Honda F1 website
Honda website

Chinese GP 2009

APRIL 19, 2009

Race Notes - Vettel, Webber 1-2 in Red Bull maiden victory at Chinese GP

Christian Horner, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Chinese GP 2009
© The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel won the Chinese Grand Prix, at Shanghai today, in a rain soaked initial victory for the Red Bull-Renault team. His team mate Mark Webber completed a 1-2 for the team, 10.9 seconds behind, while Jenson Button finished in his Brawn-Mercedes on the podium in third place 44.9 seconds behind the leader.

The win is Vettel's second career victory - his first coming at the rain soaking Italian GP last season, which was the first win for Toro Rosso.

Rubens Barrichello (63.7s) finished fourth in his Brawn-Mercedes, followed by the two McLaren-Mercedes of Heikki Kovalainen (65.1s) in fifth and Lewis Hamilton (71.8s) in sixth. Timo Glock (74.4s) in the Toyota was seventh, followed by rookie Sebastien Buemi (76.4s) finishing in the final points position in his Toro Rosso-Ferrari.

A constant rain fell before the start of the race, with Timo Glock and Robert Kubica starting from the pitlane. All the drivers would start on full-wet tyres.

The race started behind the Safety Car, everyone following polesitter Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull - the laps counting towards the race total.

On lap 3 Felipe Massa runs wide and then rejoins, while the next lap Adrian Sutil does as well - almost hitting Nelson Piquet. Sutil then pits for tyres and fuel.

On lap 6 Nico Rosberg pits for fuel and tyres.

On lap 7 Fernando Alonso pits from second place for fuel and tyres and rejoins 20th.

Race control announces that the Safety Car will come in at the end of lap 8.

The race gets underway with Vettel leading Webber, followed by Barrichello, Button, Trulli, Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton, Buemi, Nick Heidfeld and Kovalainen in 10th place.

On lap 9 Hamilton passes Raikkonen for sixth place. Raikkonen complaining on the radio that his engine is not running well.

On lap 11, Buemi runs wide at the final corner, but continues, while Heidfeld runs wide and loses two spots and rejoins in 11th in front of Sebastien Bourdais.

On lap 11 Hamilton passes Jarno Trulli for fifth place, while Barrichello runs wide on the final corner, and Button gets by for third.

On lap 12 Buemi finally passes Raikkonen for sixth, and Massa then passes Raikkonen as well - at the same time Hamilton spins and rejoins dropping back to 10th place.

On lap 13, Buemi passes Trulli to take fifth place, the Toro Rosso making progress up the field.

On lap 14 Glock and Heidfeld make contact and Heidfeld spins, dropping to 19th place. Massa passes Trulli to take sixth place.

On lap 15 Webber, running in second place makes his first pitstop, rejoining in sixth place.

On lap 16 Vettel pits, handing the lead to Button, rejoining in third. Meanwhile Hamilton passes Raikkonen for seventh place.

On lap 17 Kovalainen and Bourdais pass Trulli for 9th and 10th place, while Raikkonen repasses Hamilton. Kazuki Nakajima slides off the track and rejoins. Glock also passing Trulli for 11th - the Italian sliding down the field.

On lap 18 Kubica hits the rear of Trulli at the end of the final straight - rides up the back of the Toyota and removes his rear wing. Kubica pits, replacing his nose, while Trulli runs slowly with no rear wing.

On lap 19 the Safety Car is deployed with Buemi and Glock showing damage. Heidfeld pits. The replay shows Buemi clipping Vettel on the straight with minor damage to Buemi, and no apparent damage to Vettel.

On lap 20 leader Button, Barrichello and Buemi pit - while Trulli retires to the pitlane.

At lap 21, with the field following the Safety Car, the order was Vettel leading Button, Massa, Webber, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Barrichello, Kovalainen, Bourdais, Buemi, Glock, Nakajima, Alonso, Fisichella, Piquet, Rosberg, Heidfeld, Kubica and Sutil in 19th place.

On lap 21 Massa stops in the middle of the track while running third, the car losing power and shutting down on the straight with an apparent electrical problem.

On lap 22 Bourdais spins but continues.

On lap 23 the Safety Car comes in and the race resumes with Vettel leading Button. Hamilton passes Raikkonen for fourth place. Kovalainen passing Barrichello for sixth.

On lap 24 Alonso passes Nakajima for 10th place. Vettel stretching out to a 4 second lead on Button.

On lap 25 Glock pits, replacing his front wing which is damaged.

On lap 26 Nakajima and Glock slide off but both continue.

On lap 28 Raikkonen makes his first pitstop. Nakajima spinning backwards at the first corner but continues. Piquet spins and continues, dragging gravel back on to the track.

On lap 29 Button slides wide at the hairpin, letting Webber through into second place.

At lap 30 Vettel led Webber by 11.1 seconds, followed by Button (14.2s), Hamilton (22.1s), Kovalainen (26.7s), both McLarens yet to pit, Barrichello (29.6s), Buemi (34.1s) and Alonso (34.4s) in eighth - Bourdais pitting.

On lap 32 Webber slides wide and Button retakes second place, but Webber fights back and re-passes Button around the outside out of the second corner.

On lap 34 Hamilton makes his first pitstop from fourth place, rejoining in eighth place - while Giancarlo Fisichella makes his first stop as well. Kovalainen is the final driver to make a pitstop on lap 35.

On lap 36 Alonso pits from fifth place, rejoining in ninth place - Kubica pitting for another new nose.

The two Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber trade fastest laps at the front, the only drivers lapping in the 1m53's, the rest of the field at 1m55 and greater.

On lap 37 Bourdais spins but continues.

On lap 38 Vettel pits from the front, rejoining in third, Webber taking over the lead - while Alonso spins but continues dropping to 13th.

At lap 40 Webber pits from the lead, rejoining third.

At lap 41, Button led Vettel by 1.2 seconds, followed by Webber (15.5s), Barrichello (18.2s), Buemi (29.9s), Hamilton (39.5s), Sutil (45.1s), Kovalainen (45.9s), Heidfeld (50.2s) and Glock (58.7s) in tenth place.

On lap 41 Vettel passes Button for the lead - while Rosberg pits for intermediate wets, the rest of the pitlane sure to watch him closely.

On lap 42 Alonso passes Raikkonen for 11th place.

On lap 43 Button pits from second place, taking on full-wet tyres and rejoining in fourth place.

On lap 44 Barrchello pits his Brawn as well for his final stop, not taking on tyres.

On lap 45 Buemi makes his final stop from fourth place, rejoining in

At lap 46 Vettel continues to lead his Red Bull team mate Webber by 15.7s seconds, followed by the two Brawns of Button (33.3s) and Barrichello (47.4s), followed by the two McLarens of Hamilton (51.6s) and Kovalainen (54.2s), Sutil (59.4s), Heidfeld (60.7s) and Glock (61.4s) and Buemi (66.3s) in tenth place.

On lap 47 Piquet spins at the pitlane.

On lap 48 Hamilton goes wide and his team mate Kovalainen passes him for fifth place.

On lap 49 Rosberg spins but continues - his intermediate wet tyres not paying off. Rosberg then pits for full-wet tyres.

On lap 50 Hamilton spins in the final corner - Sutil passing him for sixth place.

On lap 51 Sutil snaps into a spin and crashes into the barriers nose-first, losing both front wheels - the German getting out of the car unhurt - surely disappointed while running in the points in sixth place.

At lap 52, Vettel led Webber by 13.3 seconds, followed by Button (39.7s), Barrichello (59.1s), Kovalainen (61.3s), Hamilton (69.1s), Glock (71.9s), Buemi (72.3s), Heidfeld (77.6s) and Alonso (78.3s) in tenth place.

The order remained the same to the finish.