F1 News, Views and Reviews

Bahrain GP 2009: Button Takes Third Victory Of Season

Jenson Button stormed to victory in today’s Bahrain Grand Prix, despite lacking KERS and Ross Brawn admitting his cars had major cooling issues.

A great strategy from the master Brawn led the British driver to the top step of the podium for the third time this season, the fourth in his career which began back in 2000 with Williams.

Race Review

The Toyota’s started on the front row but it was anything but a friendly rivalry with Timo Glock disposing of Jarno Trulli into turn 1.

Felipe Massa in the Ferrari had a great KERS start, and Rubens Barrichello was forced to defend, pushing the Ferrari onto the red/white paint right down the pitwall.  However he left himself open to attack and Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen passed them both, before Massa tagged Raikkonen from behind damaging his front wing.  Hamilton also had a great start, getting up to 3rd place.

Further back in the field, Mark Webber was making use of a light and fast car overtaking many on the first lap.  Robert Kubica and Kazuki Nakajima tripped over each other sending debris flying, as at times cars were four a breast the track.  Both pitted at the end of lap 1 for new noses, Massa at the end of lap 2 with a KERS problem on top of needing a new cone.

Some laps in a faster Button was able to slipstream Lewis Hamilton down the main straight.  The McLaren drivers KERS system couldnt keep Button behind any more.  It was a great overtake.

Glock pitted early on lap 11, and the harder compound tyres did not work well for him, destroying any chance of victory.  He would later end up in 7th place, behind the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen who had a quiet afternoon a few great overtakes, and at one point leading the race.  Iceman was super-cool in making sure he got some point on the board for the Scuderia who were under the watchful eye of Luca di Montezemolo.

Vettel too could have won the race, but he got stuck in traffic, and that ended his chances.  Rubens Barrichello to was fast, but a combination of a 3 stop strategy and also getting stuck behind Nelson Piquet Jr (who incidentally for all his flailing arms, Rubens was racing him).  Barrichello could have lost out to Kimi Raikkonen had he not defended well into Turn 1 after his final stop.

Jarno Trulli also struggled on the harder compound tyres, and he lost around 1 second per lap to leader Button.  By the time Vettel got past Trulli, Button was some 12 seconds ahead.

Fernando Alonso pulled a great performance to end up 8th, scoring the last point ahead of Nico Rosberg.  Nelson Piquet Jr ended up 10th, in a much better performance where he raced well holding off both Rubens Barrichello, and late into the race a far superior Mark Webber.

Kazuki Nakajima was the only retirement of the race, with a fuel pressure problem.

Classified Results

2009 Bahrain Grand Prix;

Sakhir Circuit, Bahrain;

57 Laps;

Weather: Sunny/Hot

Pos Driver Team Time
1 J. Button Brawn Mercedes 1.31.48.182
2 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +7.187
3 J. Trulli Toyota +9.170
4 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +22.096
5 R. Barrichello Brawn Mercedes +37.779
6 K. Raikkonen Ferrari +42.057
7 T. Glock Toyota +42.880
8 F. Alonso Renault +52.775
9 N. Rosberg Williams Toyota +58.198
10 N. Piquet Renault +1.05.149
11 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +1.07.641
12 H. Kovalainen McLaren Mercedes +1.17.824
13 S. Bourdais Toro Rosso Ferrari +1.18.805
14 F. Massa Ferrari +1 lap
15 G. Fisichella Force India Merc-B +1 lap
16 A. Sutil Force India Merc-B +1 lap
17 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
18 R. Kubica BMW Sauber +1 lap
19 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +1 lap

Fastest Lap: 1.34.556, Jarno Trulli (Toyota)

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
K. Nakajima Williams Toyota 49 Fuel Pressure

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