Bahrain 2009: Live Race Notes

Bahrain 2009: Live Race Notes

This post is for my race notes that I refer to when I type up the race report later in the day. They are updated live so if you are interested in seeing how I see the race, you may want to occasionally refresh your browser. They aren’t terribly captivating, but the notes help me immeasurably and also mean that I can add in the pitstop lap to the strategy post as well. Drivers are designated by the their three-letter shorthand name (during the race), as used by the FOM TV graphics.

  • Time to put the kettle on and wait for the build up to begin. Race is scheduled to start in about an hour or so.
  • Ha! Jean Alesi’s getting old. He’s even sporting a flat cap in Bahrain this weekend. Maybe he’s joined Scheckter in becoming a farmer.
  • Jake Humphrey interviewed Lewis Hamilton on Friday evening, which the the BBC are showing just now in the build-up. Credit to Jake, he’s asking some difficult questions to Lewis. The answers are a little PR-esque, but I have to give it Humphrey, a man talks to Hamilton about integrity and honesty being called into question makes for a great interview. And Lewis relaxed a little as the interview went on and spoke quite well in the end.
  • The cars are just leaving the garages to form up on the grid. Race start is about 30 minutes away.
  • Vettel’s new helmet design looks great on the on-board camera.
  • The Crown Prince of Bahrain is great. He speaks really well, but most importantly, he speaks. His Highness is on the grid and chatting with Brundle. Not even the Beckhams do that. (I think they did actually, but you know what I mean.)
  • Brawn engineers are busy doing something on Jenson’s car. They wouldn’t say exactly what is going though.
  • Pat Symonds is speaking about the weather. Wind speed 6mph faster than predicted and hasn’t turned into a head wind as Renault were expecting.
  • Martin Brundle is too embarrassed for Bernie to ask him about the red Santander jacket he’s wearing.
  • Felipe Massa says he will just be happy for a finish and some points.
  • Ted Kravitz reckons Kubica is one-stopping (L30). How on earth are his super-softs going to cope with that!? That’s a daring strategy.
  • Brawn have cooling issues. They may have to keep the revs down a little during the race.
  • HAM up to P3.
  • GLO leads.
  • HAM and TRU battling for P2.
  • BAR passes RAI.
  • BUT passed VET at start.
  • GLO got the better start and went up the inside of TRU into T1.
  • BUT passed HAM for P3.
  • L2: WEB now P14.
  • Lots of passing in the midfield. Three-abreast through some corners.
  • L2: GLO 1.7s in the lead.
  • L2: KUB and NAK pit. Possible tangle on L1. Both get new noses.
  • L3: MAS pits. Possible KERS problem.
  • L3: HEI pits.
  • TRU keeping up with GLO. Gap down to 1.5s.
  • MAS made contact on L1 when RAI squeezed BAR into the Ferrari. MAS may have sustained damage to front wing. Although Smedley apparently mentioned on the radio it was a KERS issue.
  • L6: WEB now P11.
  • Ferrari says MAS’s KERS should be okay. MAS has re-enabled it after turning it off prior to first unscheduled stop.
  • L8: GLO 1.8s gap to TRU.
  • L8: BAR told to get close to VET ahead and turn the engine up when he gets close. He has to pass VET.
  • L9: GLO now 2.0s ahead of TRU.
  • When GLO pits, TRU has to then turn the wick up.
  • L10: TRU FL. 34.5. Gap now 1.8 again.
  • L10: VET lost time to BAR. VET was told to save tyres, but BAR is right on the VETs gear box now.
  • L10: GLO pits. Hard tyres.
  • L11: ROS pips GLO as GLO exits pitstop.
  • L11: HAM confirms he wants hard tyre at pitstop.
  • L11: TRU pits. Hard tyre.
  • L12: TRU has to defend to ALO on his out lap.
  • L12: KOV pits.
  • L13: TRU defending to ALO into T1 again.
  • L13: ALO passes TRU. Good move from ALO.
  • L14: ROS now hassling TRU.
  • L14: BAR pits. Super softs.
  • L14: WEB pits.
  • L15: BUT pits.
  • L15: HAM pits. Super softs.
  • L15: FIS pits.
  • L16: WEB passes MAS.
  • L16: ALO pits. Super softs.
  • L17: BAR challenging PIQ.
  • L17: BAR gesturing towards PIQ ahead. BAR not happy. But they are racing for position. PIQ in the right.
  • L18: BAR all over PIQ but can’t get through.
  • L18: BAR kissing PIQs gear box, but PIQ has the KERS and can pull away on the exit of corners.
  • L19: BOU pits. Super softs.
  • L19: BAR threw his car up the inside of PIQ. Just about made it stick. Lots of sliding though.
  • L19: VET pits. Super softs. Comes out behind TRU.
  • L20: BAR passes GLO for P7.
  • L20: RAI leads but hasn’t stopped.
  • L20: RAI pits. Super softs.
  • L20: ROS pits.
  • L21: BUE pits.
  • L23: PIQ pits.
  • L23: SUT pits.
  • L24: TRU, VET and HAM all very close on track.
  • L24: TRU train is allowing BUT to scamper away. Gap 9.0s.
  • L25: BAR putting the hammer down and closing fast on TRU train.
  • L25: BAR is now up with the back of HAM in P5.
  • L26: BAR pits. Good call. Means BAR won’t get held up behind the TRU train. Super softs. (Did BAR start on hard, or are they 3-stopping.)
  • L27: No retirements so far, despite the intense heat in Bahrain.
  • L27: BBC reckon BAR is 3-stopping.
  • L27: BUT now 11.1s in the lead.
  • L28: BUT 12.0 TRU 12.7 VET 13.7 HAM.
  • L29: “Brawns brain is doing 18,000 revs just like his race car.” – Brundle.
  • L30: McLaren reckon BUT to win and HAM racing TRU for third.
  • L30: MAS pits for second time.
  • L31: BUT laps HEI. HEI is on P20.
  • L31: NAK pits. Super softs.
  • L32: TRU now 14.4s behind BUT in P2.
  • L33: RAI chasing GLO for P5.
  • L33: BUT strategy is confusing the teams. 2 or 3 stops? Nice one Ross.
  • L33: GLO pits. Super soft tyres. GLO started on super soft, took hard at first stop and returned to soft at second stop.
  • L34: KUB pits.
  • L35: BUT leading by 16.1s.
  • L35: BUT comes up to lap MAS. MAS gets blue flag.
  • L36: Brundle doesn’t know why the word “box” is used for pits. He should read BlogF1. Italian teams started to use the word because over the radios, box is a stronger word and has less chance of being confused for another instruction. Pit is too soft.
  • L36: BOU pits.
  • L37: BUT pits. Hard. 2 stops.
  • L37: HAM pits. Hard.
  • L37: TRU pits. Super soft.
  • L37: HEI pits.
  • L37: ALO pits.
  • L38: FIS, KOV, WEB pit.
  • L38: BAR goes through TRU, TRU recovers on exit.
  • L38: VET leads by 10.5s.
  • L39: BUT lost a second to VET that lap. Apparently complaining about traffic.
  • L40: BUE pits.
  • L40: VET pits. Hard.
  • L41: VET comes out in net P2 behind RAI but ahead of TRU. RAI still make second stop.
  • L42: BUT leads RAI by 10s, VET is 13.4 behind BUT in P3, although net P2.
  • L42: SUT pits.
  • You can tell Brawn is in charge of Brawn, BUT’s strategy is brilliant and has enabled him to claim and maintain the lead.
  • L43: PIQ pits.
  • L43: VET 12.6s behind BUT. It all hangs on the performance of BUT on the harder compound.
  • L44: BUT 12.6 VET 13.7 TRU 14.5 BAR.
  • L44; RAI pits. Hard.
  • L45: RAI and GLO battling for position. RAI manages to claim position.
  • L46: ROS pits.
  • L46: BUT, VET, TRU, BAR, HAM, RAI, GLO
  • L46: KUB has a look at NAK. Contacts and spins. Continues.
  • L47: BUT 13 VET 13.8 TRU
  • L47: MAS pits.
  • L47: BAR pits. Hard. Rejoins ahead of RAI.
  • L50: BUT 12.6 VET 13.7 TRU 21.7 HAM 39.1 BAR 42.1 RAI 42.7 GLO
  • L50: NAK pits. Retires.
  • L51: MAS passes FIS for position. Contact. FIS runs off.
  • L51: FIS baulks BUT as BUT goes to lap.
  • L51: Re MAS/FIS. MAS was being a bit too brave. FIS had right to turn in as he had track position. MAS is clearly frustrated.
  • L52: What a disastrous race for BMW. Running P18 and P19, but only because NAK has retired.
  • L52: BUT’s lead down to 10.3s.
  • L53: TRU chasing VET. Gap down to 1.0s.
  • NAK’s retirement an oil pressure issue.
  • L54: GLO on tail of RAI.
  • L56: BUT, VET, TRU, HAM, BAR, RAI, GLO, ALO.
  • L57: BUT wins. Previous updated positions remain.

A race report will be posted this afternoon, along with the strategy breakdown and any other stories to come out of today’s race.

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