F1 News, Views and Reviews

Italian GP 2009: Barrichello Takes Strategic Win Of Quality Race

Rubens Barrichello took the chequered flag, and another win for himself and the Brawn GP team in today’s Italian Grand Prix after  a fantastic strategic effort from Ross Brawn.

The single stop strategy employed by the white cars of Brawn led to Jenson Button joining Rubens on the podium in 2nd, with Kimi Raikkonen being gifted 3rd place on the last lap.

Race Review

Lewis Hamilton didn’t get a great start, unlike Kimi Raikkonen and the Finn was forced onto the grass going down to the first chicane.  He managed to make a pass on Adrian Sutil, while the rest of the field fed around without bother – Timo Glock the only driver having to use the escape road.

Then into the second chicane, the first major incident – Robert Kubica tipped Mark Webber’s Red Bull round into the gravel and the Australian was forced to retire after just a handful of corners.  The incident led to front wing damage to Kubica’s BMW, and the Pole was forced into the pits some laps later as the FIA were concerned about its’ safety at 220mph.

Heikki Kovalainen had a terrible start, losing out to Barrichello and then Liuzzi and Alonso, despite claiming pre-race that he could win the GP and indeed his KERS system.

Hamilton then started to pull well away from Kimi Raikkonen, who to all intents and purposes held up Adrian Sutil as the Ferrari looked to struggle.

These 3 drivers at the top on 2 stop strategies made a big gap over the two Brawn’s behind them, and then Tonio Liuzzi held 7th well with Fernando Alonso hustling the Renault behind him, trying to squeeze every last bit of performance from the R29.

Hamilton pushed incredibly hard, the McLaren right on the ragged edge many times.  He pitted early, and Raikkonen & Sutil pulled ahead.  Hamilton was released into favourable traffic ahead of Liuzzi and Alonso.

With Raikkonen and Sutil then pitting, the now lighter Brawn’s pulled well away with Rubens Barrichello holding a good dap lead over championship rival and team mate Button.

Robert Kubica ended up retiring, with some kind of oil leak – although Martin Brundle claimed on BBC television that they were saving the engine as they were nearing their allocation limit.

Tonio Liuzzi too had a scare when he was driving through towards the Roggia chicane when at around 200mph the clutch appeared to break completely and the Force India driver ended his day in the sliproad of that chicane.  Disappointing after a fairly good weekend.

Giancarlo Fisichella looked largely average making his Ferrari debut, losing out on positions to various drivers, which in the end meant he finished the race in 9th place just behind Sebastian Vettel.  A shame for Fisichella not to score points on his debut.

After the final stops, Hamilton came out in 3rd behind the two Brawns and immediately started chasing.  Hamilton said after the race every lap was like “a qualifying one”.  Raikkonen and Sutil had a pitstop race, but both made mistakes! Raikkonen nearly stalled leaving his box, and Sutil tried to run down half his pitcrew.  Raikkonen came out in front and despite massive pressure would hold Adrian off until the end of the race.

The final piece of action really came from Lewis Hamilton, who, chasing down those Brawn’s managed to lose the car on the exit of the first Lesmo, spinning and smashing into an unforgiving tyre/concrete mixed barrier.  He ripped lots of bodywork off the car and left it strewn across the track. The ensuing double waved yellows and safety car board [in vein!] Raikkonen cruised passed and into 3rd place.

Classified Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 R. Barrichello Brawn Mercedes
2 J. Button Brawn Mercedes +2.866
3 K. Raikkonen Ferrari +30.664
4 A. Sutil Force India Mercedes +31.131
5 F. Alonso Renault +59.182
6 H. Kovalainen McLaren Mercedes +1.00.693
7 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +1.22.412
8 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +1.25.472
9 G. Fisichella Ferrari +1.26.856
10 K. Nakajima Williams Toyota +2.00.000
11 T. Glock Toyota +2.43.925
12 L. Hamilton* McLaren Mercedes +1 lap
13 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
14 J. Trulli Toyota +1 lap
15 R. Grosjean Renault +1 lap
16 N. Rosberg Williams Toyota +2 laps

*: Lewis Hamilton crashed on the final lap but was still classified by order of being 1 lap ahead of other runners classified lower.

Fastest Lap: A. Sutil (Force India) – 1.24.739


Driver Team Lap Reason
L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 55 Crash
V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes 23 Clutch
J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 20 Unknown
R. Kubica BMW Sauber 16 Oil Leak
M. Webber Red Bull Renault 1 Crash



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s