2009 Brazilian GP: Reality Check

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2009 Brazilian GP: Reality Check

This week the Formula One circus returned to Sao Paulo, where for the past four (now five) years, the World Driver's Champion had been crowned.

In my memory, Interlagos hasn't yet failed in giving us an entertaining race. First of all, the Brazilian fans always light up the place with their passion. Then the track itself is pretty great: tight and twisty at the right places, with big sweeping curves and varying terrain.

But more importantly the rain gods seem to adore this place, and a wet track is always exciting.

Brace yourselves, the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix was a flurry of action:

  • Timo Glock replaced by Kamui Kobayashi due to a cracked vertebrae from Suzuka. Minus 1 . Ouch, poor Timo. Sounds rather serious though, will he be back for Abu Dhabi?
  • Massa insists Alonso knew. Plus 1 . I am soooo looking forward to next season already.
  • Rain soaked Saturday. Minus 5 . I would be lying if I say I wasn't bored out of my brains in FP3, and half-falling asleep during qualifying. 
  • Fisichella stalls his car in Q1. Second time of the day. Minus 2
  • Vettel out in Q1. Minus 5 . When the other three Red Bull cars make it through to Q2, there's no excuse. Minus 10 , for basically flinging his steering wheel out. Hey, that's a million bucks there.
  • Both McLarens out in Q1. Minus 5 . *frown*
  • Big shunt by Liuzzi, halting Q2 before anyone could set a time. Minus 2 . Well I know it's not really his fault, track conditions were terrible. But looking at a wet track and nothing much else for nearly an hour is not very entertaining.
  • Jenson Button out in Q2. Minus 10 . *groan* Seriously, this is not even the first time in the season this has happened.
  • Both Williams are killing it in the wet. Plus 5
  • Barrichello on pole! Plus 2 . The roar of the crowd was fantastic. Plus 1 , for race engineer Jock Clear's over-enthusiastic radio transmission. 
  • Sutil qualifies P3. Plus 1 . Good job by the Force India boys.
  • Kimi qualifies P5! Plus 2 . Shameless praise again cos the F60 looked hopeless in the FP sessions.
  • Seb Buemi on third row of the grid. Plus 1 . Not bad, he does have his moments.
  • Sunny race day. Plus 2 . The race is looking interesting already.
  • Rubens does not stall his car during the start. Plus 1 . Hehe.
  • Great start by Kimi, P5 to P3 by the first corner. Plus 2 . Yay for KERS.
  • Kimi tags Webber and loses his front wing. Minus 2 . Awwww.
  • Kovalainen tags Vettel, runs wide and nearly took out Fisichella. Minus 2 .
  • Trulli taps Sutil's back, both spin out and collect Alonso along the way. Minus 2 . Then Trulli gets in Sutil's face: Minus 2 for unsporting behaviour, but Plus 5 for hilarity.
  • The Iceman is on fire. Literally. Minus 10 , for the McLaren lollipop man who let Heikki go early. Plus 5 , for the onboard cam view, but poor Kimi, who obviously had a WTF moment when the fireball went up. Plus 10 , thumbs up to the helpful Brawn pit crew. How come no one was quite so nice last year in Singapore?
  • Plus 20 for the entire action sequence on lap one.
  • After the race restarts, Button overtakes his way up. Plus 2 . This is more like it.
  • Kobayashi stands his ground, and holds Button up. Plus 2 . Impressive. If he had scored a point in the end he would have been my rookie of the year.
  • Heidfeld runs out of fuel. Minus 2 . The hilarity ensues.
  • Hamilton slowly but surely makes his way up. Plus 2 . Very good.
  • Webber leap-frogs Barrichello after the first pit-stops. Plus 1 . Oh Rubens, this is not looking good.
  • Both Williams retire for one reason or another. Minus 2 . Damn, I was hoping they would do well.
  • Hamilton overtakes Barrichello for P3, and gives Rubens a puncture. Plus 1 to Lewis. I think it's fated, Rubens can't win in Brazil. 
  • Minus 1 , to the rain clouds who didn't turn up for the race.
  • Mark Webber wins his second Grand Prix! Plus 2 . Completely overshadowed by the WDC victory, but he really did have a great race.
  • Kubica in P2. Plus 5 . He silently drove the best race of the pack. 
  • Hamilton P3. Plus 2 . Props to him.
  • Vettel finishes P4. Plus 2 . P15 to P4 is good, but pity it wasn't enough.
  • Kimi finishes P6. Plus 2 . Attaboy! I can't believe Ferrari and McLaren are still only one point apart. 
  • Button finishes P5 and seals his WDC. Plus 2 . Frankly I'd rather a fight to the last race, but at least now we can get on with our lives. Most consistent driver of the season, well-deserved title.
  • Plus 2 to my feed cutting out before the chequered flag fell. Apparently Jenson started singing on team radio, I don't think I would have enjoyed hearing that.
  • Brawn GP is the WCC! Plus 100 . Absolutely brilliant brilliant brilliant. Think we all knew this was only a matter of time, but it doesn't make it any less sweeter. In your face, Honda!
  • Post-race: Stewards fine McLaren $50,000 and give Heikki a 25-second penalty for the pitstop incident. Minus 10 . What the... again the inconsistency. I was surprised a drive-through penalty wasn't given on the spot. The new FIA president better fix this.

And so we only have one race to go before the 2009 season closes. Ironically, the same two teams that have been fighting it out the past two years to the very last race will be doing the same in Abu Dhabi, except it's for third in the WCC and fifth in the WDC. Meh.
Also, amazingly the drivers' market has still not settled. Whoever said Alonso was the key before the dominoes started falling? By the looks of it we may not get many confirmations till mid-November.
Hope we all don't get too bored during the next two weeks. Cheers!
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