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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vettel wins, Red Bull 1-2 in China

Give Sebastian Vettel some rain and a fast car, and he just might deliver your team’s maiden victory. That was the case for STR last season at Monza, and it was again in China Sunday, as the German and teammate Mark Webber delivered for Dietrich Mateschitz’s squad.

F1 Grand Prix of China - Race


Weather reports earlier in the weekend seemed to indicate the chance of rain had passed, but the race forecast was revised overnight, and come race time the field started behind the safety car.

When the safety car pulled in on lap eight, it was the Red Bulls who took off into the distance. Button got past when the duo came in for their scheduled stops.

Big contact between Robert Kubica and Jarno Trulli brought the safety car back out on lap 18. Following a quick stop, Button continued his pursuit of Vettel.

Some excellent back and forth between Button and Webber in third kept things exciting, and it was soon clear the Briton was not going to be able to challenge Vettel. Button’s final stop saw him drop to third, and that’s how they would finish.

Button’s teammate, Rubens Barrichello, finished fourth.

It was a good race for McLaren, both cars finishing for the first time this season, Heikki Kovalainen in fifth and Lewis Hamilton in sixth. Not so great for Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen finishing tenth, while Felipe Massa’s car quit on the 21st lap, a victim of an electronics issue.

Renault’s Fernando Alonso, who had started from a promising second position, could only finish ninth after a spin.

So, the Brawn stranglehold is broken, and it didn’t take a fancy diffuser to do it. Just rain.

It should be interesting to see what kind of challenge can be mounted in the sands of Bahrain. That chance come in a week’s time.



Results (56 laps)

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault
  2. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault
  3. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes
  4. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes
  5. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes
  6. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes
  7. Timo Glock, Toyota
  8. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
  9. Fernando Alonso, Renault
  10. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
  11. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
  12. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
  13. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
  14. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes
  15. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota
  16. Nelson Piquet, Renault
  17. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes, Accident
  • Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 43 laps, Transmission
  • Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 20 laps, Electrical
  • Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 18 laps, Accident damage

The Quotes

The Press Conference

In case you missed it, from the BBC: the Chinese Grand Prix as it happened
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