Five-way title battle

  • If Alonso wins in Brazil, he will be champion unless Webber is higher than fourth
  • If Alonso is second, he will be champion unless Webber is higher than eighth, Hamilton higher than fourth or Vettel wins
  • If Alonso is third, he will be champion unless Webber finishes in the top 10, Hamilton in the top four and Vettel in the top three
  • If Alonso does not finish on the podium, it will go to Abu Dhabi
  • Button can only stay in contention if he finishes first or second but is out if Alonso finishes in the top six or if Webber is in the top two
  • Vettel must beat Alonso on track to stay in contention
1 ALONSO 231pts
2 WEBBER 220pts
3 HAMILTON 210pts
4 VETTEL 206pts
5 BUTTON 189pts
Source: BBC

Post Spanish GP comment: Reliability might hurt Red Bull run

Red Bull  RB6 again proved on Saturday that it is far ahead of rest of the field in terms of pace.  It captured front row of the grid with more than 0.8 seconds margin. But once again reliability came in way of a 1-2 finish. Sebastian Vettel suffered had his third reliability issue in five races.

Questions are raised whether driving style of Vettel is leading to the reliability issues.

In general, a driver is only labelled aggressive if he is famed for daring-do. But Vettel is a aggressive driver in a different way. His aggression is transmitted over kerbs, through chicanes and under braking. Is it a coincidence, therefore, that his car has broken down, relatively speaking, so frequently? – PF1

A spark plug failure caused Red Bull a win in Bahrain while a wheel problem robbed it of win in Australia.

Questions need to be addressed in Red Bull camp on real cause of the issue. Though, Christian Horner is not perturbed. He says that Red Bull is no worse than other teams when it comes to reliability and cited Lewis Hamilton as an example (Hamilton’s car suffered a tyre puncture in the race)

“Ultimately we have got two cars on the podium and were just three points off a maximum score. So I think the team managed the issue with the brakes very well.”

Dwelling on a smooth sailing victory for Mark Webber might not be a correct strategy for Red Bull, solving its own problem might be…

2009 F1 Season Review Montages

BBC

RTLGP

One

Vettels wins inaugural Abu Dhabi GP

2009 season ended at Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi with a win for Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull driver scored a one-two Sebastian-Vettelwith teammate Mark Webber and World Champion Jenson Button third. This was Vettel’s fourth win of the season and it was also the third time Red Bull scored a one-two this year.

“The car was fantastic, it worked brilliantly on both tyres. it was a pleasure to sit in the car,” Vettel said. “To sum up the season: up and down. The car is getting quicker – it’s a shame the season is ending.”

Race favorite Lewis Hamilton did not finish the race due to rear brake problems. After qualifying on pole yesterday Lewis Hamilton was expected to win the race and end season in style for Mclaren. But after his early exit all eyes turned to Kovalainen and Raikkonen. But Ferrari had a miserable day in office with both Raikkonen and Fisichella struggling for pace. All three drivers finished off points and Mclaren secured third in constructor’s championship.

The otherwise boring race had a decent finish when in the last two laps Webber and Button were fighting for the second place.

F1 season end with huge driver shuffle expected and it will be back with 13 teams (14?), no refuelling, no KERS, no Mosley (:D). 133 days till it all gets going again!!

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.

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.

Rubens wins European Grand Prix

Rubens_valRubens Barrichello took his first victory today at Valencia after Chinese GP in 2004. Brazilian dedicated his victory in the European Grand Prix in Valencia this weekend to his injured countryman Felipe Massa. Last December, Rubens was not certain to get a seat in a F1 car but now he has shot himself into a contention for WDC. The victory is down to the team’s strategy and his drive and determination during the whole weekend. Most of the teams came out of their garages to applaud him!

Lewis Hamilton is second in the race and continues excellent pace Mclaren have discovered recently. His cruise for the first place was not helped by Mclaren decision. Hamilton was meant to come in on lap 37 but Mclaren wanted to extend him to 38. But this decision came a couple of seconds too late, the time during which Hamilton entered the pitlane. In the process tyres were not ready and hence at least 6 seconds were lost.

Kimi Raikkonen stood third in the race. The KERS power boost at the start saw Kimi move immediately up two places to fourth.

Kovalainen, Rosberg, Alonso, Button and Kubica finished in points in that order only.

Red Bull had an awful day at office with Webber finishing in 9th while Vettel DNF due to engine failure. Another person with an awful weekend was Luca Badoer. He finished seventeenth after several spins.

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