Brazil voted best race of 2009, Turkey named worst of a bad bunch

The Button-Kobayashi battle was a highlight of the Brazilian Grand Prix

The Button-Kobayashi battle was a highlight of the Brazilian Grand Prix

After the millions ploughed into radically revised aerodynamic packages and Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems to improve racing, did we get a more entertaining season in 2009 than 2008? Not according to how your voted in our post-race polls.

Interlagos served up the best race of the year for the second season in a row – and Turkey was named the worst race of the year.

2009 race ratings (click to enlarge)

2009 race ratings (click to enlarge)

Here are the races sorted by ranking, with the winners of each:

Brazil 8.309 (Mark Webber)

Australia 7.937 (Jenson Button)
Belgium 7.852 (Kimi Raikkonen)
Germany 7.096 (Mark Webber)
Italy 7.049 (Rubens Barrichello)

Hungary 6.808 (Lewis Hamilton)
China 6.69 (Sebastian Vettel)
Bahrain 6.42 (Jenson Button)

Abu Dhabi 5.794 (Sebastian Vettel)
Britain 5.755 (Sebastian Vettel)
Japan 5.58 (Sebastian Vettel)
Monaco 5.504 (Jenson Button)
Europe 5.355 (Rubens Barrichello)
Singapore 5.336 (Lewis Hamilton)
Spain 5.33 (Jenson Button)
Malaysia 5.284 (Jenson Button)
Turkey 5.276 (Jenson Button)

The average ranking for a race in 2009 was 6.352 – down from 6.671 last year.

From looking at the lowest and highest-rated races it’s clear what people think makes a good race. It’s not just about having lots of overtaking as is often assumed – it’s about having a battle for the lead, it’s about unpredictability and, yes, a few crashes as well.

The lowest-rated race – Turkey – at least got a higher rating than last year’s worst, Valencia, which scored 3.977. The Turkish Grand Prix was both anti-climactic – the battle between Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel was decided when Vettel went off on the first lap – and at the time it seemed to confirm that Button was going to walk to the championship. Of course, it didn’t quite turn out that way.

It’s no surprise to see the curtailed Malaysian Grand Prix rated so poorly as well. Spain was ranked third from bottom for the second year in a row. In all nine races were rated lower than six out of ten – three more than last year.

Did you think 2009 was less exciting than last year? Do you agree with the choices for best and worst races? Have your say in the comments.

See the 2008 race ratings in full here: Valencia was least popular race of 2008

See more results of F1 Fanatic polls: F1 Fanatic polls archive

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64 comments on Brazil voted best race of 2009, Turkey named worst of a bad bunch

  1. PeriSoft said on 8th November 2009, 22:13

    Oh, also, this is classic, from the Wikipedia article about Tilke:

    “Tilke established Tilke Engineering in 1984… to provide complete solutions for motor racing and waste disposal projects.”

    So, now we know why the racing’s gone down the toilet since he came on the scene…

  2. Ads21 said on 9th November 2009, 9:20

    I’m surprised ’08 didn’t get a higher average considering there were only 2 or 3 dull races all season, with several absolute classics, for me it was the greatest season ever, and if we’re honest it probably had a lot to do with the weather.

    The latter half of this year was brilliant tho, a spell of 6 races with 6 different winners, let’s hope it stays that competitive next year.

  3. I think some will rate an individual race on factors other than the race itself. Such as how close the Championship is, would Brazil this year and especially last year have got quite so high a rating if it hadn’t decided the title?

    Another reason is who won the race, for example at Turkey after Button had won so many races already, I think it got a lower rating than if another driver had won in exactly the same fashion. I know I am guilty of this as if a driver I like wins in totally dominant fashion I enjoy the race a lot more than if another driver won by leading from start to finish and never being challenged.

    Overall I wouldn’t say this season has been bad although it probably hasn’t been as good as recent seasons.

  4. Hallard said on 9th November 2009, 18:33

    Like many others here, I am surprised that this season was rated so closely to the 2008 season overall. This year was so dull by comparison, watching Button amass a big points lead and carry it through the whole championship. Button was leading the championship from Australia all the way to the end, usually by over 20 points! A credit to him, but it makes for a yawn-worthy championship battle (or lack thereof). This year the cars were uglier, the racing much more processional, the scandals were frequent and the FIA were more belligerent than ever. Not a good year for F1, for many reasons. All I can say is bring on 2010!

  5. Antoine said on 11th November 2009, 12:49

    this was the first season in awhile where I missed a few races and I think it’s down to the fact some of the excitement has gone. the off track scandals have been more interesting than the racing…that said, I’m happy for Jenson :-)

  6. t***9 said on 23rd April 2010, 8:44

    Tilke is tempermentally unsuited to designing F1 circuits, club circuits possibly, and he’s hurting F1 racing. He thinks like an amateur club racer and his designs consistently reflect that; the number of nusiance, even non-sensical, corners is astounding in comparison to the classic circuits still being used. Corners where there should be none, arcane corner designs that have no race flow to them, and the absence of real high speed sweepers – a lap of Silverstone at speed would likely be a major dread for him.

    Admittedly the F1 design guidelines, as written, make modern circuit design often a spirit deadening endeavor. However, imagination and vigor can still create enjoyable racing circuits for both drivers and viewers. I’m puzzled why an elite former F1 driver did not embark into designing circuits with the soul and flow worthy of great driving talent. It’s not soon enough that one does so and revises Tilke’s circuits to classic standards, with full regard for modern safety standards.

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