2009 Italian Grand Prix
|Race 13 of 17 in the 2009 Formula One season|
|Date||September 13, 2009|
|Official name||LXXX Gran Premio Santander d'Italia|
|Location||Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
5.793 km (3.6 mi)
|Distance||53 laps, 306.720 km (190.58 mi)|
|Driver||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes|
|Time||1:24.739 on lap 36|
The 2009 Italian Grand Prix (formally the LXXX Gran Premio Santander d'Italia) was a Formula One motor race held on September 13, 2009 at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy. It was the 13th race of the 2009 Formula One season. It was contested over 53 laps.
It was the last win for Brawn GP and for team driver Rubens Barrichello. Team-mate and Championship Leader Jenson Button came in second, completing Brawn's fourth (and last) one-two finish of the season, while the Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen came third after reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton crashed on the final lap. Hamilton's crash meant the race officially finished behind the Safety Car, despite the Safety Car not picking up the leader. Adrian Sutil, who finished in fourth place, recorded the first fastest lap of his career, and the first for the Force India team.
Jenson Button led the Drivers Championship by 16 points from Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who led Red Bull's third placed man Sebastian Vettel by 3 points. Brawn led the Constructors Championship by 23½ points from Red Bull who are a further 48½ points ahead of winners of the previous race, Ferrari.
Vettel won his maiden Formula One race in the 2008 race for the Toro Rosso team, that made him the youngest driver to win a Formula One race, in the first race won by both the Toro Rosso team since they were formed as Minardi and by a customer Ferrari engine. The only other Italian Grand Prix winners in the field are Fernando Alonso and Barrichello. No Italian has won his home Grand Prix since Ferrari's Ludovico Scarfiotti won his only race at the 1966 race. Jarno Trulli, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Giancarlo Fisichella were the only current Italians in the field this year, with Luca Badoer replaced as Ferrari's stand-in by Fisichella. Fisichella became the first Italian since Ivan Capelli in 1992 to race for Ferrari at Monza, after terminating his Force India contract. Fisichella was replaced by Force India test driver Liuzzi.
The first session of the Italian GP finished with the McLarens on top with Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen first and second fastest, respectively. Force India's Adrian Sutil finished the session in third. Renault's Fernando Alonso finished fourth while team-mate Romain Grosjean finished fifteenth. Fischella, driving for Ferrari for the first time in his career, finished eighth ahead of team-mate Kimi Räikkönen who ended the session in tenth. Toyota's Trulli and Timo Glock were at the back of the pack. Championship leader Jenson Button ended seventh while his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello finished twelfth.
In the second session Force India's Adrian Sutil was fastest, ahead of the two Renaults of Grosjean and Alonso. Hamilton was eleventh with Kovalainen coming in fourth. Button in a Brawn finished 19th, with only Fisichella separating him from last place. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel came eighteenth, and Mark Webber in fourteenth.
The final practice session ahead of Qualifying again saw Sutil fastest, ahead of the Brawn of Jenson Button with team-mate Barrichello in fourth. The two McLarens ended fifth and sixth, with Fisichella's replacement at Force India, Vitantonio Liuzzi, in seventh. The two Red Bulls ended the session 17th and 18th. Fisichella ended the session last, with Räikkönen's other Ferrari in twelfth.
The first session, lasting 20 minutes, decided the final five places on the grid. Five minutes into the session Liuzzi ran off the track but did not damage his car and managed to proceed through to the next part of qualifying. Räikkönen topped the session ahead of Hamilton and Kovalainen. Both Toro Rossos and both Williams cars were knocked out along with the Toyota of Timo Glock. Fisichella made it through to the next session, making it the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix that both Ferraris had made it through to Q2. Grosjean also progressed to Q2.
The second session, lasting 15 minutes, decided positions 11 to 15. Five minutes into the session Nick Heidfeld's BMW engine gave way to leave him in 15th for the race. Seven minutes later, the other BMW of Robert Kubica appeared to have the same problem and pulled off with engine problems just before the first corner. This left Kubica qualifying in 13th. Fisichella was unable to make it through to the final session of qualifying. Button topped the session, with Hamilton in second and Force India's Adrian Sutil in third. After the chequered flag had fallen Liuzzi was the final driver to post a time moving from 13th into the top 10. The other drivers not to make it were Grosjean and Trulli.
The final session, lasting ten minutes, decided the top ten positions. Early on, Alonso set the fastest time in the first sector, but it was Räikkönen who had the best time overall. Very soon afterwards Hamilton set the fastest lap, while Webber, Alonso, Sutil and Räikkönen traded second place. The chequered flag fell and very few cars were still out, but it was Hamilton who came out on top to snatch pole from Sutil. Although Button qualified sixth and his team-mate Barrichello in fifth, they looked well-placed after the fuel loads were released and both were on a one stop strategy, while Hamilton, Sutil and Räikkönen were all on a two stop strategy.
At the start, Lewis Hamilton held onto his lead with Kimi Räikkönen in second, ahead of Adrian Sutil. Heikki Kovalainen, on a one-stop fuel strategy was overtaken by the similarly fuelled Brawns of Rubens Barrichello, off the start line, and Jenson Button, through the second Lesmo. Championship contender Mark Webber was spun by Robert Kubica at Della Roggia on the opening lap and was forced to retire. By Lap 15, Kubica had also retired with an oil leak.
The battle for the lead was tactical, with the Brawn cars stopping only once while Hamilton was on a two-stop strategy. Barrichello and Button were able to lap consistently faster than Hamilton despite their heavier fuel load, meaning when Hamilton emerged from his second pit stop he found himself behind both Brawns in third position. Reigning World Champion Hamilton tried in vain to overtake Championship leader Button over the final few laps before crashing into the barriers at the second Lesmo as he attempted to catch Button. Hamilton's crash left debris across the race track, meaning the Safety Car was deployed despite it being the final lap of the race. The Safety Car was therefore unable to pick up the leader, Barrichello, before he took the chequered flag as he would take Brawn's eighth win of the season and his third win at Monza.
The Safety Car ended a race long battle between the similarly fuelled Räikkönen and Sutil. Sutil was able to keep up with the Ferrari driver throughout the race. Both made their second and final pit stop at the same time, Räikkönen coming out of the pits first despite a delay leaving his garage after Sutil drove too fast into his box, knocking over a mechanic, who was unhurt. Despite Sutil's pressure over the closing stages, Räikkönen held to inherit third place. Sutil did have the consolation of claiming the fastest lap of the race, Force India's first in Formula One.
Fernando Alonso finished fifth, ahead of Kovalainen despite the Finn being on the race-winning one-stop strategy. Nick Heidfeld finished seventh after working his way through the field from fifteenth on the grid. Sebastian Vettel took the final point, ahead of Ferrari debutant Giancarlo Fisichella. Fisichella's replacement at Force India, Vitantonio Liuzzi, retired with a mechanical problem while challenging for the points.
 Post race
The poor performance from the Red Bull cars, combined with Brawn's 1-2 finish, meant the Drivers Championship became effectively a two-horse race between Button, who led Barrichello by 14 points with four races to go. Vettel was 26 points behind Button with Webber a further 2.5 points adrift. Brawn team boss Ross Brawn said after the race he would allow his drivers to compete amongst themselves for the Drivers Championship, as his team was virtually assured of the Constructors Championship. Barrichello admitted he was relishing the prospect of a straight title fight after playing second fiddle to Michael Schumacher whilst the German won five world championships at Ferrari. A visibly more relaxed Button was magnanimous in defeat and happy to face a battle from within.
Webber admitted frustration at his first non-finish of the year following such a "small" accident, while Vettel insisted his Championship chances were not over. McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh did not criticise Hamilton for his last lap crash, stating the accident was a result of the Briton's "never-give-up attitude, his unquenchable desire to fight until the very last metre of the very last lap." The focus of the F1 paddock after the race, however, was on the looming Crashgate hearing at the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris the following week. This was to determine whether Renault had asked formed driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. to crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, to aid team-mate Fernando Alonso ultimately win the race.
Lewis Hamilton mathematically conceded the defence of his 2008 World Championship following the result of this race as only Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were mathematically able to win the Championship. 2007 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen also mathematically conceded the World Championship as a result of this race, while 2005 and 2006 World Champion Fernando Alonso was already out of contention before this race. As a result, it meant following this race a brand new World Champion was guaranteed to be crowned for 2009.
Cars that use the KERS system are marked with "‡"
|Pos||No||Driver||Constructor||Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Grid|
|2||20||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:23.576||1:23.070||1:24.261||2|
|7||21||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1:23.578||1:23.207||1:25.043||7|
|9||15||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:23.558||1:23.545||1:25.180||9|
|10||14||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:23.755||1:23.273||1:25.314||10|
|13||5||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||1:24.001||1:23.866||13|
|15||6||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||1:23.584||1:24.275||15|
|19||12||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:24.220||19|
|20||11||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:24.951||20|
- ^1 - Jaime Alguersuari was given a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change prior to qualifying, but ultimately this did not affect his position, as he qualified in 20th place.
Cars that use the KERS system are marked with "‡"
|4||20||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||53||+31.131||2||5|
|7||6||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||53||+1:22.412||15||2|
|8||15||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||53||+1:25.407||9||1|
|13||12||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||52||Followed safety car||19|
|14||9||Jarno Trulli||Toyota||52||+1 Lap||11|
|15||8‡||Romain Grosjean||Renault||52||+1 Lap||12|
|16||16||Nico Rosberg||Williams-Toyota||51||+2 Laps||18|
|Ret||21||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||22||Transmission||7|
|Ret||11||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||19||Gearbox||20|
|Ret||5||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||15||Oil leak||13|
|Ret||14||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||0||Collision||10|
- ^1 - Although Lewis Hamilton retired on the final lap, he was still classified as a finisher as he had completed 90% of the winner's race distance.
- ^2 - Sébastien Buemi followed the safety car to the pit lane on the final lap and therefore he was not considered to have finished the race. He was classified as he had driven 90% of the winner's race distance.
- ^3 - Jaime Alguersuari started the race from the pitlane after changing parts on his car after qualifying.
 Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
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- "Brawn to allow 'open' title fight". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- "Rubens Barrichello relishing fight for world championship". London: The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group Limited). 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-14.[dead link]
- "Italian Grand Prix - selected driver quotes". Formula One Administration Ltd. Archived from the original on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- "Renault face Formula 1 fix fate". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- "Italian GP Race Results". formula1.com (Formula One Association). 2009-09-13. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "Formula One Championship Standings". formula1.com (Formula One Association). 2009-09-13. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
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|Italian Grand Prix||Next race:
2010 Italian Grand Prix