Delayed Race Notes: F1 Spanish Grand Prix 2009

2009 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica
Circuit: Circuit de Catalunya
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Coverage: BBC One
Distance: 66 laps

Anchor: Jake Humphrey
Analysts in the paddock: David Coulthard (DC) and Eddie Jordan (EJ)
Race commentary: Jonathan Legard and Martin Brundle
Pit and paddock reports: Ted Kravitz and Lee McKenzie

Tyre selection (red): SS / S / M / H

** Disclaimer – These are notes taken during the race. They may or may not make any sense and I have only edited them for brevity, punctuation and grammar. **

** Apologies for the delay in writing up my notes, I have been insanely busy! **

BBC coverage is a GO at 12.10pm UK time. 50 minutes to race start.

We’re straight into a Button pre-recorded package.

Qualifying recap with Ted:
– The last 8 races here have been won by the driver on pole – but KERS may have an effect this year.
– Onboard lap with Button, a very smooth lap. I remember that I didn’t post an onboard lap in the preview because I didn’t write a preview. Oops.

Kimi Raikkonen at the official opening of the Ferrari Store in London. I was in that store a month ago! Not sure why they held the official opening a month after the real opening. He is interviewed while sat in a F430.
– “Not as strong as we should be. You can’t expect anything in Formula 1 it changes so quickly.”
Its quite hard to know what he is saying here.. He says the ice cream thing in Malaysia was a big story out of nothing, he was retired already. Also saying that a budget cap would mean it is not Formula 1 any more.

12:30pm / 1:30pm local time and the pitlane is open for 15 mins to allow cars to run the recon laps and make their way to the grid.

Package: Martin is walking the track with Rubens Barrichello.
There is a big bump on turn in to turn 9 (Campsa), this is where Heikki crashed last year.

Lee is with Alonso: ‘Long race anything can happen.’

Martin is on the grid, a little early perhaps?
He’s noticed the track is more black with rubber on the right-hand side, though the other side is the racing line and supposedly has more grip – says the support race drivers may have laid rubber for their start.

Nicole who is Lewis Hamilton’s girlfriend says lots of words but doesn’t add to the sum knowledge of F1 fans the world over so we’ll gloss over this bit.

Martin is at the back of the grid for some reason.

Bourdais: ‘It’s a tough race here especially to pass, when you start 17th it doesn’t make it easier. Keep plugging away, keep doing what we do, there’s a lot of potential but we didn’t use it this weekend. We’ll try to hang on and do our best.’

Fisichella, how’s it going?: ‘Not great, I had a bad qualifying session with the traffic and the tyres locking. We have some new bits here. I still love this sport, love to drive a Formula 1 car.’

Martin: It’s just as intense down here as it is at the front.

Sutil: ‘Bit difficult here in Barcelona to do anything in the race. Try to push as hard as possible. I’m so happy to race with this team and we’re doing progress.’

Spanish National Anthem
FOM cutting to crowd, drivers on grid, atmosphere. Love it.

Ted’s fuel adjusted qualifying round up.
Predicted stops: Alonso lap 14, Button 15, Barrichello and Webber 16. Massa looking good at lap 18. Hamilton on a 1-stopper.

Ted live with Rubens, you’re faster than Ferrari: ‘Yeah but I don’t have their turbo button and it’s difficult to pass a KERS car.’
Turbo button? Methinks Rubens needs a refresher on what KERS is.

12:50 / ten mins to go: drivers are getting in to their cars

About 5 to go: FOM sweeper logo, BBC hands over to Jonathan and Martin upstairs.

Very low flying by one of the helicopters. The pilot at Spa is a lunatic, wonder if it is the same guy…


Button (pole), Vettel
Barrichello, Massa
Webber, Glock
Trulli, Alonso
Rosberg, Kubica
Nakajima, Piquet
Heidfeld, Hamilton
Buemi, Raikkonen
Bourdais, Kovalainen,
Sutil, Fisichella

It is Nick Heidfeld’s birthday.

Engines are firing and mechanics are clearing the grid, as the Alonso fans go wild at the back of the circuit somewhere.

Formation Lap

All get away cleanly.

Michael Schumacher on pit wall but away from the Ferrari prat perch and by the catch fence instead, sunglasses on, awaiting the cars.

Kimi radio but I really have no idea..


I still maintain a Formula 1 start is like no other form of racing and that includes the multitudes of other standing starts… Tension…!GO!GO!

McLaren on grass, Barrichello takes the lead, crash at turn 2!
Toyota spins around and gets hit. STRs involved. Lots of debris.


It was Trulli. Replays. Both Toro Rossos are out and so is Sutil.
Sutil actually avoided another incident at turn one so was in the runoff area, just as he rejoined he had nowhere to go as Trulli speared in front of him. Sutil had no choice but to t-bone him.

Trulli was pushed on to the gravel and it spun him into the pack, which caused the STRs to perform evasise manouvres.. into each other.

4 laps complete (L4) – Safety Car in this lap


Alonso vs Webber, Alonso gets ahead briefly but Mark takes it back.

L6 Kovalainen is travelling very slowly. REPLAY of Hamilton passing Piquet for 12th.

L10 BMW is not running KERS at this race. They are running 9th and 11th.

L12 Buemi: ‘I saw a car going over my head, that’s more or less it.’

L14 Button sets fastest lap in 2nd place. Ted predicted Alonso to pit this lap but the Safety Car threw that out of the window.

L15 Ted is reporting now that Kimi’s KERS has broken.

L17 Glock is the first to pit.

L18 Brawn guys are in the pitlane. Button had the lighter car in qualifying and he pits now.
Kimi Raikkonen is slowing! He’s on tickover trying to find somewhere to park.

Only 14 cars remaining, already!

L19 Barrichello and Webber both pit. Where is Button? Miles away!
Rosberg was fuelled a long way from the start and he’s just behind Barrichello in 4th now.

L20 Massa and Vettel both pit.
Order is now: Barrichello, Rosberg, Button, Massa, Vettel, Heidfeld, Kubica, Hamilton, Webber.
Some yet to stop. Webber had a slow out lap.

L22 Radio to Rubens: Jenson has switched to Plan A and you have to make this work.

L23 Kubica pits from 8th, should drop behind quite a few cars though.

L24 Heikki with Lee: Lost 1st-5th gear behind the Safety Car. Coming out of the last turn I lost 6th to 7th as well, I lose the drive of the car but 4th came back so I tried to get back to the pits but it was game over. I’m not going to let this get to me and I’ll fight back even harder in Monaco.

L25 Hamilton radio: If you can keep up with the BMWs we can pass them on the pit stops for a points finish, but you need to keep up.

L26 Kimi with Lee: Something wrong with the throttle control. A the start I couldn’t see the lights because the rear wings are so high.
Rosberg has pitted but I missed it, was it shown? He’s 9th now.

L27 Order: Barrichello, Button, Massa, Vettel, Heidfeld (not stopped), Hamilton (not stopped), Webber, Alonso, Rosberg, Fisi, Nakajima, Glock, Kubica, Piquet
Only 14 runners and Rubens just set the fastest lap.

L30 Bit processional now. We are waiting for strategies to play out.

L31 Barrichello pits from the lead, a very short stint for him. 3 stopper? Button now leads. 6.7sec for Rubens.
Heidfeld and Hamilton have pitted.

L32 Hamilton is out alongside Glock and Kubica and beats them. Kubica trying it on Glock! Martin Brundle says “that’s a very unorthodox place to try a pass”.

L37 Button has a 5 second lead over Massa, who is 1 sec over Vettel, who is 4.1 over Rubens. Webber is right behind Rubens.

L38 Team radio pushing Rubens for fast laps to beat Button.

L40 Ted with Brawn man, is it true you wanted Button to win the race?: ‘ No they have equal chance, their engineers are the ones making the calls this early in the year.

Someone please inform Martin Brundle of the correct way to say Sebastian Vettel’s name. It is not Vett El. He’s nothing to do with Superman.

L42 Hamilton on the radio saying the rear tyres are finished. Massa and Vettel both pit. Massa remains ahead and they rejoin to a clear track.

L44 Radio to Rubens: The two cars ahead stopped earlier than expected. Alonso pits from 4th (was 6th before Massa and Vettel stopped). He is out next to Hamilton – close! And Fernando beats him.
The crowd cheers.

L45 Onboard with Lewis with some dodgy looking front tyres too. He’s faster than Alonso in a straight line but all over the road in the corners.

L46 Kubica and Piquet pit. Brundle says the hard tyres now fitted to Massa and Vettel “are costing them two seconds per lap”, pitting early certainly did not help them. A gift to Brawn! They were close enough to challenge before, not now.

L48 Button pits from a lead of 10 seconds over Barrichello. Rubens leads but has his 3rd stop to make – what is interesting is Button has that lead but needs to spend longer on the hard tyres to Barrichello.
Hamilton pits as well.

L49 Rosberg pits from 6th. Chance of points!

L50 Barrichello pits suprisingly early as he catches traffic. Did he go long enough? Webber follows him in close behind.
Button retakes the lead and Rubens and Mark both take position from Massa and Vettel! That’s the soft tyre for you. Now they are all on the same tyre and all fuelled to the end.

L51 order with 15 to go: Button, Barrichello, Webber, Massa, Vettel, Alonso, Heidfeld, Rosberg, Nakajima, Hamilton, Glock, Kubica, Fisichella, Piquet

L52 Massa is being told to save fuel despite Vettel being all over him.

L56 Radio again, Smedley: “This fuel consumption is too high, we won’t get to the end, we’ll have to pit again.”
Massa: “Well what can I do??”

He might have to give up the place to Vettel to make the end!

L57 Webber slowly catching Barrichello?

L58 McLaren were to beat BMW. Hamilton is now 9th with Heidfeld 7th and Kubica 11th.

L59 Ted is at Ferrari, he says they didn’t get enough fuel into Massa’s car. The computer says they did but they measure the rig after each stop and it was too heavy!

L61 Vettel just can’t get nearer to Massa anywhere. He’s close behind but not close enough. On the plus side it does seem he is able to follow much more closely than the cars could with the old aero rules.

L62 Vettel passes Massa!
Felipe has backed off a lot now, has he given up the place to make the finish? There’s a big gap to Alonso but with 4 laps to go and short-shifting already… hmm.

Jonathan: So they took your advice?
Martin: I hardly think so..

Replay with radio, Smedley: Let him go, let him go, we are a lap short.

Martin: A lap is a lot. I’m gonna get a job as a strategist.

L64 Button laps Hamilton who is 9th.

Crowd on their feet because they can see Alonso catching Massa VERY quickly. 6 seconds per lap.

Fernando just drives around Felipe at turn 3. Easy pickings.


Barrchello 2nd, Webber 3rd
Massa finishes 6th, 1.4s over Heidfeld.

Cool-down lap.

Massa has run out of fuel, he’s parked it on the slow lap!

Parc Ferme
Button climbs on to the car, gets down to hug Rubens.

Four wins for Jenson this year! Slap in the face to all those who wrote him off while he was stuck in crappy Hondas.

Top 3 drivers are in the waiting room before the podium. Rubens says to Jenson “I don’t know how I lost the race.” Button says “I feel for you man.” Just then Mark Webber walks in and says to Rubens “Felipe f***ked up my race”. Ha!

Podium, British anthem.

Dignitaries with trophies.


Race Result

1. Button 66 laps
2. Barrichello +13.0s
3. Webber +13.9s (to Button)
4. Vettel +18.9s
5. Alonso +43.1s
6. Massa +50.8s
7. Heidfeld +52.3s
8. Rosberg +65.2s
9. Hamilton +1 lap
10. Glock +1 lap
11. Kubica +1 lap
12. Piquet +1 lap
13. Nakajima +1 lap
14. Fisichella +1 lap

Raikkonen (throttle)
Kovalainen (gearbox)
Trulli (accident)
Buemi (accident)
Bourdais (accident)
Sutil (accident)

Driver Points

1. Button 31 + 10 =41
2. Barrichello 19 + 8 = 27
3. Vettel 18 + 5 = 23
4. Webber 9.5 + 6 = 15.5
5. Trulli 14.5
6. Glock 12
7. Hamilton 9
8. Alonso 5 + 4 = 9
9. Heidfeld 4 + 2 = 6
10. Rosberg 3.5 + 1 = 4.5
11. Kovalainen 4
12. Massa 0 + 3 = 3
13. Raikkonen 3
14. Buemi 3
15. Bourdais 1

Constructor Points

1. Brawn Mercedes 50 + 18 = 68
2. RBR Renault 27.5 + 5 = 32.5
3. Toyota 26.5 + 6 = 32.5
4. McLaren Mercedes 13
5. BMW Sauber 4 + 2 = 6
6. Renault 5 + 4 = 9
7. STR Ferrari 4
8. Williams Toyota 3.5 + 1 = 4.5
9. Ferrari 3
10. Force India Mercedes 0

The next round is the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, for which I hope to write a preview in 24 hours time. Don’t forg

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