Sunday, September 13, 2009

Barichello wins Italian GP.

Button back as Barrichello wins

Rubens Barrichello headed Jenson Button to a Brawn one-two in a tense Italian Grand Prix as the Englishman scored his first podium finish in six races.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole but was beaten on strategy, lost third place when he crashed on the last lap trying to chase down Button.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took the place ahead of Force India's Adrian Sutil.
Brawn's title rivals Red Bull had a bad day as Mark Webber crashed on the first lap while Sebastian Vettel was eighth.
Button has had his championship lead cut by two points to 14 from second-placed Barrichello, while Vettel sits 12 points behind the Brazilian with Webber 2.5 points behind his team-mate in fourth.
Forty points remain available with four races remaining.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso pushed hard throughout the race to finish fifth, just ahead of McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen.

After starting back in 15th, Nick Heidfeld did well to score two points for struggling BMW Sauber with a seventh place.
Hamilton was eventually classified in 12th after crashing out on the exit kerb of the first Lesmo on the last lap having been breathing down Button's neck for the final third of the race as he desperately tried to get in a position to overtake his compatriot.
The 13th grand prix of 2009 was a tale of two races within a race - pole-sitter Hamilton trying to gain enough time to stay ahead of the Brawns knowing he needed to stop twice, while they competed against each other while making sure to keep Hamilton at bay.
In-form Barrichello - who claimed his second win in three races - made a brilliant start, jumping into fourth from fifth as Kovalainen slipped down the field before consolidating that with an aggressive first lap.
That period was also critical for Button who produced a clever manoeuvre on Kovalainen, whom he overtook on the inside of the second Lesmo to put him back in a position to challenge for a win throughout the rest of the race.

Seven out of last 10 Italian Grands Prix have been won from pole position but, while Hamilton opened up a decent gap before his first stop of the race using his Kers power-boost button on the long straights, the Brawns stayed in touch as they ran solidly in fourth and fifth place.
Hamilton's car did not ultimately have the pace of the Brawns whose strategy - fuelling heavier in qualifying to use just one stop in the race itself - proved to be a shrewd move.
When he made his quick second pit stop on lap 34 he came out behind Button still in contention, with Barrichello leading, but - despite making up four tenths of a second on the championship leader during some laps - he could not get close enough.
The veteran Brazilian, meanwhile, was firmly in control in the latter stages with a relatively safe gap between himself and Button - while his decision to stick with an engine which had briefly caught fire at the last race in Belgium was fully vindicated.
"It feels great. I have no words," he said.
"I had a tough night, we didn't know if the gearbox would be OK and there are some concerns. But it should last

"It was great to have such a good start. The first lap made my race. There will be times when we don't have to worry about the Kers [energy power-boost button] cars, but with the straight lines here you do."
The championship battle now looks to be a two-man battle between two team-mates - a rare thing in a sport where one driver is usually favoured over the over as the season pans out - after a poor race seemed to blow any title hopes for struggling Red Bull.
Webber, who started 10th, went off at the Della Roggia turn after tangling with BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica in what the Australian described as a 'racing incident' - meaning it was not the Pole's fault as he was genuinely challenging for position.
"This gives my championship chances a blow, for sure," said Webber. "I haven't scored points in three races, though this is my first DNF of the season.
"We've still had a great middle run in the championship but we need to bounce back from this. We need to finish the season as strongly as we can but it's been a tough period for us."

Button's finish, with clinched Brawn's fourth one-two of the year, was a decent response to critics who have been constantly questioning whether he has been struggling to deal with the pressure of leading the championship after a relatively barren recent run.
"It's nice to be back up here," he said.
"I'd like to be where Rubens is sat but he did a better job today. I've lost two points to Rubens but gained seven on Vettel.
"We're going to take it I'm sure right down to the wire...for me it was a great result."
German driver Sutil collected his first points of the season by finishing fourth while also handing increasingly-impressive Force India a consecutive second place over the past two races.

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