F1 News, Views and Reviews

Belgian GP 2009: Kimi Raikkonen Takes Ferrari’s First Win Of Season!

Kimi Raikkonen delivered an emphatic first win of the season for Ferrari this afternoon after a highly exciting Belgian Grand Prix.

Suprise pole sitter Giancarlo Fisichella came in 2nd place, Force India’s first ever points and thus podium, while Sebastian Vettel kept his championship hopes alive while others around him faltered with 3rd place.

Race Review

The getaway from the line was mostly noted for Rubens Barrichello’s anti-stall kick in, forcing Kimi Raikkonen around his outside and bunching everyone up into La Source hairpin.

Raikkonen dived onto the astroturf around the outside of the turn and raced down to Eau Rouge with Fisichella in the lead and the BMW’s far up the pack.  Further back in the field various cars including Fernando Alonso, Jaime Alguersuari, Adrian Sutil, Timo Glock, Jarno Trulli and Lewis Hamilton were all tangling with bits of bodywork flying everywhere.

The cars were bunched as they headed down the straight to Les Combes, where Romain Grosjean tagged Jenson Button forcing him into a spin.  Jaime Alguersuari tried to miss Button and ended up ramming Lewis Hamilton forcing them both out as well as Button and Grosjean.  This left us with a Safety Car situation with all these cars hanging off the track.

Some drivers including Rubens Barrichello decided to pit in.

When the safety car finally returned to the pits, Kimi Raikkonen using his KERS system to full effect managed to get ahead of Fisichella and that is where he would stay for the rest of the race.  The gap between the two was not very large, and the pitstops [all on the same laps for the pair] didn’t yield a position change.  Had Raikkonen not being using the KERS system then he would almost certainly have lost the place to Fisichella, whose Force India car looked frighteningly quick.

Sebastian Vettel had a very quiet drive to 3rd place, managingto make use of accidents and retirements.

Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld managed to get a great result for their BMW team, with 4th and 5th places.  They stayed out of trouble throughout the race, but were almost certianly helped along by faster rivals being knocked out in the first corner accident.

7th place finisher Rubens Barrichello never looked like troubling those at the front after his poor start.  He did well to end up in the points, but in all honesty was lucky to finish with his Brawn GP car pluming smoke for the final 3 laps.  The Brazilian’s car then set on fire as he returned to the pitlane after the race!

Just finishing ahead of Rubens was Heikki Kovalainen, the sole finishing McLaren using good strategy to make the position from a poor qualifying start.  8th was Rosberg picking up vital points, but Mark Webber really should have been there but he had a pitlane incident where he was released into the path of Heidfeld, focing the German to nearly crash and got given a drive-through penalty for it.

Timo Glock should also have finished higher than 10th, but a fuel rig failure ruined his chances of points from early good running.

Sutil, Buemi and Nakajima came next in the classifications with fairly average races, and Luca Badoer brings up the rear of the field [again] in what is likely to be his last Ferrari race.

Fernando Alonso retired with a broken front left wheel and suspension, while we do not know Jarno Trulli’s problem possibly a fuel pressure issue.

Classified Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1.23.50.995
2 G. Fisichella Force India Mercedes +0.939
3 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +3.875
4 R. Kubica BMW Sauber +9.966
5 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +11.276
6 H. Kovalainen McLaren Mercedes +32.763
7 R. Barrichello Brawn Mercedes +35.461
8 N. Rosberg Williams Toyota +36.208
9 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +36.959
10 T. Glock Toyota +41.490
11 A. Sutil Force India Mercedes +42.636
12 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +46.106
13 K. Nakajima Williams Toyota +54.241
14 L. Badoer Ferrari +1.38.177

Fastest Lap: S. Vettel (Red Bull) 1.47.263

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
F. Alonso Renault 27 Tyre/Suspension
J. Trulli Toyota 21 Fuel Pressure (Poss.)
J. Button Brawn Mercedes 1 Accident
R. Grosjean Renault 1 Accident
L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 1 Accident
J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 1 Accident

KR

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