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F1 Race Review: Spanish GP 2009

The month of May this year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the infamous accident at San Marino that took the life out of legend Ayrton Senna. This month, Working Title films begin making the official documentary of the yesteryear Champion’s life. Also among other events, in the run up to the Spanish race, the FIA has ruffled the feathers of major manufacturers threatening to create a two-tier Formula1 involving budget caps.

As has been the case in the last 8 races, the pole-sitter has won it again at Catalunya for the ninth straight time. While the Qualifier on Saturday was full of drama in itself with Button starting his flying lap two seconds before the chequered flag came down and emerging ahead of Vettel for the pole, the race on Sunday was even better! Rubens Barrichello got the better of Button at start and just lost the race to the latter in the pits.

Though Button was lauded for his fourth win from five this year, the race really belonged to poor old Barrichello who continued with a 3-stopper as he watched his team change it to two stops for Button. In what seemed like a reminder of his Ferrari days when he remained in the shadow of the legendary Schumacher, the Brazilian has threatened to quit if he sniffed of any favors being shown to Button. Better luck next time, Rubens!

Slimy McLaren had things going their this May after they were let off with a suspended race ban after admitting to foul-play in Australia during the safety car period, for which they were under investigation. Sometimes, it gets really difficult to find sanity in FIA verdicts! But the race day really didn’t belong to them. While Kovalainen retired with a gearbox failure, the defending champion Hamilton was marginally out of points at ninth.

Ferrari had a mixed weekend after Kimi fell out with hydraulic failure; their only respite was Massa in fourth until fuel miscalculations led them to lose two places finishing sixth. But atleast, they seemed to have the pace. The beneficiary here though was Alonso who finished fifth in his home race. Force India had another bad weekend with Sutil retiring in a first corner incident and Fisichella ranked last among the fourteen classified drivers.

Four wins & a podium give a Button a lead with 41 points. Barrichello and Vettel follow with 27 & 23 as Webbers moves into fourth with 15.5. Big names Lewis & Alonso have 9 each and Ferrari’s aces Massa & Kimi just have 3 apiece. Brawn GP leads the team table with 68, nearly thirty ahead of second placed Red Bull. Toyota stands third with 26.5 and McLaren fourth with 13. Ferrari is down at Seventh and Force India last!

As ‘Brawn Supremacy’ seems to be the order even at the traditional European tracks, Newey designed Red Bulls are making their mark too. With Ferrari demonstrating resurgence this time, McLaren surely don’t want to be left behind either. The next race comes two weeks hence at the oldest and picturesque seaside venue, the principality of Monaco; replete with close barriers, no overtaking and crashes. So long until then!
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