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Valencia 2009: Live Race Notes

Valencia 2009: Live Race Notes

As the season enters its second and final stage, with just seven events to run, the championship is really heating up. Brawn have had the wind taken out of their sails, and Red Bull Racing have improved along with McLaren who dominated in Hungary and have dominated the qualifying in Valencia. Although Jenson Button and his team have a margin over their rivals, these races will prove critical to the final outcome of the championships. Here are the live notes from the European Grand Prix, which help me when writing the reports after the race.

  • Horner still insists Vettel and Webber are racing each other, although they are separated a little at Valencia.
  • Horner also thinks there will be a pace (safety) car today. Interestingly, there wasn’t last year.
  • Rosberg is very polite and responded to Brundle’s “you okay” with “Yeah, I’m fine. How are you?” Which threw Brundle for a moment.
  • Hamilton says he isn’t overly concerned with who wins today as long as it is a McLaren driver. Probably a little untrue – he will want to win – but as he isn’t in the hunt for the title, he is doing a little bit of team work. Lewis even talked up Heikki’s performance, suggesting he wants the Finn to remain with the team. Of course, Hamilton will want him as a team mate next year, just as Alonso wants a team mate who isn’t overly challenging.
  • Brawn concerned about the tyres – he needs his drivers to control them well today as it is so hot in Valencia this afternoon.
  • Brawn also said that following another car closely will upset the balance and therefore the tyres, and Brawn went on to say they will pick up pace prior to the stops to make the passes there. Kinda says a lot about the failings of the new rules and the Overtaking Working Group and the Valencia circuit.
  • I always get suspicious when I see team personnel chatting to FIA personnel, in this case it was Horner and Whiting. Of course, the teams are in constant contact with race control, but I still get suspicious.
  • I wonder if Badoer will race better than he qualified? I’m thinking he will pick up only a couple of places, mainly down to retirements behind him. I also think Raikkonen will lap his team mate.
  • Super-soft tyres are quicker than soft, although not yet sure who is starting on what as the tyre warmers are still on.
  • Track temperature – 43 degrees Celsius – hot.
  • Live timing saying the track temperature is back up to 47 degrees Celsius – very hot. Hottest since Bahrain (Malaysia is usually the hottest, but it was raining/monsooning this year).
  • Super soft for McLarens. Soft for Vettel, Alonso and Trulli.
  • Safety car came out 4 times for support race earlier.
  • Looks like Brawn, Rosberg and Grosjean also on soft.
  • L1. McLarens lead.
  • L1: BUT down.
  • L1: TRU passes GRO.
  • L1: FIS on soft.
  • L1: BUT passes ALO, but ALO repasses as BUT runs wide.
  • L1: GRO pits. Soft tyres.
  • L1: GLO pits. Soft tyres.
  • L1: BUE pits for new nose and wing. Super soft tyres.
  • L2: McLarens lead by 2.5s.
  • L2: GLO clipped BUE on L1 and ripped the STR wing off.
  • L2: BAD spun. He had made up places, but now back to the back.
  • L3: WEB’s on soft tyres.
  • L4: WEB reckons BUT should be behind him due to cutting chicane.
  • L4: It was touch and go, but ultimately I think they should just get on with it and race.
  • L4: HEI passes SUT. Just. Also SUT on soft tyres.
  • L4: WEB passes BUT unsighted. Not sure if he yielded or actually passed.
  • L5: BUT and BAR are on soft tyres.
  • L7: HAM 4.6s ahead of KOV.
  • L7: BAR 6.5s behind HAM.
  • L7: HAM, KOV, BAR, RAI, VET, ROS, ALO, WEB.
  • L8: KUB started on super soft.
  • L9: GRO spun. Recovered.
  • L9: BUT did yield to WEB after he cut the chicane.
  • L10: VET chasing RAI – he’s in the Ferrari’s dirty air.
  • L12: BAR is hanging on to KOV ahead and has more fuel. He should pass the McLaren in the pitstops to improve to P2.
  • L12: Talk at Valencia is that KOV is running deliberately slow to hold off BAR from HAM. However, KOV has picked pace up.
  • L14: HAM improves pace ahead of first stop.
  • L14: BAR told to get ready to push once KOV pits.
  • L16: HAM pits – super soft. VET pits – soft. KUB pits.
  • L17: VET had problem with fuel. No fuel pumped. He left but no fuel went in. Vet has to stop again
  • L17: KOV pits – super soft.
  • L17: ALO pits.
  • L17: VET pits – soft. Lots of fuel. Stays on 2 stops.
  • L18: BUT right up with WEB.
  • L18: BAR fastest lap.
  • L19: RAI pits. Super soft.
  • L19: VET and BUT pits. Soft.
  • L20: BAR pits. Stays soft.
  • L20: ROS and WEB pit – soft.
  • L20: BAR gets ahead of KOV.
  • L21: BUT came out behind a very heavy FIS. Merc vs. Merc.
  • L22: HAM, BAR, KOV, HEI (no stop), SUT (no stop), RAI, ROS, ALO
  • L23: SUT pits – super soft.
  • L23: HEI pits.
  • L23: ALG pits.
  • L23: SUT passes HEI in pits.
  • L23: HAM told to lift and coast because the rear brakes are very hot.
  • L24: VET engine failure. Again. VET retires. Stops by service road. That was a brand new engine on Friday.
  • L25: BUE pits.
  • L26: BAR’s rear brakes are also hot. KOV behind BAR is catching, slightly.
  • L27: BAR 4s behind HAM.
  • L28: BAR has lost 1s to HAM in past 2 laps.
  • L29: BAR recovers lap time. McLaren are worried that BAR might be able to jump HAM in pits.
  • L29: BAD pits. Super soft.
  • L29: GRO pits. Super soft
  • L29: GRO just passed BAD in pit exit. BAD left pits ahead, but moved over to let GRO pass. Then BAD clipped the white line on pit exit. Might have actually broken it. No issue yet though.
  • L31: NAK pits.
  • L32: FIS pits.
  • L32: BUT finally released from FIS.
  • L32: BAD has drive-thru penalty for crossing white line on pit exit. BAD is developing a really close relationship with the FIA this weekend.
  • L33: BAR has 8 aps to close the gap to HAM to 2s. It is currently still 4s.
  • L33: GLO pits. Super soft.
  • L33: BAD serves drive-thru.
  • L34: ALG pits.
  • L34: BUT told that Mix 2 is always available if he wants to have a go at WEB ahead of him.
  • L35: TRU pits.
  • L35: WEB gets message that Brawn have told BUT to pass him. Comical moment.
  • L36: BAD spun. Brundle thinks he maybe getting tired.
  • L36: BAR lowers fastest lap.
  • L37: HAM responds in S1.
  • L37: HAM pits. Tyres were not ready. Soft tyres, but huge delay.
  • L38: BAR smashes his own fastest lap.
  • L38: KOV pits. Soft tyres.
  • L38: SUT pits.
  • L39: BAR lowers FL again.
  • L40: NAK left rear puncture.
  • L40: NAK pits. Super soft.
  • L40: BAR pits. Super soft.
  • L40: BAR exits ahead of HAM. BAR leads.
  • L40: RAI pits.
  • L40: KUB pits.
  • L41: BAR is on super-soft. HAM is on soft. 16 laps to go.
  • L42: BUT pits. Super soft.
  • L42: ALO pits. Super soft.
  • L43: GRO pits.
  • L43: WEB pits. Super soft.
  • L43: ROS pits. Super soft.
  • L43: HEI pits.
  • L43: BUT and KUB pass WEB.
  • L44: BUE suffering front-left brake failure.
  • L44: BAD pits.
  • L44: WEB lost out to BUT due to traffic on his in-lap. BUT’s out-lap was very good.
  • L45: RAI 5s ahead of KOV in P3.
  • L46: RAI 1.5km/h quicker than BAD at the apex check.
  • L47: BUT fastest lap. Chasing ALO.
  • L49: BAR hasn’t won since China 2004, 5 years ago. BlogF1 has never covered a race victory for the Brazilian.
  • L50: BAR 5.9s ahead of HAM.
  • L50: HAM is catching, but it doesn’t look to be enough.
  • L52: Gap down to 5.6s.
  • L52: NAK suffers a puncture and crawls around the long lap to return to pits. But he’s only 10s shy of BAD, who’s in a Ferrari.
  • L53: ROS consistently catching KOV.
  • L55: HAM 5s shy of BAR. 3 laps left.
  • L56: P15 – GRO. P16 – ALG. P17 – BAD
  • L56: GLO fastest lap. 38.683s
  • L57: BAR wins his first race for Brawn, his career tenth and his first in 5 years.
  • L57: 1-10: BAR, HAM, RAI, KOV, ROS, ALO, BUT, KUB, WEB, SUT.
  • L57: NAK pits.

Oliver White

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