How Barrichello won and what happened to Grosjean (Italian Grand Prix analysis)

Heikki Kovalainen couldn't match Rubens Barrichello's one-stop pace

Heikki Kovalainen couldn't match Rubens Barrichello's one-stop pace

A one-stop strategy worked wonders for Rubens Barrichello in the Italian Grand Prix. That, and an excellent qualifying performance against his team mate.

Meanwhile Romain Grosjean had an off-track adventure that seemed to go unnoticed by the TV cameras. This and more in the Italian Grand Prix analysis.

Lap 1

Italian Grand Prix - position change on lap 1 (click to enlarge)

Italian Grand Prix - position change on lap 1 (click to enlarge)

The KERS cars didn’t make their usual multiple positions gains on the first lap at Monza. This was partly because three of them qualified in the top four places and so had few places to make up.

Three KERS cars – those of Heikki Kovalainen, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean – managed to lose ground, being crowded out on Monza’s narrow straights. Alonso was edged onto the gravel by Vitantonio Liuzzi at the first chicane.

Giancarlo Fisichella made up three places, but so did the KERS-less Robert Kubica, who started in front of him.

One stop or two?

Italian Grand Prix - one stop versus two (click to enlarge)

Italian Grand Prix - one stop versus two (click to enlarge)

Before the race began Kovalainen’s heavy fuel load meant he looked in with a good chance of winning. But right from the off he couldn’t maintain a competitive pace and lost a lot of ground.

As well as losing any chance of winning for himself he wasn’t able to keep the Brawn duo behind him even for the first few laps, which might have helped Lewis Hamilton later on in the race.

Barrichello’s performance was very impressive, starting on Saturday when he out-qualified his team mate in a heavier car. No wonder he didn’t want to change his gearbox and sacrifice his advantage on the grid.

What happened to Romain Grosjean?

Grosjean’s second lap was a surprisingly slow 1’36.625, while most drivers were getting into the high 1’20s:

Romain Grosjean's lap times (click to enlarge)

Romain Grosjean's lap times (click to enlarge)

What happened? Adam wrote in with a likely explanation:

Just thought you might like to see my picture of what happened to Grosjean the TV cameras didn’t catch. It was an amazing save on the exit of Parabolica!

Grosjean spinning at Parabolica (picture courtesy of Adam)

Grosjean spinning at Parabolica (picture courtesy of Adam)

Adam saw the spin on lap two – there’s another picture of Grosjean’s spin here. Looks like the new Renault driver had some inconsistent laps in his final stint too, though they might have been because he was being lapped.

Fastest laps

Rank Driver Fastest lap Deficit to fastest lap Laps within 1% of personal best
1 Adrian Sutil 84.739 0 21
2 Kimi Raikkonen 84.761 0.022 20
3 Lewis Hamilton 84.802 0.063 35
4 Jenson Button 84.935 0.196 30
5 Rubens Barrichello 84.967 0.228 32
6 Heikki Kovalainen 85.109 0.37 14
7 Sebastian Vettel 85.194 0.455 13
8 Fernando Alonso 85.199 0.46 12
9 Nick Heidfeld 85.488 0.749 20
10 Giancarlo Fisichella 85.498 0.759 14
11 Sebastien Buemi 85.564 0.825 13
12 Romain Grosjean 85.609 0.87 4
13 Jarno Trulli 85.7 0.961 9
14 Timo Glock 85.751 1.012 16
15 Nico Rosberg 85.901 1.162 7
16 Kazuki Nakajima 85.976 1.237 18
17 Vitantonio Liuzzi 86.041 1.302 13
18 Robert Kubica 87.819 3.08 9
19 Jaime Alguersuari 87.846 3.107 12
No time Mark Webber No time No time No time

Race charts

Italian Grand Prix race chart (click to enlarge)

Italian Grand Prix race chart (click to enlarge)

There was little racing elsewhere in the field but Alonso deserves praise for his lap four pass on Kovalainen. Executed in an only slightly light car, and one that’s no match for the McLaren even with KERS, Alonso maintained his advantage until the end of the race and scored a solid fifth place.

There are many rumours about his future, and this underlines why it would be a waste for him to spend a third season in an uncompetitive car in 2010.

Italian Grand Prix lap chart

Italian Grand Prix lap chart

More on the Italian Grand Prix

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72 comments on How Barrichello won and what happened to Grosjean (Italian Grand Prix analysis)

  1. Roginaldo Rebouças said on 16th September 2009, 20:35

    What is happen? where is F1? Stop Briatore, Pat and Piquet Jnr

  2. VINCENZO said on 16th September 2009, 23:45

    If you want Kimi in Ferrari the next year, because he is a true champion and he must be respected. Help us by signing this petition
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/kimi_in_ferrari/

  3. Joe Garnett said on 17th September 2009, 22:28

    If we didn’t have you we wouldn’t have known about Grosjean!

  4. Charles Treen said on 19th September 2009, 9:52

    If you want better racing right to the flag push for 2 points for fastest lap – that should do it?

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