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Brazilian Grand Prix summary

Mark Webber (1st)
A great weekend for the Australian, and for Australians in general as Casey Stoner also won at Phillip Island. The Red Bull looked like the car to have, but crucially Webber qualified well and didn’t put a foot wrong. Thankfully it wasn’t his first win as the podium ceremony was rather overshadowed – apparently there was quite a fuss being made over another driver elsewhere… 10/10

Robert Kubica (2nd)
Whatever Webber did, Kubica managed to stay with him. A quite superb race from the Pole and one that will be making the team at Renault rub their hands with glee. To start eighth on the grid and make it to the podium is no easy task in Formula 1 nowadays, even when so many people obligingly crash. 9.5/10

Lewis Hamilton (3rd)
If Kubica’s run to second was impressive, Hamilton’s run to third from 17th on the grid was inspired. He had the help of KERS to get past a few cars and was also quite lucky with the timing of the safety car after the first-lap mess, but he made the most of it. His race was no doubt a little less stressful than last year’s. 8/10

Sebastian Vettel (4th)
What a tremendous drive. One has to wonder what might have happened if he’d got qualifying right, as with the pace he had Vettel would’ve been right there fighting for the win. Some quite breathtaking overtaking manoeuvres from the German humbled many a driver. 9/10

f1  Brazilian Grand Prix summary

Jenson Button (5th)
Where to start? It looked like the championship was going to the last race of the season after a woeful qualifying session, but the 2009 World Champion showed us exactly why he deserves to be just that. The way he drove was more akin to someone who had nothing to lose, and this fearless approach put him right back in the pound seats. He benefited from other DNFs and an unlucky race from Rubens, but there’s no denying he is a very worthy champion. 9/10

f1  Brazilian Grand Prix summary

Kimi Räikkönen (6th)
A flying start came to little after he lost his front wing, but Kimi drove a great race thereafter. Not only did he have to stop early for a new nose, but he also had to contend with fuel gushing from Kovalainen’s McLaren – with fuel hose still attached – which briefly set the Ferrari on fire as it left the pits. He casually dusted himself off and carried on to score more points. Please Kimi, sort out a seat in F1 for next year… A very fiery 9.5/10

f1  Brazilian Grand Prix summary

Sebastien Buemi (7th)
A superb qualifying left him sixth on the grid and although he lacked the pace to stay with the race leaders, he kept his nose clean and gave Toro Rosso two more very valuable points. Up to now Buemi had done little to impress, but after that performance I doubt he’ll have trouble landing a drive for next year. 9/10

Rubens Barrichello (8th)
He had to secure a good result here and he knew it. He turned pole into the lead and then raced away after the safety car drew in. But it wasn’t enough, and after his first stop he found himself fighting a losing battle. He’s been off the pace during the race before, but this time it was more costly than ever. A late puncture dropped him further down the points-paying positions – Rubens’ luck in Brazil seems to have changed very little over the last 16 years. 7/10

Kamui Kobayashi (9th)
What a debut for the stand-in Toyota driver. He knew as well as the rest of us that he had to pull it out the bag, as Toyota was keeping a very close eye on him with regards to next year. Weaving into braking zones to defend his position aside, Kobayashi was a breath of fresh air. He was on the pace and certainly not afraid of potential champions. If Button describes him as completely nuts, then I suggest that’s exactly who we’d like to see in the sport next year. 7/10

f1  Brazilian Grand Prix summary

Giancarlo Fisichella (10th)
Sadly, another mediocre race for Fisichella. The Ferrari may be a hard car to get to grips with, but he’s had a few races in it now and really should be further up the grid. 5/10

Vitantonio Liuzzi (11th)
A huge smash in qualifying meant that the rest of the weekend was never going to be a walk in the park. After a gearbox change he started from the back of the grid, and he never looked likely to finish in the points in a fairly action-packed race. 7.5/10

Heikki Kovalainen (12th)
The Finn looked quite quick through practice, but after a bad qualifying session he made matters worse by colliding with Fisichella at Turn 2 on the first lap. He then drove off from his McLaren pit with the fuel hose still attached, and set fellow countryman Räikkönen alight. It was only thanks to the Brawn mechanics that he managed to get out of the pitlane at all. 5/10

Romain Grosjean (13th)
Even though he wasn’t far off Alonso in qualifying, the Frenchman went backwards in the race. It’s early days though and he has the pace and racing brain to make it work next year. 4/10

Jaime Alguersuari (14th)
To say, “I won’t get in the way of Jenson and his championship” before the race is, to me, not something a proper racer would say. He may be trying to keep his nose clean, but all he has to do is look at Kobayashi defending his position to see what he should have done if the other drivers are going to respect him. 4/10

Kazuki Nakajima (15th – RET)
He was going quite well until he misjudged how close he was to Kobayashi when exiting the pits. Clipping the rear of the car, Nakajima lost his front wing and went spinning off into the barrier at quite a rate of knots. Crasher Nakajima strikes again. A sad end to what could have been a good race. 3/10

Nico Rosberg (16th – RET)
Rosberg was driving a superb race and could have even finished on the podium, but a gearbox problem led to a retirement after only 27 laps. A real shame. 7/10

Nick Heidfeld (17th – RET)
What Heidfeld lacks in raw pace he makes up for in consistency, so you can imagine how irate he must have been feeling after his car ran out of fuel. He may have been down the grid in qualifying, but looking at how the BMW was performing in Kubica’s hands a points finish wouldn’t have been impossible. 6/10 (BMW fuel consumption analyst: 0/10)

f1  Brazilian Grand Prix summary

Adrian Sutil (18th – RET)
A strong qualifying session left Sutil third on the grid and even though Kimi overtook him on the first lap he looked set for a good one. Until, of course, Trulli tapped the rear of his car spinning him off into the barriers. See below… 7/10

f1  Brazilian Grand Prix summary

Jarno Trulli (19th – RET)
Trulli was barely alongside Sutil when he tried to go round the outside and yet when they were both taken out, after the Toyota clipped the rear of the Force India, it was Jarno who blamed Adrian. For me it was clearly Trulli’s fault and all he succeeded in doing by flying off the handle afterwards was to look like a petulant child. At the very worst it was a racing accident. Top marks to Sutil for being so mature about it. 0/10

Fernando Alonso (20th – RET)
Taken out by the spinning Sutil. What more can you say? 2/10

Add your comments

26 comments on Brazilian Grand Prix summary

  1. R Tanveer, 19 October 2009 09:53

    Yes. Congratulations to Jenson. He took 6 of his teams 8 wins…He had no race-ending errors on the year, a rarity…And he had no help from his teammate Barrichello. A worthier champion than, say, Schumacher in 1994 and 2003 (6 wins, numerous race day errors, Barrichello giving way). Next year the title seems wide open with a case being made for Red Bulls, Brawn-Mercedes, Mclaren, Ferrari…and even Toyota (who have a very good package) as long as they can get an Ace like Raikkonen in the car. Abu Dhabi should be a ‘free for all’.

    Roll on 2010!

  2. Alastair Warren, 19 October 2009 12:07

    ‘If Button describes him as completely nuts, then I suggest that’s exactly who we’d like to see in the sport next year. 7/10′

    Won’t he be fast tracked straight into the FIA?

  3. RBO, 19 October 2009 12:08

    Very harsh to give Hamilton 8/10 and Vettel/Hamilton even more, despite finishing behind Hamilton and ahead of him on the grid!

  4. Michael Spitale, 19 October 2009 12:17

    Great job Button.. would have loved to see you get on the podium, but you fought hard all day and that made it a Champions run.

    Kimi, sign that Macca deal for next year, we need to keep the top flight drivers.

  5. Joaquim Gené, 19 October 2009 12:30

    Congratulations to Jenson Button. Great season start, eventualy mediocre. At least 6 wins, not bad.

  6. Alastair Warren, 19 October 2009 12:32

    Kobayashi is another driver that’s not been helped by the testing ban? I think we’re paying for the testing ban on Sundays on the track.

  7. Ed Foster, 19 October 2009 12:48


    I think the testing ban has really hurt some drivers coming into F1 this year, but going by the performance of Kobayashi yesterday, he isn’t one!

    Obviously there are things that would have been ironed out with more time in the car, but his race craft (apart from the weaving into corners) was good.

    It was a pleasant surprise to see someone mix it with the seasoned drivers in only their first race.


  8. Nic Shaw, 19 October 2009 12:52

    Yesterday’s race proved that overtaking is still possible in GP. What a brilliant race! Could this be because the weather etc. made a but of a mockery of some of the ridiculously stifling rules and allowed for the individual brilliance (or not) of drivers and teams to come to the fore. Set an engine size, possibly for turbo and non turbo. Set a minimum weight. Specify a “safety tub” to protect drivers in case of accident and let them get on with it. I know that this is probably a bit oversimplified but you get the gist.
    Well done Jenson, I can’t wait for next year.

  9. Dave Cubbedge, 19 October 2009 13:47

    yes it was nice to see fresh talent, but the way he took off fellow countryman Nakajima was a bit harsh……..I think it is unlikely that we’ll see the two of them together in F1 again after Abu Dhabi.

  10. John Sorrie, 19 October 2009 14:20

    Agree with above, harsh rating for Hamilton, he drove a very mature race.

    Trulli: he really is pathetic. How he’s still in F1 I don’t know.

  11. Alastair Warren, 19 October 2009 16:46

    This is what F1 can be like if staged on a proper circuit? Interlagos and Philip Island put venues more suitable for holding ‘F1 in the city’ type demonstration runs into perspective?

    Someone should have duffed up Trulli for driving onto the grass at Melbourne?

  12. Michael Spitale, 19 October 2009 17:04

    on a sour note…. Why does Webber seem to have no problem in his mind pushing cars off track if he is being passed? He did it to Alonso in Japan ’05, Rubens earlier this year, Heidfeld at Spa and Kimi this weekend. He is always the first to scream about other drivers if he thinks he was done wrong, such as his tyraid agianst Kimi for “being drunk on vodka” when he thought he was blocked in qualy a few races back, and that was not even a danger siutation like this race and what he did

  13. Cliff Heathcote, 19 October 2009 18:14

    In defense of the BMW fuel consumption analyst, the problem wasn’t with the sums but rather the fuel rig. You could see during Heidfeld’s stop that the fueler was having difficulty, finally pulling out and turning for the back-up hose. Unfortunately, before he could turn back to re-engage the car was released – four new tyres and no fuel.

    I also feel the need to defend Kaz Nakajima as that incident was, in my opinion, entirely Kobayashi’s fault – the only blot on his copybook all day in my eyes – being overly aggressive in his effort to defend his position. If anyone misjudged how close Nakajima was, and how fast he was closing, it was Kobayashi.

  14. Paul Cherrington, 20 October 2009 04:41

    Delighted for Button. We had the pleasure to bump into him outside his Hotel after Qualifying in Indianapolis back in 2001 – simply could not have been a nicer bloke. He stood chatting with us for ages while his PR kept trying to drag him away. Top bloke and a worthy Champion.

  15. Kenny, 20 October 2009 09:59

    Best race in years…lots of good (and some not so good) passing, inspired driving, a fire in the pits, a fight, two championships…it was deja vu all over again.

    Ed, I’m with you…F1 and Toyota need Kobayashi. What a guy.

  16. Dave Cubbedge, 20 October 2009 12:37

    it should be interesting to see what Kobayashi does on a track no-one has driven before.

  17. Brian Rigney, 20 October 2009 12:46

    A good race on a great circuit. Congratulations to Jensen and Brawn, not forgetting Mark Webber of course. Alastair makes a good comment about proper race circuits versus street circuits. If only F1 could be transferred to Philip Island for the Australian Grand Prix. Too far for all the “celebrities” to travel of course but one can dream

  18. Pat O'Brien, 20 October 2009 17:59

    Great job from Button. Since seeing him lead at Indy a few years ago, I thought he had the cool to get the job done if he only had the car.

    Also, in my mind this is the year that Hamilton made strides from being fast but rash to being just plain fast. Nobody is better at passing – as aggressive as he can be, he consistently brings it off.

    I’m not a fan of some of the penalties that the FIA doles out but Weber deserved a stop and go for taking out KR. He made some comment as if to suggest he was merely turning in, that’s baloney. One of the reasons F1 has so little passing is there’s so much blocking and MW does more of that than anyone. Same for Kobayashi although his drive was otherwise superb.

  19. Pat O'Brien, 20 October 2009 18:00

    PS: how did Trulli ever get out of Fords pulling moves like that? Asinine.

  20. Michael Spitale, 20 October 2009 18:46

    “I’m not a fan of some of the penalties that the FIA doles out but Weber deserved a stop and go for taking out KR. He made some comment as if to suggest he was merely turning in, that’s baloney. One of the reasons F1 has so little passing is there’s so much blocking and MW does more of that than anyone.”

    great point Pat. you’re are exactly right… if everytime someone went to pass you cut them off what woudl be the point? Webber was no wehre near the racing lien as he pushed Kimi off track. he has done that a ton of times through the years. He said Kimi was coming to fast and he had to stop him. That statement alone tells you how dangerous the move was. He did the same thing to RB earlier in the year and got a drive through for it.

  21. N. Weingart, 21 October 2009 18:53


    I doubt that Nakajima would agree with your evaluation of Kobayashi’s racecraft.
    I’m wondering what is the relationship between who takes you off and the grade you give the punted driver? If Vettel had knocked Alonso out of the race would you have given Fernando a higher or lower rating? Also, does this affect the punter’s score? If say Vettel had crashed out Alonso would you have given him 11/10?

  22. Alastair Warren, 21 October 2009 18:57


    ‘The car in front, behind and alongside IS a Toyota’?

  23. John Read, 21 October 2009 20:35

    By far the worst and most dangerous incident was the Hamilton pass on Barrichello on the pit straight. Hamilton’s front wing clipped the left rear tyre of the Brawn causing the puncture. Would anyone like to comment on the possible outcome if Hamilton was one inch closer?

  24. Ed Foster, 22 October 2009 08:30

    N. Weingart,

    Nakajima’s crash was certainly a product of Kobayashi moving over, but looking at the onboard footage again Nakajima misjudged it somewhat. There was space on the left but he managed to get too close and clip his wing…

    Have to say though, if a driver punts the other off I don’t give them a higher score! Part of the reason why I’m now wondering whether Webber deserves a 10…


  25. P Brady, 22 October 2009 11:57

    What a race! An avid F1 fan, I still used to lose concentration half-way through a race, but not this time. I wonder how I’ll cope when refuelling is stopped… Well done JB, he went for it and deserved his (last?) world title.

  26. N. Weingart, 22 October 2009 13:10


    Yes, Nakajima cut it too close, just like Hamilton on Barrichello, although Rubens wasn’t blocking like Kobayashi.

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