Raikkonen edges flying Fisichella for win

2009 Belgian Grand Prix review

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Kimi Raikkonen ended a 26-race losing streak by winning the Belgian Grand Prix for the fourth time in his career.

Surprisingly Raikkonen’s closest contender wasn’t in a Brawn or a Red Bull or even a McLaren – he was chased around every lap of Spa by Giancarlo Fisichella.

The Italian, now tipped to join Raikkonen in Ferrari at Monza, finished second for Force India.

If Fisichella’s pole position on Saturday was a shock, his consistent race pace on Sunday was utterly incredible – and very timely.

Ferrari’s Luca Badoer brought up the rear of the field, finishing 47 seconds behind the next finisher. It inconceivable Ferrari could tolerate another race with this kind of performance, and Italian television channel RAI is already claiming Fisichella will be in the car at Monza.

First-lap shunt eliminates Button

As the race got started Fisichella preserved the lead and didn’t look like losing it. From sixth on the grid Raikkonen elected to use the tarmac run-off area on the outside of turn one to avoid getting held up by other cars. He re-joined the track in third, sprinted through Eau Rouge and picked off Robert Kubica at the top of the hill.

He arrived at Les Combes going quickly he couldn’t stop in time, and bumped along the kerbing around the outside of the track. Kubica took evasive action but couldn’t avoid tagging the back of the Ferrari, breaking his front wing end plate.

Jarno Trulli, who started second, also damaged his front wing, but the real carnage kicked off behind them.

Jenson Button made a clean start from 14th and took a look at the outside of Heikki Kovalainen heading into the corner. Suddenly Renault’s Romain Grosjean charged in, tipping Button into a spin.

As their cars headed for the barriers Lewis Hamilton – who had started slowly and picked up some damage at La Source – slowed down to avoid the wrecked cars and got hit by Jaime Alguersuari. All four cars were eliminated.

After the race the stewards consulted the video replays but elected not to punish anyone.

Read more: Belgian Grand Prix start crash (Video)

Raikkonen seizes the initiative

The crash also had repercussions for the leaders. Fisichella had enough of a lead over Raikkonen not to be troubled by the Ferrari’s KERS – but the arrival of the safety car wiped it away.

Sure enough, Fisichella was a sitting duck at the restart on lap four. Raikkonen, one of few drivers to have started on soft tyres, breezed past him on the straight.

Fisichella lost little ground to Raikkonen in the opening stint. Behind them came Kubica, battling on despite his front wing damage, Timo Glock, Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld.

Sebastian Vettel appeared in seventh shortly after the safety car came in, after apparently being allowed past by Nico Rosberg. Vettel had complained Rosberg had passed him illegally under yellow flags. Had race control got involved again as they did at Valencia?

Barrichello battles through the field

Rubens Barrichello began his recovery from a disastrous start. Just like at Melbourne and Istanbul, the brawn had bogged down badly at the start and he was lucky to avoid being hit. As the race resumed he moved up to 13th by passing Luca Badoer.

The second Ferrari was, once again, a long way off the pace. Adrian Sutil, who’d been to the pits after the first lap, went clean off the track in order to get around Badoer on lap eight.

Robert Kubica and Timo Glock were the first of the leaders to pit on lap 12. Toyota brimmed Glock up with enough fuel for 20 of Spa’s long laps, keeping him in the pits five seconds longer than Kubica. After that Glock plummeted down the order and never looked like making it back into the points.

Jarno Trulli retired a few laps later – and so, having qualified second and seventh, Toyota contrived to get absolutely nothing out of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen and Fisichella came in together on lap 14 – Raikkonen had started with more fuel, so either Ferrair had chosen to bring him in early (unlikely) or Fisichella had done a better job of saving fuel during the safety car period. The Force India driver switched onto the soft tyres, and continued his pursuit.

In hindsight, if Force India had given him a splash more fuel than Raikkonen at this point, Fisichella could have won the race. But it wasn’t to be.

Problems in the pits

Heidfeld and Webber came in on the same lap, and for the second race in a row Red Bull cut it very fine when releasing Webber from his pit box. This time Heidfeld had to get off the throttle to avoid contact, and the stewards wasted no time in handing down a drive-through penalty.

But Heidfeld took care of matters himself, passing Webber at Les Combes. The Red Bull driver then fell into the clutches of Barrichello, who bravely blasted around the outside of Webber and Blanchimont.

Webber served his drive-through penalty on lap 18, just as Rosberg was making his first pit stop and surrendering the lead he’d inherited.

Another team having trouble in the pits was Renault – again. They struggled to replace Fernando Alonso’s front-left wheel as the fairing had been damaged in contact on lap one. Not wishing to incur a repeat of their Hungary penalty, the team kept Alonso back while they made sure the wheel went on, and shortly summoned him back to the pits after letting him out. He was the sixth and last retirement of the day.

On lap 31 the two leaders came into the pits together for the final time – and once again left with Raikkonen ahead of Fisichella. Though he surely could have lapped quicker than the Ferrari had he been ahead, Raikkonen was able to use his KERS button at the start of the straights to ensure Fisichella couldn’t get close.

Vettel made his final stop on lap 35, leap-frogging Kubica for third – and then began closing on the leaders. But once it became clear he wasn’t going to catch them he prudently turned the revs down, as he’s already on his seventh unit out of eight.

Barrichello’s Brawn blows

That decided the podium, and the BMWs of Kubica and Heidfeld behind were settled in fourth and fifth. Kovalainen briefly came under threat from Barrichello, until the Brawn’s Mercedes engine began spewing oil. Barrichello backed off and managed to coax the car to the chequered flag, impressively without losing a place – although his engine cover caught fire after he got back to the pits.

Rosberg held onto eighth ahead of Webber, who finished a point-less ninth for the second race in a row. He has fallen back behind his team mate in the drivers’ championship and lies fourth.

Glock finished tenth ahead of Sutil, 42 seconds behind team mate Fisichella, after his early pit stop plus a spin at Fagnes.

The final classified runners were Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Badoer – the latter 47.9s behind the rest of the field, and surely not likely to reappear in a Ferrari in two weeks’ time.

Who will be Raikkonen’s team mate at Monza? Ferrari are expected to decide tomorrow.

Read more: Belgian Grand Prix race result

Driver of the day

I can’t pick anyone other than Giancarlo Fisichella for driver of the day. He thrived on the new-found pace of the Force India, reminding us all of those days when everyone thought of him as the great up-and-comer with so much untapped potential. A win only passed him by because of the safety car period at the start, after which he was never going to keep Raikkonen at bay.

Raikkonen and Rosberg must get honourable mentions, however. Both are in excellent veins of form – particularly Rosberg, who dragged his car into Q3 and rode his luck to grab a point. Here’s who you picked on Twitter:

lacanta – If you haven’t gathered from my twitters so far this afternoon, I’m nominating Fisichella as Driver of the Day! Yippee!
hashsport – Vettel
GittleBos – Giancarlo Fisichella. Of course. Time to eat a potato pizza in his honour (that’s his favourite)!
BaburM – kimmmmaayyyyy!
MarkF1 – Fisichella as it is the best race he as driven in years.
reeley – Giancarlo Fisichella the driver of the race for me.
therealtopper – probably fisichella
alboreto – Fisi of course.
fwon – I do think Fisichella was the driver of the race. Perhaps he should of won, but he competed with Kimi for the whole race
mum_zee – can only be one driver – Fisico
formula1fran – I think I have to say Fisi. Thrilled Kimi won, but Fisi worked harder I think. Never felt so sorry for 2nd place finisher!
Mikee87 – Driver of the race has got to be Bernd Maylander. They should put him in the Ferrari instead of Badoer.
asynadak – Kimi!
randomflowers – I’m going to say Seb V, simply because he started 8th and finished 3rd! (and Kimi… and Fisichella!)
fissijo – fisichella… But then he is my driver of the race most races!
planetf1 – FISI
primaveron – Kimi Raikkonen and Fisichella!

Who was your driver of the day? Name them in the comments.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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113 comments on “Raikkonen edges flying Fisichella for win”

  1. fisico who eise?????

  2. Keith – I think that it wasn’t Kubica who crashed with Kimi – Kubica went wide (even wider than Kimi) in Les Combes, and Trulli overtook Kubica, and crashed into Kimi who was coming back to track, and lost his front wing.

    1. This onboard shows Kubica hitting Raikkonen:

  3. I honestly think Fisi must stay put at Force India. Being loyal is more important. I think he has a great chance of winning at monza. Force India have a decent aero package & probably the most powerful & reliable engine in the paddock. He’ll be a force to reckon at monza in his Force India.

    1. Superb drives from Fisichella and Raikkonen all the way, but Fisico is clearly man of the day. Seeing a Force India hound a ferrari all the way to the flag was incredible. I think Fisichella is faced with a dilemma: after a performance like that, he could press Mallya for a new contract, in a seat that wasn’t looking altogether secure.
      However, I think he’ll be driving a red car in two weeks. What driver (especially an Italian driver, joing the Scuderia at Monza of all places) can say no to The Call?

  4. Keith – what’s your take on Raikkonen’s adventure at the first corner? Surely he gained an advantage from running wide and should at least have been investigated, especially given the sensitivity of the “corner-cutting” issue at Spa.

    1. i’ve noticed that too. He did the same thing in 2002,04,05,08 & this year. Surely this deserves a reprimand.







      it definitely helps you to gain momentum.

      maybe they’ve got to revert back to the old config just to prevent kimi from doing it again.

      1. I think Armco on the outside of La Source would soon solve the problem! :D

        1. There used to be tighter armco on the outside of La Source and down to Eau Rouge. Of course, start in 1998 shows what than can lead to…

        2. And put 15 cars out of the race immidiately

          1. You just need a few of those speed humps there to be honest, much like the ones used at the Valencia chicanes.

            Now… how do I contact the FIA about this idea? hmmmm.

      2. Ummm… there was no such run-off in 2004 and 2005. There was armco then, after the chicane was widened after the 98 mishap.

        If you actually watch the videos for 04 and 05, you’ll see there is no run-off, just a wider corner marked off by armco. He does cross the white line in 04 with two wheels, but he was clearly pushed out, and actually loses time and positions. In 05, he doesn’t even touch the white line.

        I like how you’ve presented the links to the videos as evidence, which people take at face value without actually watching the videos. Nice tactic.

        He did use the run-off in 2008.

      3. you’re full of it. i just watched all the videos. there’s nowhere to run wide in 04 (definately avoiding an accident) or 05 (05 he is definately within the white lines). 2008 he almost lost it several times, he simply couldn’t slow down at la source. i think 2009 is the only possible example of kimi gaining from running wide.

      4. Are you serious? Only in the 2008 video you posted did he actually go wide off the track, and even then you can see he was struggling to keep it under control. Doesnt look intentional to me. Did you watch these before posting the links here?

    2. Din’t liked it either. I really feel such things have to be punished.

      If Hamilton gained an advantage last year I’d like to know how FIA would call Kimi’s manouver.

      And second, these parts are there for their safety, not to use them to take advantage.

      If you ask me, that’s plain cheating.

    3. he was avoiding trulli and took the run off and didnt cut a chicane. Hamilton cut a chicane.

      1. Andrew White
        31st August 2009, 0:00

        Both Raikkonen and Hamilton gained an advantage by going off the track. The only difference is Hamilton gave the place back.

    4. It was just an homage to Nigel Mansell :)

    5. I think it probably was a case of ‘gaining an advantage by going off the track’. And it’s likely the same goes for Sutil’s pass on Badoer. Might do a poll actually…

      1. I thought it was similar to last year, after Hamilton had made that move, when Kimi went wide at Pouhon and kept wideallowing him him to take a faster line and therefore catch Hamilton.

    6. Kimi definitely “gains an advantage” because of the less braking and more momentum.

      But you see, he does not do anything wrong in the 2 sensitive issues.
      1. He doesn’t “cut a corner”, since he didn’t take the inside line.
      2. He waits after Eau Rouge (the next corner) to make the pass, not infringing the “next corner rule”. Since, he waits for another corner, by FIA rules, the “advantage gained” is deemed lost. But due to the curious nature of Eau Rouge, which is flat out, he doesn’t exactly lose that extra momentum through Eau Rouge and easily overtakes the car ahead of him at the next long braking zone.

      You have to applaud Raikkonen though, 5 times he has done that in the last 6 years, successfully exploited a gray rule. Cheeky stuff from him.

      The race organizers should remove the run-off, that would also result in more crashes, thus more exciting race.

      1. on point number 2- he overtakes 2 cars! kimi goes wide, gains momentum (as you say) and gets around the outside of Heifield and Trulli before Eau Rouge.

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcjM6LYxS7k

    Look at Kimi Actions:) This is for sure a deliberate action from him and Ferrari (Badoer did the same but gain no advantage)

    1. This is a farce! He’s done it too many times. Notice only the 2 ferrari’s & a single brawn takes that short cut. Kimi gained massively imo. He must be DQ!! He does that always at spa. No other car took that short cut.

      1. Max should resign now!!!
        31st August 2009, 0:26

        Agree 100 per cent.

        1. Oh God!! again the Ferrari bashers and Mclaran outfit!! look at sumedh’s comments!! Kimi is 100% ok in doing that!! stop this nonsense!!

          1. yeh, i really don’t think he gained much and i do think he was genuinely avoiding an incident with the toyota and bmw.

          2. Arun, I am not Kimi’s biggest fan.

            I do believe he gained an advantage there. And I also believe he didn’t break any rules.

            According to me, there was no way FIA could have punished him, and there lies the brilliance of Kimi’s move.

            Although, I don’t rate Kimi highly, I am not bashing him for that move. This win is probably his best win since 2005 Japan. I am sincerely appreciating his move, it is not be a clean one, but certainly very effective.

          3. Indeed Arun,

            He actually did exactly the same last year, albeit in damp conditions.

            These Kimi bashers should be quiet. It’s the FIA (sigh) that really need to clarify the rules about 4 wheels of the track to gain an advantage. The fact remains that he went outside the white line to stay clear of trouble.

  6. Fisi, no question… I just wish, wish, wish that FI had managed to give him even one free lap to get the jump on Kimi. However, Kimi deserves a victory after his sterling drives of late, and such a close second place is a huge boost for Fisi and FI.

    Isn’t it incredible that there are no back markers any more? There isn’t a car in the field that isn’t in contention for points and even podiums when the circuit suits it. There are drivers who aren’t (Badoer and Nakajima for a start), but every single car is capable of being competitive.

    Mind you, I’m genuinely mystified at how the Toyota can be such a quick car and yet fail to score points at race after race. It doesn’t bode well for their future… if I was on their board I’d be questioning what they are getting out of their F1 programme beyond regular embarrassment.

    A great race today. I really hope Rosberg gets a podium soon though, he definitely deserves one after the season he’s done.

    1. I dunno why every one says kimi deserves this victory?? Is spa a default place for kimi to win or something? The guy gained massively by taking that shortcut & to make matters better for him the safety car period aided him. but since when has the FIA treated the non-ferrari teams fairly?

      1. I didn’t actually say he deserved this victory – just that his excellent form of late deserved one. He’s been up there consistently in the last three races – the only driver who has been. Hence IMHO his recent form deserved a victory.

        In actual fact I would agree with you that he gained an advantage by leaving the track, though it was more of a longcut than a shortcut! But I think he mainly did it to stay out of trouble, rather than to gain the advantage. In the end, it was the safety car that swung it for him, and that’s just the luck of the draw. All drivers have lucky breaks, but the ones who take advantage of them are the ones that win. Kimi’s not a favourite of mine, but he’s been on great form recently.

        1. William Wilgus
          30th August 2009, 20:56

          I missed the first 15 or so laps and therefore didn’t see Kimi’s off-track excursion, but from what’s been written, he certainly took the long way around, rather than a short-cut. You’re also correct that it may have simply been to avoid a collision.

      2. i’m sorry but all this kimi bashing about taking the rub of is a lil ridiculous…and then to bring up the FIA-rrari thing again…old news…

        has anyone thought to mention the dirt and and lack of grip and also the fact the tyres pick up any gunk that’s ot there and how that can be considered an advantage…or is DC the only other person to think about this….if anything it has an adverse effect…and if kimi has used it many times before have a look at the other drivers who also have…spa is renknowned for having first corner incidents..if its there to be used then so be it…button used it…why doesn’t someone start bagging him

      3. longcut if anything

    2. Isn’t it incredible that there are no back markers any more?

      It might have something to do with Spa being a 4 mile circuit…

  7. It was a great race! Fisi gave us a show! In fact, Fisi seemed was on Ferrari and Badoer on Force India.

    1. Yeah but Badoer is slow with a good car (as opposite to the usual situation at Force India). Bernd Mayländer could probably beat Badoer, with Bernd in the safety car and Badoer in the Ferrari.

  8. Yep Red Andy I agree, I just wish steward’s had either dismissed it or looked into it during the race rather than them being silent and us debating over it. And nice links mp4-19b maybe they are blind when it comes to kimi lol

  9. Best: Kimi and Fisi, but as a Kimi fan i must say Fisi deserved the win a bit more, Kimi needed the win to show Ferarri he’s still the man.

    Worst: who else than Badoer :s
    C’mon Ferrari, pick someone else NOW!!!!! if u want 3rd place in WCC

    1. why did fisi deserve the win?
      He had a faster car and should have gone for the win if he wanted it, his teams strategy wasn’t helpful either. Kimi was in a slower car and had to battle to keep him behind. He had one oppurtunity to take fisi and he took it, real racing. Fisi did well but only has him self to blame for not winning. On the restart his driving was quite poor enabling kimi to straike with ease. If it were vettel or button leading they wouldn’t of made that error?

      1. only himself and KERS? he could not get past kimi although kimi had a slower car because when he tried something kimi would just push his button and pull away, also the performance of a car decreases when you follow a car that close, so even though fisi had the faster car he wasnt able to exploit it,

        learn you stuff

        1. I don’t see how theo’s comment warrants a “learn your stuff” remark? He is talking about how well Kimi out raced Fisi at the restart and you’re talking about Fisi’s inability to retake the lead due to KERS. Two separate points of discussion.

          1. Kimi outraced fisi at the restart in a large part due to KERS

            learn your stuff

  10. Raikkonen is the stig

    1. I agree :)

  11. fisi started 1st, finished 2nd.
    Kimi starts 6th, finished 1st ahead of a faster car which he passed and kept behind for the whole race. Kimi gets driver of the day.

    1. no he won because he had kers, fisi was faster and thus drove better

      1. That’s if we assume that ferrari was the better car yesterday. In my opinion it wasn’t. Kimi has made the difference.

      2. Ferrari finally win a race and people are looking for reasons to fault the drive, unbelievable!!!
        Firstly it’s clear he was forced wide. As one other poster and DC pointed out, it’s a dirty track out in the run off, not the best of places to be putting your car (unless mp4-19b has video of Kimi sweeping the run off area before the race!!!) The prime example of the madness was only a few corners later when we had the shunt-a-thon. Not to mention Kimi was nearly taken out as well.
        Secondly on the “poor me I don’t have KERS” rubbish. It’s common knowledge that it’s a case of you “chose” to develop and use KERS, forcing you to deal with extra weight and how best to distribute it around the vehicle. This comes with a price tag of course. These are issues Ferrari and McLaren have decided to accept to deal with.
        So take your sour (soon to be rotten) grapes somewhere else. The so called Kimi incident wasn’t investigated and KERS was the reason Kimi won the race not the reason Fisi came second ;-)

        1. this happens more than once in these comments section and I’ve learned to keep a blind eye to these!! Macca fans must be furious their NO.1 driver was out of the race before long and the NO.2 was riding nowhere to their expectations.
          These KIMI/Ferrari bashers talk as though they sat on the car and saw space to stay on track that the driver thought wouldn’t help, or whatever, can’t help but sit back and laugh at what I thought would happen, happening! and we know there were good amount of disadvantage in Kimi’s route because of the dirt and less grip, as DC commented!!
          If you think Kers helped Kimi win, it just makes Ferrari a harder car to overtake, and since its allowed for all the cars, plz ask other teams to get it as well.
          If you think Kimi doesn’t deserve, please, as a formula 1 fanatic, I would say he had the ability to not make a mistake and using his adv(kers) to the max, get the victory( great pitstop – without errors for the team incl), end of story!!
          Everyone knows how good a racer he is and he can ride through SPA with his eyes blind!
          Great race!! Giancarlo also deserves an awesome deal for delivering the goods to the rising team! Low budget racing a max budgeted team – human willpower!!

        2. excellent comment al_amana, some people just cant accpet a damn good drive

        3. Firstly it’s clear he was forced wide.

          If that’s true then why did the driver who you believe forced him wide (Trulli, I presume) get a penalty as Hamilton did at Fuji last year?

          1. You posted an interesting video angle above Re: Kubica. You will first see Kimi having the wide line (within the lines) then as he makes a slight turn into the corner Trulli comes across and then the BMW comes across also. Then in the Vettel video it’s clear that had Raikonnen braked (as some had suggested) and slotted in behind trulli Vettel would have collected him. As for the remark that Trulli should be punished due to precedent that is invalid because although he forced Kimi wide he was also in the process of avoiding collision with the BMW. However my point again is that here I am someone that has no formula 1 driving experience being told by DC an accomplished driver, that Kimi gained no advantage by going into the run off. Albeit he gained track position, yet you may need to ask yourself, was this because of running wide or because the other drivers where jostling for position and hence weren’t in the position/s to take the optimum lines round the bend? If you get my meaning?

        4. i dont know where you were on sunday but you were clearly not watching the race, kmi was not forced wide, he entered la source with the pace that showed that he was clearly planning on getting strait on to the run off as soon as possible, he planned it before the race even began. he is nowhere near trulli when he goes off

          1. see above. The Kubica video clearly shows that he was no “hotter” coming into that corner than Trulli or Heidfeld let alone Kubica.

  12. I totally agree with those saying Kimi gained an unfair advantage at the start. He didn’t run wide to avoid a collision, he could have braked to avoid a collision (not that there was one). He carried more speed into the corner and ran wide to keep that speed then floored it down the hill with a clear run. He gained 2 places in the move and was primed to take another up the hill.

    He went off the track, gained an advantage and overtook other cars. It’s an absolute no brainer that he did this unfairly. Watch the start again and note the cars that ran slightly wide at la source but still kept on the track, compromising their speed by being half on the kerb/astroturf. They would have been much better off to do as Kimi did and use the 2nd track on the outside.

  13. I agree Raikkonen was the best, and he took the longer run, it wasn`t a short cut and i believe there was less traction then on the track….
    C`mon Ferrari change Badoer he is a disaster!i don`t think he would score any points at monza, he is just well off the pace!

  14. Why do people keep going on about Kimi gaining an advantage from running off track in La Source? Just because Martin Brundle said it looked like he had no intention of turning in? Convenient moment to ignore Coulthard’s comments on that saying he avoided a collision and then had no traction?

    The only advantage he got was he didn’t get into a tangle with Trulli. He had absolutely no traction there, you can see him slithering about trying to drive off towards Eau Rouge. He did well to keep the position he’d gained coming up to La Source.

    1. The reason people keep going on about it has nothing to do with Brundle or Coulthard’s opinion. If you watch the start again, Kimi was 4th going into la source and 3rd going into eau rouge. He gained 1 place by going off the track. That’s pretty straightforward if you ask me.

      As for avoiding a collision, I don’t believe that Kimi’s only possible option to avoid hitting the back of the cars in front was to run wide, then stay wide all the way down the hill. He could have just hit the brakes and slotted in behind.

      And if you want to look at the major incident here last year, Hamilton ran wide at the chicane to avoid a collision but that wasn’t deemed good enough as he was able to keep momentum, he should have braked apparantly. Why not the same for Kimi? It’s all about consistency, or the lack of.

      1. William Wilgus
        31st August 2009, 0:33

        No, he didn’t run wide at the chicane, he cut it.

        1. ran wide on the entry, there is two parts to a chichane…

          … Catch up

  15. Fisi for me is thw one who has lost badly as he had a better car,..in the second sector he was just too quick..but kimi reminded him of suzuka 2005..go kimi..u have proved u r a deserving champion..and showed that u can even win in a car which has stopped development.i was 100% sure kimi will be 2nd at the end of kemel straight and so was he…..kimi u are the udisputed king of spa….
    these words are not by the kimi fan..iam an alonso fan who believes there are only two drivers who can win even their car is not fast enough..

    1. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer
      Schumacher? Bennetton often didn’t have the fastest car

      1. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer when did Hamilton win a race driving a slower car? I agree with Schumi being one but Hamilton? I would say the other would be Alonso.
        As for the remark above on Kimi out racing Fisi due to KERS. I believe that’s a contradiction in terms. Either he out raced Fisi fair and square using everything at his disposal as a F1 – Ferrari driver or it was KERS that beat Fisi and Kimi was just a bystander. The point being made by Theo was that if Fisi had his time over again (assuming he’s as good a driver as they say) he would have done a beter job at keeping Kimi behind at the restart. Then it has also been pointed out that with a better pit stop strategy Fisi could have regained the lead after the first round of stops, even if that meant short fueling him at said stop.
        I think that it’s a pretty cheap shot when someone is engaged in mature conversation and all those opposite can come up with is “learn your stuff”!

  16. Kimi!
    Started at 6th and finished at 1st.

  17. From the comfort of my sunday night armchair, it is clear what Fisi had to do to win. Obviously, he had the pace to pull away from Raikkonen. So ,at the first stop, having come in behind the Ferrari, he should have simply taken only as much fuel as he needed to leave first. He would have come in earlier next time, but with a lead. Alternatively, he should have fueled for a significantly longer stint and attemped the second stop leapfrog. As it was, leaving behind Kimi at the first stop with what they would have seen was the same fuel delivery, sealed his fate. Kimi is not the guy to go off under pressure, and with KERS, Fisi had no chance of passing him on the track.

    Add me to those who found Kimi’s first corner move unsporting. He wasn’t forced off. He saw that the track was blocked ahead with competitor’s cars accellerating too slowly for his taste, and simply pointed for the run-off area and floored it. He used the runoff to facilitate an alternative and advantageous line to great advantage. This is exactly the description of the delict set against Hamilton last year. I’m not taking David Coulthard as an expert on how not to stuff it in the wall. If there were a wall or gravel there he would have used the other pedal, end of story. I wonder if Ferrari checked with Charlie…

    1. William Wilgus
      31st August 2009, 0:39

      I like your comment that they should have fueled Fisi short to get him out first. However, maybe one reason why Kimi didn’t back off is because of traffic behind him. Not having seen Kimi’s wide excursion, I submit this as only a possibility. Remember the old adage: `To finish first, you must first finish.’ Being rear-ended would certainly have lessened the chance of him not only finishing first, but finishing at all.

    2. So instead of swerving to avoid hitting Trulli, he should have stopped his car altogether? He couldn’t go to the right of Trulli as Kubica was coming up there. Yes he could have hit the brakes, but he would have had either Heidfeld or Glock hit him somewhere in the rear half of his car. Or, you know, they would have been forced off-track. If he did gain anything, and I maintain he didn’t as he was past Kubica already and coming up on Trulli, it was not because he intended to by going off the track.

      I’m only bringing up Brundle and Coulthard because last year nobody seemed to mind Kimi going off the track there while arguably in those conditions (ie. no traction anywhere at all on- or off-track) he might have had more of an advantage. This year Brundle comments on it and all of a sudden everyone is all over it.

      If it’s because of consistency with Hamilton’s incident last year, then yeah, I can’t really say anything about that. Except the way the FIA ignored this instant seems a fairer way to judge these matters than what happened to Hamilton last year. But therein lies the crux doesn’t it? Everyone seems happy to accept Kimi should be punished for this move as it was “unsporting”, while Hamilton’s move last year was somehow fair because they were fighting. Because Kimi wasn’t trying to take the fight to the Toyota in front of him or anything, that had nothing to do with him carrying more speed into the corner than Trulli at all…

      If your problem is that the FIA judged both instances differently, you think you’re impartial and there was nothing wrong with either, but Kimi should get punished to have consistency, then I very well think you’re all intelligent enough to formulate your thoughts accordingly. But it’s all “Hamilton’s move was fair and was punished” and “Kimi’s move was unfair and should have been punished.”. They were the same moves (or the comparison is invalid to begin with), so choose which one it was: either there was nothing wrong both times, or both were unfair moves and Kimi got away lucky and Hamilton justly had his win taken away from him.

      1. It’s simple. It’s one thing to go off to avoid a wreck (see, e.g., Sutil and Badoer). Quite another to exploit going off to pass several cars on the trot. The issue is the advantage gained through doing what others are able to but don’t because it would be “unsporting.” The Hamilton Rule should have worked to require Kimi to yield any positions gained until after the next corner, Les Combes.

  18. I’ve found out about the Rosberg/Vettel incident at the start from Williams.

    They believe Vettel was under the mistaken impression that Rosberg passed him under yellow flags at the start. The video below shows how Rosberg got through.

    At the restart, Vettel passed Rosberg under normal racing conditions – Rosberg didn’t give up the position voluntarily.

    1. This also clearly shows the advantage the Ferrari got by redesigning the track. You see it exit screen left, then suddenly reenter and rocket into the distance as if Vettel is chained to a post. Not cricket.

      1. sorry but all that shows is that because he went wide to avoid a collision, unless he was willing to lose even more position, if he had of braked and “slotted” in then Vettel would have collected him for sure.

        1. if he wanted to avoid a collison he shouldn’t have gone so fast into the corner!

  19. Guys get over it its not like hes the only one who has ever gotten away with it, stop beating up on kimi he cant do anything right in some peoples eyes. He would have caught up ta Fisichella with the Kers anyway.

    1. it doesnt matter “if he would have caught up to fisi anyway”. thats not the piont the piont is is that kimi gained an unfair anvantage.

      he wouldnt have caught fisi either, thats why he didnt pull away from him over the rest of the race.

      to say that raikonen did not gain an advantage, what so ever, would be a lie, because its clear to everyone that he did,

      force india should appeal, they could not loose anything only gain a win

  20. “From sixth on the grid Raikkonen elected to use the tarmac run-off area on the outside of turn one to avoid getting held up by other cars. He re-joined the track in third…”

    I agree with Owen G on this score, Kimi gained an unfair advantage by going off track at the opening hairpin. No different than Lewis cutting the chicane last year!

    As soon as I saw him tear down the off track pavement I thought for sure he would be forced to give back the positions he gained. We get the SpeedTV version so I’m not aware of Brundle’s and DC’s comments.

    Not to take away from Kimi’s drive all day long, but that opening move should have been penalized. If only Force India had the balls to file an appeal, or question Charlie Whiting as soon as it happened.

  21. Kimi said that somebody was ushing Trulli and Trulli went a little bit wide and that Kimi did not have no other place to go than drive out.

    But ofcourse nobody never listen him even we know after all these years thart he is one of most honest person you can imagine.

    BUT because he is driving Ferrari there HAS TO be something bad to say about him, right?

    Geesh guys, can you just let him be. He did brilliant job and his car was not even fastest and he still won.

    Evrybody talked about how he did gain advantege by going wide and that he only won because his KERS, well nobody did not talk about KERS when Lewis won….

    I allwasy tought that this F1 fanatic would be fair and not have any Ferrari and Kimi witch hunt. Unfortunatelly it seems that I was wrong.

    1. the thing was with lewis’s win is that he dominated, no safty car to catch up with the leader, he finished 15s ahead on 2nd place, and it was the first kers win.

      something that kimi didnt do.

      there is only a kimi ferrari “witch hunt” because what kimi did was unfair, so if you came to f1fanatic because you wanted it to be fair, thats what you got. if you are still unhappy maybe you should become more openminded about f1, or go watch f1 in a italian bar

    2. I resent the few comments that infer that any questioning of Kimi’s move at the start has something to do with being anti Kimi or Ferrari, or pro anyone else. For me, at least, it isn’t. And I’d have the same opinion if Brundle had said nothing too.

      Kimi gained a place by going off the track – he was 4th before la source and when he rejoined the track he was 3rd. So whether he did it to avoid a collision, was sliding all over the place off track with no traction or whatever other reason you give for it – he gained a position by going off track. It can’t be any clearer.

      Hamilton’s incident was different and more controversial because he went back behind Kimi then retook him. But it isn’t about that decision. How many times this year have drivers given places back they gained by going off track? Button and Webber on the 1st lap in Valencia springs to mind. So why is this situation any different? Is it purely because he went wide in the corner as opposed to cutting it?

  22. ok so if this is more about going off track and gaining positions then why arent you going on about Barichello aswell he did the same and gained points in the final result, BTW.. It is stated that you can overtake on the first lap on the outside, because the marshalls want safety it’s not against rules because he crosses the line from the outside not from the inside and he crosses more meters than the others. Also Lewis Hamilton did exactly the same thing last year and i bet you didnt all have a cry about that one, stop hating on ferrari and Kimi, anybody else and you would be fine with it. i agree with Snoopy

  23. I like the fact how all the Brits here seem to ignore the fact that Button also went wide just like Raikkonen (even though his race ended on the same lap, he’s also a cheater if Kimi is). I can’t remember any occasion where a driver would have been punished because of going wide, it’s always because of cutting a corner. But of course, correct me if I’m wrong.

    I don’t think drivers should be punished for coming in front of someone on the pitlane, like Webber got punished in Spa. It’s too must asked for teams to say “hold on, you must let that driver go”. That will never happen and with this stupid rule we’ll only end up with some teams having bad luck. Wider pitlane could be the answer?

  24. this will easily be the best race of 2009, at the best track of 2009.

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  26. So here’s how it must have panned out:

    1. After a day and a half of mid range practice results Kimi and his crew realise that come Quali we’ll have to Qualify either 4,6,8 or at worst 10. Giving them the ultimate approach to the long short cut.
    2. Kimi claims 6th on the grid, perfect.
    3. Saturday night, Kimi and a couple of his henchmen bring out the oversize brooms and go to work on the run off clearing it of any rubbish that might hinder the most evil of moves known in F1, the accident avoiding wide run….
    4. But this is no fool proof plan so Ferrari have to come up with plan B. So they pay off Grosjean and Alguersuari to create a Safety Car scenario when required i.e. if Kimi doesn’t force himself into the lead after his lucky escape at turn one.

    Well allI can say is not since Michael Schumacher cheated his way to all those WDC have we seen a Mastermind Ferrari driver in F1!!!

    NB: This post is intended to be sarcastic for those who bought into it……….

    1. hahahahaha

    2. Haha, made my day. brilliant

  27. Great race, lads. I enjoyed Fisi and Kimi’s performances immensely though I was disappointed that Jenson and Lewis didn’t last.

    It makes me really happy though…to see so many Ferrari-bashers about. Kimi deserved the victory 100%. No rules were broken in using the outside line. Sure it may be a gray area, but FIA have had years to do something about it.

    If only I could see the look on your faces when Ham crashed out =P

    1. You would see some dissapointment.. because he didn’t had any run off area to escape the accident. It wasn´t his fault.

      If only you could see anything but red, you would agree that Kimi got advantage in running off the track. And that is unfair…

  28. On the issue of Kimi gaining unfair advantage he said he never intended to take that route (when the question was put to him) and that it is a longer and bumpier so a disadvantage which of course why he got the advantage :P I think Kimi raced a blinding race, but I would as a Ferrari fan, but I just wish steward’s were consistent.

  29. There is a difference between


    Run off area/

    i imagine if we were the stewards…….i think all the cars who finished would have had to go atleast once for a drive through…..lol…. stop it guys….

    1. Yes there is. A chicane is a section of track with back-to-back turns. The Runoff Area is a hilarious motorsports satire website.

    2. So what do you call the run off area at the final chicane then? ;)

  30. 1st – If you see the onboard from Kimi, he turns the steering wheel 180 degrees, so not much more he could have done there. Button turned it 120º tops.

    2nd – Actual quote from the BBC broadcast:

    Jake – “How much of advantage is it to go wide there David?”
    David – “None at all”

    1. I thought that was a particularly odd comment given it was said while they were watching video of Raikkonen passing two cars while off the track, and using the momentum to pass a third. He was plainly wrong.

  31. Could anyone please explain how come that Fisi stopped on lap 14 (prediction here 12) together with Kimi, Mark and Nick (equal weights, prediction 14).

    Fuel consumption on a lap of Spa is 3,15 kilo, did he save(!) around 6 kilos? How?

    1. that wondered myself too.

      the only explanation that i have is:
      fisi was always close behind kimi. so due slipstreamhe was able to save some fuel.

    2. Raikkonen suggested he’d burned more fuel on the way to the grid trying to get heat into his tyres.

      It’s possible the Mercedes uses less fuel than the Ferrari. Or it’s something to do with KERS.

      And Fisichella might have saved more fuel behind the safety car.

      1. in my opinion its probably something about mercedes using less fuel and profit from slipstream.

      2. i bet using KERS absolutely burns up fuel.

  32. i believe i saw vettel overtake rosberg after the safety car came in (after Eau Rouge i think), he wasn’t ‘allowed past’ as you say Keith.

  33. it was may be saved because of safety car

  34. Did anyone else notice how, just after the start on the run down to Eau Rouge, Barrichello almost got hit by flying debris? It looks like a piece of carbon-fibre, probably from the Heidfeld-Trulli contact. The object is clearly visible on his onboard footage: take a look at the video and watch closely around 00:20.

  35. Good to see plenty of mature, well thought out responses to anyone questioning Kimi’s move at la source.

    For the record, I’m not “hating on” Ferrari or Kimi, nor was I slitting my wrists when Hamilton crashed out.

    I was just asking the question about the legality of Kimi’s move. The FACT of the matter is when he left the track he was in 4th place (not alongside but fully behind) and when he rejoined he was in 3rd. Is this deemed a legal move because he went wide?

    Drivers cut corners to avoid accidents but if they gain a place they have to give it back. Fair enough. So why is it different for running wide? That’s all I’m asking.

    1. That’s exactly it. The rules make no distinction between “cutting” and “running wide”, they just say you have to use the track.

      BMW don’t seem in the least bit bothered that their drivers were overtaken in this fashion – I’ve had an email back from them about it which rather gives the impression it never occurred to them Raikkonen might have done something wrong.

      I have to wonder whether it this was another team who were overtaken in this fashion (like Red Bull, who got straight on Jenson Button’s case at Valencia last week), they might have kicked up a fuss. They don’t seem to have the no-quarter-given instincts you expect from an F1 team.

  36. as far i understood it. running wide on that specifically corner was legal.

  37. I am glad that Force India have finaly got there first points, and on merit too. If it hadn’t been for Raikkonen using KERS at the restart to overtake Fisichella, then Fisichella probably would have won.

    On the podium the first thing the drivers do is usually spray the champagne then have a drink, but Raikkonen did it the other way round he had a drink first then sprayed the champagne.

  38. Kimi didn’t do anything wrong, if he would have done then he would have got a penalty for it. Maybe he got some advantage out of it, but it’s not his fault that others didn’t use that possibility. It wasn’t illegal to do so, then why shouldn’t it be used? Remember that everyone could have done that, and still wouldn’t have got any penalty.

  39. “It wasn’t illegal to do so, then why shouldn’t it be used?”

    Because the racing should be contained on the track?? I understand your comment about the legality of it (which I question), it’s the logic that escapes me.

    Any driver can attempt a pass on the outside of another car, carrying way too much speed, then run wide, and flat out accelerate up the run off area and complete the pass? Under the pretext of avoiding a collision?

    Something entirely wrong with that concept. Leave the track to protect your car (and others), but no one should gain track position by that maneuver.

  40. It’s really fun reading expert comments about Kimi’s
    extravagant use of KERS and grip/no grip analysis on the outside of that firt corner.Give your playstation
    a rest! {and give the man a break.)

  41. Looking plainly at the facts:

    Regardless of whether it was intentional or not, at the exact moment Raikkonen went off the track he was in 4th, line-astern with a BMW and Trulli and close behind the other BMW. The exact moment he returns to the track he is line-astern with Heidfeld for 3rd. At no point in between these events do any of three other cars touch each other, get in each other’s way, or at any point have to get out of throttle.

    If the run-off area is a disadvantage then, logic dictates that Raikkonen should have re-joined in 5th, even with KERS because off-track there is less grip. At the very least, the two forces would cancelled each other out and Raikkonen would have rejoined line-astern in 4th place. But he was in joint 3rd.

    It really is funny to see the Kimi and Ferrari brigade spam YouTube comments and places like this and attempt to obstruct debate by claiming everyone else is biased. You would have thought those who are usually at the centre of conspiracy theories would act a little less aggressively, as if they had something to hide. Did Kimi deserve to win the race? Yes. But there is no doubt that some part of that win came from a dodgy manoeuvre. It’s irrelevant that he probably would have won anyway (although not if he’d had to serve a drive-through). Hamilton would have won anyway last year, and look what was decided there.

    I’ve been saying it since last year and the incident in Valencia with Webber and Button, where the place was given back some time after the incident only served to convince me: get rid of these silly penalties, replace them with the order to give back the place, and apply them uniformly from the race this new rule is first used. This latest incident says more about the flawed decision-making and punishments surrounding this issue than anything else. At least put in those foam obstacles you can see at Monza’s first corner to force any wandering drivers to take a line that will lose them time – after all, this sport is supposed to be about the best standard of driving, and mistakes should be punished (as safely as possible).

  42. If it gives advantage – why not drive wide on every lap?

    1. agree
      he does not need to cheat for a win

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