2009 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Malaysia  2009 Malaysian Grand Prix
Race details[1]
Race 2 of 17 in the 2009 Formula One season
Sepang.svg
Date April 5, 2009
Official name XI Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix
Location Sepang International Circuit
Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Course Permanent racing facility
5.543 km (3.376 mi)
Distance 31 laps, 171.833 km (104.656 mi)
Scheduled Distance 56 laps, 310.408 km (189.056 mi)
Weather Dry start, with heavy rain and thunder storm/ monsoon later
Pole position
Driver United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes
Time 1.35.181
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes
Time 1:36.641 on lap 18
Podium
First United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes
Second Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber
Third Germany Timo Glock Toyota

The 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix (formally the XI Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix) was a Formula One race held on April 5, 2009 at the Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia. It was the second race of the 2009 Formula One season. The race was due to be contested over 56 laps, but due to torrential rain, the race was stopped after 31 laps. The race was won by Jenson Button for the Brawn GP team after starting from pole position. Nick Heidfeld was classified second for BMW Sauber with Timo Glock third for Toyota.

As the race did not reach the required 75% distance (42 laps) needed for full points to be awarded, half-points were given instead for only the fifth time in Formula One history, and the first since the 1991 Australian Grand Prix.[2][3] The race distance of 171.833 km, was the fifth shortest ever covered in a World Championship Grand Prix.[4] Brawn GP became only the second constructor to win their first two World Championship Grands Prix since Alfa Romeo won the first two ever, in 1950.[5]

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

On the Thursday before the race, Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the preceding Australian Grand Prix due to misleading the stewards.

The Grand Prix was contested by 20 drivers, in 10 teams of two.[6] The teams, also known as "constructors", were Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, Renault, Brawn, Force India, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Red Bull Racing, Williams and Toro Rosso.[6]

After the Australian Grand Prix, Jenson Button led the Drivers' Championship by two points from Rubens Barrichello and by four points from Jarno Trulli.[6] Brawn GP led the Constructors' Championship by 7 points from Toyota and by 14 points from Renault.[6]

The race start time was moved from 15:00 local time (07:00 UTC) to 17:00 local time (09:00 UTC). The organisers however turned down the possibility of holding a night race, in line with the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, for budgetary reasons.[7]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

"This morning we had a problem with the KERS, which cost us a bit of time, but we managed to make up for most of it in the afternoon. We had felt that the situation here could be different to Melbourne, but it is still too early to say where we are up against the opposition. What we can be sure of is that when the car runs trouble-free, we are competitive. We hope we can do a good job in tomorrow's qualifying."

Kimi Räikkönen, after his incident in the first practice session, and after setting the fastest lap in the second practice session.[8]
Jenson Button took his second pole position of the season for Brawn GP.

Three practice sessions were held before the race; the first was held on Friday morning and the second on Friday afternoon. Both sessions lasted 1 hour and 30 minutes with weather conditions dry throughout. The third session was held on Saturday morning and lasted an hour, and was also dry throughout.[9] Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima secured a Williams one-two in the first session with times of 1:36.260 and 1:36.305 minutes respectively. In the second session, Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen and Felipe Massa went quickest with times of 1:35.707 and 1:35.832 minutes. After 18 laps, Räikkönen's cockpit began to billow out smoke, and though Ferrari did not give an official statement, there are reports that the car's KERS system had overheated.[10]

Jenson Button got Brawn's second consecutive pole ahead of Jarno Trulli's Toyota.[11] Rubens Barrichello in the other Brawn qualified 4th (third when taking into consideration Vettel's penalty) but was demoted five places to 8th after a gearbox change.[12] An error in strategy meant that Massa failed to make it through Q1. In an interview to Rede Globo, the driver said that he and the team thought the initial time posted was enough to qualify for the second session, and refrained from recording additional times in order to spare the car's engine. However, this was not the case, and Massa was left in 16th place.[13][14]

Race[edit]

Jenson Button took pole position on the starting grid, but Nico Rosberg (in fourth place) made the best start and led for the first time in his career, into the first corner.
Robert Kubica retired on the second lap when his engine failed.
Photograph showing the correct positions of Jenson Button, Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock on the last completed lap

Off the line, there was a clean getaway by all drivers, apart from Robert Kubica, who was forced to retire from engine problems after the first lap. Williams' Nico Rosberg moved from fourth on the grid to lead into the first corner, followed by Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso, who had used his KERS system to good effect to move up from tenth; Jenson Button made a poor start in his Brawn and was down to fourth. Heading into turn five, McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen ran wide onto the track's 'marbles' (fragments of degraded tyre rubber), and spun into early retirement.

After a slow start, Button caught and passed the heavier Renault of Alonso at turn thirteen for third place and set off after Trulli. Rosberg and Trulli stopped for fuel earlier than Button, who was able to pass them during the first round of pit stops and take the lead. Evidence of rain was barely noticed, but Kimi Räikkönen pitted to switch from dry to full wet tyres. However, his gamble did not pay off, as rain did not come as early as predicted, and he was forced to slow down significantly in order to delay the rapid wear of the wet tyres. (Without standing water on the track, wet tyres will not maintain structural integrity at high speeds, and will rapidly degrade over the course of a few laps.)

By lap 19, rain had started to fall and most of the drivers pitted for wet tyres. However, at this stage there was no standing water on the track, and so the wet tyres started to wear out very quickly. Timo Glock had been using intermediate tyres which were better suited to the conditions and moved rapidly up to third place. The other drivers followed this example and switched to intermediate tyres as well, which the majority of the field stayed on until lap 31 when the downpour finally reached the whole track, and drivers pitted for wet tyres once again.

Due to the torrential rain, the race was stopped on the 33rd lap[3] and the results were taken from the classification at the end of lap 31 (the penultimate fully completed in accordance with sporting regulation 42.8[15]). Half-points were subsequently awarded to the top eight. Button took his second victory of the season and five points, and it was the first time he had won back to back victories and his third career victory. The victory also meant that Brawn GP became the first team since Alfa Romeo in 1950 to win their first two Grands Prix.[5] Nick Heidfeld was classified second ahead of Toyota's Timo Glock. Heidfeld was the first driver to take a podium position with a KERS-equipped car.

Post-race[edit]

Trulli, Barrichello, Hamilton and Webber stop their cars on the start-finish straight following the decision to red-flag the race.
Crowd members leaving the stands after the race was abandoned.

The drivers generally backed the decision to abandon the race, citing diminishing visibility (due to the later starting time) as well as the heavy rain.[16]

Officials in Malaysia also confirmed that they would review the start time of the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix. Mokhzani Mahathir, chairman of the Sepang International Circuit, said he consulted Bernie Ecclestone after the race and they had agreed to look at the timings. However, Ecclestone revealed he had no qualms about the schedule, stating:

Mokhzani suggested the possibility of implementing a lighting system (similar to that used in the Singapore Grand Prix) to illuminate the circuit in future races.[17]

Classification[edit]

Cars that used the KERS system are marked with "‡"

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Grid
1 22 United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:35.058 1:33.784 1:35.181 1
2 9 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:34.745 1:33.990 1:35.273 2
3 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:34.935 1:34.276 1:35.518 13[1]
4 23 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:34.681 1:34.387 1:35.651 8[2]
5 10 Germany Timo Glock Toyota 1:34.907 1:34.258 1:35.690 3
6 16 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:35.083 1:34.547 1:35.750 4
7 14 Australia Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:35.027 1:34.222 1:35.797 5
8 5 Poland Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:35.166 1:34.562 1:36.106 6
9 4‡ Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:35.476 1:34.456 1:36.170 7
10 7‡ Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 1:35.260 1:34.706 1:37.659 9
11 6‡ Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:35.110 1:34.769 10
12 17 Japan Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:35.341 1:34.788 11
13 1‡ United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.280 1:34.905 12
14 2‡ Finland Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.023 1:34.924 14
15 11 France Sébastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:35.507 1:35.431 15
16 3‡ Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:35.642 16
17 8‡ Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. Renault 1:35.708 17
18 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:35.908 18
19 20 Germany Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:35.951 19
20 12 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.107 20

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 22 United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 31 55:30.622 1 5
2 6‡ Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 31 +22.722 10 4
3 10 Germany Timo Glock Toyota 31 +23.513 3 3
4 9 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 31 +46.173 2 2.5
5 23 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 31 +47.360 8 2
6 14 Australia Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 31 +52.333 5 1.5
7 1‡ United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 31 +1:00.733 12 1
8 16 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 31 +1:11.576 4 0.5
9 3‡ Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 31 +1:16.932 16
10 11 France Sébastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 31 +1:42.164 15
11 7‡ Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 31 +1:49.422 9
12 17 Japan Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 31 +1:56.130 11
13 8‡ Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. Renault 31 +1:56.713 17
14 4‡ Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 31 +2:22.841 7
15 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 30 Spun off 13
16 12 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 30 Spun off 20
17 20 Germany Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 30 +1 lap 19
18 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 29 Spun off 18
Ret 5 Poland Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1 Engine 6
Ret 2‡ Finland Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 0 Spun off 14
  • Scheduled for 56 laps but stopped early due to heavy rain. Half points awarded.

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Malaysian Grand Prix – Preview". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 2009-04-01. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  2. ^ Baldwin, Alan (2009-04-05). "Button wins Malaysian GP cut short by rain". Reuters (Thomas Reuters Corporate). Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  3. ^ a b Gorman, Edward; Lumpur, Kuala (2009-04-05). "Jenson Button wins abandoned Malaysian Grand Prix". Times Online (London: Times Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  4. ^ "Statistics: Kms, The less". statsf1.com. 2009-04-05. Archived from the original on 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  5. ^ a b c Whyatt, Chris (2009-04-05). "Classy Button wins abandoned race.". BBC Sport (BBC). Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Championship Classification". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 2009-04-05. Archived from the original on 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  7. ^ "Malaysia rules out night race next year". AFP, The Times of India (Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd). 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  8. ^ "Friday practice – selected team and driver quotes". formula1.com. 2009-04-03. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  9. ^ 2009 Formula One Sporting Regulations (PDF). FIA. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-04-05. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Raikkonen tops Malaysia practice". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-04-03. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  11. ^ Button storms to another pole ITV-F1.com 2009-04-04 Retrieved on 2009-04-04
  12. ^ a b "Barrichello gets 5 place penalty". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 2009-04-03. Archived from the original on 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  13. ^ "Erro de estratégia deixa Massa em 16º" (in portuguese). globoesporte.com. 2009-04-04. Archived from the original on 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  14. ^ "Massa admits qualifying error". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  15. ^ "2009 Formula One Sporting Regulations" (PDF). 2009 Formula One Sporting Regulations. Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-04-05. "If the race cannot be resumed the results will be taken at the end of the penultimate lap before the lap during which the signal to suspend the race was given." [dead link]
  16. ^ "Drivers back Malaysia abandonment". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-05-05. Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  17. ^ a b "Malaysia start time under review". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  18. ^ "Vettel gets 10-place grid penalty". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-03-29. Archived from the original on 1 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 

External links[edit]


Previous race:
2009 Australian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2009 season
Next race:
2009 Chinese Grand Prix
Previous race:
2008 Malaysian Grand Prix
Malaysian Grand Prix Next race:
2010 Malaysian Grand Prix

Coordinates: 2°45′39″N 101°44′18″E / 2.76083°N 101.73833°E / 2.76083; 101.73833