Formula One: Teammate Comparisons After Brazil (Round 16)

Mike CassCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 18:  Jenson Button (L) of Great Britain and Brawn GP is congratulated by team mate Rubens Barrichello (R) of Brazil and Brawn GP as he celebrates in parc ferme after clinching the F1 World Drivers Championship during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos Circuit on October 18, 2009 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Continuing my regular article where I compare Formula One teammates against each other.

I will compare qualifying performance and judge them after the weight of the cars has been announced.

How qualifying results are displayed:

Position Qualified/Driver Name/Qualifying Time/Weight

I will then give my opinion of who had the better race, which is not necessarily the driver with the best result.

How race results are displayed:

Position Finished/Driver Name/Total Race Time/Fastest Lap

Drivers will be awarded one point for qualifying and one point for the race, come the end of the season we will see who did the better job.

Feel free to challenge my opinion.

Brawn GP

Qualifying: Barrichello +1

Button went out in Q2, as he struggled with his car and the conditions. He wasn’t helped by a bad call on tyre choice; he stayed out on wets when he probably should have come in and put on a set of intermediates.

Barrichello took full advantage of Button’s fourteenth position on the grid by sticking his Brawn on pole! That’s his first pole position in five years and he did it in front of his adoring Brazilian fans, who were all chanting his name as he crossed the line.

P1 Barrichello 1:19.576 650.5kg

P14 Button 1:22.504 672kg

Race: Button +1

Barrichello had a clean start and held first place, he then set about building a gap to Webber.

As Barrichello re-joined from the pits after his first stop he was immediately overtaken by Vettel, but worse than that he was effectively third as Webber and Kubica had used their additional fuel to get by him.

Then on lap 62 Barrichello lost his podium place to Hamilton, as the McLaren driver overtook on the start finish straight using KERS. Not only had Barrichello lost third, he had a puncture on his left rear from Hamilton’s pass, he had to pit and ended up finishing eighth.

Barrichello has to be one of the unluckiest drivers at his home race, anybody have any stats for that?

All the luck must be with his team mate Button, who had an amazing first stint passing cars all over the place.

Button’s first pass was a beautiful move on Grosjean, and then he breezed by Nakajima, however he then got stuck behind the slightly erratic Kobayashi for a few laps.

But then Button made an aggressive move down the inside at turn one that stuck and he was well on his way to becoming world champion.

Another overtake at turn one, this time on Buemi was one to remember, he completely out braked the Toro Rosso driver by a good 20 meters.

Jenson did have some luck with Sutil, Trulli and Alonso all crashing out, Rosberg’s issue and not to mention Barrichello’s puncture. But his drive today was a great way to take the world title; aggressive, accurate and flat out!

P5 Button 1:32:52.086 Fastest Lap: 1:14.353

P8 Barrichello 1:33:08.535 Fastest Lap: 1:13.950

Season: Jenson Button 19 – 13 Rubens Barrichello


Qualifying: Kovalainen +1

Hamilton and Kovalainen both seriously struggled in the horrendous conditions, but it was Kovalainen who faired slightly better according to the stop watch.

P17 Kovalainen 1:25.052 656.5kg

P18 Hamilton 1:25.192 661kg

Race: Hamilton +1

Both McLarens started well but down at turn two Kovalainen was put into a spin after being tagged by Vettel, the Finn nearly collected the Ferrari of Fisichella on his way round!

Kovalainen pitted under the safety car, but took the fuel hose with him causing a flash fire in the face of Raikkonen. Luckily no one was hurt and the nice Brawn mechanics removed the trailing fuel hose from Kovalainen’s McLaren.

After all the excitement at the start Kovalainen went on to drive a quiet race to ninth, only to be handed a 25 second retrospective time penalty for the incident in the pits, this means he ended up twelfth.

Hamilton had a conservative start, but a great strategy call to pit under the safety car and tank up so he only had to stop once more meant he was in for a rewarding race.

When he did finally come in again he nearly dropped it on the way out of the pits! After all the stops had shaked out, Hamitlon was fourth behind Barrichello.

Hamilton soon overtook the Brazilian on the start finish straight using his KERS button, however he clipped Rubens left rear tyre causing some slight damage to his front wing.

Hamilton finished third after an epic drive from 17th, but that wasn’t quite good enough for him as he tried to stand on the second place step of the podium in a mix-up with Kubica.

P3 Hamilton 1:32:42.025 Fastest Lap: 1:14.345

P9 Kovalainen 1:33:11.481 Fastest Lap: 1:14.303

Season: Lewis Hamilton 22 – 10 Hekki Kovalainen


Qualifying: Raikkonen +1

Fisichella spun in the wet and stalled, that was his qualifying over. Raikkonen on the other hand made it all the way to Q3, and put in a good performance in the tricky conditions to claim fifth.

P5 Raikkonen 1:20.168 651.5kg

P20 Fisichella 1:40.703 683.5kg

Race: Raikkonen +1

Fisichella had to take avoiding action at the start to miss the spinning Kovalainen, but it was then another disappointing drive to 11th form the Italian.

Raikkonen had an epic start and nearly got by Webber, but the two touched and Raikkonen had to recover to the pits slowly with a damaged front wing.

Luckily the safety car minimized his time lost; unluckily however was the flash fire he endured whilst in the pits after Kovalainen took his fuel hose with him.

Like Hamilton, Raikkonen had been tanked to the brim and it was then a case of drive and collect as everyone else pitted.

P6 Raikkonen 1:32:56.421 Fastest Lap: 1:14.558

P11 Fisichella 1:33:33.746 Fastest Lap: 1:14.931

Season: Giancarlo Fisichella 0 – 8 Kimi Raikkonen

(Season: Luca Badoer 0 – 4 Kimi Raikkonen)

(Season: Felipe Massa 10 – 10 Kimi Raikkonen)

Red Bull

Qualifying: Webber +1

Vettel had a dismal qualifying session, going out in Q1 after struggling in the torrid conditions and missing the best time to be on track.

Webber took his Red Bull all the way to Q3 and was battling for pole against Barrichello, but came off second best. Least he can take heart in his fuel load compared with the Brawn for the race.

P2 Webber 1:19.668 656kg

P16 Vettel 1:25.009 683.5kg

Race: Webber +1

Vettel clipped Kovalainen at the start and was lucky to avoid any damage. Vettel went on to have a little ding dong with Nakajima and nearly went off whilst trying to overtake, he did make a pass on Barrichello after the Brazilian had pitted form the lead and was rejoining from the pits.

It was then just a case of making his long strategy work and he did as he finished fourth, pretty impressive considering where he started.

However Webber for me today put in the better performance, after Barrichello had pitted from the lead he banged in some fantastic laps to make sure he would be first after his stop.

Webber also claimed the fastest lap of the day on the way to his second F1 win, I think he did enough to claim the point.

P1 Webber 1:32:23.081 Fastest Lap: 1:13.733

P4 Vettel 1:32:42.733 Fastest Lap: 1:13.890

Season: Sebastian Vettel 20 – 12 Mark Webber


Qualifying: Trulli +1

Kobayashi who is standing for the injured Glock, put in a good performance in difficult conditions to take eleventh.

However it was Trulli that made Q3 and qualified fourth, so he takes the point.

P4 Trulli 1:20.097 658.5kg

P11 Kobayashi 1:21.960 671.5kg

Race: Kobayashi +1

Trulli made a drastic move round the outside of Sutil in a vein attempted to overtake the Force India driver on the opening lap … it ended in tears and brought out the safety car.

Trulli for some reason was so upset with Sutil that he went and had a go at him track side, this behaviour saw him fined and reprimanded by the stewards.

Kobayashi was driving pretty impressively, if a little erratic, managing to keep the fast charging Jenson Button behind for a number of laps.

He then showed some real skill in holding off fellow country man Nakajima as they battled through a number of corners, but after the pair had pitted Kobayashi made a nasty chop on Nakajima as he tried to get by once more.

This caused a collision between the pair and although Nakajima crashed out, Kobayashi managed to continue and amazingly wasn’t punished by the stewards.

Kobayashi then made a pass for position against Fisichella to finish 10th, not a bad days work for the rookie.

P10 Kobayashi 1:33:26.081 Fastest Lap: 1:14.676

P19 Trulli -Crash, 0 laps-

Season: Jarno Trulli 1 – 1 Kamui Kobayashi

(Season: Jarno Trulli 17 – 13 Timo Glock)


Qualifying: Alonso +1

Grosjean was a lot closer to Alonoso for a change, and he even made Q2. But the Alonso went all the way to Q3 and once again takes the point.

P10 Alonso 1:21.422 652kg

P13 Grosjean 1:22.477 677.2kg

Race: Grosjean +1

Alonso got taken out by Sutil on the opening lap and but I’m still pretty tempted to give him the point though as Grosjean didn’t do anything but get overtaken, Button went by, Vettel went by, Heidfeld, Hamilton and Kovalainen went by … you get the picture.

However he did make the flag (albeit a lap down), which is an achievement in itself, so he can take the point.

P13 Grosjean +1 Lap Fastest Lap: 1:14.789

P20 Alonso -Crash, 0 laps-

Season: Fernando Alonso 10 – 2 Romain Grosjean.

(Season: Fernando Alonso 15 – 5 Nelson Piquet Jr.)


Qualifying: Rosberg +1

Williams had gone full wet set-up and it looked to be paying off, but in Q3 the conditions improved slightly and Williams went a little too heavy with the fuel load.

However in the team mate stakes it was Rosberg who did a slightly better job than Nakajima, only just though.

P7 Rosberg 1:20.326 657kg

P9 Nakajima 1:20.674 664kg

Race: Rosberg +1

Rosberg started ok, but was passed by Kubica after the restart. Then on lap 27 he parked his smoking Williams in the garage with ‘gearbox’ issues, looked more like engine failure.

Nakajima had a go at Kobayashi, but it didn’t quite work out. It went even worse after the pair had pitted and Kobayashi gave Nakajima the chop causing him to crash out.

It’s a tough one to call neither driver went out through fault of their own, but seeing as Rosberg set the faster lap I’ll award him the point.

P15 Nakajima -Crash, lap 30 Fastest Lap: 1:15.073

P16 Rosberg -Retired, lap 27 Fastest Lap: 1:14.370

Season: Nico Rosberg 29 - 3 Kazuki Nakajima


Qualifying: Kubica +1

Heidfeld had a dismal qualifying and went out in Q1, Kubica meanwhile was relishing the tricky conditions and made Q3.

P8 Kubica 1:20.631 656kg

P19 Heidfeld 1:25.515 650.5kg

Race: Kubica +1

Heidfeld had overtaken Grosjean, but was forced to retire after his car rather embarrassingly ran out of fuel, this was because there was a fault with the fuel rig and they didn’t get any in during his stop.

Kubica got by Rosberg after the restart and then showed good pace to stay with the leaders, this allowed him to get by Barrichello during the pit stops and that was pretty much his race to second.

Although he got a little confused in a podium mix-up with Hamitlon and stood on the step for third place, mind you it has been a while.

P2 Kubica 1:32:30.707 Fastest Lap: 1:14.155

P17 Heidfeld -Retired, lap 21 Fastest Lap: 1:14.988

Season: Robert Kubica 18 – 14 Nick Heidfeld

Force India

Qualifying: Sutil +1

Liuzzi crashed out in Q2, but will start last after a gearbox change.

Sutil does what he does best in the wet and this saw him make it all the way to Q3, he was even challenging for pole!

P3 Sutil 1:19.912 656.5kg

P15 Liuzzi No time 689kg

Race: Liuzzi +1

Sutil got taken out by an over ambitious attempt at a pass by Trulli on the opening lap, he then had to endure a telling off from an upset Italian when he had done nothing wrong.

Liuzzi in contrast had a very quiet race to finish twelfth and takes the point.

P12 Liuzzi 1:33:34.469 Fastest Lap: 1:14.990

P18 Sutil -Crash, 0 laps-

Season: Vitantonio Liuzzi 4 - 4 Adrian Sutil

(Season: Giancarlo Fisichella 13 – 11 Adrian Sutil)

Toro Rosso

Qualifying: Buemi +1

Unlike in Japan Buemi and Alguersuari both managed to keep their cars on the track and this time the conditions were horrendous!

Buemi did a stand out job to make Q3, and his sixth place was with a sensible fuel load.

P6 Buemi 1:20.250 659kg

P12 Alguersuari 1:22.231 671.5kg

Race: Buemi +1

After two consecutive races were neither Toro Rosso driver saw the chequered flag, both go and finish. …

It was Buemi however who had the better race managing to score some world championship points, even though he got completely out braked by Button in turn one he can take the point.

P7 Buemi 1:32:59.072 Fastest Lap: 1:14.563

P14 Alguersuari +1 Lap Fastest Lap: 1:14.861

Season: Sebastian Buemi 10 – 4 Jamie Alguersuari

(Season: Sebastian Buemi 13 – 5 Sebastian Bourdais)


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