Brazilian Grand Prix: The ‘Wizard’ from Oz!

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Mark Webber has taken a commanding victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix today signaling Red Bull’s resurgent form that was so evidently displayed in Webber’s performance all weekend.

The victory is the second in his career and secured second in the constructor’s title for Red Bull Racing. It is a feat that is to be congratulated after several difficult seasons at the wheel of the energy drink team’s F1 car. It is only fitting that Webber secure the position for RBR and take the victory. Webber’s teammate Sebastian Vettel’s dream of winning the title went up in mist on Saturday’s qualifying when he could only place 16th for the start of the race and struggled with traffic all day. No doubt then, the young German will live to fight another day and be highly motivated to do so.

While the driver and constructor championship was secured for 2009 by Brawn GP and overshadowed the actual race results, the simple fact remains that Webber looked stunning all weekend long and there were a few other notable events as well.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton came from 17th on the grid to secure a podium finish and although the young driver questioned his teams decision to bring Hamilton in very early in the race behind the safety car; the result and tactics used made the 3rd place finish an amazing accomplishment for the young Brit and now former world champion.

The recalcitrant BMW of Robert Kubica also decided to show up this weekend and secure a firm 2nd place on the podium. It has been a long time coming and the folks at Hinwill should be proud of their efforts, save versus letting teammate Nick Heidfeld run out of petrol, as they head in to the season of discontent as to the future of the team. BMW, the Ultimate Quitting Machine, is leaving the series for “greener” pastures and water tables filled with the lead, nickel and acid of so many used car batteries.

Two inspiring drives of the race were provided by Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi giving the team a much needed point’s finish. Toyota’s Kamui Kobayashi did a stellar, if not somewhat aggressive, job of making a name for himself by finishing 10th in his first race as a substitute for the injured Tim Glock. Koby’s defensive driving was a highlight of the day and while it could be argued that a couple moves were on the aggressive side, I found it refreshing and the type of performance that could firmly place him in the shop window for 2010 if he can secure some sponsor money.

Adrian Sutil and Kimi Raikkonen got together for the third time this year at the beginning of the race but it was Sutil’s incident with Jarno Trulli’s Toyota that almost saw fist-a-cuffs on the side of the track as Trulli was incandescent over what he felt was clearly a Sutil hatchet job. Replay seems to tell a little different story to this fans eyes but who can blame Trulli for being animated as both he and Sutil had a very good chance of finishing well today given their top 5 starting positions.

Fireworks moment of the chaotic beginning of the race was from a Massa-moment when Heikki Kovalainen left pit lane with his fuel rig still attached spraying petrol all over the pit area. The errant fuel sprayed on an oncoming Kimi Raikkonen and the hot Ferrari caught the fuel on fire effectively flash frying Raikkonen and the F60 to a crisp, golden brown. Oddly the incident was being reviewed during the race but no decision was announced prior to the race ending. Keep in mind that Ferrari were reprimanded for the same incident so anything more would be considered a slap in McLaren’s face by this Ferrari fan.

1. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1h32:23.081
2. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 7.626
3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 18.944
4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) + 19.652
5. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 29.005
6. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 33.340
7. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 35.991
8. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 45.454
9. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 48.499
10. Kobayashi Toyota (B) + 1:03.324
11. Fisichella Ferrari (B) + 1:10.665
12. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) + 1:11.388
13. Grosjean Renault (B) + 1 lap
14. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 1 lap

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:13.733

Not classified/retirements:

Driver Team On lap
Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 31
Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 28
Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 22
Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1
Trulli Toyota (B) 1
Alonso Renault (B) 1

World Championship standings, round 16:

Drivers: Constructors:
1. Button 89 1. Brawn-Mercedes 161
2. Vettel 74 2. Red Bull-Renault 135.5
3. Barrichello 72 3. McLaren-Mercedes 71
4. Webber 61.5 4. Ferrari 70
5. Hamilton 49 5. Toyota 54.5
6. Raikkonen 48 6. Williams-Toyota 34.5
7. Rosberg 34.5 7. BMW Sauber 32
8. Trulli 30.5 8. Renault 26
9. Alonso 26 9. Force India-Mercedes 13
10. Glock 24 10. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 7
11. Kovalainen 22
12. Massa 22
13. Kubica 17
14. Heidfeld 15
15. Fisichella 8
16. Sutil 5
17. Buemi 5
18. Bourdais 2

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