Another year, another Spanish Grand Prix over and done with. No matter what happens, this race always becomes a bore-fest because the teams test here endlessly pre-season and it hardly ever rains. There was hope that with the new rules for 2009 that this year’s race would be different.
Sadly, this was not the case.
OK – so the start was interesting – so long as you’re not a Trulli, Sutil or Toro Rosso fan. The ending of the race with the ‘will he or won’t he’ suspense of Felipe Massa finishing the race before running out of fuel was amusing and so typical of Ferrari’s calamitous start to 2009. I can’t fathom how Ferrari have become so bad this year – I know Schumacher, Brawn and Todt must have had a big influence but surely the others must have learnt from them.
I guess the team have become too Italian in their organisation because of all the blaming and backstabbing this year. Enzo would be turning in his grave at the sight of his beloved team this year I reckon!
But the majority of the race was very processional – there were very few overtakes and the cars STILL cannot follow each other without serious aero penalty.
KERS could have been used with effect at this track and yet only two teams chose to use it. I think it says a lot about the skill of Mark Webber that he managed to beat Alonso and re-overtake him in turn one without the use of KERS – which may be the argument for the other teams not to have adopted the technology yet. Had they worked like they had supposed to, every single car would have had KERS and there would have been a lot more attempts to overtake rather than out-strategise the opposition. Frankly, the new regs are a failure and they have only served to shake up the grid order.
Speaking of which, the other highlight of the race was what happened within the Brawn team. Jenson Button started on pole and Rubens Barrichello in third place with only a tenth of a second between them. However, during the race, it became apparent that the plan was for the Brawns to run a three-stop strategy, yet for some reason the team decided to switch Jenson onto a two-stop strategy. In the end, this resulted in a win for Jenson and a second place for Rubens, who proclaimed that the only reason he lost the race was because of the pit-stop strategy (as he had been leading the first stint).
This has prompted some people to believe that there was some sort of conspiracy in the team to favour Jenson and give him the better chance of winning. As there was little action during the race, I shall focus on analysing this battle and see what we can observe from it…