26 April 2009

How the race was lost

Going into the race, Trulli and Vettel were the favourites. Brawn, Red Bull and Toyota seemed well matched for pace, so here's how 5 of their drivers lost.

Trulli - Lost the lead into the first corner, but wasn't held up by his teammate, so that wasn't where the race was lost. After his first pit stop, however, he was held up fighting with Alonso, and then gradually lost more time on the harder tyre. At the end, he failed to take advantage of the softer tyre to usurp Vettel for second.

Glock - Poor qualifying lap, but recovered well to take the lead. Held up by Rosberg after his first stop and then had absolutely no pace on the harder tyre (about 1s per lap slower than his teammate on the SAME tyres). Ended up slipping into Rosberg and Alonso's fight.

Vettel - Fuelled longer than anyone else on the first 3 rows, but slipped behind Hamilton into the first corner. Button followed through into turn 2, leaving him 5th. Wasn't able to follow Button past Hamilton so lost time there. Was then held up by Trulli, so unable to take advantage of the softer tyres. Used his fuel strategy well to pass Trulli, but should have been in the same position as Button.

Webber - Held up by Sutil in Q1, started 18th. Quickly got into the middle of the field, runing 11th until his first stop. However, he then unable to make any further progress, proving either that overtaking is still impossible, or else that he hasn't got the knack. A poor performance, he should at least have recovered to the points.

Button - Qualified only 4th and dropped behind Hamilton at the start. However, he managed to get past Lewis at the beginning of lap 2, and then took advantage of his tyres and his fuel to take the lead. He then never looked back.

Barrichello - Poor qualifying lap, left him 6th, with 4 heavier cars ahead of him. The KERS cars then passed him on the first straight, but he recovered to get back ahead of Alonso and Massa in turn 1. Also passed Kimi on lap 1, leaving him where he started in 6th. However, his 3 stop strategy only slowed him down, bringing him into a fight for 6th, rather than into the fight for 2nd to 5th.

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