Winners and Losers - Spain PF1

Discussion in 'F1' started by DF1, May 11, 2009.

  1. DF1

    DF1 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 10, 2007
    Spanish Grand Prix: Winners and Losers
    Sunday 10th May 2009 -

    Ferrari proved they are back in contention even if they can't be sure how much Shell they put into Massa's F60, meanwhile Rubens thought he'd won the race after one stint...

    Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 1st
    Button had the speed to take pole on Saturday and the common sense not to challenge his team-mate going into Turn 1 in the race.

    Button raced with his head. Barrichello was expecting him to come in for his first pit-stop on Lap 17 but he managed to make his fuel last a lap longer. During the opening stint of the race Jenson was able to set fastest laps, but would then put in what looked like an economy lap because all he was doing by setting a fastest lap was getting closer to Barrichello's turbulent air. In the economy laps he dropped back .2 or .3 of a second which is unlikely given the metronomic regularity the drivers lap this circuit.

    Button was also helped by Heidfeld. As the opening stint unfolded, a big gap opened up between 8th and 9th positions. Heidfeld in 9th was holding back Raikkonen and Kubica and Hamilton who were running quite long. Thanks to the FIA publishing the car weights on Saturday, the Brawn team knew that the only person in the top eight who wouldn't be stopping early was Rosberg and it was going to be close getting Jenson out in front of him - much better to stick more fuel on, exit behind and see how that played out.

    As a result, neither Brawn car was held up and so it was a question of each driver making their strategy work. Button made his work, Barrichello didn't. At the end Button was going away from his team-mate at 0.6 a lap.

    Lap 6: Mark Webber, Red Bull on Fernando Alonso, Renault.
    An early contender for Overtaking Move of the Season, Mark Webbers's re-take of Alonso on Lap 6 was a minor classic. As the Red Bull rushed up the inside of the Renault at Turn 1, which had just blitzed him with the KERS button, the PF1 office held its collective breath. Surely Webbo would go sailing on and Fernando would say "adios" as he ducked underneath. But no. Mark got the Red Bull stopped and turned in and kept his place in front of Alonso. Aye carumba!

    It was a great race from Mark who for once took advantage of his team-mate being held up (normally it's everyone else). His closing laps showed that the Red Bull is at least a match for one of the Brawn GP cars.

    Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 4th
    Vettel paid the price for getting overtaken down to Turn 1. Again. The Red Bull may have good single lap pace, but until they get good speed off the line Vettel's going to find this happening on a regular basis as the cars with KERS close in. The resurgent Ferrari team have shown that they are going to be there or thereabouts from now on, McLaren will find tracks that they're good at and Alonso is dangerous almost anywhere. All have KERS.

    Vettel was never able to mount a challenge to Massa despite getting within 0.4 of a second of the Ferrari. Which is fair enough. Red Bull decided to develop the chassis and not KERS and so they've got the fastest chassis but no KERS. Ferrari have got a slower chassis and a KERS that helps them gain and maintain positions. You pays your money etc...

    Despite another race of 'what might have been' he scored five points, almost as many as Ferrari have gained in five races.

    Fernando Alonso, Renault, 5th
    Alonso showed how fast he can be when his water bottle works and he doesn't lose five kilos during a race. It was his uncompromising line through Turns 1 and 2 that pushed Nico Rosberg off track and led to the accident that claimed four cars. Was he to blame? Funnily enough Massa did the same thing to him one year and Alonso got terribly irate about it.

    It's what happens when you put your car on the outside of another and attempt to run through a corner where there's only one line - Vettel and Kubica tried it in Melbourne and Vettel got blamed for it, here Rosberg took no chances and ran wide, and we all saw what happened after that.

    Felipe Massa, Ferrari 6th
    Massa had a great qualifying session and a good race, even if the team did screw up by not letting Vettel past earlier to secure 5th place. But there's no doubting that Ferrari are back as contenders. Monaco may not be the best of places to secure that return but the Scuderia have obviously found a lot more pace and with only an interim diffuser there is still more pace to come.

    Nick Heidfeld, BMW, 7th
    Considering how dire the Bahrain race was for the team, a seventh place must feel like a podium finish for Ickle and Dr.Mario. Heidfeld had one of his typically anonymous races, only featuring when he had to drive defensively to keep Kimi and his KERS button at bay.

    Nico Rosberg, Williams, 8th
    Rosberg said he was hoping for 5th place; quite how he would have achieved that without short-cuts round the back of the circuit is anyone's guess, but at least he scored.

    Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 2nd
    Well miaoow! Just when you thought that Lewis Hamilton had safely tucked away the Mr.Sourpuss award for Barcelona, Rubens snatched it off him. Barrichello failed to make the best use of his strategy and all of a sudden it's a conspiracy to engineer Jenson Button into first place.

    During the race his own engineers constantly told him he needed to increase his pace, they also informed him that Jenson had switched to Plan B, so Rubens must have known it was an option that the team might switch to a different strategy and one which they must have discussed in a briefing before the race.

    It was clear from the lack of pace from the prime (harder) tyre that the smallest amount of time running on them was the best thing and Rubens had less laps on them than Jenson.

    For whatever reason he was just too slow in the race and to start hinting that his team might be doing his team-mate favours is showing scant respect. Two and a half months ago he was staring at no future in F1. Now he's getting all precious about his team-mate winning everything.

    F1 Sponsorship
    What was worrying about the Barcelona GP was the lack of new sponsor names on the Brawn GP car. They may have got publicity from the Terminator movie, but we were expecting the announcement of a major deal this race. It's worrying for the rest of the grid because here you have a hugely successful team almost guaranteed extensive media coverage and yet they can't attract sponsors. What's it going to be like for the other teams when their sponsors quit? Williams are going to lose RBS and Renault won't have ING in 2010. Yet whenever Button and Barrichello step onto the podium they look more like an advert for soap powder - keeping their whites white - than.

    Though the one good thing about Brawn GP is that they don't have to wear those terminally uncool (design circa 1984) Mubadallah Abu Dhabi caps that Kimi Raikkonen has applied to his head.

    Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, DNF
    Eddie Jordan thought that Kimi Raikkonen should have been suspended because of his lack of application at Ferrari. As Father Jack would say "feckin' eejit!" Raikkonen knows exactly when and where to apply himself and he duly demolished Jordan's theory of not-trying-very-hard when he got himself up from 16th to 10th on the opening lap.

    And then his KERS failed. It was commendable that he took a bullet for the team on Saturday by saying that he thought he was safe for Q2 as well as his engineers. Lewis Hamilton take note.

    Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 9th
    Lewis is confirming my theory that he can't actually speak to the press unless he has a suck from his drinks bottle first. It's his "blue blanket". Mr Motivator looked angrier than usual after the race, probably because he'd shipped his girlfriend in only for him to have a pants race.

    Now we're certain that in reality Nicole Scherzinger is a lovely girl, kind to animals with the virtues of a saint, but to the ill-informed outsider...well...she looks like high maintenance. Perhaps that's why a grumbly, sulky Lewis said the car was worse with the upgrades. He's a simple boy, he just likes to please...

    It must be great if you've been working all hours in the factory at Woking to hear that honest uncomplicated appraisal from Lewis.

    Lesson No.3 in the Schumacher F1 Driving School - never slag off your team's best efforts. Michael always found a way to say something constructive.

    2009 F1 Technical Regulations
    The Spanish GP was proof, if proof were needed, that the 2009 regulations have not delivered considerably more overtaking this year. KERS has definitely given it a boost (arf), but the acceptance of the diffuser cars as within the rules has thrown all the speed development work back to the aero boys.

    Andrew T. Davies
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  3. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:

    I can't make a comment 'cause I only want to talk about the person I said I wouldn't ... LOL

  4. bigodino

    bigodino F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 29, 2004
    The Netherlands
    Full Name:
    Peter den Biggelaar
    Right on the money.
  5. enzokidd

    enzokidd Formula Junior

    Jan 18, 2009
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