2009 season – back to front

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    Here is my review of 2009 back to front :
    Round 1 – Abu Dhabi

    The rule changes from 2008 do not leave much change in the order. Mclaren qualify on pole with Hamilton. Ferrari haven’t adjusted to the rule changes as well and have replaced Felipe with Fisichella for this season. Red Bull expectedly have improved their performance thanks to Newey. Ross Brawn seems to have struck gold finally inspite of the team being sold and the car looks competitive. Kamui Kobayashi makes his debut (due to Glock being injured) with a 6th place. Championship standings
    Vettel – 10 points
    Webber – 8 points
    Button – 6 points
    Barrichello – 5 points
    Kimi, Lewis – 0 points.

    Red Bull – 18 points, Brawn – 11 points, Mclaren, Ferrari – 0 points.

    Round 2 – Brazil
    Rain in qualifying makes things a lottery. Barrichello starts on pole with his team-mate 14th and championship leader Vettel 16th. After an eventful race where Jenson dueled with the new driver Kobayashi for several thrilling gaps and Vettel rose up to the podium, Webber led the standings. The second Ferrari of Fisichella failed to score any points again. Kobayashi however would not race after this as Glock’s fracture was healed. Championship standings
    Webber – 18 points
    Vettel – 15 points
    Button – 10 points
    Kubica – 8 points
    Barrichello, Hamilton – 6 points
    Kimi – 3 points

    Red Bull – 33 points, Brawn – 16 points, Mclaren – 6 points, Ferrari – 3 points.

    Round 3 – Japan
    Vettel dominates the weekend. After a complex qualifying session with several penalties, Trulli makes a triumphant return to give Toyota their first podium of their final season in F1. Hamilton finishes 3rd. Red Bull record their 3rd consecutive win. With both Mclaren and Ferrari floundering, it looks like Red Bull and Vettel will be the winners this season. Championship standings
    Vettel – 25 points
    Webber – 18 points
    Hamilton – 12 points
    Button – 11 points
    Trulli – 10 points
    Kimi, Barrichello – 8 points

    Red Bull – 43 points, Brawn – 19 points, Mclaren – 12 points, Ferrari – 8 points.

    Round 4 – Singapore
    Hamilton leads from pole and wins the race. Toyota continue their good form and Glock finishes 2nd and Alonso gives Renault a podium. Vettel suffers from brake problems all race but still finishes 4th. Ferrari continue to go nowhere with both Kimi and Fisichella finishing out of points. Fisi is yet to even score this season. Heikki finishes 7th and scores his first points of the season. Championship standings
    Vettel – 30 points
    Hamilton – 22 points
    Webber – 18 points
    Button – 15 points
    Barrichello – 11 points
    Kimi – 8 points

    Red Bull – 48 points, Brawn – 26 points, Mclaren – 24 points, Ferrari – 8 points

    So after the first flyaways, Red Bull emerge as the team to beat although they do seem to have some reliability issues. Mclaren seem fast but haven’t been able to string a weekend together except for the last race. Heikki is having a horror season. Ferrari do not have car that is on pace and one must say that Fisichella’s time at Ferrari must be running out. Brawn seem to be the third fastest team and are chipping away points here and there. These points will come in handy at the end of the season. Vettel should be the favorite for the title this year.

    Round 5 – Italy

    The European season begins with two races that Red Bull will least look forward to. Rubens and Jenson do spirited one stop strategies to get ahead of pole-sitter Hamilton and win the race. Hamilton seems to be all over the back of Jenson on the last lap but throws it all away. Ferrari will take that as they record their first podium. Fisichella is fired after his fifth consecutive non-points scoring weekend but is taken by Force India who have impressive pace on this low downforce circuit. Heikki is the sole Mclaren finisher in 6th place. The Red Bulls have a dismal weekend with just 1 point for championship leader Vettel. Championship standings

    Vettel – 31 points
    Button – 23 points
    Hamilton – 22 points
    Barrichello – 21 points
    Webber – 18 points
    Kimi – 14 points

    Red Bull – 49 points, Brawn – 44 points, Mclaren – 27 points, Toyota – 21 points, Ferrari – 14 points,

    Round 6 – Spa

    A fiery start by Romain Grosjean eliminates him alongwith the British championship contenders – Button and Hamilton. This was the chance for Vettel to increase his lead however he could only manage 3rd place as former team-mates Kimi and Fisi battled over the race win. Kimi gave Ferrari its first win, Fisi scored 2nd in the low downforce Force India. Fisi’s replacement – Badoer could only finish last. Webber failed to score for the fourth consecutive race after a drive through penalty. Championship standings

    Vettel – 37 points
    Kimi – 24 points
    Button, Barrichello – 23 points,
    Hamilton – 22 points
    Webber – 18 points.

    Red Bull – 55 points, Brawn – 46 points, Mclaren – 30 points, BMW – 27 points, Ferrari – 24 points

    Round 7 – Valencia

    Barrichello won his 2nd race of the season while pole-sitter Hamilton finished 2nd after a slow 2nd pitstop. Kimi continued his good form after finishing 3rd. Badoer finished last again and Ferrari were glad to see the back of him and welcome back Felipe. Championship leader Vettel had an engine failure after a poor pit stop after qualifying fourth. Webber had a forgettable weekend after qualifying 9th and finishing in the same position. His fifth consecutive non-points scoring race meant that Brawn took the lead in the constructors’ standings. Ferrari were 4th in the championship standings inspite of only one car scoring. Romain was replaced at the end of this race by Nelson Piquet Jr. Championship standings

    Vettel – 37 points
    Barrichello – 33 points
    Hamilton,Kimi – 30 points
    Button – 25 points
    Webber – 18 points

    Brawn – 58 points, Red Bull – 55 points, Mclaren – 43 points, Ferrari – 30 points.

    Round 8 – Hungary

    Hamilton took his 2nd win while Kimi continued his great from with his 4th consecutive podium. Webber finally scored points with 3rd place. Fernando qualified on pole but retired after a faulty wheel nut during his very early first pit stop. Vettel had qualified 2nd but had a bad start which saw him overtaken by the KERS-enabled cars. He was eventually retired with a suspension failure and recorded his 2nd consecutive non-finish. The Brawns had a forgettable race as only Button scored 2 points for 7th place after qualifying 8th and Barrichello finished outside the points. Championship Standings

    Hamilton – 40 points
    Kimi – 38 points
    Vettel – 37 points
    Barrichello – 33 points
    Button – 27 points
    Webber – 24 points

    Brawn – 61 points, Red Bull – 60 points, Mclaren – 57 points, Ferrari – 38 points.

    Halfway through the season, Hamilton leads the championship with 2 wins in what has arguably been the 2nd fastest car. Vettel is 3 points off the lead in what is the fastest car but can attribute some of the blame to reliability issues. Webber has performed dismally since that amazing start to the season where he was leading after the 2nd race. In the Brawn which has occasionally been contenders for the win, Rubens has maximized his chances and scored 2 wins. But Button has shown his consistency and lies only 6 points behind. His drives in Brazil, Abu Dhabi were very good.
    But the star of the first half has undoubtedly been Kimi. His team mate is yet to score a single point and yet he lies 2nd in the championship just 2 points behind Lewis in the fourth fastest car. Now that Felipe is back to back him up and Ferrari can be expected to improve their car in the 2nd half, he should be the favorite for the championship.

    Round 9 – Germany

    Championship leader Hamilton qualifies 4th but makes contact with Webber and picks up a puncture. Webber tries hard to keep Barrichello in 2nd behind him but fails to and earns a drive through penalty in the process. But the Red Bull is mighty mighty fast and Webber takes the penalty and is still ahead of Barrichello whose race has gone for a toss and he finishes behind his team mate in 6th place. Vettel had no answer to his team mate’s pace all weekend as he qualified 4th and finished 2nd. Felipe made an impressive return to the podium whereas Kimi retired after a radiator failure. He was beaten by Felipe in each of Q1, Q2 and Q3. Championship standings:

    Vettel – 45 points
    Hamilton – 40 points
    Kimi – 38 points
    Barrichello – 36 points
    Webber – 34 points
    Button – 31 points.

    Red Bull – 79 points, Brawn – 67 points, Mclaren – 58 points, Ferrari – 44 points.

    Round 10 – Silverstone

    Another round of Red Bull domination. This time it was Vettel’s turn. But the big story this weekend was the downturn in form of Mclaren and Ferrari. Lewis was eliminated in Q1, Felipe and Heikki in Q2 and Kimi could only manage 9th in Q3. Word in the paddock was that there was an updated double diffuser on the Brawns and Red Bulls but the 2 outfits had failed to grasp this new technical innovation. Toyota and Williams seemed to have grasped this concept well and all 4 of those cars made it to Q3. In the race, Barrichello finished 3rd ahead of his teammate and whatever grumblings he had against the team after the previous race were solved. World Champions Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen were seen battling tooth and nail over 13th, 14th and 15th places in this race. Championship Standings

    Vettel – 55 points
    Barrichello, Webber – 42 points
    Hamilton – 40 points
    Kimi – 39 points
    Button – 34 points

    Red Bull – 97 points, Brawn – 76 points, Mclaren – 58 points, Ferrari – 50 points

    Round 11 – Turkey

    Button recorded his first win of the season as Vettel made a crucial mistake in lap 1 on turn 9 to give him the lead. Button could have probably got the lead anyways as he had 2 laps of extra fuel on board. Barrichello had a forgettable race after dropping from 3rd to 13th and retiring with a gearbox failure. Lewis could not make it out of Q1 yet again and finished 13th just 10 seconds from being lapped. Felipe outscored Kimi as Kimi finished 9th and out of points. Neither Mclaren could score points for the second race in succession. Thanks to the win, Button jumped from 6th in the standings to 3rd, behind the Red Bulls. Championship Standings

    Vettel – 61 points
    Webber – 50 points
    Button – 44 points
    Barrichello – 42 points
    Hamilton – 40 points
    Kimi – 39 points

    Brawn – 111 points, Brawn – 86 points, Mclaren – 58 points, Ferrari – 53 points.

    Round 12 – Monaco

    Button won yet again! And this time from pole. An utter domination. Vettel struggled with the super softs and retired from the race after a mistake at Saint Devote. Could this mistake prove crucial at the end of the championship? Webber managed 5th as Kimi finally outscored Felipe after finshing 3rd while Felipe finished 4th. Hamilton finished 12th, a lap down as his title chances seemed fast disappearing. Kimi’s 3rd meant that he kept his championship chance alive, although it seems to be an outside chance at this stage. Championship Standings

    Vettel – 61 points
    Button, Webber – 54 points
    Barrichello – 50 points
    Kimi – 45 points
    Hamilton – 40 points

    Red Bull – 115 points, Brawn – 104 points, Ferrari – 64 points, Mclaren – 58 points.

    Round 13 – Spain

    Second consecutive 1-2 for Brawn. Button won from pole but not after changing to a 2-stop strategy to get past his team-mate who was first after turn 1. Championship leader Vettel again had a forgettable race after he got stuck behind the KERS equipped Ferrari of Felipe on lap 1. Webber who was 5th at the start ran a long stint and got past his team-mate and Felipe both to finish 3rd. Felipe had a fuel problem at the end which caused him to lose 2 positions and finish 6th. Hamilton finally got into Q2 finally but still couldn’t get any points resulting in Mclaren’s 4th consecutive non-score. Championship standings:
    Vettel – 66
    Button – 64
    Webber – 60
    Barrichello – 58
    Kimi – 45
    Lewis – 40

    Red Bull – 126 points, Brawn – 122 points, Ferrari – 67 points, Mclaren – 58 points.

    The final 4 flyaways left. And this championship has turned on its head in the last 5 races. Hamilton and Raikkonen were 1st and 2nd half way through the season. Hamilton has not scored a single point since then while Kimi has managed just 7. Button has won 3 of these 5 races and is suddenly a force in the championship. Vettel, the championship leader has 3 made uncharacteristic mistakes at Turkey (running wide) Monaco (crash) and Spain (getting caught up behind Massa) after that superb win at Britain. Kimi has been outscored By Felipe since his return and that has helped Ferrari get up to third in the championship. Heikki, like his team mate has not scored for the last 4 races and has scored just 1 point in the 2nd half of the season. The favorite for the title has surely got to be Button now. The two 1-2s have helped Brawn reduce Red Bull’s 25 point lead to just 4 points.

    Round 14 – Bahrain

    The Toyotas surprise by taking pole position ahead of the title rivals. Webber would start a miserable 19th after Sutil failed to see him in his mirrors during Q1. Lewis got into Q3 at last and starts 5th. The Toyotas were expectedly very low on fuel and made early pit stops handling the battle of the lead to the championship contenders. Button who was starting 4th crucially got past Vettel who started 3rd at the start of the race and then stayed ahead of him all race. He also got passed the KERS-equipped Lewis whereas his title rival Vettel couldnt. The Mclaren rose up to 3rd at the start of the race thanks to KERS but ultimately finished 4th in the race. Rubens had an anonymous race finishing 5th after starting 6th while Webber could only manage to reach 11th after starting 19th. Both Ferrari and Mclaren were out of the running for the constructors championship now. Championship standings
    Vettel, Button – 74 points
    Barrichello – 62 points
    Webber – 60 points
    Kimi – 48 points
    Hamilton – 45 points

    Brawn – 136 points, Red Bull – 134 points, Ferrari – 67 points, Mclaren – 63 points.

    Round 15 – China

    Vettel finally ends Button’s streak with a fantastic win in the wet. A safety car start meant that Alonso who had qualified a brilliant 2nd (thanks to a low fuel load) had to make a pit stop under the safety car itself and it nullified his grid position. That made the Red Bulls 1-2 and Brawns 3-4 for the restart. Massa unfortunately had to retire from 3rd after doing a strong showing in the wet – historically, a weak aspect in his racecraft. Everyone ran a 2 pit stop strategy and Button completed the podium alongwith the 2 Red Bull drivers. Hamilton and Kimi were officially out of the championship running now. Championship standings
    Vettel – 84 points
    Button – 80 points
    Webber – 68 points
    Barrichello – 67 points
    Hamilton, Kimi – 48 points

    Red Bull – 152 points, Brawn – 147 points, Mclaren, Ferrari – 70 points

    Round 16 – Malaysia

    Another wet race. But a Button win this time. Button started from first but slipped to 4th after the first lap. Vettel had an anonymous race after starting 13th and could not finish the race after spinning off in the torrential rain. Button meanwhile went from 4th to 1st through the first round of pit stops. Glock did an inspired strategy of shifting to inters early to finish 3rd. Nick Heidfeld also did well to stay out on dry tyres for longer and make just one pit stop to full wets before the race ended. He finished 2nd. The only solace for Vettel was that only half points were awarded for this race and he lost only 5 points to Button. Championship standings
    Button – 85 points
    Vettel – 84 points
    Webber – 69.5 points
    Barrichello – 69 points
    Hamilton – 49 points
    Kimi – 48 points

    Brawn – 154 points, Red Bull – 153.5 points, Mclaren – 71 points, Ferrari – 70 points.

    Round 17 – Australia

    F1 arrived at its final race with a very simple championship situation. For constructors, Red Bull and Brawn were tied and hence it was a winner takes all situation. Vettel was one point behind Button, so if he finished ahead of Button and finished 1st or 2nd, he had the championship, else, if he finished 3rd, then Jenson had to finish 2 places behind him for Vettel to win. Brawn took a dominant 1-2 at the final race while Vettel could only manage 3rd. Rubens was in perfect position to let Button go off in the distance while he slowed the pack but he had a horror start leaving Vettel to take 2nd. Button had searing pace inspite of having more fuel than Vettel. Vettel pitted on lap 16 and we had a big crash on lap 18 because of Nakajima’s crash. Button pitted on lap 19 and came out before the safety car was deployed. He came incredibly close to losing the race lad and the championship to Vettel. During the second round of pitstops, Button had a very slow stop but he still came out in the lead while Vettel struggled on his super soft tyres. With the championship slipping away from Vettel as the laps ticked by, the young Red Bull driver made a mistake and let Kubica get on the inside. The two tangled bringing out the safety car. And with that, Button was the champion! Hamilton finished on podium but was later disqualified on account of lying to stewards.

    Vettel’s season which started so well where he did not put a foot wrong and was only undone by reliability issues of his car ended in the grass after a succession of mistakes in the final races left Button to win the championship.
    Hamilton and Kimi had similar campaigns, a decent car in the first half before dropping off the pace in the second half. Hamilton led the standings after Hungary after which his everything went downhill. The disqualification in the final race was perhaps an apt end to his horror 2nd half.
    Kimi did everything right in the first half while his teammates floundered. But Felipe’s arrival seemed to unsettle him and he was outscored by him since then. Makes you wonder if Ferrari was indeed as bad in the first place.
    Barrichello did well in the random first half but was off-pace in the final races when Red Bull was really fast. Webber arguably lost the title in the 5 point-less races at the start of the season.

    Button – a definitely deserved world champion. Did his best while his car was not the best. But when it was, he was absolutely on it and made no mistake.

    Brawn finished as the constructors champions 18.5 points ahead. But 18 of those 18.5 points came in the last race. Webber’s anonymous race in Australia and the 5 no-scores definitely caused Red Bull to lose a few points. As did Vettel’s mistakes at the end of the season.



    Wonderful read. Sounds really similar to this year!




    Wonderful read. Sounds really similar to this year!

    It does! Quite ironic actually.



    Thanks guys!
    Yes, it is very similar to this year. Vettel of this year is same as Button of 2009. But I am not very sure who is the playing the role that Alonso is playing in 2012. Vettel did a few mistakes in 2009 but Alonso hasn’t done them this season. I think Kimi of 2009 comes closest to the Alonso of 2012.



    GREAT read! What a season, I think Buttons championship win would have earned him alot more “credit” in alot of circles if it had gone down like this – would have been legendary!!



    This ‘reverse’ scenario came to my mind back in end-2009 and I actually fiddled with the points, calculating the order in reverse – but this was a very very interesting and fun thing to read, thank you. It looks different compared to end-2009 in light of what happened in 2012 really.



    Wow. We missed a cracking championship! lol.

    The same should be done for 2010 :P



    What a good idea! Very interesting. Though I wonder why Button moved to that team from McLaren :P

    Are you planning to do any more? 2008 might be interesting with Alonso leading the first half and then Hamilton entering the final race 9 points behind Massa! Also, 2011 with an order of Abu Dhabi, Germany, Suzuka, followed by races Vettel finished 2nd and then the 11 wins :P



    Thanks guys! I am encouraged by your compliments. I will do some in the winter break. Probably old seasons, as that will help my F1 history knowledge.
    But it wont really make sense in some cases. I mean why do Prost and Senna crash into each other in the first race of the season?



    Interesting idea… one small thing, in the Silverstone review you called Vettel a World Champion, not so in 2009, unless you’re saying the last 3 years are also in reverse?!

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