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People's Republic of China  2009 Chinese Grand Prix
Race details[1]
Race 3 of 17 in the 2009 Formula One season
Shanghai International Racing Circuit track map.svg
Date April 19, 2009
Official name VI Petronas Chinese Grand Prix
Location Shanghai International Circuit
Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Course Permanent racing facility
5.451 km (3.387 mi)
Distance 56 laps, 305.066 km (189.559 mi)
Weather Rain
Pole position
Driver Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
Time 1:36.184
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes
Time 1:52.592 on lap 42
First Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
Second Australia Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
Third United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes

The 2009 Chinese Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on April 19, 2009 at the Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, People's Republic of China. It was the third race of the 2009 Formula One season, a change from previous years, when it took place towards the end of the season.

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing won the race after starting from pole position. Both the race win and pole position were the first for Red Bull team.[2] Mark Webber, also of Red Bull, finished second followed by the two Brawn GP's of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton finished fifth and sixth, ahead of Toyota's Timo Glock and Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sébastien Buemi in seventh and eighth.



Heading into the event, Jenson Button of Brawn GP led the Drivers' Championship by 5 points from team-mate Rubens Barrichello and by a further 1.5 points from Jarno Trulli of Toyota. Brawn GP led Toyota by 8.5 points in the Constructors' Championship, with Renault and BMW Sauber a further 12.5 points behind.

Prior to the race, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) International Court of Appeal confirmed the legality of the diffuser designs on the Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota team cars.[3] Following this ruling, Renault and McLaren decided to run an updated diffuser design on their cars during the race.[4][5] It was a hurried move by both teams, with Renault fitting it to Alonso's car for the first time on the Saturday before the race.[6]

Ferrari announced that its team manager Luca Baldisserri was taken off the track operations to be replaced by race engineer Chris Dyer.[7] The reshuffle was undertaken after Ferrari failed to score a point in the first two races of the season.[8] Ferrari also announced that both its drivers, Kimi Räikkönen and Felipe Massa, would not use the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) in the race, citing reliability and safety issues.[9] BMW Sauber, on the other hand, declared that Robert Kubica would use KERS for the first time during the Friday practice session. Kubica had not used the system in the first two races as there were concerns that the additional weight would put him at a disadvantage.[10] However, Kubica opted not to run the device any further after Friday practice, as did the Renault team, reducing the number of KERS-equipped cars to three.[11]

Italian teams and drivers indicated their support for the victims of 2009 L'Aquila earthquake through charity initiative "Abruzzo nel cuore" (Abruzzo in my heart) led by Italian drivers Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella.[12][13] Ferrari displayed the writing "Abruzzo nel cuore" on their cars while Trulli wore the logo on his overalls.[14] The Toro Rosso cars had the message "Vicini All'Abruzzo" (All neighbouring Abruzzo) on their cars.[12]

Event report


Practice and qualifying

"The car instantly felt a bit better. I can feel more stability and downforce from the front. We’ve definitely made a step forward for this race. The car feels much stronger through the corners and I think we’ve got a very positive baseline for the rest of the weekend. My first run on the options felt quite consistent".
Lewis Hamilton, on the performance his car during Friday's practice sessions[15]

Three practice sessions were held prior to the race; two sessions on Friday April 17, 2009, each lasting 90 minutes, and one 60 minute session on Saturday April 18, 2009. World Champion Lewis Hamilton's McLaren was fastest at the end of the first practice session on Friday morning ahead of the Brawn GP cars of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. Hamilton's McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was fourth fastest.[16] Hamilton, whose McLaren MP4-24 car was fitted with a new interim diffuser and front wing, clocked his fastest lap of 1:37.334, around a tenth of a second clear of Button, around sixty minutes into the session.[17] Red Bull's Mark Webber was fifth in the session, with Toyota's Trulli and Timo Glock sixth and eighth. Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg and Sébastien Bourdais completed the top ten lap times of the first session.[18] Button was the fastest in Friday afternoon's second practice session, followed by Rosberg and Barrichello. Red Bull drivers Webber and Sebastian Vettel who headed the time-sheets during the initial phases of the session were eventually classified fourth and fifth fastest respectively.[19] Toyota cars once again managed a competitive result as Trulli and Glock finished sixth and eighth with Williams' Kazuki Nakajima splitting them. The two McLarens could not recreate their results from the morning session with Kovalainen finishing ninth fastest and Hamilton 13th.[18]

Williams' Rosberg was quickest in the practice session on Saturday morning. Rosberg, who slid off the track onto the gravel at the start of the session, timed 1:36.133 to top the timesheets, followed by Trulli and Hamilton.[20] Button finished fourth with Renault's Nelson Piquet, Jr. clocking the fifth fastest lap time for the session. Piquet's team-mate Fernando Alonso on the other hand, whose Renault R29 car was fitted with new diffuser and without the KERS, could only manage a time good enough for 19th fastest.[21] BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica who also removed his KERS for this session, improved significantly from his results in the earlier two sessions.[18] Timo Glock's Toyota TF109 car faced gearbox problems early in the session and had to change the gearbox for the upcoming qualifying session. Glock received a five-place grid penalty for this gearbox change.[22]

Fernando Alonso qualified his Renault second showing the Renault had improved.
"...if you only have one lap and if you have [sic] any mistake, you go wide or whatever, there is no second chance and it means it is the end. It was not so easy but I am very, very happy. Unbelievable we made it to pole position in the end."
Sebastian Vettel, in post-qualifying press conference.[23]

The qualifying session on Saturday afternoon was split into three parts. Sebastian Vettel achieved his second career pole position – and the first for his Red Bull Racing team – at the end of the session.[24] Vettel, who ran only one flying lap each in the final two parts of qualifying, due to problems with the driveshafts of his car, edged out Fernando Alonso by two-tenths of a second in the final part of qualifying.[25] Red Bull's other driver Mark Webber finished third, immediately ahead of Brawn GP cars of Barrichello and Button. Kimi Räikkönen, after a disappointing performance during practice, secured eighth position behind Trulli in sixth and Rosberg in seventh place. Hamilton and Toro Rosso's Sébastien Buemi completed the top ten on the grid.[26] Nick Heidfeld, Heikki Kovalainen, Felipe Massa, Timo Glock and Kazuki Nakajima made up 11th to 15th on the grid. Drivers eliminated in the first qualifying session and classified 16th to 20th were Sébastien Bourdais, Nelson Piquet, Jr., Robert Kubica, Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella.[26] Due to his five-place penalty, Glock was placed 19th and Nakajima, Bourdais, Piquet, Kubica and Sutil were each promoted by one position in the revised starting grid.[27]


Sebastian Vettel took Red Bull Racing's first victory in Formula One.
Mark Webber completed Red Bull's perfect race by finishing second.
Jenson Button maintained his championship lead by finishing in third place.

Robert Kubica and Timo Glock started from the pit lane. Due to heavy rain, the first eight laps of the race were run under the safety car. Sutil, Rosberg and Alonso made their first pit stops during the safety car period so they were at the back of the pack when the green flag was shown. Lewis Hamilton made early progress and overtook Jarno Trulli and Kimi Räikkönen, before he spun on lap 12 and dropped back to 10th. Meanwhile, Jenson Button overtook Rubens Barrichello for third after the Brazilian ran wide.

Trulli and Räikkönen were quite slow in the early laps and they dropped back. Hamilton made progress once again and was 7th on lap 11 before another mistake which dropped him one place down. Webber made his first scheduled stop on lap 14 and Vettel on the following lap. At this point, Button led from Barrichello, Vettel, Buemi, Massa and Webber.

On lap 17, Robert Kubica crashed into Jarno Trulli on the run to the last corner. Kubica damaged his front wing and Trulli his rear wing, which caused him to crawl one lap slowly into the pits to retire. The safety car was deployed due to debris left on the track. While avoiding the slowing Trulli, Vettel suffered a minor collision with Buemi, who damaged his front wing in the process. Buemi made his pit stop at that point, along with both Brawn GP drivers and Sutil, who had his second stop at this point and was set to finish the race from this point.

Rubens Barrichello clocked in the fastest lap time even though only coming fourth.

Felipe Massa suffered an electrical problem during the safety car period and he stopped on the back straight. At the restart, Sébastien Bourdais spun before the green flag and dropped a number of places. The race continued with Vettel leading from Button while Webber, Räikkönen, Hamilton, Barrichello, Kovalainen and Buemi rounded out the top eight.

Piquet crashed on lap 28 and damaged his front wing but was able to continue. Button missed his braking point at the hairpin on the following lap, allowing Webber through. Webber ran wide two laps later and Button was ahead again, until Webber passed him from the outside in turn 7.

Hamilton made his only scheduled stop on lap 33, and his team-mate Kovalainen followed a lap later. Vettel stopped on lap 37 and Webber on lap 39, while two Brawn cars ran until laps 42 (Button) and 43 (Barrichello). Buemi was the last driver to make a scheduled stop, on lap 45 and after that race order was: Vettel, Webber, Button, Barrichello, Hamilton, Kovalainen, Sutil and Heidfeld. Nico Rosberg had tried intermediate tyres on his second stop but he spun soon after and pitted again for full wets.

Hamilton continued with a lot of mistakes so Kovalainen and Sutil were able to pass him. Then on lap 51, Sutil crashed heavily before turn 5, ending his race. Heidfeld had to avoid Sutil's tyre which had bounced back to the track and Glock and Buemi went past him.

Vettel stayed in the lead until the end, taking his second Grand Prix victory and his first for Red Bull Racing. His team-mate Webber achieved his best career result with second place while Button got his third successive podium with third place. Barrichello finished fourth, Kovalainen fifth, Hamilton sixth, Glock seventh and Buemi eighth. A total of 17 drivers were classified, including Sutil who had retired.

On the podium, there was confusion when "God Save the Queen", the British national anthem was played for winning constructor Red Bull instead of "Land der Berge, Land am Strome", the Austrian national anthem. Red Bull Racing is based in the UK, but is registered with the Austrian national racing authority, reflecting its Austrian ownership. When Vettel recorded Red Bull's second win at the 2009 British Grand Prix, the Austrian anthem was played.



Cars that used KERS are marked with "‡"

Pos No Name Constructor Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Grid
1 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:36.565 1:35.130 1:36.184 1
2 7 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 1:36.443 1:35.803 1:36.381 2
3 14 Australia Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:35.751 1:35.173 1:36.466 3
4 23 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:35.701 1:35.503 1:36.493 4
5 22 United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:35.533 1:35.556 1:36.532 5
6 9 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:36.308 1:35.645 1:36.835 6
7 16 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:35.941 1:35.809 1:37.397 7
8 4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:36.137 1:35.856 1:38.089 8
9 1‡ United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.776 1:35.740 1:38.595 9
10 12 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.284 1:35.965 1:39.321 10
11 6‡ Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:36.525 1:35.975 11
12 2‡ Finland Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.646 1:36.032 12
13 3 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.178 1:36.033 13
14 10 Germany Timo Glock Toyota 1:36.364 1:36.066 191
15 17 Japan Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.673 1:36.193 14
16 11 France Sébastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.906 15
17 8 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. Renault 1:36.908 16
18 5 Poland Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:36.966 17
19 20 Germany Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:37.669 18
20 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:37.672 20
  • Note 1: Timo Glock was issued a 5 place grid-penalty for changing a gearbox during Saturday practice.[28]


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 56 1:57:43.485 1 10
2 14 Australia Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 56 +10.970 3 8
3 22 United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 56 +44.975 5 6
4 23 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 56 +1:03.704 4 5
5 2‡ Finland Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 56 +1:05.102 12 4
6 1‡ United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +1:11.866 9 3
7 10 Germany Timo Glock Toyota 56 +1:14.476 19 2
8 12 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 56 +1:16.439 10 1
9 7 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 56 +1:24.309 2
10 4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 56 +1:31.750 8
11 11 France Sébastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 56 +1:34.156 15
12 6‡ Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 56 +1:35.834 11
13 5 Poland Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 56 +1:46.853 17
14 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 55 +1 Lap 20
15 16 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 55 +1 Lap 7
16 8 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. Renault 54 +2 Laps 16
17 20 Germany Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 50 Accident 18
Ret 17 Japan Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 43 Transmission 14
Ret 3 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 20 Electrical 13
Ret 9 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 18 Collision 6


Standings after the race

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 United Kingdom Jenson Button 21
2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 15
3 Germany Sebastian Vettel 10
4 Germany Timo Glock 10
5 Australia Mark Webber 9.5
Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 United Kingdom Brawn-Mercedes 36
2 Austria Red Bull-Renault 19.5
3 Japan Toyota 18.5
4 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 8
5 France Renault 4
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "Chinese Grand Prix Preview". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 2009-04-13. http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/f1_preview_chn.aspx. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  2. ^ "Vettel seals first Red Bull win". BBC Sport. 2009-04-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8006717.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-20.  
  3. ^ "Jenson Button and Brawn GP claim victory in diffuser row". Times Online (London: Times Newspapers Ltd). 2009-04-15. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article6096825.ece. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  4. ^ "Renault set to join Brawn after failing to beat them". Guardian.co.uk (Guardian Newpapers and Media Ltd). 2009-04-15. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/apr/15/jenson-button-renault-diffuser. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  5. ^ Holt, Sarah (2009-04-16). "Renault & McLaren change diffuser". BBC Sport (BBC). http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8002297.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  6. ^ Noble, Jonathan (2009-04-18). "Renault fits interim diffuser for Alonso". autosport.com. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74561. Retrieved 2009-04-18.  
  7. ^ "Motor racing-Struggling Ferrari alter pit personnel". Reuters UK (Thomson Reuters). 2009-04-13. http://uk.reuters.com/article/motoringMotorSportsNews/idUKLD64319220090413. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  8. ^ Noble, Jonathan (2009-04-13). "Baldisserri gets factory role in reshuffle". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74449. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  9. ^ "Ferrari abandon Kers for China GP". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-04-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8001866.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  10. ^ "Teams differ on KERS use". Sky Sports. 2009-04-16. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12433_5194919,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  11. ^ Noble, Jonathan (2009-04-18). "More teams ditch KERS for China". autosport.com. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74563. Retrieved 2009-04-18.  
  12. ^ a b "Bourdais returns STR to top ten in Shanghai". Crash.net. 2009-04-17. http://www.crash.net/Formula+One/News/145465/1/bourdais_returns_str_to_top_ten_in_shanghai.html. Retrieved 2009-04-18.  
  13. ^ "F1 drivers unite for Italy quake relief". Reuters UK (Thomas Reuters). 2009-04-18. http://uk.reuters.com/article/formulaOneNews/idUKIndia-39115420090418. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  14. ^ "Ferrari Formula One team puts it in perspective". F1SA. 2009-04-18. http://www.f1sa.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12420&Itemid=219. Retrieved 2009-04-18.  
  15. ^ "Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration Ltd). 2009-04-17. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2009/4/9190.html. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  16. ^ "Hamilton sets early pace". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 2009-04-17. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12433_5198452,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  17. ^ Strang, Simon (2009-04-17). "Hamilton sets the early pace in China". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74515. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  18. ^ a b c "Chinese grand prix practice results". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-04-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/results/7920913.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  19. ^ Strang, Simon (2009-04-17). "Button edges Rosberg in second practice". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74518. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  20. ^ "Rosberg exits gravel to set quickest time in China". Reuters UK (Thomas Reuters). 2009-04-18. http://uk.reuters.com/article/formulaOneNews/idUKIndia-39110120090418. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  21. ^ "Final practice - Rosberg makes amends for Williams". Formula1.com (Fomula One Administration Ltd.). 2009-04-18. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2009/4/9196.html. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  22. ^ "Glock to suffer grid penalty". Crash.net. Crash Media Group. 2009-04-18. http://www.crash.net/Formula+One/News/145482/1/glock_to_suffer_grid_penalty.html. Retrieved 2009-04-20.  
  23. ^ "FIA post-qualifying press conference - China". Formula1.com (Fomula One Administration Ltd.). 2009-04-18. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2009/4/9201.html. Retrieved 2009-04-20.  
  24. ^ Mulvenney, Nick (2009-04-18). "Vettel on pole for Chinese Grand Prix". Reuters UK (Thomas Reuters). http://uk.reuters.com/article/UK_MOTORSPORT/idUKSP39927720090418?sp=true. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  25. ^ Beer, Matt (2009-04-18). "Vettel gives Red Bull first F1 pole". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74570. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  26. ^ a b "Chinese Grand Prix qualifying results". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-04-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/results/7921027.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-20.  
  27. ^ "Chinese Grand Prix starting grid". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-04-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/results/7921086.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-20.  
  28. ^ "5-place grid penalty for Glock". gpupdate.net. 2009-04-18. http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/news/2009/04/18/5-place-grid-penalty-for-glock/. Retrieved 2009-04-18.  

External links

Previous race:
2009 Malaysian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2009 season
Next race:
2009 Bahrain Grand Prix
Previous race:
2008 Chinese Grand Prix
Chinese Grand Prix Next race:
2010 Chinese Grand Prix


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