Sunday, March 29, 2009


Jenson Button's moment of glory....after Vettel and Kubica crashed into each other and out of the race in the final few minutes of the race....

Toyota’s Jarno Trulli has lost his third place in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix after stewards penalized him for passing under the safety car in the closing laps.

Trulli ran off road near the end of the race, thus losing a place to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, but then repassed the world champion once he had rejoined the circuit.

The Italian was given a 10-second stop-go penalty as a result, but since the offence occurred within the final five laps that was translated into a 25-second penalty added to his race time. He thus drops to 12th.

"I can't say how disappointed I am to finish third but have the result questioned," he said. "When the safety car came out towards the end of the race Lewis passed me but soon after he suddenly slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road. I thought he had a problem so I overtook him as there was nothing else I could do."

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 58 1:34:15.784 1 10
2 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 58 +0.8 secs 2 8
3 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 58 +1.6 secs 20 6
4 10 Timo Glock Toyota 58 +4.4 secs 19 5
5 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 58 +4.8 secs 10 4
6 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 58 +5.7 secs 5 3
7 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 58 +6.0 secs 13 2
8 11 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 58 +6.2 secs 17 1
9 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 58 +6.3 secs 16
10 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 58 +7.0 secs 9
11 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 58 +7.3 secs 15
12 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 57 +1 Lap 8
13 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 56 Accident 3
14 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 55 Accident 4
15 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 55 Differential 7
Ret 3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 45 Suspension 6
Ret 8 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 24 Spin 14
Ret 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 17 Accident 11
Ret 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 0 Accident damage 12
DSQ 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 +2.9 secs 18


A Preview of the coming Australian Grand Prix

New Rules for 2009

There are some significant changes made for the new season of F1 racing. Some are extremely controversial and may not be welcome by the teams. Among the significant changes are:

Drivers' championship decider:
The drivers' championship will be given to the driver with the most race wins for the season. If two or more drivers have the same total of wins, the title goes to the driver with the highest points.

Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS)
Teams now have the option of employing KERS to boost their car’s performance. KERS recovers the kinetic energy generated by the car’s braking system. This energy is stored using a mechanical flywheel or an electrical battery and then made available to the driver, via a boost button on the steering wheel. Under the current system the power gain equates to around 80 horsepower, available for just under seven seconds per lap. This could be worth several tenths of a second in terms of lap time gained, but the weight and packaging of the system - and its impact on the car’s weight distribution and aerodynamic also need to be taken into account.

From grooved tyres, Formula One racing returns to slicks this year, as part of moves to increase the emphasis on mechanical rather than aerodynamic gripping. Grip will increase by around 20 percent with slick tyres, bringing a significant performance gain. However, this is offset by the vastly reduced down-force levels of the new aerodynamic regulations. The overall effect should be reduced performance through high-speed corners. This could work against McClaren whose cars are good at corners.

Unlike in 2008, drivers will not select two consecutive compounds, so the difference between ‘harder’ and ‘softer’ at any given race will be far greater now. A green band on the sidewall will indicate the softer compound.

In a attempt to boost reliability still further, rev limits is cut from 19,000 to 18,000 rpm. Drivers will be limited to eight engines per season, with additional four engines for testing. Once a driver has used up his eight-engine allocation, any engine change will incur a 10-place grid penalty, or a move to the back of the grid if made after qualifying, for the event at which the change is made.

This is one of the biggest area of change for 2009. Downforce will be dramatically reduced and the cars’ bodywork will appear much cleaner, thanks to new dimension regulations that outlaw extraneous items such as barge boards, winglets, turning vanes and chimneys on most parts of the car.

The revisions are also designed to increase overtaking by making the car less susceptible to turbulence when closely following another car. The most obvious changes are to the front and rear wings dimensions.

The front wing is lower (75mm from 150mm) and wider (up from 1400 to 1800mm - the same width as the car) with driver-adjustable flaps. Drivers are allowed to make two wing adjustments per lap, altering the wing angle over a six-degree range.

The rear wing is now taller (up 150mm to bring it level with the top of the engine cover) and narrower (750mm from 1000mm).

Also behind the car, the diffuser has been moved rearwards, its leading edge now level with (rather than ahead of) the rear-wheel axle line. Also, the diffuser has been made longer and higher, changes that will reduce its ability to generate downforce.

Testing is not allowed during the race season (from the week prior to the first Grand Prix until December 31) and is limited to 15,000 kilometres.

Safety car
The pit lane will now remain open during any safety-car period, drivers can now refuel without penalty. However, to ensure that cars are not tempted to speed back to the pit lane, a new software system which employs GPS and the cars’ standard ECU has been introduced. When the safety car is out there, each driver is given a minimum ‘back to pit’ time based on his position on the track. If he arrives in the pit lane before that time he will be penalised.