F1: Brazilian Grand Prix liveblog

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarSunday, October 18th, 2009

 
 

Rubens Barrichello snatched pole at his home grand prix yesterday after a chaotic qualifying disrupted by long delays caused by weather so bad that the Interlagos track was too dangerous to drive.

Red Bull tried to tackle it with a dry set-up, something which benefited Mark Webber sufficiently to see him reach P2 on the grid. But Sebastian Vettel went out in the first session, surely seeing his hopes of beating the two Brawn GP drivers scuttled for 2009.

Both McLarens also went out in the first session, also as a result of trying to run a dry set-up, while poor tyre choice left title favourite Jenson Button back in P14 and looking increasingly unlikely to beat his team-mate by a sufficient margin to secure the title.

Sao Paolo seems to be experiencing considerably better weather today, however. What will that mean for this stirred-up grid?

Stick with us to find out as we liveblog the whole thing. You’ll need refresh the page to make sure you are seeing the very latest.

– – – – –

Ross Brawn has burst into tears on camera and cannot say a word! He recovers himself to pay tribute to all the people who worked on the car over the winter and who didn’t make it through the restructure, saying he hopes they are proud of what they helped to achieve. What a gentleman he is.

And Lee McKenzie falls straight into the arms of Jenson Button! If only Lou Goodman could have been here for this moment. Jenson is somewhat incoherent and we can’t really extract much in the way of a quote, but we’re sure you can get the general picture. Apparently while the podium ceremony was going on, he was down the bottom giving his dad a cuddle. All together now: Awww!

– – – – –

Podium: Rubens comes straight over to congratulate Jenson, which is a lovely sight to see. We’ve been seeing a lot of people in white overalls leaping around in ecstasy but little of the podium as yet.

But here comes Webber and the strains of Advance Australia Fair. We haven’t heard enough of this for it to get annoying yet in motor racing – but if the record of Aussies in every other sport they turn their hand to is anything to go by, it will come… :D

Webber receives an odd blue trophy made, we are told, from recycled plastic. Looks like an offensive weapon not a trophy. Quite a quiet celebration – they all know the focus is elsewhere.

– – – – –

Lap 71: And Mark Webber starts the final lap – let’s just take a moment to congratulate both him and Robert Kubica on a superb drive before the corks start popping. Terrible race for Williams, however. That’s it! Button is through and he’s only gorn and bleeding done it! Ross Brawn looks impassive at present, but we expect he will allow his face to crack before much longer!

– – – – –

Lap 70: Felipe Massa due to wave the chequered flag, don’t forget.

– – – – –

Lap 69: Button three laps away from a double drivers’ and constructors’ championship. Well, who saw that coming after quali? John Button in the garage already working up to get tearful.

– – – – –

Lap 68: As you were. No dramas for you this time around.

– – – – –

Lap 67: Looks as if, like last year, we might be seeing a bit of rain to spice up the end.

– – – – –

Lap 66: McLaren look due to realise their ambition of overhauling Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

– – – – –

Lap 65: Order is Webber, Kubica, Hamilton, Vettel, Button, Raikkonen, Buemi, Barrichello, Kovalainen, Fisi, Kobayashi, Liuzzi, Grosjean, J-Alg.

– – – – –

Lap 64: Hope you are happy, Jonathan Legard, you prophet of doom. Rubens pits and comes back out in eighth place. Hamilton, meanwhile, has got himself on the podium.

– – – – –

Lap 63: Rubens Barrichello has a puncture with eight laps to go. You would not credit it, would you? Interlagos is the unluckiest track in the world for him. Looks like the cause of that puncture was Lewis Hamilton’s suddenly-broken right front wing…

– – – – –

Lap 62: Barrichello has just lost third place to Hamilton who goes cruising past him. He’s been told on the radio to save his tyres. Hamilton being told that there is something on his front right wing broken, but it doesn’t seem to be causing him too much trouble.

– – – – –

Lap 61: Order now is Webber, Kubica, Barrichello, Hamilton, Vettel, Button, Raikkonen, Buemi, Kovalainen, Fisi, Kobayashi, Liuzzi, Grosjean, J-Alg.

– – – – –

Lap 60: Kovalainen pits, uncorking Button into sixth. Vettel having a look at Hamilton.

– – – – –

Lap 59: Legard going into valedictory mode, God help us.

– – – – –

Lap 58: Button likely to finish in front of Kovalainen for a couple of reasons. One, that he probably has to pit again, and two, that he’s currently under investigation by the stewards. But he’s not relying on this, looking at the back of Kovalainen for a chance to have a go. A good thing, because Raikkonen is as threatening as a piranha behind him.

– – – – –

Lap 57: Vettel pits. Super-softs go on. 5.8 seconds and he feeds back out also in front of Button who is stuck behind the slower Kovalainen. Button cannot afford to drop another point. Order is Webber, Kubica, Barrichello, Hamilton, Vettel, Kovalainen, Button, Raikkonen, Buemi, Kobayashi, Fisi, Liuzzi, Grosjean, J-Alg.

– – – – –

Lap 56: Button pits and BBC commentator Legard celebrates by listing all the things that can go wrong. But Brawn get him off after just six seconds. He’s side by side by Kovalainen and they fight for a bit for the place but the McLaren is well and truly past. This means that Hamilton has easily taken the net place.

– – – – –

Lap 55: Jense is going round in the low 1:14s which might be enough to defend his place against Hamilton. He must finish seventh or above.

– – – – –

Lap 54: Button thought to be at risk from the one-stopping Hamilton when he takes his second pitstop – but that wouldn’t cost him the championship.

– – – – –

Lap 53: Webber comes out at the front and the race is now his, barring an engine failure, we would suggest.

– – – – –

Lap 52: Webber pits. 8-second stop and supersoft tyres.

– – – – –

Lap 51: Barrichello pits and will be wanting to come out ahead of Kubica. On go the super-softs. 6.3 seconds and he comes out sixth behind Buemi with Hamilton behind him.

– – – – –

Lap 50: As things stand Button is champion but there is, of course, no guarantee that they will.

– – – – –

Lap 49: Order is Webber, Barrichello, Kubica, Button, Vettel, Buemi, Hamilton, Kobayashi, Kovy, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Fisi, J-alg, Liuzzi.

– – – – –

Lap 48: Rosberg pictured in the Williams garage looking like a small boy who has fallen over in the playground and who has been taken inside to have his knees bandaged. He manages a charmingly rueful smile for the cameras.

– – – – –

Lap 47: Kubica rejoins in third in front of Button.

– – – – –

Lap 46: Kubica reeling in Webber whose lead is narrowing closer and closer to five seconds. Button in fourth is being warned about Hamilton in seventh – that’ll be fuel strategy, that will. Kubica pits.

– – – – –

Lap 45: Uneventful lap while everyone gets their bearings after the latest pitstops.

– – – – –

Lap 44: Kubica in second is going faster than Webber in the lead. Raikkonen pits, eight seconds, soft tyres. Commentators point out that Ferrari is the only team that can work wiith those soft tyres. Raikkonen emerges in 11th in clean air.

– – – – –

Lap 43: Hamilton pits. A very smooth 8-second pitstop for him. However e overshoots the pitlane exit and has to stand on it then correct violently to miss the wall. Comes out in ninth behind Liuzzi. What is it with this boy and the end of the pitlane?

– – – – –

Laps 42: Hamilton goes round for another lap. Barrichello in third currently 13.5 seconds behind Webber at the front. Button a further 15 seconds back and gaining.

– – – – –

Lap 41: McLaren mechanics are out for Hamilton. Lets hope this goes better than Kovy’s stop did.

– – – – –

Lap 40: Hamilton is doing his best to disrupt this, however, by trying to get himself past Barrichello.

– – – – –

Lap 39: Podium at the moment looks like Webber, Kubica and Barrichello with Hamilton, Raikkonen, Button and Vettel all in a scrap for the best possible points finish. If it ends like this Button is 11 points ahead and is champion. Brundle, however, saying he feels there’s a bit of racing still left to come.

– – – – –

Lap 38: Vettel slots back in behind Button and apparently he had a wheel problem that kept him in the pits for nearly 10 seconds. That could have compromised his race quite badly.

– – – – –

Lap 37: Vettel pits. 9.2 seconds – fuelled to the end but might have to come in for tyres again.

– – – – –

Lap 36: Order at the halfway point is Webber, Vettel (unpitted), Kubica, Barrichello, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Button, Buemi, Grosjean, Fisi, Liuzzi, Kobayashi, Kovalainen, Algersuari. Vettel has also still got his dodgy tyre options to come.

– – – – –

Lap 35: Brundle: “Button needed to produce a champion’s drive and I think we are seeing one.” Webber still leading comfortably. We are at the halfway point next lap. Nick Heidfeld pictured sitting sadly at the side of the track, bless his little cotton socks.

– – – – –

Lap 34: Button flies past Buemi but then the Toro Rosso driver avoids his back wheel by centimetres. Button wobbles violently but stays on the line. Dirt all over the track from the Nakajima incident.

– – – – –

Lap 33: Hamilton right on Barrichello’s bumper. He pulls out to overtake but can’t. Barrichello is on the radio complaining only to be told that he can’t expect to match the on-fumes Hamilton in his heavy car. Button is running in ninth.

– – – – –

Lap 32: A big smash for Nakajima but the camera catches him getting out of the car. A replay shows Kobayashi coming out of the pits into the path of the much faster Nakajima. He tries to defend and Nakajima catches a rear wheel of Kobayashi. He goes into the barrier and straight back across the track. The commentators are unanimous in blaming the rookie driver.

– – – – –

Lap 31: Kobayashi pits and goes onto the super-softs. Barrichello is in fourth, having re-taken Hamilton and is being warned about the McLaren behind him. Meanwhile Nakajima or his car just lets go and the car bounces right back across the track and smashes into the opposite tyre barrier.

– – – – –

Lap 30: Button’s stop is 7.5 seconds and he comes back out in tenth in front of J-Alg and deep in traffic. The youngster is having a look at going past him while he’s on cold tyres but it comes to nothing. Button though to have taken on 25 laps’ worth of fuel.

– – – – –

Lap 29: Barrichello has plunged like a stone compared to Webber. Button pits.

– – – – –

Lap 28: Heidfeld ran out of fuel thanks to a broken fuel rig while Rosberg has retired with what looks like engine failure.

– – – – –

Lap 27: Barrichello is now a net third – and must not fall any lower if he is to keep the championship open. Rosberg is slowing, looks like he has a problem of some sort. Order is Webber, Button (unpitted), Kobayashi, Vettel, Kubica, Barrichello, Hamilton (now on a one-stop, remember), Kovy, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Buemi, Alguersuari, Fisi, Liuzzi, Rosberg, Nakajima.

– – – – –

Lap 26: Fantastic wheel to wheel stuff between Nakajima and Kobayashi leaves the rookie still in front after a bit of place-swapping. Fisi and Kovalainen are to be investigated after the race. Webber pits and makes around an eight-second stop, he’s back out in the lead. Button, unpitted, still second.

– – – – –

Lap 25: Button has now got clear air ahead, is second on track and has the opportunity to perform a miracle – if he can drive like a bastard for these next six laps.

– – – – –

Lap 24: Kubica comes out behind Vettel which means he has jumped Barrichello in the stops. Button is moaning about Kobayashi, with Brawn agreeing to talk to race director Charlie Whiting. Rosberg and Buemi pit from a net fourth and fifth. But wait! Button is past. Maybe they won’t bother now.

– – – – –

Lap 23: Yellow flag. Heidfeld has come to a halt at the side of the road. Hamilton is having a look at Barrichello but is more or less told: “You’re having a laugh, son.” Button has a terribly close encounter with Kobayashi but is still not past. Kubica pits from third.

– – – – –

Lap 22: Webber putting in personal bests now Rubens is out of his way. The damn timing broke during the pitstop though, so we don’t know how long it was or how much fuel went in. Barrichello emerges between Nakajima and Vettel and the German is straight past him for eighth place while his tyres are cold. Button was nearly crowned world champion in that moment.

– – – – –

Lap 21: Commentators say that Kobayashi is doing a fine job in his first GP. Barrichello pits.

– – – – –

Lap 20: Barrichello’s lead up to 2.7 seconds. Pitstops start with Heidfeld who does a 7.8 second splash and dash.

– – – – –

Lap 19: Sutil now interviewed, saying he lost control and not sure what happened. He says he was just sticking to his race line and that Trulli went into him. “His manoeuvre was dangerous.” Handbags still well and truly primed and ready.

– – – – –

Lap 18: Barrichello has got the lead up to 2.5 seconds. Jarno Trulli is interviewed and is still furious with Sutil, saying Alonso saw everything and agreed with him.

– – – – –

Lap 17: Rosberg in fourth is five and a half seconds off the lead. Cars 9 and 20 to be investigated after the race – that’s Trulli and Sutil.

– – – – –

Lap 16: Kovalainen under investigation for the fuel hose incident. Barrichello failing to get more than two seconds faster than Webber, despite putting in successive fastest laps.

– – – – –

Lap 15: Button, more heavily fuelled, has just put in a fastest lap in the 1:15s – quite a bit slower than his team-mate. Kobayashi has put a bit of distance between himself and Button. Button is told he fuelled two laps longer. He also gets a cryptic message about a setting – but the commentators think this means something to the Brawn garage and to Button that the rest of us don’t know.

– – – – –

Lap 14: Jock Clear is reportedly on the radio telling Barrichello he needs 3-4 seconds on Webber at the first stops. So he needs to put his foot down and is thought to have until around lap 20 to do it.

– – – – –

Lap 13: Barrichello puts in another personal best lap. A Kobayashi train is forming which gives all of us who accused Trulli of being the archetypal train-driver pause for thought.

– – – – –

Lap 12: Another reasonably uneventful lap – take a few deep breaths! Barrichello 1.8 seconds ahead.

– – – – –

Lap 11: All the action on track is Button trying to get past Kobayashi whose car is set up perfectly to keep the Brawn driver behind him at all the best overtaking spots.

– – – – –

Lap 10: Order is Barrichello, Webber, Kubica, Rosberg, Buemi, Kobayashi, Button, Nakajima, Vettel, Heidfeld, Hamilton, Kovalainen, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Algersuari, Fisi, Liuzzi. Retirements are Alonso, Trulli and Sutil.

– – – – –

Lap 9: And finally, a quieter lap. Button seventh. Vettel ninth, Hamilton 11th, the two Ferraris 15th and 16th. Barrichello due to stop round about 20 or 21. Now Kovalainen, back in 13th, comes past Grosjean.

– – – – –

Lap 8: Barrichello sets a fastest lap while Vettel, side by side with Nakajima, tries too hard to get past and nearly loses the car. Nakajima off up the road. Barrichello is trying to build a lead that keeps Webber behind him in the pitstops.

– – – – –

Lap 7: Hamilton is now also past Grosjean. Now he’s wheel to wheel with Kobayashi but doesn’t hold the place. Six beckons with Buemi ahead.

– – – – –

Lap 6: Kubica has got himself into third. Button is having a look at Grosjean but can’t get past. Has another look on the inside and is through but it takes him quite a while to make it stick. Now lining up Nakajima while Vettel lines up Grosjean. Poor little sod – wouldn’t want to be him right now. Vettel past Grosjean in a clean overtake. Button cuts up the inside of Nakajima and is now into seventh.

– – – – –

Lap 5: Safety car due in. Wily old fox Barrichello backing the field right up. Watch how the kids cope with this. Off Rubens goes and we are racing again.

– – – – –

Lap 4: Post-mortem going on in the pit lane as to how Kovy left the garage with the fuel hose attached. The pitlane is open and Liuzzi is taking advantage. Button at this point is ninth. We hear that Hamilton is being moved onto a one-stop which his team rates highly as a plan. Hamilton currently in 14th.

– – – – –

Lap 3: Still under the safety car. In the midst of all that we lost Alonso who was taken off by the Trulli-Sutil incident. Button is being warned that the rookies in front may not know how to keep their tyres warm in these circumstances.

– – – – –

Lap 2; Raikkonen pits for a new nose. Kovalainen is in the pits then leaves with the fuel hose attached. A great gout of flame blows backwards at Raikkonen. Brawn mechanics are now trying to sort Kovy out. Raikkonen has, literally, driven through the fire, if only for a split second.

– – – –

Lap 1: Barrichello’s off down the road with Kimi making a superb dash into third. First-corner spin involving Fisi and a McLaren (Kovalainen). Raikkonen has a damaged front wing from being too ambitious trying to overtake Webber. Sutil is on the grass and Trulli is out with a wheel off. Raikkonen is now dropping back through the field with a damanged front wing. Safety car. Top 10 is Barrichello, Webber, Rosberg, Kubica, Buemi, Nakajima, Kobayashi, Grosjean, Button, Algersuari. Trulli is so angry with Sutil that he looks like he will belt him one. Much shoving and gesticulation in the run-off area. However a replay shows it was Trulli that lost control.

– – – – –

Parade lap: Weather is still dry although everyone involved in this seems to be getting increasingly antsy about rain. Tyre choice seems to trend towards medium rather than super-soft. Everyone is away without incident. The track is, of course, remarkably green after all that rain yesterday which is why the softer tyres are such an unpopular choice. Who’s doing the opposite? Why, Kimi Raikkonen, of course. Vettel told his engine is running hot.

– – – – –

Grid walk: And Lee McKenzie has triumphed where Brundle failed and rounded up Jense. She points out he’s got three crash-happy souls in front of him – “Big bad” Grosjean, J-Alg and new boy Kobayashi. “Yeah, we know. We’ll make the best of it,” says Jense. Ted Kravitz confirms that Mark Webber’s the winner on the fuel-adjusted grid, while Button’s overtaking skills are going to be sorely tested if he is to make the most of his strategy.

A bit of cloud in the distance but nothing you could call rainy yet. A McLaren bod says his guys know their job and will do their best – this weekend that equates to getting rid of Kimi Raikkonen and outscoring Ferrari. And now to the anthem, which is its usual dogs’ dinner. This weekend we have a kind of weird 80 synthpop confection with the vocals inadequately represented in the mix.

Brundle is now racing back down the grid to seek out Vettel and Button. On the way he introduces himself to Kamui Kobayashi who turns out to be personable and articulate. “At least we know him now, don’t we.” Jense has disappeared off the grid but here is Vettel. Brundle has to practically elbow Ms Italian TV out of the way again – a real feud is brewing up there. Vettel doesn’t add much to what he said earlier.

Webber (who, Brundle has just pointed out, has a faster car than Rubens) says that he thinks Red Bull can win – “my guys have done a phenomenal job this weekend… we’re in a good position to get a result.” He says he’s told Barrichello that 8 points are plenty enough for him.

Brundle is explaining how there is quite a noticeable gradient on some parts of the grid, causing a new challenge for teams and drivers. He says that first corner of this race is always interesting. Barrichello, very relaxed, is confident he can win from pole. He’s clearly looking forward to the race ahead of him. He says that the team is expecting some rain, possibly towards the end of the race.

– – – – –

Pre-race: Vettel has put his qualifying problems behind him and got back into a much more positive frame of mind – he seems to be right back to his normal, cheerful self.

Fantastic to see Massa being interviewed and seeming so much like his old self. Although Brundle is cautioning about making too many assumptions, and also remarking that Fernando Alonso is about the last team-mate he needs for 2010.

Button when asked yesterday about who made the decisions on tyre choices and set-up: “We win and we fail together.” He says he is aiming to win and is not expecting to be the only person in his neck of the woods (Hamilton, Vettel) with that intention.

“Have a listen to the Brazilian version of Jonathan Legard,” says Jake Humphrey. As you might imagine, he’s pretty pleased: “Rrrrrrrubens Barrichello!” Our problem is that we’ve been totally ruined for any Latin foreign-language TV commentary by The Fast Show. “Scorchio! Chrrrrrrrris Waddle! Boutros Boutros Ghali!”

Talking about Jock Clear’s radio celebration yesterday, we’re filled in on the bit we didn’t hear – how Barrichello was initially demanding answers not knowing there were still cars to cross the line, then how he was the one telling his engineer to calm down.

Well, it doesn’t appear to be pouring with rain at the moment since the TV presenters are in shirt sleeves. If we do get a dry race it will be very interesting to see how those people who tried to qualify with a dry set-up fare. Felipe Massa looks to have taken part in the drivers’ parade, which is lovely.

Comments are closed.

 
  • McLaren eshop

    McLaren store

  • F1 gear (and more) at OnPole.com

    2012 F1 Merchandise from OnPole.com