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Prediction game: Round 7 results

June 8th, 2009 No comments

Mark Webber, Turkey, 2009The results are up for round 7 of the f1buzz prediction game and they show once again that practice times are not necessarily a good indicator of race performance.

Everyone except Sergio wanted to see Felipe Massa, if not winning his fourth Turkish GP in a row, then at least on the podium.  In the end it seems Ferrari just have a lot more work to do before they can win races again.

Andrew scored the most points, correctly picking Button and Vettel for a podium.  He maintains his lead with a 10 point gap over Sergio while Mark had another good week picking up 5 points for Button’s fastest lap.

The next race is the British Grand Prix in two weeks time and there are plenty of points left so anyone still can win!

Image: Getty / Red Bull

Categories: Prediction Game Tags:

Button on another planet in Turkey

June 7th, 2009 No comments

Jenson Button, Turkey, 2009In the words of second place finisher Mark Webber, Jenson Button was “on another planet” today as he stormed to another crushing victory in the Turkish Grand Prix.

Starting in second place on the dusty side of the track, Jenson stayed behind pole sitter Sebastian Vettel through the first lap until turn 9 when Vettel ran wide.  That was all the opportunity Button needed to take the lead and from then on he drove a perfect race.

Sebastian Vettel managed to close in on Button in his second stint but couldn’t get past and Red Bull’s choice to keep him on a two stop strategy saw team mate Mark Webber pass him during his second pit stop.

Rubens Barrichello had a bad start losing 10 places off the grid due to a clutch problem.  His day went from bad to worse when, after a great battle with Heikki Kovalainen and several attempts at putting his car in places it wouldn’t fit, he retired on lap 47 with a gearbox problem – the first Brawn retirement of the season.

Despite finishing 13th, a smiling Lewis Hamilton “thoroughly enjoyed the race”:

It was quite an uneventful race but I actually enjoyed myself this afternoon.  I was very heavy at the start but I just pushed and pushed.  That’s why I can smile – because I think I drove to my full potential.  The most important thing is for us to keep our heads up and to keep pushing.

There has been a big change in Hamilton’s attitude since the beginning of the season.  After the controversy of Australia, Lewis’s post race interviews were monosyllabic and he looked very unhappy with himself and his team.  Now,  he seems to be enjoying racing again.  It is as if Button and Hamilton have switched positions this year.  Last year it was Jenson that was always putting a positive spin on his team’s terrible performance.

Now that Lewis has given up all hope of retaining the Championship he can relax and concentrate on developing and getting the most out of his car.

2009 Turkish Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 2 1:26:24.848 10
2 Mark Wbber Red Bull-Renault 4 1:26:31.562 8
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1 1:26:32.309 6
4 Jarno Trulli Toyota 5 1:26:52.691 5
5 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 9 1:26:56.387 4
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 7 1:27:04.844 3
7 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 10 1:27:11.095 2
8 Timo Glock Toyota 13 1:27:11.807 1
9 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 6 1:27:15.048 0
10 Fernando Alonso Renault 8 1:27:27.248 0
11 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 11 1:27:29.175 0
12 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 12 1:27:31.224 0
13 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 16 1:27:45.302 0
14 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 14 lapped 0
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 18 lapped 0
16 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 17 lapped 0
17 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 15 lapped 0
18 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 20 lapped 0
RET Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 3 retired, 47 laps 0
RET Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 19 retired, 4 laps 0

Image: Brawn GP

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,

Turkey: Fuel adjusted qualifying times

June 6th, 2009 3 comments

Fernando Alonso, Turkey, 2009The FIA now publishes the weights of each car after qualifying on Saturday.  Those cars that make it through to the final qualifying session must use the fuel they qualified with while the rest of the field may refuel before the race.

Below is a graph showing the actual top ten qualifying times as well as those times adjusted for the weight of fuel each car is carrying.  The graph assumes a standard lap time cost of 0.3 seconds per 10kg of fuel.

From these weights we can see that pole sitter Vettel is fueled lighter than Button alongside him while on the second row Barrichello is fueled lighter than the Red Bull of Mark Webber.  This could be good news for both Button and Webber tomorrow as their adjusted times are quicker than the cars alongside them.

Massa’s hopes for another victory look even more remote when we see that his team mate Kimi Raikkonen outqualified him despite carrying more fuel.

The one man that looks very out of place is Fernando Alonso.  His eighth place grid position was only possible because he was fueled lighter than anyone else on the grid.  He can expect a challenge from Rosberg and Kubica during the race.

2009 Turkish GP Q3 (weight-adjusted)

2009 Turkish Grand Prix car weights

Image: Renault

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , , ,

Vettel on pole in Turkey

June 6th, 2009 No comments

Sebastian Vettel, Turkey, 2009Sebastian Vettel has claimed his second pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix.

The German’s time of 1:28.316 was enough to take the number one grid slot from Brawn GP’s Jenson Button.

Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber briefly had the fastest time in Q3 but will start behind Vettel tomorow on the second row, alongside Rubens Barrichello.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton missed out on getting through to the second qualifying session for the second time in a row.  While the team had been cautiously optimistic about their chances in Turkey this weekend, Hamilton seemed to lack confidence and struggled for grip in the twitchy MP4-24.  He will start from 16th on the grid.

Lewis Hamilton said afterwards:

Our car seems to have got slower relative to the others as the grip has gone down on the track.  I pushed as hard as I could today but I just had no grip out there.

Force India’s Adrian Sutil made it to Q2 for the second time in a row and he will start from 15th on the grid tomorrow, between the two McLarens.

Despite a good performance in practice, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will start from the fourth row of the grid behind team mate Kimi Raikkonen.  He will have a hard time making it four Turkish victories in a row from there.

The new double-decker diffuser fitted to the BMWs of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld seemed to have helped a little, lifting Kubica into Q3, but the team are still firmly in the mid-field.  The Red Bull diffuser on the other hand was finally given a chance to work properly after the slow corners of Monaco and either of the Red Bull drivers could be on the podium on Sunday.

2009 Formula One Turkish Grand Prix Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 01:28.316
2 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 01:28.421
3 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 01:28.579
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 01:28.613
5 Jarno Trulli Toyota 01:28.666
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 01:28.815
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 01:28.858
8 Fernando Alonso Renault 01:29.075
9 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 01:29.191
10 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 01:29.357
11 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 01:27.521
12 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 01:27.629
13 Timo Glock Toyota 01:27.795
14 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 01:28.207
15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 01:28.391
16 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 01:28.318
17 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 01:28.582
18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 01:28.708
19 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 01:28.717
20 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 01:28.918

Image: Red Bull Racing

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,

McLaren fastest in Friday practice

June 5th, 2009 No comments

Heikki Kovalainen, Tturkey, 2009Nico Rosberg continued his usual practice of running a light car on Friday as he set the fastest time of 1:28.952 in the first practice session for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix but it was McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen who went quickest in P2, setting a time of 1:28.841.

Fernando Alonso was second fastest, just 6 thousandths behind Kovalainen, while Robert Kubica drove his BMW, equipped with new double-diffuser, to third place, his best practice result so far this year.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel stopped on the track after just four laps with a suspected drive shaft failure and a number of drivers spun off as they found the limits of grip on the dusty Istanbul circuit.

Jenson Button, whose car was sporting a revised front wing finished 12th fastest ahead of reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

While Friday practice times should not be relied on as a good indicator of race pace, McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh was pleased with Kovalainen’s performance and is optimistic for a top ten grid slot in qualifying tomorrow:

It’s always nice to see you’ve set the quickest time of the day. The reality is that the timesheets don’t lie – our aim for tomorrow is to hopefully get both cars into the final session of qualifying. That’s our realistic goal.

Here are the times from the first two practice sessions:
First Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:28.952
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:29.263
3 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:29.271
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:29.337
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:29.342
6 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:29.371
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.398
8 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:29.422
9 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.525
10 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:29.590
11 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.747
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:29.864
13 Timo Glock Toyota 1:29.934
14 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:30.132
15 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:30.176
16 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:30.645
17 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:30.689
18 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:30.729
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.838
20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.944

Second Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.841
2 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:28.847
3 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:29.056
4 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:29.091
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:29.202
6 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:29.207
7 Nico Rosbert Williams 1:29.257
8 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.305
9 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:29.383
10 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:29.401
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:29.416
12 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.430
13 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:29.435
14 Timo Glock Toyota 1:29.518
15 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.520
16 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:29.550
17 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:30.081
18 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:30.091
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.295
20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.629

Image: McLaren

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: ,
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