Sunday, November 1, 2009

F1: Vettel Victorious at 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull triumphs!

Photo Courtesy of Brawn GP

Bracing to make their circuit an attraction on the prestigious Formula One calendar construction of the Yas Marina circuit, started in 2007, was built in vision of a world class motor sport facility. At the Formula One tour arrived for the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the United Arab Emirates state project spent the equivalent of 1.3 billion US dollars to give their dream form. Stretching 3.451 miles and consisting of 21 turns, the track provides a fusion of many F1 road courses. Tight, challenging corners reminds of Suzuka while the long high-speed sections mirror Belgium's Spa circuit. Apart from the FIA-approved race track, the Yas Marina facility includes a five-star hotel, covered grandstand seating, and a full-function water park making this race a resort community.

Jenson Button, the acclaimed 2009 Formula One World Champion, came to the Yas Marina circuit without concern for the points and really to claim his first F1 race victory since July. "Brazil was a fantastic weekend and to have won the Constructors’ and the Drivers’ Championships with Brawn GP is a very special achievement. I am incredibly proud of the whole team at Brawn GP and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines." Jenson Button responded going into the race. "We’ve all had a few busy days since returning to the UK and it was great for both Jenson and I to get back to the factory and thank everyone in person for their contribution to our successes. At the same time, we have been looking ahead to the final race and ensuring that all our preparations are in place for Abu Dhabi which is an important weekend for the team as we look to secure second position in the Drivers’ Championship with Rubens."

In qualifying however, the 2008 F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton expressed some relief to relinquishing the championship crown by putting his McLaren Mercedes on the top spot. Hamilton held off the dynamic duo of Red Bull Racing as Sebestian Vettel snagged 2nd and Mark Webber qualified 3rd for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Brawn GP pair of Rubens Barrichello and 2009 champ Jenson Button would roll off 4th and 5th.

In the race, Hamilton led the first 17 laps of the event over Vettel until a pit stop for fuel handing the lead to 2nd place Sebastian Vettel. Defeating Hamilton's chance at winning the final race of the F1 season, Hamilton's McLaren had to be withdrawn from competition due to brake problems. With McLaren's second car driven by Heikki Kovalainen finishing 11th, the 2009 F1 season treated the McLaren team particularly rough placing a distant third in the final constructor point tally.

Sebestian Vettel went unchallenged after Hamilton's retirement, piloting his Renault-powered Red Bull machine to a third win for 2009. A breakout season for the 22 year old German, he finished the F1 season scoring 14 points more than Button through the final 6 races. Also emerging triumphant this season for Red Bull is Mark Webber after 7 seasons in Formula One. Webber finished second in the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix providing a strong finish for Red Bull Racing as a whole.

With the driver's points settled, Button and his Brawn GP team enjoyed a productive race which resulted in a 3rd place podium finish. First year team owner Ross Brawn commented on the success of the 2009 outing saying "To go through the trauma of the winter months and make it to the first race and then achieve eight Grand Prix victories and the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships in our first year is an outstanding achievement."

As the 2009 Formula One season ends under an unique Formula One sunset, this tour will be remembered as a definitive moment for the once underdogs of the world championship of auto racing. Button winning a championship after 10 seasons in the series, 18 year F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello enjoying a 3rd place points finish (his best since his tenure with Ferrari) and the rise of two teams (Brawn GP and Red Bull Racing) over the established Ferrari and McLaren creations.

The 2010 Formula One season promises have the ingredients to another unpredictable year as new teams, new rules and new drivers are certain to tint the complexion of the top open wheel series on the planet.

2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix- Race Results

1. Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault
2. Mark Webber RBR-Renault
3. Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes
4. Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes
5. Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber
6. Kamui Kobayashi Toyota
7. Jarno Trulli Toyota
8. Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
9. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota
10. Robert Kubica BMW Sauber
11. Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes
12. Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari
13. Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota
14. Fernando Alonso Renault
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes
16. Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari
17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
18. Romain Grosjean Renault
19. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (Out due to Brakes)
20. Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari (Out due to Gearbox)

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