The F1 Blogger Blog

Vettel wins in Japan in front of Truli and Hamilton 1

Vettel wins in Japan in front of Truli and Hamilton

Only team-mate Mark Webber could stop Sebastian Vettel from recording a perfect weekend this afternoon in Japan, as the young German romped clear from pole position to win his third race of the season, leading every lap of the race in the process. Had it not been for Webber’s late pitstop for new tyres on low fuel, Vettel would also have recorded fastest lap, but more significantly his 10 points and Brawn’s struggle to 7th and 8th means he remains in title contention with just two races remaining.

From the start, Vettel was challenged strongly by the KERS-boosted Lewis Hamilton, and after successfully fending him off, was never again under pressure for the lead. With more fuel on-board than his nearest rivals, he kept the lead even during the pitstops, and shrugged off a late-race safety car period to record a comfortable five-second victory.

Vettel takes pole in Suzuka qualifying 0

Vettel takes pole in Suzuka qualifying

Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position in tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix after an action-packed qualifying session at Suzuka this afternoon. The scheduled qualifying hour was delayed by three red flag periods courtesy of three separate crashes in Q2 and Q3, eventually ending half an hour late.

With Red Bull’s Mark Webber having been ruled out of qualifying after damaging his chassis in final practice, just four drivers would be eliminated in Q1. After a largely trouble-free session for most drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella (1m31.704s) dropped out at the first hurdle for the second successive time, followed closely by home hero Kazuki Nakajima (1m31.718s) who was unable to turn local knowledge into a Q2-worthy laptime.

Hamilton takes second win of 2009 season at Singapore Grand Prix 1

Hamilton takes second win of 2009 season at Singapore Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton cruised to a comfortable Grand Prix victory in Singapore tonight, claiming the ten points on offer after a faultless drive from pole position. Starting at the front of the grid, with KERS and a considerable fuel load on-board meant Hamilton was always going to be the firm favourite for victory, but the Briton had to work hard for his reward at the toughest race on the F1 calendar.

At the start, Hamilton got away cleanly and led by the first corner while behind, Nico Rosberg benefitted from starting on the clean side of the track to jump Sebastian Vettel. Further behind Webber was able to hold off the stern challenge of Fernando Alonso on the opening lap, but only by running off the circuit. Ninth-place Barrichello made a super getaway to gain two places by the end of the first lap, while team-mate Button crucially got past Nakajima to climb to 10th.

Hamilton on pole for Singapore Grand Prix 2

Hamilton on pole for Singapore Grand Prix

Hamilton had been on the pace throughout the session, and was the last to post his first timed lap in Q3, taking provisional pole. But with only one run remaining for all drivers, Rubens Barrichello brought out the red flags when he crashed at turn 5, damaging the left side of his car. Although he was able to emerge unscathed from the crash, the red flag meant the session was effectively over, with just 26 seconds left on the clock.

Hamilton then claimed pole thanks to his initial lap of 1m47.891s, with the rest of the top ten also decided on the first run of flying laps. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took second place alongside Hamilton with a 1m48.204s, followed Nico Rosberg (1m48.348s) producing a fantastic performance in his Williams. The German had gone quickest of all in Q2, setting the weekend’s fastest time at 1m46.197s, but fell back slightly with race fuel in Q3.

Barrichello wins in Italy as his second victory of season 0

Barrichello wins in Italy as his second victory of season

Brazil’s Rubens Barrichello led home a deserved Brawn 1-2 at Monza this afternoon, taking full advantage of a one-stop strategy to leapfrog pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton. The Briton had been set to take a comfortable third place but crashed on the final lap after pushing too hard for second.

At the start, top-three starters Hamilton, Sutil and Räikkönen all had reasonable starts, with Räikkönen getting the best getaway only to have his chance of taking the lead scuppered by being pushed onto the grass by Hamilton. Behind, Heikki Kovalainen lost three places on the opening lap, as Barrichello, Button and Liuzzi all found their way by.

Hamilton was the first of the two-stoppers to pit as planned on lap 15, four laps earlier than then rival Räikkönen. Nevertheless, Lewis was able to keep ahead of the Finn, but a sterner challenge was coming from even further behind from the one-stopping Brawns.

Raikkonen wins in Spa as Ferrari’s first win of season 0

Raikkonen wins in Spa as Ferrari’s first win of season

Kimi Räikkönen took Ferrari’s first victory of 2009 in a thrilling Belgian Grand Prix this afternoon, after being pushed until the very last lap by Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella who scored his team’s first podium and points in second place. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel put in an equally impressive drive to finish third.

After starting sixth, KERS helped Räikkönen to consolidate second place by the end of the first lap, by which time the field was bunched up behind the safety car following a four-car crash at Les Combes, taking out championship-leader Jenson Button. But once the safety car pitted, the crucial moment of the race saw Räikkönen overtake Fisichella out of Eau Rouge thanks to his KERS.

Barrichello wins European Grand Prix 0

Barrichello wins European Grand Prix

Brazil’s Rubens Barrichello secured his first Formula One victory in almost five years with an impressive display on the streets of Valencia this afternoon. Despite starting third, and keeping his position off the line, Barrichello picked off Kovalainen and Hamilton in consecutive pitstops, to eventually win with ease and put him back in the championship fight.

With fellow championship contenders Button, Webber and Vettel falling from contention for the win early on, Barrichello has jumped to second in the championship fight, 18 points behind team-mate Button, who scored two points today. Both Webber and Vettel failed to score after a disastrous race for Red Bull.

Hamilton wins in Hungary 0

Hamilton wins in Hungary

It’s been over nine months in waiting, but Lewis Hamilton has finally secured his elusive tenth Grand Prix victory with a faultless drive from fourth on the grid, beating former world champion Kimi Räikkönen and Mark Webber to complete an unlikely podium. With the Red Bulls and the Brawns unable to provide a stern enough challenge to McLaren’s impressive pace, the Woking-based team ran home comfortable winners to take a victory that looked impossible just two races ago.

With Hamilton, Räikkönen and Webber locking out the podium places, Nico Rosberg secured his second consecutive fourth place finish. He just missed out on the podium when Mark Webber emerged ahead of him at the final round of stops and the German fell back from the Red Bull as the race neared its end. Heikki Kovalainen had to work hard in the final few laps to hold off Timo Glock for fifth, while Jenson Button picked up just two points for seventh after struggling with tyre wear and graining throughout the race. Jarno Trulli picked up the final point for Toyota, after getting pushed hard by Nakajima and Barrichello throughout his final stint.

Alonso secured pole after a chaotic Qualifying at Hungary 0

Alonso secured pole after a chaotic Qualifying at Hungary

Fernando Alonso has secured a surprising pole position for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix after an action-packed qualifying in Budapest this afternoon. After the final Q3 session was delayed after a high-speed crash for Felipe Massa, a timing system failure threw the final result into confusion before Alonso was eventually confirmed as pole-sitter almost 10 minutes after the end of the session.

Alonso’s time of 1m21.569s was less than a tenth quicker than Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel (1m21.607s), with his team-mate Mark Webber a further tenth adrift on 1m21.741s. Lewis Hamilton will start a season-best fourth on 1m21.839, followed closely by Williams’ Nico Rosberg (1m21.890s). Rounding out the rest of the top ten were Heikki Kovalainen (1m22.095s), Kimi Räikkönen (1m22.468s), Jenson Button (1m22.511s) and Kazuki Nakajima (1m22.835s), while Massa will start 10th tomorrow if he is declared fit to race.

Webber takes maiden F1 victory in German Grand Prix 0

Webber takes maiden F1 victory in German Grand Prix

Mark Webber dominated this afternoon’s German Grand Prix, as he led home the second consecutive Red Bull 1-2 in front of team-mate Vettel’s home crowd. Webber had the KERS cars of Kovalainen and Massa to thank for his win, after holding Vettel behind in the first stint, and then delaying potential race winner Barrichello.

Webber and Barrichello made decent get-aways from the grid, but the Australian was soon handed his penalty for colliding with the Brawn on the run-down to turn 1. He was able to serve his penalty and still emerge ahead of the chasing pack, laying the crucial foundations for his first F1 victory. His only rival for the victory win, the three-stopping Barrichello, then saw his chances evaporate when a fuel rig problem lost him valuable seconds on his second stop, paving the way for comfortable Webber triumph.