Delayed Race Notes: Monaco Grand Prix 2009

2009 Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco
Circuit: Monte-Carlo
Location: Monaco
Distance: 78 laps

Coverage: BBC One
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

[Apologies for the ridiculous delay due to my accountancy exams! These notes were taken live during the race but only edited now. I almost didn’t post these because they are so out of date, but in some ways they are an interesting historical record!]

BBC coverage is a GO at 12.10pm BST (13.10 Monaco local time) with 50 minutes until race start.

We open with classic clips in black & white.
Humphrey has been inserted into the video as if he was introducing it at the time, and talking to drivers such as Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart in period. Nice work!

Now we’re live and in colour. Great detail on the CGI overview of the circuit!
The guys are on a boat in the harbour – not sure this will work well, ITV tried it a few years back and a pundit was seasick.

EJ: We’re closer to the track here, closer to the action. Everybody wants to be here, this is the jewel in the crown of F1. Adorable place.

DC: Valencia and Singapore coming up later in the year but they have a modern twist to them, they have runoff areas, at Monaco you are rubbing the barriers.

Points coming in:
D: Button 41, Barrichello 27, Vettel 23, Webber 15.5, Trulli 14.5
C: Brawn 68, Red Bull 38.5, Toyota 26.5

Lee McKenzie is on the hill overlooking La Rascasse, packed with people, the ‘cheap seats’ she calls them. One fan says it costs £75 for a ticket. To sit on a muddy hill! I’m sure they are glad it’s not raining. People have tents pitched to get the best spots.

Ted Kravitz is having a chat with Max Mosely.
MM “We’re slowly getting a situation were we can all agree, or at least the majority are going to agree. The budget cap looks like going ahead at 45m euros in 2011 with an intermediate year in 2010. Everyone understands we cannot go on at the present level, the money isn’t there.”

[Later in the week the FOTA teams entered for next year on condition of a big cap in ’10 and a €45m cap in ’11 – and we all know the shenanigans that followed that]

Ted’s Qualifying recap:

– Lewis into the barriers. Apologised to the team.
– Massa spins but survives to Q3.
– Toyota eliminated in Q1, same story for BMWs who in desparation tried several setup changes. Didn’t work.
– Indias and Toros got higher positions as a result but Piquet underperformed again.
– Vettel disapointed not to do better than 4th with the lightest fuel load of all.
– Kimi on front row but may not be able to use KERS on the start, he says the straight is too short.
– Button on pole from Kimi 2nd then a disappointed Barrichello.
– Hamilton starts at the back after a gearbox change.
– Glock starts from pitlane after changing…something..

Onboard lap of Jenson Button’s pole position, while he talks about it with Lee.

Says it is always tense, you’ve got to get the perfect gear shifts.
He’s not thinking about the championship, he’s taking it race by race.
Honestly? Really?! You’ve won 4 races out of 5 and you’re not thinking of the title? Pfft.

We can hear cars heading to the grid now.
Recap of Senna vs Mansell in 1992, close-run thing but Mansell on fresh tyres couldn’t get by Senna on worn tyres, a demonstration of how hard it is to pass here.

Ted is with Nigel Mansell (recorded):
NM “It’s a wonderful place, the principality. Between Barrichello and Jenson we’ll have a fantastic weekend. Adversity builds character, we all know what a terrible year he had last year. Another possible British world champion, one after another? I can’t remember when that was last done.”

Shots of Bernie and then Mika Hakkinen entering the paddock.

We can see the grid now and how much smaller it is than the circuits of the rest of the year.

Jean Todt, Max Mosely, some people I don’t recognise, they are all here.

DC: Hamilton will struggle to score points from there [the back] but at Monaco anything can happen.
EJ: There’s no rain so this will be a long hard hot race.

Martin Brundle is on the start line for his gridwalk.

MB “8 GP2 cars were penalised for cutting the first corner, let’s hope that doesn’t happen today.”
John Button, Jenson’s dad: “He’s even surprising me now.”
Prince Michael of Kent: “With my RAC hat on it’s nice to keep up with Formula 1, we’re going to be in the Brawn pit today.”
MB: “The cars are spaced 8 metres apart which is the length of the average ego in F1.”
Jenson: “I’m on pole so I’ve got the easiest race compared to the rest, but it’s still not going to be easy, Kimi will be fast off the line. We’ll have to see what tyres people are on. Looking after the tyres will be a key part of this race.”
Jacques Villenueve, are you missing this?: “Slick tyres, the cars look fun to drive, I’m missing it a bit now. Monaco is always a good race to watch, with all the chaos in F1 now you never know.”
Michael Johnson, what brings you here?: “I’m just here checking it out, I’m a big fan, I usually come to Monaco and I’m trying to get to a few more this year. Button is doing a great job, he’s got a lot of confidence right now.” He says all of the stuff around the grid isn’t too distracting because the drivers are so focussed, they only see the objective.
Bernie Ecclestone has his arms around Geri Halliwell [!!]:
GH: “I love fast cars, bit of a speed freak. I’m proud of Jenson Button. My father was a car dealer so I’m very excited! [to Bernie] We go way back how excited are you?”
BE: “Super upset with him keeping winning, it should be unpredictable, it’s bloody predictable again.”
GH: “Everyone has their moment though!”
MB: “I’d like to apologise because I said it was Bernie’s daughter. Bernie, is common sense going to break out in Formula 1?”
BE: “No of course not!”
MB: “It should do though shouldn’t it?”
BE: “Don’t worry it will.”
MB: “Thanks for your time. Jake.”

Deluxe gridwalk! Silence as we look at the Royal Box… Jake comes in and says we were waiting for an anthem.

Monagasque National Anthem
Royals stand to attention. F1 people completely ignore it, we don’t bow to such things as protocol, we’re F1, we’re more important than that.

The guys witter on about something, just filling time really. I’m more interested in the official feed’s atmospheric shots of the grid.

Quick chat, Jake and Jonathan Legard:
“Button looking great, I wonder if they’ll be some danger from Raikkonen and Red Bull, and don’t forget Barrichello. The teams bring extra front wings here because there is a greater threat to being dislodged.”

Winner for today?
EJ: Jenson.
DC: Jenson.

Official F1 Intro

Chatter.

Mechanics clear the grid.

Green light for the Formation Lap.

START ORDER

Button, Raikkonen
Rubens, Vettel
Massa, Rosberg
Kovalainen, Webber
Alonso, Nakajima
Buemi, Piquet
Fisichella, Bourdais
Sutil, Heidfeld
Kubica, Trulli
Hamilton

Glock (p/l)

Cars are forming on the grid.

1.2.3.4.5.hold…GO!!

All clear through Ste Devote, amazing.

No incidents at all on lap 1, I am super-impressed!

Replay: Hamilton passes Trulli before Tabac

Start replays..
Hamilton takes Kubica off the line.

Kubica has pitted.

L3 Glock cuts the swimming pool chicane. Rubens sets the fastest lap.

L4 Button now faster! Brundle is saying these two are title rivals now.

L7 Massa tries a pass on Vettel but overshoots, he has to give the position back and does so – but Rosberg follows Vettel through! Massa lost a place.

Hamilton on a light load is stuck behind cars with twice as much fuel as he has, this is a strange strategy from McLaren.

L9 Ted news: Vettel’s tyres have gone, we’re only 9 laps in and his tyres have gone.
Vettel is now 18 seconds behind Button, already!

L10 Rubens radio – look after your tyres, they may be fragile.
They’ve been watching Vettel.
Vettel suddenly drops off, Rosberg and Massa pass him. More cars passing him.
Vettel pits.
Buemi and Piquet off at Ste Devote.
Hamilton also pits.

L12 Piquet pits and retires with accident damage. Buemi is out.

L14 Kimi is catching Barrichello who’s tyres are starting to fall away.
Massa radio: Brawns struggling with soft tyres, you’re 1-2 seconds faster than them so keep it up.

L16 Raikkonen pits and takes more of the harder tyre, as Rosberg sets the fastest lap!

L17 Vettel has pulled over just after Ste Devote, he’s hit the barrier? His car already in the air on the crane!

L18 Barrichello and Button have pitted. Rosberg takes the lead, Button gets out ahead of Massa who is now 3rd.

Rosberg, Button, Massa, Kova, Weeber, Barrichello, Kimi, Alonso

L19 Rosberg pits and comes out behind Alonso for 8th.

L21 Massa pits from 2nd and emerges behind Alonso but ahead of Rosberg for 7th.

L22 Heikki pits and is out 7th. Only Webber and Alonso of the frontrunners have to pit.

L23 Webber pits now, he’s out behind Massa for 6th – both have jumped Rosberg now. Williams went for a long stop?

L24 Piquet with Lee: I don’t know what (Buemi) was thinking about, he probably thought he was quicker but we all thought we were quicker, Vettel was holding everybody up. I was probably going to finish 7th.

Seems like Alonso is going long. I can’t remember the weights..

L29 Barrichello sets FL as Alonso pits, he’s out in 11th I tihnk.

L31 Kubica pits to retire, he is hte 4th DNF of the day.

L32 Rubens sets the first lap under 1m16s, and is beaten immediately by Kimi and Felipe.

L35 Both the Ferraris are setting very quick times. Webber is coming with them only slightly slower.

L37 Button laps Hamilton.

L41 Massa has been putting too much of the car over the swimming pool chicane marking, could be penalised if he’s not careful.
Smedley on the radio tells him he’s had another warning from the FIA!

L43 Webber sets fastest lap!
Heidfeld pits and takes supersofts.

The guys on one-stops have made an error, after what we saw earlier they’ll never get to the end on supersofts from here.

L46 Mark Webber is catching the Ferraris.

Things have been fairly settled for a while now, I think we are waiting for the next stops for the frontrunners. We have two races going on: two-stoppers and one-stoppers (with Hamilton on a stupid 2-stop among the back of the latter).

L50 Trulli finally pits. Bourdais, Fisi and Glock are still going.
L50 Barrichello pits from 2nd and emerges 5th as Massa sets FL.
L51 Button pits now. He’s out behind Kimi! Kimi does need to pit again though.

Alonso cuts the main chicane.
L53 Kovalainen out! He’s crashed at the swimming pool chicane.
Spun coming out of the first section and spun into the wall. Shame because he was running well.

L54 Raikkonen pits. No SC for Heikki.

Hamilton pits for a new nosecone and hard tyres.

L57 Webber and Massa pit at the same time from 2nd and 3rd.
Massa is out and beats Rosberg for 4th, but Webber doesn’t make it and is 6th. Rosberg may need to stop again.

L59 Glock pitted from near the back. Bourdais must have pitted recently too.

Vettel with Lee: I was braking a little too late, locked the rears and hit the wall. We thought those tyres would work for the short stint but they didn’t.

L63 It was a good race earlier on but the Ferrari challenge seems to have been blunted, and Webber is bottled up behind Rosberg.
Nothing much going on at all.

Bourdais’s stop earlier put him 8th somehow! He’s the leader of the one-stopper group some distance behind the two-stoppers, and with Fisichella right behind him.

L65 Heikki: We were going a couple of laps longer and would have worked for us, but I just lost the car.

L66 Rosberg pits and is out in 7th in the big gap between Alonso and Bourdais.

L67 Alonso pits and is out alongside Sutil who is a lap down. Alonso now 7th.

Button, Barrichello, Kimi, Massa, Webber, Rosberg, Alonso, Bourdais, Fisi, Naka

L70 The two Ferraris are running close together,

L72 Glock passes Heidfeld. Hamilton passes Trulli and is behind Heidfeld. All go at the back!
Nakajima pits with 8 laps to go

Just the run for home then, it seems everyone has backed off to make it without crashing. Nothing happening, just enjoy Monaco.

Final Lap

Nakajima in the wall at Mirabeau!

JENSON BUTTON WINS!

Cooldown lap

Jenson parked in Parc Ferme and he should be on the front straight!! Different procedure at Monaco, the top three should park on the main straight!
He’s out of the car and running down the main straight!

Podium, trophies.

British national anthem.

Nice to have a real band on site for this GP, such a different sound to the old recordings.

Champagne!

Commentary ends.

[Usually I add a little bit of the BBC post-race in here but I don’t seem to have taken any notes for it on this occasion]

Race Results
1. Button 78 Laps
2. Barrichello +7.6sec
3. Räikkönen +13.4s to winner
4. Massa +15.1s
5. Webber +15.7s
6. Rosberg +33.5s
7. Alonso +37.8s
8. Bourdais +63.1s
9. Fisichella +65.0s
10. Glock + 1 lap
11. Heidfeld + 1 lap
12. Hamilton + 1 lap
13. Trulli + 1 lap
14. Sutil + 1 lap
15. Nakajima + 2 laps
R. Kovalainen (Accident)
R. Kubica (Brakes)
R. Vettel (Accident)
R. Piquet (Accident damage)
R. Buemi (Accident)

Championships

Drivers
(Prior + Monaco = Total)
1. Button 41 + 10 = 51
2. Barrichello 27 + 8 = 35
3. Vettel 23
4. Webber 15.5 + 4 = 19.5
5. Trulli 14.5
6. Glock 12
7. Hamilton 9
8. Alonso 9 + 2 = 11
9. Räikkönen 3 + 6 = 9
10. Massa 3 + 5 = 8
11. Rosberg 4.5 + 3 = 7.5
12. Heidfeld 6
13. Kovalainen 4
14. Buemi 3
15. Bourdais 1 + 1 = 2

Constructors
(Prior + Monaco = Total)
1. Brawn Mercedes 68 + 18 = 86
2. RBR Renault 32.5 + 4 = 36.5
3. Toyota 32.5
4. Ferrari 3 + 11 = 14
5. Renault 9 + 2 = 11
6. McLaren Mercedes 13
7. BMW Sauber 6
8. Williams Toyota 4.5 + 3 = 7.5
9. STR Ferrari 4 + 1 =5
10. Force India Mercedes 0

The next race was the Turkish Grand Prix, for which I will upload notes later this week.

I am not sure if I will post notes for the IndyCar season as I did last year, I’m leaning towards not doing so because I have only posted St Pete so far. Perhaps I will do a shorter version.

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