F1 2009: Race-by-race

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The F1 season began with a bang in Melbourne

We’ve followed every minute of every session on the F1 Fanatic live blogs this season.

Here’s a look back at the story of the 2009 F1 season as told by you – with your comments from the most exciting moments in each race of the season:

Australian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2009

It was a surprising start to the season with a cracking race and the pecking order completely reversed from 2008 as Brawn led the way.

Then came the clash between Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica in the dying stages.

Robert McKay: Ooops
Dan Bigham: Vettel and Kubica both crashed! Hamilton for podium?
Guillaume Lafrance: Oh no!
Darren Hector: Vettel and Kubica out
Journeyer: Brawn 1-2!

Button wins for Brawn in spectacular start to season (Australian Grand Prix)

Malaysian Grand Prix

It wasn’t an exciting end to the next race, though. The Malaysian Grand Prix was red-flagged after 31 laps of a scheduled 56 as the track was flooded by a rain storm. The teams waited around for the conditions to improve but with the skies darkening as evening drew in the race was abandoned.

Rikhart: This situation is just laughable, what on earth are they doing just call it quits.

Button wins again but rain stops play at Sepang (Malaysian Grand Prix review)

Chinese Grand Prix

After two Button wins Red Bull hit back in China with their first win and first one-two. It was another very wet event – albeit not too wet or too dark that the cars couldn’t race.

Not for the first time in 2009 Adrian Sutil looked on course to score points until…

zerogee: Sutil, huge crash
Matt: Not Sutil!
Eastman: noooooo
Darren Hector: Guess that car’s not going to run again
Remojo: I was about to say first points ever for Force India…

Vettel leads Webber in Red Bull one-two (Chinese Grand Prix review)

Bahrain Grand Prix

Button was back on top at Bahrain and it was all thanks to an early pass on Lewis Hamilton. Vettel, meanwhile, remained stuck behind the McLaren.

He eventually got past thanks to the pit stops and finished second to his Brawn rival.

Michel S.: I’m becoming less enamoured with the double diffusers – and is it me, or has Vettel not attempted to overtake anyone?

Jenson Button extends title lead with third win (Bahrain Grand Prix review)

Spanish Grand Prix

Brawn had shown the first signs of their potential in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya before the season began. The white cars routed the opposition when they returned for the Spanish Grand Prix.

But a questionable strategy decision for Rubens Barrichello left many of us baffled. It ended up costing him the win to Button.

siva: Brawn running away with the championship.
z0rs: We are at half race distance.
Oliver: Barrichello might as well have taken more fuel on board, he’s got Massa ahead of him.
Henrick: Button, Massa and Vettel have to stop… they will be heavier than Barrichello. Barrichello has the upper hand.
F1 Fanatic: Barrichello’s strategy makes no sense. When you’re leading you need a damn good reason to sacrifice track position.

Button wins again with the old two-stop (Spanish Grand Prix review)

Monaco Grand Prix

Jenson Button, Brawn, Monaco, 2009

Button made it five from six at Monaco and already people were starting to talk about the championship being over.

Lee Harrison: Another great win for Jenson.
LAK: Kimi podium.
Andrew White: Another strong win for Jenson *yawn*.
Chaz: “Monaco baby!” says Jenson.

Jenson Button leads Brawn to third one-two (Monaco Grand Prix review)

Turkish Grand Prix

The Turkish Grand Prix looked set for a thrilling Vettel-versus-Button race as the pair lined up on the front row of the grid.

But the contest fizzled out after half a lap as Vettel ran wide at turn nine, allowing Button into a lead he never lost. At this point in the season no-one would have guessed this was Button’s last win of the year.

zerogee: See how dirty the track was out there?
Dan Bigham: Vettel, why oh why.
Franton: Vettel went off the track and let Button through

Vettel’s mistake lets Button in for another win (Turkish Grand Prix review)

British Grand Prix

Red Bull hit back with an upgraded car at Silverstone allowing Vettel to take his second win of the year.

Brawn struggled – a development step proved problematic and suddenly Button couldn’t get heat into his tyres. He was running sixth at the end of the race when he caught Nico Rosberg, but couldn’t get close enough to pass the Williams.

csharp: No way Button will overtake Rosberg. You have to be really great driver to overtake here today.
rich: Rosberg looks like he’ll hold on unless he makes a mistake.
Chua: Button has two laps to do it.
mickey: So Button still trying at Rosberg?
Adrian: Jenson just isn’t close enough… the dirty air is hurting him now.

Untouchable Vettel romps to Silverstone victory (British Grand Prix review)

German Grand Prix

Start, Nurburgring, 2009

McLaren had a dismal race at Silverstone but a major upgrade on Hamilton’s car at the Nurburgring allowed him to challenge for a win. At least, until he tagged Mark Webber’s car at the first corner.

Webber, starting from pole position, hit two cars before he even reached the first bend. The other, with Barrichello, earned him a drive-through penalty – but he still romped home to an impressive maiden victory.

Elly: Hamilton punctured his tyre by touching Webber.
MatStace: Aggressive weave by Webber on Barrichello off the start too.
John H: Didn’t outbrake himself then – he would have almost led the race.
F1 Fanatic: Hamilton got his puncture from contact with Webber. In the GP2 race this morning Petrov got a penalty for less than that.
MattC: Will Webber get a penalty?
Dan Bigham: No, wasn’t his fault.

Webber shrugs off penalty to grab maiden win (German Grand Prix review)

Hungarian Grand Prix

The Hungarian Grand Prix was overshadowed by the shock accident suffered by Felipe Massa during qualifying.

In the race Fernando Alonso led before coming in early for fuel. It all went wrong for Renault who failed to get all four wheels on the car during the pit stop. The team were later excluded from the next round at Valencia, but the punishment was annulled on appeal.

Ronman: the whole tyre is wriggling.
Journeyer: It’s 2006 all over again for Alonso.
Lee Harrison: It’s come off!
Elly: The wheel has come off!
Dan Bigham: Safety car methinks.
Damon: The Renault mechanics runied it for Alonso.
Tiomkin: Alonso wheel off, bouncing down the road.
Hakka: Shouldn’t he park it?

Lewis Hamilton takes McLaren back to winning ways (Hungarian Grand Prix)

European Grand Prix

While Button continued to struggle Barrichello was back at the sharp end. He won for the first time in four-and-a-half years after passing Hamilton via the pit stops at the end of the race.

McLaren fumbled Hamilton’s final stop, but Barrichello had enough laps it hand that it wouldn’t have made a difference. Button finished seventh after being squeezed by Vettel at the start and was starting to come under pressure.

Austin: McLaren blew it for Hamilton, would love to know why they pitted on that lap and werent ready, was it Hamilton’s call or Whitmarsh?
Sumedh: If Rubens pitted a massive three laps earlier, then he probably would have won the race anyway.

Rubens Barrichello grabs win from Lewis Hamilton (European Grand Prix)

Belgian Grand Prix

There was another new team at the front of the grid in Spa – Force India. Giancarlo Fisichella gave the team its first ever pole position and led away at the start, until a pile-up involving Button, Hamilton, Romain Grosjean and Jaime Alguersuari brought the safety car out.

Kimi Raikkonen passed Fisichella at the restart and took the win by less than a second. But on the live blog there was much debate over whether his off-track excursion on the first lap had been within the rules.

Ned: Raikkonen should be penalised for that
Benno: Will Kimi get penalty for that? (running wide at first corner on purpose)
Damon: Barrichello overslept the start
IDR: Kimi using a big part off track gaining positions… stewards?
Xenia: Do we really think it was Kimi’s fault?
Journeyer: It’ll be hard to prove, Ned.
Ned: Yep
Choltz: Should Kimi get a stop and go for driving on the run off, since he made places because of it.

Kimi Raikkonen edges Giancarlo Fisichella for win (Belgian Grand Prix review)

Italian Grand Prix

Brawn were back to their pre-Silverstone form with an emphatic one-two at Monza. But Hamilton pushed them hard for the win until, on the final lap, he speared into the barriers while trying to put Button under pressure for second.

Chaz: Lewis out.
Austin: Hamilton has blown it.
IDR: Unexpected finish!
Arun Srini: aah… Kimi P3 and Sutil P4,
francois: Can’t say he wasn’t trying!
MattC: Now that is a finish.
vee8: What on earth just happened to Hamilton?
Lee Harrison: Damn, he was my last hope in the prediction with Kovy’s failure.
SuperRelax: Lost concentration?
Alex: Kimi on the podium!
benno: Long walk home for Ham
Ronman: That’s what happens when you try to hard I guess… but I really respect Hami for trying.

Barrichello leads one-two as Brawn are back on top (Italian Grand Prix)

Singapore Grand Prix

Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Singapore, 2009

Hamilton bounced back with a comfortable win at Singapore. In an otherwise forgettable race, one of the few memorable moments was when Webber crashed out with brake failure.

Arun Srini: Webber crash.
LAK: Oh Webber in barriers!
Lee Harrison: Webber out.
P1-EH: OK, who called Webber to bring out the safety car?
Austin: Webber’s brakes probably failed

Hamilton wins as Button closes on title (Singapore Grand Prix review)

Japanese Grand Prix

A spate of penalties during qualifying left Button ninth – and unable to keep the KERS-equipped Heikki Kovalainen, tenth, behind him at the start.

Fortunately for Button he picked up two places when Kovalainen tried a little too hard to keep Sutil behind him. That allowed Button to finish in Barrichello’s wheel tracks, losing only a point to his team mate, but a crushing win for Vettel kept him in the championship hunt.

Robert McKay: Kovi he did you, let him go for God’s sake.
Darren: Sutil and Kovalainen crash
Mark Hitchcock: Oh for goodness sake Kovi!
F1_Gal: Sutil you idiot.
Kimster: Jenson gets past both of them.
steph: Great so once again Button handed it on a plate.

Vettel keeps title hopes alive at Suzuka (Japanese Grand Prix race report)

Brazilian Grand Prix

Button made life hard for himself in Brazil, qualifying 14th in a rain-hit session while Barrichello started from pole position.

But while Barrichello’s strategy left him vulnerable to the cars behind him, Button made his way up through the field. He was already in position to seal the title when Barrichello picked up a puncture from contact with Hamilton. Fifth place was enough to give Button the title.

goofy: Well done jenson, well done brawn
Nick B: Took JB long enough
Noel Slevin: did anyone else see something was throw at Hamilton’s car as he went past from the crowd!
Nick: Woohooooo
LAK: He did it!
JUGNU: Button Champion
Kimster: Brawn GP 2009 WCC!
adaptalis: @noel. i saw
Andromeda: Button is the new world champion!
jesp: Fantastic!
IDR: Absolutely fantastic!
LAK: Button singing “we are the champions”

Webber wins in style as Button races to title (Brazilian Grand Prix race report)

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2009

The spectacular Yas Island complex made for an eye-catching last race of the season. It was short on action, though, until Button and Webber traded blows over second place on the final lap. Somehow, Webber clung on to keep Button behind.

SaloolaS: Button got a great exit.
Peter: Now let’s go.
MacademiaNut: Get him get him Button.
steph: Wow Webber keep going.
LAK: Woah!
Bert – Montr??al: Finally a clean block by webber.
Austin: Wheel to wheel action at last.
steph: Yes Webber c’mon!
LAK: Oh my heartbeat!

Vettel leads a Red Bull one-two in finale (Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race report)

Shout-out to the 2009 live bloggers!

As ever, I think the live blogs have made watching F1 even more entertaining and I hope you all agree.

Thanks very much to everyone who joined in this year and special thanks to our team of moderators who helped out including Arun Srinisivan, Dan Bigham, Vee8, Guillaume Lafrance, IDR, John Beamer, Darren Hector, Adam Lewis, Journeyer, Lee Harrison, MAK, Rich, Robert McKay, Marc, Scott Joslin, Aaron, Macca, Anirudh, Elly, Bruno, Andromeda, LAK and Steph. (I think that’s everyone but if I’ve missed someone out I do apologise!)

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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14 comments on “F1 2009: Race-by-race”

  1. Thanks Keith the live blog is a wonderful idea. It made the season so enjoyable. I’m missing the chat with fellow fanatics very much!

    1. Sorry for double post but I pressed ‘submit’ by mistake.
      Thanks to all the mods who worked so hard and probably missed a fair amount of action. Thank you also to everyone who took part. There was a great energy and feel to the chat and that is because of all of you.
      Keith will we have the live chat for testing?:p

  2. Accidental Mick
    12th November 2009, 13:37

    Hear Hear Steph.

    Being a founder member of “the Grumpy Old Men” club, I often disagree with some of the comments posted, but,every so often, I read something that makes me stop and think that perhaps I am the one who is wrong.

    So, thanks Keith for setting it up and thanks mods for all your hard work.

  3. steph: Great so once again Button handed it on a plate.

    This made me giggle like a schoolgirl

    1. Erm…I was quite angry at the time Sush Meerkat:p

  4. The first lien for Valencia:
    “While Button continued to struggle”

    Button wasn’t struggling so much there was he? He qualified 5th, one place behind Vettel and only 2 places behind Barrichello. After the start Button was overtaking Vettel, but Vettel pushed Button off.

    That led to a series of events where Button had to lift to avoid a crash with Vettel and then also Alonso and Webber were able to block and overtake Button.

  5. Brilliant article. Took me back…. sniff, can’t wait til march.

  6. Race 1 – Button wins
    Race 2 – Button wins
    Race…Button wins, Buttons wins, and then sighhhh…..yawn…..
    Button wins the championship!
    End of 2009 season.
    Now bring on 2010!!!!

  7. Penelope Pitstop
    12th November 2009, 17:34

    Live blogs helped keep me pretty well-informed throughout the season, since I was at work during most of the races (“Oh, ask the Jewish girl to work Sundays, she won’t mind!”). And since this is basically NASCAR country (with a few IRL fans) and barely anyone I know watches F1, I usually have no one to talk to about it, so I’m glad I have you guys to keep me company for the next few months, too!

  8. You can enjoya fabulous ‘paragraph per race’ season review on f1badger too: http://www.f1badger.com/season/ :)

  9. Yup, the live chats ruled.
    And I love the format of this article!
    I thought it would be a typical, long narrative. But this was very fresh and so entertaining.

    Australia seems like yesterday *sigh*

    I don’t know if anybody has already realised, but since we’ve got 2009, this means that another decade in F1’s history came to an end (2000-2009).
    Now, we’re going into the 10s!

    1. I don’t know if anybody has already realised, but since we’ve got 2009, this means that another decade in F1’s history came to an end (2000-2009).
      Now, we’re going into the 10s!

      That made me feel old although it’s only the end of my second decade with f1…
      A new decade. Wonder how this will go. I have a good feeling :)

  10. Great article Keith!

    I too love the live blog…

    and great job selecting the quotes for the article from the thousands on the blog!

  11. Wow thanks Keith … I don’t remember typing that at all!

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