Posts Tagged ‘vettel’

What Jenson needs to win

October 5th, 2009 No comments

Jenson Button, Singapore, 2009Brawn GP will almost certainly wrap up the Constructors’ Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time but the Drivers’ Championship is still a three horse race.

Jenson Button has a 14 point lead over team mate Rubens Barrichello and a 16 point lead over Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

There are 20 points available over the next two races, so it is still possible for Vettel to be crowned Champion but what will it take for Jenson to seal the Championship at Interlagos?

There are a few ways Button can clinch it:

  1. He finishes third or better
  2. He scores four points more than Barrichello
  3. Vettel finishes lower than second and Barrichello finishes lower than fourth

As usual, Button remains positive:

We go to two circuits now which should suit our car so I’m excited about the end of the season and already looking forward to the next race in Brazil.

Of course if a track suits Jenson’s car it also suits Barrichello’s and the Brazilian will be on home territory fighting for probably his last shot at the Championship:

I’ve got to go there and win the race, that’s the aim. The rest, I don’t care about, and if I deserve to win the championship, I will.

It might be a long shot for him but Sebastian Vettel is not going to give up:

As I’ve said many times already, I will fight until the end, until the last breath.

The good news for fans is that all three drivers will really be fighting for the win in Brazil.  Barrichello and Vettel need it to keep their chances alive and Button can’t afford to lose many more points.

Image: Brawn GP

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,

Vettel keeps the dream alive

October 4th, 2009 No comments

Sebastian Vettel, Japan, 2009There was a chance both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships might have been decided at Suzuka.  Instead, after a dramatic qualifying session and a race dominated by Sebastian Vettel, we leave Japan with both titles still up for grabs.

Many expected Brawn GP to seal the Constructors’ Championship this weekend and they came very close to doing so.  While Red Bull are still in with a chance (mathematically), Brawn only need half a point to seal victory, something they are almost certain to do in Brazil.

The Drivers’ Championship is a lot less certain, though.

Sebastian Vettel was untouchable around the demanding Suzuka circuit, starting from pole position and leading from lights to flag.

What a race! We already had pole position and strategy-wise we were the favourites, but, you know – first of all you have to do the start! We were pretty confident that we could defend our position, as we’ve had good starts in the past, but it was closer than I thought it would be! Going into Turn 1, I suddenly saw a silver arrow on my left-hand side, but I had the inside line so it was my advantage. After that I put my head down and tried to push with every single lap.

Lewis Hamilton was on target to claim second until a problem with KERS saw him fall into the clutches of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli.

When we were behind the Safety Car, I asked the team if they could get the KERS working again so that I could shoot past Jarno but they couldn’t do it and I wasn’t close enough to get in his slipstream at the restart.

In a weekend marked by a string of shunts, rookie Jaime Alguersuari crashed spectacularly through a trackside sign to bring out the safety car on lap 43.  Rosberg pitted under the safety car and went on to finish 5th behind Kimi Raikkonen.

Barrichello and Button picked up the final two points-paying positions behind Nick Heidfeld.

Button now goes into Brazil 14 points ahead of Barrichello and 16 points ahead of Vettel.  In 2007 Kimi Raikkonen was 17 points behind Lewis Hamilton with two races to go and he ended up winning the Championship.

2009 Japanese Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1 28:20.443 10
2 Jarno Trulli Toyota 2 28:25.243 8
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 3 28:26.843 6
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 5 28:28.343 5
5 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 7 28:29.143 4
6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 4 28:29.943 3
7 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 6 28:31.043 2
8 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 10 28:31.843 1
9 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 9 28:32.143 0
10 Fernando Alonso Renault 16 28:33.443 0
11 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 11 28:34.143 0
12 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 14 28:34.943 0
13 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 8 28:35.343 0
14 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 18 28:36.143 0
15 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 15 28:38.343 0
16 Romain Grosjean Renault 17 lapped 0
17 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 19 lapped 0
RET Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12 crash, 43 laps 0
RET Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 13 retired, 11 laps 0
RET Timo Glock Toyota 20 did not start, 0 laps 0

Image: Red Bull

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , , ,

Japan: Fuel adjusted qualifying times

October 3rd, 2009 No comments

Sebastian Vettel, Japan, 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 Adrian Sutil is running a little lighter than the other top 10 qualifiers and will have to make sure he has a good start to keep in front of Barrichello.

Everyone else seems to be roughly in position but Vettel’s blistering pace is clearly evident.  Jarno Trulli may be starting on the front row of the grid but unless Vettel makes a mistake it is unlikely Toyota will score their first win on Sunday.

2009 Japanese GP Q3 (weight-adjusted)

2009 Japanese Grand Prix Car Weights

Image: Red Bull

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , , , ,

Pictures: Heidfeld, Glock & Vettel’s new helmets

July 11th, 2009 No comments

The five German Drivers, Nürburgring, 2009As we posted last week, Nick Heidfeld is wearing a special helmet design for his home Grand Prix this weekend but he is not the only German on the grid and he is not the only one who brought a new helmet to the Nürburgring.

There are five German drivers and three of them will be wearing new lids.

Sebastian Vettel, who seems to like changing his helmet design, is wearing a new silver version while Heidfeld’s helmet was designed by a fan who won a competition on his website.

Timo Glock’s design came from a rather younger fan, though.  Panasonic ran a ‘Kids School’ competition to design a helmet for Timo to wear at the German Grand Prix and at the British Grand Prix, Glock studied the entries and selected a winner; six-year-old Tom Luca Hoffmann from Bad Lippspringe, around 400km north east of the Nürburgring.

Tom’s design features Glock driving his Toyota past cheering fans.  Glock said:

I was very impressed with Tom’s drawing because it is quite detailed even though he is only a young kid; that’s why I chose it. I’m looking forward to racing with it in front of my home fans and hopefully it will be a lucky charm!

Both Heidfeld and Glock will be auctioning their helmets for charity after the race.

Categories: Drivers Tags: , , , ,

Prediction game: Round 9 – Germany

July 8th, 2009 13 comments

Nico Rosberg, Europe, 2007After a long three week break the season continues with the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.  It is the home Grand Prix for fully one quarter of the drivers on the grid but realistically there is only one German with a chance of standing on the top step on Sunday.

Sebastian Vettel comes to the Nürburgring fresh from his victory at Silverstone and he will be hoping to maintain that momentum in front of his home crowd and further narrow the gap to Championship leader Jenson Button.  It will be Vettel’s first time around the Ring in an F1 car but he has raced (and won) there before in everything from karts to F3 and Renault World Series.

Timo Glock is another German yet to experience the Nürburgring in Formula One but, like Vettel, he has won there before in other classes.  After making it through to Q3 in Britain Glock just missed out on points in the race but he is hopeful of a strong finish in Germany:

I’ve had some good races so far and it has been nice to be battling at the front quite often. This weekend is another chance to do that and I can’t wait.

Despite having a famous Finnish father, Nico Rosberg is actually a German citizen.  He set the third fastest lap at Silverstone and ended the race in fifth which boosted him to seventh in the Drivers’ Championship and Williams to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship – ahead of McLaren.

Rosberg is obviously at home on the circuit.  In this video he talks us through a lap of the Ring – blindfolded.

Nick Heidfeld will be sporting a special helmet design for his home race but it will take more than a fresh coat of paint to turn the BMW Sauber F1.09 into a race winning machine.  Two years ago Heidfeld became the first driver in 30 years to pilot an F1 car around the old Nordschleife circuit, christened The Green Hell by Jackie Stewart.

Heidfeld is in real danger of being beaten by compatriot Adrian Sutil on Sunday.  Force India have been steadily improving all season and if Sutil hadn’t gone off in a big way in qualifying he may have finished in the points in the British Grand Prix.  There is a chance of rain on Sunday and if that happens then it is quite possible Adrian Sutil could score Force India’s first points.

To make your predictions in round 9 of the F1 Buzz prediction game (and be in with a chance to win some nice prizes), just leave a comment on this post with your driver predictions for the race in the following format:

Fastest lap:

Remember, the deadline for entries is start of qualifying on Saturday, that’s 12:00 GMT.

Good luck!

Image & video: Williams