT. JENSON BUTTON CROSSED THE LINE TO START HIS FINAL RUN JUST 1.6 SECONDS BEFORE THE END OF THE SESSION AND HE PRODUCED A DREAM LAP-TIME TO TAKE POLE.

IN THE RACE, RUBENS SEEMED DETERMINED TO GET HIS OWN BACK AND OVERTOOK BOTH SEBASTIAN AND JENSON INTO TURN 1. THE TWO BRAWNS WERE THEN IN LINE ASTERN IN FRONT OF FELIPE MASSA, WHO HAD USED HIS 'KERS' TO GOOD EFFECT AND ALSO SQUEEZED PAST SEBASTIAN INTO TURN 1.

HOWEVER, BY TURN 2 MAYHEM ERUPTED BEHIND THEM WHEN NICO ROSBERG WENT SLIGHTLY OFF TRACK AND BRUSHED JARNO TRULLI AS HE REGAINED THE TRACK. JARNO'S CAR THEN SPUN INTO THE GRAVEL AND CAME BACK ONTO THE TRACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK. CARS AND BITS FLEW EVERYWHERE AND TORO ROSSO LOST BOTH CARS. SO THE SAFETY CAR CAME OUT WHILST THE TRACK WAS CLEARED. LEWIS HAMILTON WAS LUCKY TO AVOID A PUNCTURE FROM THE DEBRIS BUT THE MCLAREN IS STILL SUFFERING AND IS PROBABLY BEHIND THE FERRARIS NOW.

BOTH BRAWNS HAD DECIDED A 3-STOP STRATEGY WAS BEST BUT, AFTER THEY HAD PITTED FOR THE FIRST TIME, IT TRANSPIRED THAT JENSON'S STRATEGY HAD BEEN CHANGED TO A 2-STOP STRATEGY. IT LATER TRANSPIRED THAT THIS WAS TO AVOID THE POSSIBILITY OF GETTING CAUGHT IN TRAFFIC LATER. THIS IS A NOTORIOUSLY DIFFICULT TRACK TO OVERTAKE ON AS VETTEL WAS TO FIND OUT - HE SPENT 63 OF THE 66 LAPS STARING AT THE BACK OF MASSA'S MUCH IMPROVED CAR. RAIKKONEN'S SISTER CAR SUFFERED 'KERS' PROBLEMS AND THEN HYDRAULIC PROBLEMS AND HE RETIRED QUITE EARLY ON.

BARRICHELLO TRIED TO BUILD A SUFFICIENT GAP TO ENABLE HIM TO PIT TWICE MORE AND STILL BE AHEAD OF BUTTON. INITIALLY, HE SUCCEEDED BUT THEN WAS LET DOWN BY HIS 3RD SET OF TYRES BECAUSE DURING THAT STINT HE WAS NEVER ABLE TO BE AS QUICK AS HE HAD BEEN EARLIER.

EVENTUALLY, MARK WEBBER GAINED 3RD PLACE, AFTER OPTING FOR A VERY LONG SECOND STINT TO GET AHEAD OF MASSA WHO WAS HOLDING VETTEL UP. BY THE END, MASSA WAS IN DANGER OF RUNNING OUT OF FUEL AND HAD TO SLOW DOWN AND RELINQUISH 4TH TO VETTEL AND THEN 5TH TO FERNANDO ALONSO. THE SPANISH CROWD APPRECIATED THAT!

SO 4 WINS OUT OF 5 FOR BUTTON AND BRAWN WITH BARRICHELLO ON FORM AND CAPABLE OF WINNING - YOU COULD NOT WISH FOR A BETTER START TO THE SEASON THAN THAT.





STARTING GRID

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




RESULT

1. Jenson Button
2. Rubens Barrichello
3. Mark Webber
4. Sebastian Vettel
5. Fernando Alonso
6. Felipe Massa
7. Nick Heidfeld
8. Nico Rosberg

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers :

Jenson Button 41
Rubens Barrichello 27
Sebastian Vettel 23
Mark Webber 15.5
Jarno Trulli 14.5
Timo Glock 12
Lewis Hamilton 9
=Fernando Alonso 9

Constructors :

Brawn GP 68
Red Bull Racing 38.5
Toyota 26.5
McLaren 13
Renault 9
BMW 6
=Ferrari 6
Williams 4.5
Scuderia Toro Rosso 4
Force India 0

Race Results posted by
David Little
11th May 2009

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