Belgium 2009: Live Race Notes

Belgium 2009: Live Race Notes

Round twelve of the 2009 Formula One World Championship is about to get underway, and the grid certainly looks a little different to what we are used to. Giancarlo Fisichella will lead the pack as the lights go out, and with fellow Italian Jarno Trulli alongside but slightly heavier, the race is going to be very interesting. Rubens Barrichello will be desperate to get ahead as soon as he can, and a KERS-enabled Kimi Raikkonen in sixth will also be looking to make up some places on the opening lap. Watch out for Raikkonen as the pack head down the hill towards Eau Rouge, Raikkonen will be pumping the button on his steering wheel like there’s no tomorrow.

    Build-up

  • I love Trulli’s slight British/London accent. He sounds like a cross between an Italian and an extra from EastEnders.
  • Button saying his radio wasn’t working initially hence the kerfuffle in the garage prior to joining the grid. It’s okay now though, apparently.
  • Jake Humphrey seems to think we are listening to the Spanish National Anthem. Considering we are in Belgium, I would have hoped for The Brabançonne. Although I’m not familiar with it, I’m not entirely sure this is either the Belgian or the Spanish anthem.
  • Apparently it was the Belgian National Anthem.
  • Softer tyre: FIS, KOV, RAI, BAR, KUB
  • Harder tyre: TRU, VET, HEI, WEB
  • Lap 1

  • FIS Leads. RAI good start. RAI passes HEI for P2.
  • HAM off. ALG off. Safety car.
  • BUT out. GRO out.
  • Looks like BUT got tagged by GRO, spun and then caught GRO as he backed into barrier.
  • Lap 2

  • TRU pit. BAR pit (hard tyre). SUT pit.
  • BAR terrible start – anti-stall kicked in.
  • TRU pits for new nose.
  • Lap 3

  • BAD STILL ON SOFTER TYRE.
  • Lap 4

  • RAI strongly positioned.
  • Italian TV, RAI, are saying Fisichella is definitely in the Ferrari for Monza.
  • BAR in P15
  • Lap 5

  • Safety car in.
  • RAI challenges FIS out of Eau Rouge. Takes lead.
  • ROS ahead of VET. VET believes he passed under the yellows.
  • VET now ahead of ROS.
  • Lap 6

  • HEI weaving, trying to generate tyre temperature.
  • RAI extends lead to 1.4s. Also sets another FL.
  • Lap 7

  • BAR challenging NAK. Breezes past at the top of the hill.
  • Field beginning to spread. P1 – P4: 5.5s.
  • Lap 8

  • SUT passes BAD by using all the run-off area. He had a shed load more exit speed.
  • TRU now up behind BAD.
  • Lap 9

  • SUT challenging NAK.
  • FIS just about keeping up with RAI. Gap 1.6s.
  • SUT passes NAK.
  • Lap 10

  • HAM says his anti-stall kicked in at the start. Also says he lost a bit of his front wing at La Source as well.
  • RAI to FIS: 2.1s
  • RAI, FIS, KUB, GLO, WEB, HEI, VET, ROS
  • Lap 11

  • Lap 12

  • RAI – FIS: Down to 1.8s. FIS a bit quicker last time around.
  • KUB pits. Soft to hard.
  • GLO pits. Hard to soft tyre. Fuel rig issues.
  • Lap 13

  • Lap 14

  • ALO has vibrations, apparently.
  • HEI FL.
  • RAI pits. Soft to hard.
  • FIS pits. Soft
  • WEB pits.
  • HEI pits. WEB and HEI very close on exit.
  • VET FL.
  • Lap 15

  • HEI passes WEB.
  • Replays show HEi having to heavily break in pits. WEB should really get a drive-thru for that. Although HEI did pass on track.
  • Lap 16

  • BAR passes WEB.
  • WEB now under investigation.
  • SUT challenging WEB.
  • WEB has a drive-thru.
  • Lap 17

  • VET pits. Stays on hard tyres.
  • ROS leads and stays out on track. Yet to stop.
  • Lap 18

  • ROS pits. Stays hard tyres.
  • GRO, ALG, HAM and BUT under investigation. Will be investigated after the race. It was the opening lap incident.
  • WEB serves drive-thru.
  • Lap 19

  • FIS to RAI gap: 0.9s.
  • Lap 20

  • ALO, KOV and BUE yet to stop.
  • Lap 21

  • TRU pits.
  • RAI-FIS gap: 1.0s
  • BUE pits. Stays hard tyres.
  • Lap 22

  • TRU retires.
  • SUT runs wide, over grass but recovers.
  • Lap 23

  • FIS 0.8s behind RAI. KUB catching both.
  • Lap 24

  • RAI-FIS: 0.7s.
  • Lap 25

  • ALO pits. Hard to soft tyres. Problem with front-left. Wheel-fairing didn’t go on properly. Exits in P14.
  • BAD pits.
  • Replays show that on the opening lap, ALO suffered a knock and damaged the wheel-fairing. Hence his issue in the pits.
  • Lap 26

  • Despite damaging front wing on opening lap, SUT is in P8.
  • ALO coasts. Radioed by team – “Coast back to pits slowly, we are going to have to retire. Problem with wheel.”
  • Lap 27

  • KOV pits. Hard tyre.
  • SUT pits.
  • ALO pits to retire.
  • Lap 28

  • BAR pits. Stays hard tyres.
  • Lap 29

  • NAK pits.
  • Lap 30

  • RAI to FIS: 1.1s.
  • Lap 31

  • KUB pits. Soft tyre.
  • BUE pits.
  • RAI to FIS: 1.2s.
  • Lap 32

  • RAI pits. Soft tyres.
  • FIS pits. Hard to soft tyres.
  • RAI maintains lead.
  • Lap 33

  • HEI pits.
  • GLO pits.
  • WEB told to stay off the kerb in Eau Rouge.
  • RAI to FIS gap: 1.0s.
  • Lap 34

  • BAR and KOV very close on track.
  • ROS pits. Hard to soft tyres.
  • RAI to FIs gap: 0.7s.
  • Lap 35

  • WEB pits. Soft tyres.
  • HEI FL.
  • VET pits. Hard to soft tyres. Exits ahead of KUB to take P3.
  • Lap 36

  • WEB and ROS still fighting each other for P8.
  • Lap 37

  • RAI to FIS no change. Still very close.
  • VET FL.
  • Lap 38

  • VET catching FIS. Gap to 4.5s. FIS to RAI still 0.8s.
  • Lap 39

  • SUT looking at GLO. Can’t quite get through.
  • Lap 40

  • VET now 4.1s behind FIS.
  • HEI and KUB very close on track. 1.5s gap.
  • Lap 41

  • RAI 1.0s FIS 3.5s VET.
  • Lap 42

  • BAR suffering with smoke coming from the back of the Brawn. Engine issue of just lift-off smoke.
  • BAR told back off and save engine.
  • Lap 43

  • ROS hounding BAR who has a sick Mercedes-Benz.
  • VET backed off from FIS.
  • BAR holding on for now.
  • Lap 44

  • Brawn say telemetry is okay. Apparently it is just an oil leak.
  • RAI wins the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.
  • FIS takes a well-deserved P2.
  • BAR puffs his way over the line to take P7.
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