Button rules over Monaco’s curves

Jenson Button’s domination of 2009 F1 championship continues. He nudged Raikkonen in dying moments of qualifying and pushed him even further in the race. Birthday boy Barrichello played the eternal bridesmaid again taking the 2nd spot.

The race had a couple of new things for a change – Ferrari finally earned some points this season by securiing the 3rd and 4th spots and Force India also had a good showing both in qualifying and the race. Fisichella and Sutil both finished in Q2 and Fishichella came tentalising close to earning Force India’s first point! He finally finished 9th – just a second behind Torro Rosso’s Beumi.

Vijay Mallya said after his Royal Challangers defeated Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2009’s semi-finals that it had been a great Saturday for him with his cricket team entering into the IPL finals and both his F1 racers finishing in Q2 for the first time in 2 years. Unfortunately, Sunday wasn’t as good – Royal Challengers lost narrowly to Deccan Chargers in the IPL final and Fisichella missed the team’s first point by a second. Good, strong performances from his teams nonetheless.

Hope Ferrari continues on the revival path. They may not be racing next year due to current deadlock between FIA and the team owners on the next year’s budget cap and technical regulations.

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Is Jenson slow as a “milepost”? Wet Shanghai has new rulers!

Is Jenson Button like a roadside mile-post or does he deserve the points he is amassing? Flavio Briatore made his choice public after the “diffuser” hearing went in favor of “diffuser” teams declaring it legal. Briatore thinks without the illegal advantage of teh diffuser, Jenson is about as slow as a roadside mile-post. Jenson has innocently asked in return in return if that was why Flavio Briatore tried to employ his services for this year.

Apart from all this off-the-road talk, Red Bull has ruled this year’s Shanghai race by taking positions 1 and 2. Finally I have seen Webber and race points together! Button added more to his kitty by grabbing 3rd position. Force India’s Sutil, who seems to have a flavor for wet races, missed out narrowly on earning the team’s first ever points. But what the heck – even Ferrari has no points in this championship yet!

Sepang race is washed out – well, 50%!

The race at Sepang was first of its kind for me – one that did not complete because it rained in buckets. I have seen races in past where it rained sometimes but not as much to suspend the race!
The commentator mentioned that there was water accumulating from the hills nearby and the circuit did not have very good drainage facility!

It was very confusing for drivers for some time as they did not know whether the race was officially over or whether they would be called upon to their duties again.

In the end, they suspended the race and awarded only half the points to drivers as the race was not 75% complete.

Good showing by Brawn GP and Toyota again. Once again, Brawn had both its drivers on the podium.

On another note, it seems like McLaren and Hamilton are not out of the soup on Hamilton-Trulli incident of the first race. FIA is finding both the team and the driver in violation of code of conduct because the hid information from race stewards in the hearing. Let’s see. it would be a shame to lose McLaren so early in the season but they are not helping themselves with these frequent “incidents” they are tangling in.

F1 – As exiting a sport as they get

I fell in love with F1 at the start of 2005 season. I had never watched a F1 race before and then I was staying just minutes away from Albert Park when 2005 season opener race took place. The screeching sounds that were there on the TV were also coming in from the windows and that was love-at-first-sound for me!

I have not missed watching any race since then. I wish I had started following the sport earlier! I missed the thrill of Senna’s racing!

Although I came to know about Michael Schumacher’s recent domination of F1, I really started watching it when he was drawing curtains. I didn’t miss him completely though. I saw him fighting tooth and nails with Alonso in the last races of his career and also saw him “stalled” at Monaco 2006 qualifying. If I now read somewhere about his past “incidents” with Senna, Villeneuve, or Damon Hill, I can immediately relate to the “fighting” spirit Schumi had!

Coming to recent seasons, unlike some seasons prior to them, last 3 seasons have thrown 3 different champions – Alonso in 2006, Kimi in 2007 and Hamilton in 2008.

The way 2009 has started, it gives hope that we may see a different car winning again this year. May be Brawn GP, may be Toyota, may be good-old Ferrari, who knows! Back-benchers in last 2-3 seasons, both Brawn(Honda earlier) and Toyota have started this season much better!

Hope that 2009 will not be a 1-2 team showdown all the way and the fight from other teams will be harder! May Force India open its account too this year!!

Melbourne kicks off F1 2009 in style

Wait is finally over and F1 2009 season has kicked off!
The season opening race of 2009 has taken place at Albert Park, Melbourne.

From the pre-season talks, it was an open secret that McLaren was not going to open with a very good package but performance of Brawn GP was a real surprise!

It was disappointing to know that Honda was getting out of F1 racing and Button and Barrichello might not race in 2009. And then came the late news that it was going to get reincarnated as Brawn GP. I guess the Ross Brawn believed too much in the investments that had been made in the team in last season and half. It seems he had stopped developments on the under-performing 2008 car in mid-season and started on the developments for the next year and what a pay-off the team is getting from that headstart!

Apart from Brawn GP sweeping 1st and 2nd positions on the debut, the other exciting event of the race was the penalty that Trulli got for overtaking Hamilton under the safety car, which then turned back on its head when stewards re-investigated the incident and found that McLaren had held back some information in the hearing and and disqualified Hamilton and McLaren from the race. It seems Trulli tried to let Hamilton re-overtake him to make up for his own overtaking but Hamilton did not accept Trulli’s offer.

McLaren suspended the fellow who represented them at the hearing. The poor guy had worked with McLaren for more than 15 years and then he (mis)represented McLaren at the hearing and got kicked out. Swift actions by both teams and drivers in this arena – on and off the field!

And then there was that last-laps collision between 2nd position Kubica and 3rd position Vettel. Their in-the-heat-of-the-moment collision promoted Barrichello from 4th to 2nd spot.

Good result for the “nice guy” Barrichello who more often than not says “after you” when the cars get too close 🙂