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Spain 2009: Live Race Notes

Spain 2009: Live Race Notes

Jenson Button is on pole, Sebastian Vettel is alongside. The German is lighter, but the Briton has more experience; who will get down to the first corner in the lead? Or will a KERS-equipped Felipe Massa pass Rubens Barrichello in third and leap both the front runners as well? The Spanish Grand Prix is due to commence at 1300 BST and below will be posted my notes from the race. These notes help me when writing the race report later in the afternoon, and they will be updated live as the events unfold in Spain.

A live updated results post is also here, updated as drivers retire and finalised after the drivers take the chequered flag.

  • Brundle grid-walking towards the back of the field: “Fisi’s not having a great year, but at least he’s qualified in the top-twenty.”
  • Christian Horner has told the BBC that Massa will be the only driver in the top four who is starting on scrubbed tyres. Therefore, Vettel has to keep Massa behind him to prevent Massa from running away.
  • The right-hand side of the track was grippier in the support race earlier, even though the left is the racing line. The right-hand side is the inside line into T1, so the fight for the lead is going to be fascinating.
  • Most drivers appear to be starting on soft compound tyres.
  • Raikkonen saying there is a KERS problem on his Ferrari already. It’s only the grid-forming lap!
  • ALO good start.
  • BAR leads.
  • MAS good start into P3.
  • BUE, SUT, BOU and TRU accident.
  • SC out.
  • SUT left track. Rejoined and speared into TRU who ran wide and was rejoining himself. The STRs were picked up in the melee.
  • L1: FIS pits.
  • L1: NAK pits.
  • L1: HAM FL!
  • L2: BAR FL under SC.
  • L3: ROS FL under SC.
  • ROS tagged TRU which sent him onto the gravel. SUT, separately, went over the run-off. As both TRU and SUT rejoined, they came together. The STRs were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • L4: NAK fastest lap under SC.
  • L5: Race is on again.
  • L5: ALO passes WEB on the grass. WEB came straight back into T1. Awesome battle.
  • How on earth did WEB make the apex in T1. Stunning!
  • L6: Brawns continue to lead. BAR, BUT, MAS, VET, WEB, ALO, ROS, GLO, HEI.
  • L6: KOV slow.
  • L6: HAM passes PIQ.
  • L7: KOV pits, likely to retire.
  • L9: BUT puts hammer down to reclaim margin to leading BAR.
  • KOV retired with gearbox failure.
  • L10: BAR takes back FL.
  • L11: BAR edges lead out to 1.3s.
  • Note to BBC: Please say which Sebastien at STR you are talking to. When you only hear audio, it can be tricky working out if its a French or Swiss accent. (Thanks to Brundle for clarifying.)
  • L13: BAR leads by 1.6s.
  • L14: VET is in a poor position. MAS is ahead and is ruining his race.
  • L14: BUT FL.
  • L15: RAI attacks HEI. Can’t pass.
  • L17: RAI still cannot pass HEI into T1.
  • The race has now settled into a procession as the pack head into the first pitstop window.
  • L17: BUT FL again. Gap down to 1.3s though.
  • L18: GLO pits. Soft tyres.
  • L19: BUT pits. Soft tyres.
  • L19: ALO pits.
  • L19: RAI slow. Retires.
  • L20: BAR pits. Soft tyres.
  • L20: WEB pits.
  • L21: MAS (soft), VET (soft) pit.
  • L21: VET couldn’t get out ahead of MAS. The hold positions.
  • L22: DC says VET had issue in pits. They couldn’t get the fuel hose off.
  • L23: KUB pits. Soft.
  • L25: ROS pits. Soft compound.
  • McLaren tell HAM to keep up with HEI. They reckon they can pass him in the pits for a points finish.
  • L26: BAR leads BUT by 10.5s. They are on different strategies.
  • RAI says KERS worked, but he couldn’t see the lights so didn’t know when he could use it. Academic though, as he’s retired.
  • L27: MAS and VET still separated by a second.
  • Ah, no problem with VET’s pitstop. The question was why didn’t the fuel guy short fill the Red Bull. But that’s naughty and the teams aren’t supposed to it. The fuel level is assigned in the system and the nozzle shouldn’t be removed early.
  • L29: BAR FL. 12.1s in the lead.
  • BMW preparing for HEI’s pitstop.
  • L29: FIS pits.
  • L30: BAR pits. 13.5 ahead of BUT prior to stop. Soft tyres.
  • L30: HEI and HAM pit. Both soft tyres.
  • L31: HAM, GLO and KUB all battling for P11 as HAM exits pitlane.
  • L33: VET and MAS still separated by a second.
  • ***Live timing is really not working for me today.***
  • Loving the onboard camera on the Ferrari of Massa. The camera is lower than the usual, just behind the drivers helmet on the left. A great view that is slightly closer to the view of the driver.
  • L37: NAK pits, according to dodgy Live Timing.
  • L39: BAR given hurry up. Has to lap in the 1m23s. Currently doing 1m24.0s.
  • L39: A wheel-bin flew off MAS’s Ferrari. Pits have a spare ready.
  • L41: VET on a charge. BAR falling back a little.
  • L42: HAM says his rear tyres are finished.
  • L43: MAS pits. Hard tyres.
  • L43: VET pits. Hard tyres.
  • L44: BAR given another hurry up.
  • L44: ALO pits. Hard tyres. Just got out ahead of HAM.
  • L45: HAM’s tyres are shot. The rears are gone and he cannot apply the throttle effectively. The front right is also worn considerably.
  • L46: KUB pits. Hard tyres.
  • L46: PIQ pits. Hard tyres.
  • L47: GLO pits.
  • L48: BUT pits. Hard tyres.
  • L48: HAM pits. Hard tyres.
  • L49: ROS pits. Hard tyres.
  • L49: BAR pits. Hard tyres. Rejoins ahead of MAS.
  • L49: WEB pits. Hard tyres. Rejoins ahead of MAS.
  • L50: HEI pits.
  • L51: BAR 7.1s behind BUT in P2.
  • L51: NAK pits.
  • L52: VET and MAS very close on track.
  • L53: FIS pits.
  • MAS is told to save fuel to get to the end. He is not conserving fuel well enough.
  • L55: FIS pits again.
  • WEB’s race will need some analysing. Early on he appeared to lose time, but has managed to leapfrog his team mate and MAS to get into P3.
  • L56: VET can get close to MAS, but cannot pass as MAS applies KERS.
  • L57: Smedley tells MAS they need conserve fuel or they won’t get to the end. MAS replies asking what he can do as he has to defend his P4 to VET. Might be better to let VET go and get to the end of the race. Retiring/pitting will equal zero points. If MAS kets VET go, he could finish in P5.
  • L58: WEB now very close to BAR.
  • L58: GLO harassing HAM.
  • L59: Ferrari say they did not get the correct amount of fuel into MAS’s car during his stop.
  • L60: VET is starting to get frustrated. Using all the track in a attempt to close up on MAS and get a run.
  • L61: WEB to BAR gap now 1s.
  • L62: VET passes MAS. MAS did not defend. MAS had to let him go so that he can conserve fuel. Smedley ordered MAS to let VET go. MAS has 16s on ALO.
  • L64: BUT laps HAM.
  • L65: ALO now 8.7s behind MAS. MAS in 1 lap short of fuel. It’s gonna be very close. He’ll be clear of HEI though.
  • L66: ALO is right behind MAS. ALO passes MAS around the outside. MAS now in P6.
  • L66: BUT wins for a 4th time this year.
  • L67 (parade lap): MAS ran out of fuel and has a long walk back to the pitlane.

Oliver White

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