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Malaysia 2009: Race Red Flagged

Malaysia 2009: Race Red Flagged

The Malaysian Grand Prix has been red flagged on lap lap 33 due to heavy rain. The rain started much earlier in the race but was light and manageable. The drivers poured into the pitlane for wet weather tyres although Timo Glock went onto to intermediates. The call was correct by Toyota and Glock was having a storming race. As others reacted though, Glock pitted again for full wets and again, the call was right. The rain fell much heavier. The race was then suspended.

The drivers are now waiting on the start/finish straight and the teams are allowed to work on the cars while they sit ion the grid. Lightning is flashing and thunder is clapping in Sepang. If the race does not restart, the order is rolled back to the last fully completed lap.

Sebastien Boudais demanded on the radio for the red flag which was thrown shortly after. Felipe Massa asking for a clear visor and the teams are covering the cars while the drivers vacate the cars, saturated with water, and look for cover.

The maximum time allowed for a race is 120 minutes, and the clock is continuing while the drivers wait and converse. Mark Webber is talking to Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, undoubtedly in his role as the director of the GPDA.

Rubens Barrichello has changed his helmet and if the race restarts, he will be racing with his traditional red and white lid.

Christian Horner believes the weather will be undriveable for 30 minutes.

Mark Webber: “You cannot see a thing out there. You cannot even keep up with the safety car.”

If the race cannot be restarted, half points will be awarded to the top-eight drivers.

Trulli says it could be too dark now to restart the race. However, the FIA are now insuring the cars are lined up on the grid in the correct order.

Martin Whitmarsh: “If it does restart, it will under the safety car. But we may not have enough time, tyres or patience.”

According to live timing, Adrian Sutil is in the pitlane. He presumably pitted just as the race was red flagged, but I’m not sure if he’s retired or still able to run. And I’m not sure what the procedure is if he is able to continue run. If I spot him on the grid, I will update.

Also, should the race restart, those outside the top three will have to run prior in order to unlap themselves.

Jonathan Legard is just pointing out that we are currently at 100m, the maximum is 120m and in order to restart, they have to give the teams 10m notice. Therefore, it is unlikely we will reach three-quarters distance and therefore full points cannot be awarded.

Sutil is in the pitlane, waiting at the end.

Raikkonen, it would appear, has retired. He was seen in the garage sipping a can of coke and munching on an ice cream. He is out of his overalls, the car is parked up and he clearly doesn’t want any further part of this race.

Luca Colajanni (Ferrari Press Officer): “We [Raikkonen] had a KERS issue.” Colajanni also said that Kimi is interested in rejoining the race if they can get the F60 running again without KERS. However, the pictures we saw show otherwise.

According to Rosberg’s engineer, if the 10m restart procedure starts now, they will only have two minutes behind the safety car.

It’s over. Button has won. Half points awarded.

The race result can be viewed here: Malaysia 2009: Race Result.

Oliver White

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