F1 2009: Memorable moments (Part 2)

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Mark Webber' first win was a popular choice

What were the best memorable moments of 2009? Here’s what you suggested as the funniest, most exciting and happiest memories of the 2009 F1 season.

Webber’s first win

Mark Webber getting his first ever win in Germany. Another emotional scene, It took him so long to get on the top step, but it propelled him into getting his second in Brazil. Fantastic performance. Remember he got a drive through penalty that race & managed to win by 10 seconds!

Mark Webber’s first victory, that was great!
Pedro Andrade

Webber has been due a win for a while and it was great to see him finally get one. The icing on the cake was that he did despite picking up a penalty which he really didn’t deserve.

Kovalainen’s Suzuka pass

Best overtake: Kovalainen on Fisichella at Suzuka leaving the pit lane. Very audacious.
Ned Flanders

There weren’t too many great moments in Heikki Kovalainen’s second and final season at McLaren.

But this plucky pass on Giancarlo Fisichella was definitely one of them. A shame it came after his race had already been ruined by an unnecessary collision with Adrian Sutil.

Force India on pole

Force India’s first podium – you just gotta love it when small teams get to beat the rest.

Force India pole at Spa.

Fisichella’s pole at Spa – showing with grit and mettle planning, any team can take on the biggies and become better.

Everyone loves an underdog, and with Minardi long gone the next best thing these days is Force India.

Qualifying being what it is these days I was sceptical about just how much fuel Fisichella had in his VJM02 after sticking it on pole at Spa. The fuel weights revealed my doubt was misplaced – he was on an entirely realistic strategy. And without the safety car period at the start of the race he could have won.

Grosjean pulls a Piquet

Romain Grosjean doing the Nelson Piquet Jnr spin!

Renault scandalised the sport when the facts about Fernando Alonso’s victory in Singapore last year came to light.

But you had to laugh when Piquet’s hapless replacement Grosjean crashed his car during practice for this year’s Singapore Grand Prix at the same bend and in much the same way the Brazilian had 12 months earlier. It’s moments like this which make practice sessions worth watching.

Hamilton’s last lap crash

Hamilton’s all or nothing last lap charge at Monza – pure racing, loved it!

Hamilton’s “win or wall” at Monza
Becken Lima

The championship points system means drivers are unlikely to throw caution to the wind in search of a victory – the penalty of losing a points score is too great. But Hamilton’s was long out of serious contention for the title at Monza – and his last-lap crash while trying to pass Button for second proved just how hard he was trying.

Button vs Webber

Mark Webber’s drive in the closing stages at Abu Dhabi – defensive driving against probably the best car of the year, with the champion behind the wheel, is really a gritty one. My liking for Webber and his team mate just shot through the sky this year.

The duel between Webber and Button at the end of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was for the most part utterly dreary. But it came to life in the final laps with a thrilling battle for second place between Jenson Button and an ailing Webber.

The Red Bull driver’s defence proved impenetrable, despite Button – one of the most prolific overtakers this season – getting more than a few clear runs at the brake-troubled RB5.

More proof, if it were needed, that great racing doesn’t necessarily mean lots of overtaking – a scrupulously clean defensive drive of this calibre is motor racing at its very best.


Various BBC presenters almost getting run down in the pit lane.

The BBC’s pit lane antics were entertaining, and really we should give credit to them for their entire F1 coverage which raised the bar far beyond what we had to put up with last year. The hugely positive comments from non-British F1 fans who saw their broadcasts was a testament to that.

Barrichello ends victory drought

Barrichello driving through the pits after winning and all the people lined up cheering him.

Few F1 drivers are as well-liked as Barrichello, especially within the paddock. It was touching to see so many people welcoming his first F1 victory in four-and-a-half years in the European Grand Prix.

Brawn and Button: world champions

Brawn GP winning the drivers and constructors championship in Brazil with Jenson Button. Emotions run high again as Ross Brawn, a usually calm bloke reduced to tears seeing his team, his own team, the team that were no more than a memory months before with Hondas pullout, winners & champions. Jenson Button made some of the best overtakes of the year that race, it was brilliant to watch.

For the best moment, you just can’t go past Brawn’s reversal of fortunes. I know people say Button slackened off in the second half of the season, but here’s the thing – every race from Australia to Abu Dhabi counts. Button scored in every race he finished and was the only driver to do so. And if Romain Grosjean hadn’t taken him out in Belgium, he probably would have scored there, too.
Prisoner Monkeys

Button winning the championship.
Becken Lima

Now the champion driver and champion team have gone their separate ways – with not a little bitterness – it’s easy to feel jaded about what Brawn achieved. All the more so given the coverage of their triumph – invariably described as a ‘fairytale’ – emblazoned across every newspaper and website.

But none of that should be allowed to detract from the substance of their achievement. Turning around a team that had under-performed massively and shrugging off the huge disruption of being put up for sale last winter was a fantastic success.

They were the worthiest of winners and fully deserve our credit and appreciation.

There’s still time for you to join in the F1 Fanatic 2009 season review. Share your picks for top drivers of 2009 here: F1 Fanatic 2009 review: the drivers

Read more: F1 2009: Memorable moments (Part 1)

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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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62 comments on “F1 2009: Memorable moments (Part 2)”

  1. I was sitting along the pit straight in Singapore when the red flags came out in FP1. at first everyone was surprised and confused, then when the images of Grosjean’s crash appeared on the giant screens, the entire grandstand burst into laughter! it was absolutely hilarious!

  2. Id have to say force india’s pole was the biggest suprise of the season! grosean doing a piquet was a bit of a “oh s**t, is it going to be the same thing as last year” moment.

    However im disapointed that this season could only turn up a few memorable moments, im sure last year and 07′ had more.

    Lets hope for at least two a race next year.

    1. Maybe Renault were trying to prove that a legitimate spin could occur at that corner after all.

      1. Anyone remember Kimi parking in the same place at Monaco as Schumacher the year before?! :)

        1. Haha yer, and Massa came round and stopped next to him. Genius.

        2. I’m sure some things are more than a coincidence. In 2001, Giancarlo Fisichella drove into the wrong grid slot at Malaysia. Then in 2003 it happened again- same driver, same circuit!

          Also, what were the chances that Barrichello would have to let Schumacher past at the very last corner of two different races- the Austrian GP of 2001 and 2002?

    2. Sorry, but for me the 2007 season was even more boring than this one, apart from the championship fight. Apart from 4 or 5 races (Canada, Nurburgring, Japan, China and to an extend Brazil) the races were dreadful that year and unlike this year, you knew exactly which two teams would be on the podium…

      1. I agree. Everybody seems to remember 2007 as though it was a classic season, but in reality most races were pretty boring except for the 5 races you mentioned.

        Most of the exciting stuff seemed to happen off the track- a bit like 2009 actually…

        1. well 5 good races in 07′ how many did we have in 09′, two or three maybe. Australia, China and Brazil. one thing this season fell short on was good races even with the radical rule changes

  3. Hamilton needlessly cocking up a final lap that should have had no bearing on his finish?

    If that made the list, I’m surprised by how massively dull 2009 was.

    1. I cannot disagree with you more Paul.

      This move, going for broke on the last lap when it really wasn’t likely to work at all, cemented Hamilton’s place as the grid’s squirrel-balled, let-it-all-hang-out man.

      At the time, it was kind of funny, but looking back, it was both memorable and kind of awesome.

      1. Couldn’t agree more, TF.

        Paul, was just wondering what planet you live on mate ?

        Same goes to Xanathos above you.

        Best season for some time IMO.

      2. I think there are parallels between that and Raikkonen at Nurburgring 05 – both true racers going all out.

        1. well i remember raikkonen’s mclaren being damaged, i dont think hamiltons was, but i see where you are coming from

  4. That clash between Button & Webber on the last lap of the season highlighted that the underdog had pulled out something very special indeed.

    1. Keith said:

      …Button getting more than a few clear runs at the brake-troubled RB5

      During the race they said his option tyres were knackered.

      Great battle all the same.

  5. Hi Keith! Great article… but, you did miss Kimi victory at Spa. It is indeed memorable and one of the best drives all year! Yeah, aided by KERS and he took it from Force India which was faster than ferrari that weekend, but one can’t blame him or Ferrari for that… we can only blame the rules. I feel, his drive deserves a mention here :) At least as a farewell gift to him!

    1. That victory was also aided by him driving off the track at the start

      1. Yeah I thought that the highlight of that race was the fact that Ferrari had somehow managed to screw over Force India yet again!

      2. yes, I agree… but, it doesn’t matter as long as the rule-makers doesn’t see it so. It is the problem of the FIA and the stewards chose not to punish him, but please don’t say that they did it in Ferrari’s favor. That time is long gone! and you all know that… many of us would agree that it is racing incident, and many other would see it as another mistake from Stewards! I’m sure there would few more who would see it as FIA’s favor to Ferrari, which one of this category you belong to second or third???

        Nevertheless, I see it as racing incident… just my opinion!

        1. and I couldn’t stop wondering, why it always has to be Ferrari and Kimi to stop the Force India’s progress :)

          1. Yeah I agree Mani. (Glad you didn’t take that comment too seriously!)
            Especially after Kimi wiped out Sutil at Monaco last year and then again at China this year.

            Maybe Sutil owes him money?

          2. Especially after Kimi wiped out Sutil at Monaco last year and then again at China this year.

            Sutil crashed by himself in China? =P

          3. I guess he means Germany where Sutil rammed into Raikkonen after coming out of the pitlane.

      3. No, it wasn’t.

        Look at starts from other years. Or for that matetr look at other cars taking a wide line there.

        They all lose out on the car ahead of them.

        1. Except the three cars in front of Kimi were all squabbling amongst themselves as well. Plus Martin Brundle’s admission that when the start/finish line was on the next straight, “we all used to go wide at La Source to pick up extra speed”. And the fact that Kimi was one place up already when he rejoined the circuit.

    2. I think the real highlight of Spa (despite Force India’s pole) was Fisi staying glued to the Ferrari’s rear end the whole race long.

      We would have rather seen him in front, but hey.

      1. @Terry: Yeah, I guess it is… at least Sutil/Force India won’t have to worry next year, Kimi won’t be around to stop him.

        But if it still happens, I would say Ferrari are not happy with Force India switching ship to Mercedes engines :) :)

        1. kimi’s win being a memorable moment, one of the best drives of the season.

          not really, in the eyes of the f1 fans who do not support ferrari,

          the most memorable moment of that race was kimi driving off the race track at the first corner then no action from the stewards, that win was the lowest point for kers the whole season

  6. Kimi win…and…Kubica-Vettel clash and crash in Australia and Kobayashi fights. He was a rookie while the others were fighting for the championship, but it didn’t look so interesting for him!!! :-D

    1. Yes David, I missed it… Kubica / Vettel in Australia is something we can’t forget!

  7. The good points I will remember most from this season are Button and Brawn winning both Championships, although I don’t it like when some reports make out Brawn were a completely new team.

    The recovery of McLaren throughout the season, from one of the worst cars to one of the best cars.

    And from the Malaysian Grand Prix Rob Smedley’s quote of “Felipe baby stay cool”

    1. Yes that was completely hilarious!

  8. About the BBC coverage: Yep, it is by far the best I’ve seen (way better than French TV… TF1 isn’t state run but has a massive budget and should really be able to do better)

  9. Italian Rai is not that bad (there is Ivan Capelli), even if they miss Giorgio Piola, who is the best journalist I ever hear. He passed to Sky.

    1. Is Piola the guy who does those amazing sketches of wings and aerofoils in Autosport? He must be multi-talented.

      1. I don’t know.
        He is this guy:


        To me he is great.

  10. Button running down the straight at Monaco could have been in here… but something about Button made it seem more rubbish than classic! (I don’t know what I mean by this by the way)

    1. Contrived?

      I thought it was fun. For me it has proved more memorable than the race itself. I guess for non-Button fans it must have looked a bit cheesy and they had seen enough Button victories already?

      On a side note, in a more accurate protrayal of the Talladega Nights film, a NASCAR driver really did have a big shunt on the last lap at Talldega, then climb out the wreckage and jog across the finish line.

  11. Without any doubt, brown performance, at the barcelona test, and during the first part of the season.
    Nobody was expecting that.

    1. Shock value… can’t beat it :)

  12. BBC coverage for sure better- hope it gets even better for the 2010 season with HD. anyone got anynew on that ?

  13. Hungarian Qualifying. Complete chaos with Massa’s freak accident then the timing screens dying moments before the end of the session causing us all to miss Alonso’s pole position.

    Brazil Gualifying. Rain drenched session featuring red flag and an excellent ‘Scolari’ by the BBC. Vettel getting knocked out in Q1 with Kobyashi finishing P11 on debut in the most treacherous qualify of recent years. Then at the end Rubens taking pole with Jenson P14. Title back on? Well thats what we thought.

    Moments that might have been:
    – Montreal hosting another classic Canadian Grand Prix
    – Kubica storming to victory in Melbourne on the prime tyres
    – A full race held in the afternoon in Malaysia
    – Schumacher storming to victory in Spa as replacement for Massa…

  14. My fav moment was Kobayashi putting Nakajima into the wall in Brazil – talk about put a marker down :)

  15. As an aussie Webbo winning twice was a big highlight – we were pretty fired up on the saturday night of the German gp when he got pole, then the heartbreak of the drive thru, then we realised he was still going to win! Awesome.

    The real shame was the DDD – I think its legality ruined the good changes to the cars and we saw a ho-hum season once everyone had them on. Unless you had a reasonably big car advantage it was pretty hard to pass anyone.

    And big wraps to Koby – Lotus should partner him with Trulli…

  16. There was quite a bit more swearing in F1 2009 than I thought ;) especially as the first one came from someone supporting a team’s first race (Brawn) i.e. Branson

    Jenson and Fernando talking after the Hungarian GP about what time they got after the timing screens broke down was a funny moment

    Jenson: I did a 22.5
    Fernando: 21.5
    Jenson: No, 22.5
    Fernando: Me, 21.5
    Jenson: ****ing hell!

    1. Post Spanish Grand Prix, Button and Barrichello expect to be joined pre-podium by Vettel and instead are joined by Mark Webber.

      Button: How did he get here!?
      Webber: Felipe f**ked his…. (notices TV camera) sorry about that.
      Button: (Laughs)
      Barrichello: It’s ok, he’s Australian.


    2. Here is the link to what James is quoting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eilxIKP9uc&feature=related

    3. Hahaha oh yeah forgot about when the live timing screens went blank, that was really funny..

  17. Funny that Lewis’s idiot pursuit of Jense at Monza gets a mention..

    The guy is an excellent and aggressive driver but this was a case of total stupidity….

    Never did a move on a dry track look more unlikely (I was watching at the track and could see how far away he was)… when it was clear that Jense was just taking it easy in front and could have held him off unless Lewis actually punted him…

    And it nearly cost Macca their third place in the WCC…

    I just wonder if it hadn’t been Lewis whether it would have got any plaudits…

    Has any other driver in the last couple of years got praise for making a mad move?…

    If so I will accept that this isn’t just too desperate to find a hot spot for Lewis…

    Bring on the examples…

    1. It wasn’t a “move”, just him pushing too hard.

      I guess the best example would be Kimi carrying on with a knackered tyre at the Nurburgring in 2005, when he could have taken it easier and only lost 2 points to Alonso. He lost 10 in the end, but still gets much kudos for going for the win.

      I also applauded Kimi for trying to get the win back at Spa 2008 in a car less suited to the conditions than the McLaren, even though he ended up in the barriers.

      1. You’ve got me there…

        I’d always support Kimi…

      2. I think we will not hear any miaou about Lewis from Lady Snowcat…

    2. @ Lady Snowcat

      I suppose some of us like to watch RACING instead of parades.

      ….and I’m not a Hamilton fan.

      1. I like racing too Wesley…

        But Lewis didn’t lose it trying to overtake… just for missing his line at Lesmos and getting onto the dirt… because he was trying to catch up…

        If he’d been overtaking it would have been more praiseworthy…

        And I am not saying he isn’t good… just that he was right to apologise to the team for being rash…

        1. “If he’d been overtaking it would have been more praiseworthy…”

          Fair enough.

          I still love to see a racer wring every ounce of performance from a car without fear…and that is exactly what Lewis did at Monza.That is what true racers are made of and Lewis proved that he is a true racer.He got my respect anyway.

  18. After two, the final score is:
    Things About Race Cars: 9
    Things Not About Race Cars: 7

    Things About Race Cars certainly put the whip to their opponent today, nearly running the table. Indeed, the argument could be made that the BBC and Grosjean stories should be scored for TARC.

    Bernie Ecclestone, long-time captain of Things Not About Race Cars, responded: “This is complete b*******.” Jean Todt was unavailable for comment.

  19. 2009 was a good year but it really was about the moments; little great racing was going on at the front. The past two seasons were definitely better for action, but at least we got a lot of surprises this year.

  20. I got Married the day Webber got his first win!..surely memorable

  21. Memorable moments for me was the Vettel/Kubica scrap in Australia, followed by the wheel banging shunt that followed. I had alot of respect for Vettel before this, but as 2009 progressed, you could almost see how he had learned from trying to block Kubica at Melbourne. Vettel’s apology to his team was eye opening, very honest and thats something you seldom get from any sportsman.
    Second, Kobayashi’s two performances at Brazil and Abu Dhabi were only dampened by the loss of the Toyota team. With so much attention in recent weeks on Jenson Button and the retirement of Kimi Raikkonen, one must spare a thought or two for Kobayashi. F1 needs drivers, young drivers who are not afraid to take risks.

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