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Two Winners

October 19, 2009

The Brazilian Grand Prix did not fail to live up to it’s reputation for excitement this year. First of all, we had a rain soaked qualifying session, leading to massive delays in the coverage. And of course, this is a prime time race, followed by another live show, with a studio audience, in the form of Strictly Come Dancing. The BBC did a fantastic job by sticking with the coverage on BBC1 until 7.30 when they could drop the scheduled show on BBC2 and switch the F1 there. Predictably, the BBC forums, and other messageboards went nuts, with people complaining that Strictly was being delayed, not even by racing, but by rain – which is valid, but unavoidable. I cannot praise the BBC enough for this decision, it would have been easy to shunt the F1 off to the red button until something was happening, but all credit to them for taking the flak. Most of the complainers really needed to take a deep breath and think. In the end, Strictly started less than 20 minutes late, which is hardly the end of the world. I know some people had recorded it, and lost the end due to the overrun, but the beauty of the BBC is iPlayer. You can watch again. Or watch Claudia tonight, when you get the highlights anyway. Besides, if this happened to you, you missed Spandau Ballet murdering Gold, so look at it as a good thing! Also, credit to Jake Humphrey, in his first year anchoring the BBC coverage, and he’s had to fill huge sections of the programme on two occasions now, plus deal with the Massa accident. I think he’s done a fantastic job.

Anyway. Back to the race. Rubens on pole, Webber second. Jenson 14th, Sebastian 15th, after a gearbox penalty for Liuzzi. Raikkonen got a fantastic start and went to third by the first corner, further back Kovalainen and Fisichella had a bump, then Trulli and Sutil had a big incident, and took out Alonso in the process. The safety car is swiftly deployed, and the back of the field dived into the pit for repairs, tyres and fuel. Kovalainen left the pitbox with the hose attached, and sprayed fuel all over Raikkonen, who followed him out. Raikkonen was briefly engulfed in flames, but was not hurt. The safety car deployment proved crucial for Vettel, Button and Hamilton, and gave them a good chance at points positions.

When Barrichello pitted, Webber took the lead, and from then on it was his race. He had a good, solid drive, doing everything he needed to, and stayed out of trouble. The excitement was a little further back. The Interlagos circuit showed again why everyone loves it, despite it not having the shiny facilities of Turkey, for example. Jenson Button alone pulled off at least four proper, racing overtakes. How often do we see that in a dry race nowadays? Hardly ever. Even Vettel managed a couple. Kamui Kobayshi, in his first race drive, showed Toyota how much he’d like a drive next year, in a fantastic couple of laps trying to fend off Jenson, who wanted his position. He got it in the end. Out in front, Webber brought home his second victory, followed by Kubica and Hamilton.

And so, from 14th on the grid, and hoping for a miracle to help secure his first driver’s title, Jenson Button managed to finish 5th. Barrichello got tagged by Hamilton in the closing laps, and ended up with a puncture which continued his run of completely awful luck at his home Grand Prix, ending in 8th. He still managed to be the first person to congratulate Jenson, proving again he is one of the nicest guys out there.

Usually, the FOM cameras follow the top three until they get to the podium, which is always fun when Webber is involved, as he seems to be incapable of not swearing, which is always comedy, however today, the cameras followed Jenson as he was mobbed by half the paddock. It was unfortunate for Webber that he won as Button clinched the title, as he missed out on a lot of the attention, much like Massa last year, but at least he proved that Germany was not a one-off.

Kubica, Webber, Pilbeam, Hamilton

Kubica, Webber, Pilbeam, Hamilton

Jenson Button celebrates his World Drivers Championship Title

Jenson Button celebrates his World Driver's Championship Title

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