2009 F1 Driver Wage Bill

Kimi Raikkonen earned a cool $45m in 2009 making him the top earner among F1 drivers. The details of the drivers’ Yay!earnings were published by Arabian Business, a popular weekly business magazine published in the Middle East. For other drivers the figures are:

Lewis Hamilton $18m

Fernando Alonso $15m

Nico Rosberg $8.5m

Felipe Massa $8m

Jarno Trulli $6.5m

Sebastian Vettel $6m

Mark Webber $5.5m

Jenson Button $5m

Robert Kubica $4.5m

Heikki Kovalainen $3.5m

Nick Heidfeld $2.8m

Timo Glock $2m

Giancarlo Fisichella $1.5m

Sébastien Buemi $1.5m

Rubens Barrichello $1m

Jaime Alguersuari $0.5,

Tonio Liuzzi, Adrian Sutil, Romain Grosjean and Kazuki Nakajima all earned no money from their employer

 

Jenson Button: A deserving champion

Jenson Button has entered into the history books by clinching 2009 WDC with a race to go. He now has an 15-point Push the Buttonadvantage going into the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi on 1 November.

Much has been written about him not being a deserving champion. I feel that all that talk was trash and Jenson Button is indeed a deserving champion. Jenson winning 2009 WDC is a reward to his loyalty and patience. He spend 2 years before 2009 in an uncompetitive car and just before the start of the season had an uncertainty of even driving a F1 car. Honda announced departure from the sport and only last minute efforts by Ross Brawn and Nick Fry could manage the existence of Brawn GP team. Jenson has to even take 40% pay cut to keep on driving a car. After such uncertainty, if a driver wins a WDC its is down to his sheer hard work and the team.

Jenson has more victories under his belt than any other drivers in 2009 season.  He has also collected points to build on his championship lead when his rivals were not able to do so. Vettel might have been closer if he hadn’t made mistakes in a few races. Barrichello might have been closer if his pace hadn’t been mediocre in a few races. But Jenson did what champions do i.e. collect sufficient points to clinch the title.

Every car has its strengths and weaknesses. Jenson maximised his points tally by taking the full advantage of strengths and even taking points during the points of weaknesses.

On the point of Hamilton, Raikkonen, and Alonso not being in competitive cars until late in the season… so what? There really isn’t that big of a gap among the drivers; most knowledgeable people in F1- drivers, engineers, etc.- say that the gap from the best driver to the worst driver in terms of raw quickness, all else being equal, is about three tenths of a second. That’s not really a huge gap.

Last but not the least, his title clinching drive at Interlagos where he started at 14th position and finished 5th should dismiss any doubts over his ability.

Congratulations to Jenson Button from Fastformula contributors and readers.

Button champion as Webber wins at Interlagos

Jenson Button emerges champion after Brazilian GP after he finished fifth. Button who started the race at 14th was running 9th after the first lap massacre in the race. At that situation he found himself behind 3 rookie drivers and then he started making one bold pass for another to finish 5th in the race.

First lap

In the meanwhile his title contenders could not do anything to hold Button from winning title in Brazil. Rubens Button esctaticBarrichello took the lead at the start of the race but his race began to unravel after the first pit stop he made. He came out in the middle of the pack. In the meanwhile Vettel passed him and Webber had a clean pit stop to emerge as the leader of the race. With 10 laps to go Lewis Hamilton passed him for 3rd place and in the process clipped Barrichello’s tyre, forcing him to take another pit stop to finish at 8th.

Vettel could also finish 4th in the race from 16th, one place ahead of Button.

Meanwhile, Mark Webber and Robert Kubica ran away from others and finished 1-2. Kubica had a sensational race and BMW responded to the pace of the Red Bull at all parts of the race and of Brawn GP till Barrichello’s pit stop. Hamilton finished 3rd to complete the podium.

Barrichello on pole during wet qualifying in Interlagos

Rubens Barrichello will start the race from pole position for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Barrichello needs to score 5 points more than Jenson Button to take the championship fight to Abu Dhabi GP after Brit only qualified 14th. Vettel could also only qualify 16th after a bad day in office.

In tough conditions, it took over two and a half hours to get to the end of qualifying. Fisichella spun his car early in the Q1 which brought out a red flag. During Q2 Tonio Liuzzi hit the pit wall hard and brought out a red flag again.

Both McLarens and Sebastian Vettel missed out on Q2 during tough first qualifying session.

Tonio Liuzzi’s crash in Q2

Looking back: Some classic Brazilian GPs

In this blog I will only concentrate on races after 2000 as most of them were action packed.

2001

Rainmaster Schumacher is beaten in the rain. Schumacher was overtaken twice in the races by Montoya and Coulthard and both taking place at the “Senna S” corner of the track.

2003

A controversial race decided by a court case. Fernando Alonso failed to slow for the waved yellow flags, and hit Webber’s tyres at full speed on the 55th lap. Race was subsequently red flagged,ending the race immediately for safety concerns. Now, the confusion begins….

2006

This race was first of the three continuous seasons when the drivers championship was decided here. Fernando Alonso won the WDC.  Michael Schumacher finished fourth in his last race despite starting the race in 10th position and having a punctured tyre during the race. This was one of his best drives.

2007

Lewis Hamilton was slowed by a gearbox problem early in the race and could only finish seventh. In the process he lost a seven point lead over Raikkonen and losing the championship to him.

2008

Light rain began to fall on lap 63. Massa pitted on lap 67, meaning that all of the frontrunners, with the exception of Glock, were now on intermediate tyres. The rain began to fall heavily on lap 69, as Hamilton ran wide, which allowed Vettel to take fifth position. As Massa crossed the finish line to win the race; confusion reigned as TV showed Ferrari garage celebrating but it was found out soon that Hamilton finished the race in fifth position, clinching the WDC. Vettel and Hamilton passed Glock in the final corners as his dry-weather tyres slid on the wet track.

Why Alonso will be better than Raikkonen?

alonso-raikkonenI wondered why Alonso will be better than Raikkonen ever since the news broke 2 weeks ago. Although Alonso is my favorite driver, Raikkonen still is my second favorite and i wanted them to be together in Ferrari.  Here is my take on why Alonso is better for Ferrari than Raikkonen.

Ferrari have replaced a top driver with another top driver.

Raikkonen has done very well with an awful car later this season and has obtained a string of good results since Hungary when Badoer failed and Fisichella couldn’t gel nicely with the car. But Alonso is a 2 times world champion and there is no reason why he couldn’t have done the same!

Another reason can be the sponsorship from Banco Santander. Everyone knows the relationship between Spanish superstar and the sponsors.

Kimi Raikkonen is a loner, though. A Ferrari generation grown with Schumacher doesn’t get along with Raikkonen who doesn’t speak a lot with mechanics. The contribution of the driver to the car development, with no tests, is fundamental.

Raikkonen and Alonso in a single team would remain a dream!

Vettel wins to stay in contention for title

I was away for a week on holidays and hence there was no blog. Now i was back on time to watch Japanese GP at Suzuka to see an utterly dominant display by Sebastian Vettel to win the race. Vettel led from start to finish to keep his title hope alive. However Jenson Button will be very relieved after the race to pick up a point and that his main rival Rubens Barrichello took only 1 extra point.

Toyota were also under pressure to perform and they responded by getting a second place for Jarno Trulli. Lewis Hamilton was third in the race.

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