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The 2009 Belgian Grand Prix (formally the LXV ING Belgian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race, held on August 30, 2009 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchampsmarker near the town of Spamarker, Belgiummarker. It was the 12th race of the 2009 Formula One season. The race was contested over 44 laps, with an overall race distance of 308.2 km (191.5 mi). The race was won by 2007 world champion Kimi Räikkönen of Ferrari after starting from sixth on the grid. Giancarlo Fisichella of Force India came second after starting from the team's first pole position. Sebastian Vettel came third after starting from eighth on the grid.

It was Räikkönen's first grand prix victory since the 2008 Spanish Grand Prixmarker and Ferrari's only victory of the season. Fisichella's second position give Force India their first ever championship points and their first podium.

Report

Background

Jenson Button led the World Championship entering the Belgian race weekend despite not scoring a podium since early June. He had an 18-point lead over Brawn GPmarker team-mate Rubens Barrichello. Mark Webber was 2½ points behind Barrichello in third and was 4½ points ahead of Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel. The respective recoveries of Ferrari and McLarenmarker ensured that the last two World Champions, Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton, had scored podiums in the two races leading up to Belgium. Brawn GP led Red Bull Racing by 27½ points in the Constructors' Championship. The next team, Ferrari, were 52½ points behind Red Bull and 80 points behind Brawn. Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen, who had previously won the event three times, was the only former winner entered in the race.

Practice

Friday Morning

(1hr 30mins): Rain affected the first practice session of the weekend. Only 10 cars got dry lap times in while the rest of the field posting lap times in the wet. Jarno Trulli posted the fastest lap followed by Button. Fernando Alonso was third followed by the two Toro Rosso. Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella posted the fastest time off the wet runners followed by Nico Rosberg. Neither Vettel nor Hamilton posted lap times.

Friday Afternoon

(1hr 30mins): The second session stayed dry through out with Hamilton topping the session. Timo Glock was second and Räikkönen third, the top three cars were separated by less than 0.7s. Fisichella kept his pace for Force India as he came sixth. This was one of the closest sessions in the history of Formula One with 18 of the 20 cars coming within less than a second from the leader. Only Rosberg and Luca Badoer were more than a second away from Hamilton's time. Both Brawns struggled coming only 17th and 18th.

Saturday Morning

(1hr): This session may have seen another indication that BMW Sauber have greatly improved their car after Nick Heidfeld topped the session. Another Toyota came second with Trulli and Force India's Adrian Sutil came third. Hamilton took 9th place with Button rounding off the top ten. Red Bull's problems with the Renaultmarker engine continued as Webber's engine had a major problem. This gave Red Bull-Renault their third engine failure in a week.

Qualifying

Session 1

(20mins): The first session would see five cars drop out and decide the final five grid positions. Badoer qualified 20th for the second race in a row, after crashing at the end of the session and bringing out the yellow flag, causing many drivers to slow down. Fisichella topped the session with Trulli finishing just behind him. The other four drivers to be knocked out at the end of the session were Renault's Romain Grosjean (P19), Williams's Kazuki Nakajima (P18) and the two Toro Rossos of Jaime Alguersuari (P17) and Sebastian Buemi (P16).

Session 2

(15mins): The second session would again see another five cars drop out to decide grid positions 11-15. The session was topped by the Toyota of Jarno Trulli, while BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica was second with Red Bull's Vettel coming third. Also significant in the second part of qualifying was the elimination of Brawn's Jenson Button who could only manage P14. The two McLarens of Heikki Kovalainen (P15) and Lewis Hamilton (P12) were also knocked out along with the second Renault of Alonso (P13) and Force India's Adrian Sutil (P11).

Session 3

(10mins): The final session would see the remaining 10 grid positions be decided. Williams's new aero package was not working as they would like as Rosberg qualified P10. The two Red Bulls of Webber (P9) and Vettel (P8) seemed to struggle in conditions favouring their cars. Glock took P7 with Räikkönen, driving the only KERS car in the top 10, coming in sixth. The two BMW Saubers' new updates seemed to be lifting the whole team as Kubica (P5) and Heidfeld (P3) achieved their best qualifying positions of the season. The only Brawn in the final session, that of Rubens Barrichello, took P4. One of the biggest surprises on an already unpredictable track, Force India took their very first pole position. It was Fisichella's first pole position since the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix. Trulli took second place.

Race

As the race started everyone seemed to make a good start apart from Rubens Barrichello, who almost stalled his car, causing him to drop to the back of the field. At Les Combes, at the top of the hill, a crash caused the safety car to come out. Romain Grosjean ran into the back of Jenson Button who in turn spun 180° and collided with Grosjean for a second time, causing them to both retire. Lewis Hamilton backed off after seeing the incidents ahead of him, which caused Jaime Alguersuari to run into him; both crashed into the barrier and retired. The safety car came in on lap 5 with Fisichella still leading and Räikkönen right behind him. Räikkönen closed up to the Force India driver through the Eau Rouge corner and passed him on the way into Les Combes. The main bulk of the first round of stops came in around lap 14. Mark Webber was released in front of Nick Heidfeld and was handed a drive through penalty, severely affecting his race.

After the first stop Fisichella closed to within one second of Räikkönen. Jarno Trulli retired from the race on lap 22; after starting on the front row he had dropped to the back of the field, having pitted after a first lap collision. Fernando Alonso retired on lap 27 with a suspected wheel problem after a first corner collision with Adrian Sutil. Räikkönen and Fisichella pitted for the second time on the same lap but it was the Finn who emerged in front and kept his lead. Vettel recorded the fastest lap of the race with a late push to try and catch the leaders but it was to no avail as Räikkönen took the chequered flag for the first time this season with Fisichella scoring Force India's first-ever points with a second place finish. Vettel finished third, followed by the two BMW Saubers and Heikki Kovalainen finishing sixth. After dropping to the back of the field at the start, Rubens Barrichello came in seventh with Nico Rosberg picking up the final point in eighth. Barrichello's car was smoking from the back for the last few laps and the car caught fire in parc fermé. Webber finished ninth for the second race in a row and scored no points.

Post-Race



With Button failing to score, his championship lead became smaller for the second race in a row as his team-mate Barrichello closed the gap by two points. Vettel's third place moved him ahead of his team-mate Webber. Raikkonen's win further extended Ferrari's lead in the constructors' championship over McLaren, but his team mate Luca Badoer was again under scrutiny after finishing last for the second time: reports came out of the paddock that second place man Fisichella would replace him at Ferrari for the Italian Grand Prix. On August 31 Force India team principal Vijay Mallya reported that Fisichella would not be driving for Ferrari at Monzamarker.. However on September 3 Fisichella was released from his contract at Force India and joined Ferrari until the end of the season. Force India announced on September 7 that Vitantonio Liuzzi, the team's test driver, would replace Fisichella for the remaining five races of the season.

On September 4, Renaultmarker were summoned to a meeting by Formula One's governing body, the FIA with the allegations of race fixing during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. If Renault are charged they could be expelled from the championship as McLarenmarker were in the Formula One Season. Fernando Alonso also drove for McLaren during that season. The meeting will not take place until September 21, the week before the Singapore Grand Prix.

Classification

Qualifying

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

Pos No Name Constructor Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Grid
1 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:45.102 1:44.667 1:46.308 1
2 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:45.140 1:44.503 1:46.395 2
3 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:45.566 1:44.709 1:46.500 3
4 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawnmarker-Mercedes 1:45.237 1:44.834 1:46.513 4
5 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:45.655 1:44.557 1:46.586 5
6 4‡ Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:45.579 1:44.953 1:46.633 6
7 10 Timo Glock Toyota 1:45.450 1:44.877 1:46.677 7
8 15 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renaultmarker 1:45.372 1:44.592 1:46.761 8
9 14 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renaultmarker 1:45.350 1:44.924 1:46.788 9
10 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:45.486 1:45.047 1:47.362 10
11 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:45.239 1:45.119 11
12 1‡ Lewis Hamilton McLarenmarker-Mercedes 1:45.767 1:45.122 12
13 7 Fernando Alonso Renaultmarker 1:45.707 1:45.136 13
14 22 Jenson Button Brawnmarker-Mercedes 1:45.761 1:45.251 14
15 2‡ Heikki Kovalainen McLarenmarker-Mercedes 1:45.705 1:45.259 15
16 12 Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:45.951 16
17 11 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:46.302 17
18 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:46.307 18
19 8 Romain Grosjean Renaultmarker 1:46.359 19
20 3‡ Luca Badoer Ferrari 1:46.957 20


Race

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

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 4‡ Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 44 1:23:50.995 6 10
2 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 44 +0.939 1 8
3 15 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renaultmarker 44 +3.875 8 6
4 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 44 +9.966 5 5
5 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 44 +11.276 3 4
6 2‡ Heikki Kovalainen McLarenmarker-Mercedes 44 +32.763 15 3
7 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawnmarker-Mercedes 44 +35.461 4 2
8 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 44 +36.208 10 1
9 14 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renaultmarker 44 +36.959 9
10 10 Timo Glock Toyota 44 +41.490 7
11 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 44 +42.636 11
12 12 Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrarimarker 44 +46.106 16
13 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 44 +54.241 18
14 3‡ Luca Badoer Ferrari 44 +1:42.177 20
Ret 7 Fernando Alonso Renaultmarker 26 Wheel 13
Ret 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 21 Brakes 2
Ret 1‡ Lewis Hamilton McLarenmarker-Mercedes 0 Collision 12
Ret 22 Jenson Button Brawnmarker-Mercedes 0 Collision 14
Ret 11 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrarimarker 0 Collision 17
Ret 8 Romain Grosjean Renaultmarker 0 Collision 19


Notes



Standings after the Race

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 Jenson Button 72
2 Rubens Barrichello 56
3 Sebastian Vettel 53
4 Mark Webber 51.5
5 Kimi Räikkönen 34


Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 Brawnmarker-Mercedes 128
2 Red Bull-Renaultmarker 104.5
3 Ferrari 56
4 McLarenmarker-Mercedes 44
5 Toyota 38.5


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


References




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