The 2009 season has been one of the greatest in the sport’s history with six different grand prix winners, new teams, underdog success, overtaking and of course plenty of controversy from the first time the lights went out to the final chequered flag. It all began in March this year at Albert Park, Australia and this is the first in Badger’s four-part season re-run so we can all marvel at just how fantastic this season really has been. Over the next week or so, we’ll bring you the season in bite size chunks – each grand prix summarised in a paragraph, complete with links to the results, our full coverage and other trinkets. So let’s begin with rounds 1 in Australia, through to round 4 in Bahrain…
Australian Grand Prix
No adverts, new commentators, a new team, new rules, and a new order in Formula 1. No more Ferrari vs McLaren. Brawn GP assert themselves as the brilliant, albeit budget, team of 2009. Somerset driver Button took pole, later winning under the safety car, while fellow team mate Barrichello ‘ploughed’ through the rest of the field to make it an unprecedented new team 1-2 finish. Hamilton proved to us all that he’s a great driver by dragging his useless McLaren into 3rd , but also that he’s a rubbish liar, and was later disqualified. Neither Ferrari finished, nor did Kovalainen, or Piquet (shocker). Vettel and Kubica collided. Shame. A race worth waking up at stupid-O’clock for.
Malaysian Grand Prix
Half a race, half points, red flags, rain, lightening, thunder, paddles, and a storm brewing over some dodgy diffusers. Button has a poor start, but recovers under difficult conditions to make it 2 wins out of 2 races in 2009. Rosberg looks good in the opening, but suffers a bit towards the end from bad tyre choices. The gloom descends further over the Ferrari garage, still no points, not good. Toyota 3rd and 4th , solid stuff. Brundle and Legard tenuously struggle to fill time while the cars sit on the grid waiting for the restart which never materialises, and the sun begins to set over one of the most eventful half-races we’ve ever seen.
Chinese Grand Prix
Rain, more rain, post-race ponchos, Kubica mounting Trulli, Vettel winning in a car called ‘Kate’s Dirty Sister’. Seriously, what’s not to like? Well, perhaps not the safety car start. Red Bull finally find their wings and fly to 1st and 2nd , despite Toro Rosso’s Buemi crashing into the back of Vettel mid-race. More of the safety car thanks to a crash by Sutil, tantalisingly close once again to Force India’s first points. A procession it ain’t. Ferrari becoming like Britain at Eurovision, ‘nil points’. You simply can’t make this stuff up. Williams and BMW slip dramatically towards the ‘bad’ end of the field. A solid sort of day for McLaren in 5th and 6th .
Bahrain Grand Prix
Sand, sun, Eric Clapton, Bernie’s Butlins-esque red jacket… no, its not Bognor Regis, it’s the 2009 Bahrain grand prix! The sun finally put his hat on at the Sahkir circuit, and Button wins at last without the safety car. Hamilton makes an astounding KERS-fuelled start, ends up an impressive 4th ahead of the far quicker Brawn of Barrichello. Luck officially deserts Mark Webber in the desert after getting blocked on his qualifying ‘hot’ lap. Barrichello fumes at Piquet, Button does his best cowboy impression taking the chequered flag, Raikkonen takes home Ferrari’s first points (thank God, err, I mean, Maranello for that), Vettel in 2nd clearly likes riding Kate’s sister, and the usually train-like Trulli makes it to the podium.
Part 2 to follow very shortly…