F1 News, Views and Reviews

European GP 2009: Barrichello Takes Emotional Victory

Rubens Barrichello took a highly emotional victory in this afternoon’s European Grand Prix, winning his first race for 5 years – his last victory was at the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix with Ferrari.

It puts Barrichello right back into title contention.  Lewis Hamilton will be aggrieved  not to have won, having led most of the way he was let down by a pit crew failure. Kimi Raikkonen stormed through to finish in 3rd position.

Race Review

Both McLaren’s made a good start off the grid, as did Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button.  Button tried to go down the inside of Vettel who made a slow start, but the German forced the Briton into the pitlane exit area where he let off the throttle.  The resulting masses of space and the KERS system allowed Raikkonen to easily sweep around the outside and into 4th position.

Button lost multiple places further back, and was forced to rescinde a place to Australian Mark Webber after cutting  a corner following Fernando Alonso who at the time was defending against Webber.

Sebastien Buemi was cut up in the first few turns and lost his front wing, having to crawl back to the pit for a new one.  He was joined by Romain Grosjean who lost his wing when Timo Glock made a very late overtaking dive at the inexperienced Frecnhamn turned into the Toyota.

These position changes allowed those at the back, including Luca Badoer to make up a few places.

The top order remained relatively unchanged as the drivers hit their pitstops.  Lewis Hamilton was pulling out a good lead with fastest lap times.

The next action was when Sebastian Vettel’s engine blew for the second time this weekend.  Vettel was angered post race, and indeed we’re pretty sure any continuation of the RBR/Renault deal is now off the cards and the team could be switching to either Ferrari again or perhaps Mercedes Benz.

The Force India’s got themselves in the mix today too, along with the BMW’s but only Robert Kubica would come away with a point.

As the drivers hit their second stops, it was evident that Barrichello was trying to catch Hamilton.  The Brit had a good lead and all was good until he pulled into his pitbox and the tyre men were not ready with new tyres.  This led to pantomime scenes and lost Hamilton many seconds of time, allowing Rubens through and pretty much ended his chance of winning.  Hamilton’s Father was nonchalant smacking his fists together in he back of the garage.

Kimi Raikkonen also made an unseen overtake on Heikki Kovalainen securing the Iceman a quality 3rd position.

The only other DNF of the race was Sebastien Buemi whose brakes gave up late on and led to a huge spin incident.

Kazuki Nakajima suffered a puncture and a delamination of the tyre half way around the lap very late on too.  Luca Badoer and Romain Grosjean had pitlane comedy when Badoer was released, he let Grosjean through, side by side, but then as he put the power down Badoer went over the white line and got himself ANOTHER pitlane penalty.  Throw in a huge spin for the Italian driver and it has left many questioning whether he will ever race a Ferrari again. (I’m free next weekend if you need me Ferrari?!).

And that was that, another pretty lacklustre European Grand Prix in Valencia, made interesting by pitlane comedy and Luca Badoer.  It is good to see Rubens Barrichello win again, and by his tears of joy in the car and parc ferme we know how much it means to him.  Wonderful dedication to Felipe Massa at the end also.  Could Rubens be the World Champion?

Classified Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 R. Barrichello Brawn Mercedes 1.35.51.289
2 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +2.358
3 K. Raikkonen Ferrari +15.994
4 H. Kovalainen McLaren Mercedes +20.023
5 N. Rosberg Williams Toyota +20.870
6 F. Alonso Renault +27.744
7 J. Button Brawn Mercedes +34.913
8 R. Kubica BMW Sauber +36.667
9 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +44.910
10 A. Sutil Force India Merc +47.935
11 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +48.822
12 G. Fisichella Force India Merc +1.03.614
13 J. Trulli Toyota +1.04.527
14 T. Glock Toyota +1.26.519
15 R. Grosjean Renault +1.31.774
16 J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari + 1 lap
17 L. Badoer Ferrari +1 lap
18 K. Nakajima Williams + 3 laps

Fastest Lap: T. Glock (Toyota) 1.38.683

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 42 Brake Failure
S. Vettel Red Bull Renault 24 Engine

RB

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