The 2009 Chinese Grand Prix, formally known as the 2009 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix (alternately the 2009年中国大奖赛 or 2009 Zhōngguó dàjiǎng sài in Chinense), was the third round of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Shanghai International Circuit near Shanghai, China, on 19 April 2009. The race would be significant as the first race victory for Red Bull as a constructor, as Sebastian Vettel led teammate Mark Webber to the chequered flag.
Ahead of the race the FIA dismissed appeals by seven teams against the "double diffuser" designs used by Brawn-Mercedes, Toyota and Williams-Toyota, meaning those three were free to use the solution for the rest of the season. Renault and McLaren-Mercedes duly revealed their first iterations of the design on their cars in China, with Fernando Alonso running it on his car for the first time during qualifying.
The update to Alonso's car worked beautifully, for the Spaniard would claim second on the grid in between the two Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber. It was Vettel who was the faster of the two, two tenths faster than Alonso to secure Red Bull's maiden pole position, while Championship leader Jenson Button claimed fifth behind his Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello.
Heavy rain on raceday ensured that the race would start behind the Safety Car, with the entire field starting on full wet tyres. The conditions proved so poor that the safety car remained out until lap eight, with Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg and Alonso deciding to make their first stops during the procession.
When the race did get underway Vettel was able to establish a small lead, leaving teammate Webber to fend off the early attentions of the two white Brawns. Indeed, once the Australian escaped their attentions Button would make a move on Barrichello for third, as behind Lewis Hamilton climbed up to fifth, before spinning all on his own and dropping back to tenth.
Webber was the first of the lead group to stop on lap fourteen, with Vettel following him in a lap later to leave Button and Barrichello at the head of the field. The two Brawns would lead until the safety car appeared for a second time, caused by a collision between Jarno Trulli and Robert Kubica.
As the SC signs were deployed Vettel almost found himself out of the race, for in avoiding a limping Trulli the German youth received a whack from Sébastien Buemi. Miraculously, however, it was the Swiss racer who received front wing damage and was forced to pit, while Vettel managed to continue and retook the lead ahead of a rejoining Button.
Vettel duly escaped at the restart, while Button tried to go with him, before a mistake at the hairpin saw the #22 Brawn run wide and gift second to Webber. With that the two Red Bulls were away, and would only lose the lead to the Brawns again when they made their second stops on lap 37 and 39.
Once Button and Barrichello stopped the race was effectively over, with the only action in the closing stages seeing Hamilton slip down the field with a series of errors, while Adrian Sutil crashed heavily at turn five. There was some surprise that Sutil's accident did not trigger a safety car, as an errant wheel from the Force India bounced right across the track in front of Nick Heidfeld, who immediately dropped behind Timo Glock and Buemi when trying to avoid it.
Out front, meanwhile, Vettel cruised through the final laps to claim victory, with teammate Webber ensuring that there were two maiden wins for constructors in the opening three rounds of 2009. Behind, Button claimed a lonely third ahead of Barrichello, with Heikki Kovalainen, Hamilton, Glock and Buemi claiming the remaining points.
Jenson Button extended his Championship lead as a result of the Malaysian Grand Prix, leaving Sepang with fifteen points to his name and two race wins. Rubens Barrichello had likewise retained second on ten points, while Jarno Trulli was third and the first driver with half a point, leaving Malaysia on 8.5 points. Timo Glock was half a point behind in fourth, while Nick Heidfeld had moved into fifth.
In the Constructors Championship Brawn-Mercedes had retained their advantage at the head of the pack, leaving Malaysia on 25 points. Toyota had remained in second, 8.5 points behind, while BMW Sauber had leapt into third on four points. Elsewhere, McLaren-Mercedes were on the board with a single point, while Force India-Mercedes and Ferrari were the only constructors yet to score.
The full entry list for the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||15||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||13||1:36.565||1||1:35.130||1||1:36.184||1|
|3||14||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||3||1:35.751||2||1:35.173||3||1:36.466||3|
|10||12||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||8||1:36.284||10||1:35.965||10||1:39.321||10|
|11||6K||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||12||1:36.525||11||1:35.975||11|
|16||11||Sébastien Bourdais||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||16||1:36.906||15|
|17||8||Nelson Piquet, Jr.||Renault||17||1:36.908||16|
|18||5||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||18||1:36.966||17|
|19||20||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||19||1:37.669||18|
|20||21||Giancarlo Fisichella||Force India-Mercedes||20||1:37.672||19|
- K Indicates a driver was equipped with KERS during the session.
- Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
- * Glock was awarded a five place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.
|______________||Nelson Piquet, Jr.|
- * Kubica and Glock would start the race from the pitlane.
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.
The full results for the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||15||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||56||1:57:43.485||1||10|
|2||14||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||56||+10.970s||3||8|
|8||12||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||56||+1:16.439||10||1|
|11||11||Sébastien Bourdais||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||56||+1:34.156||15|
|12||6K||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||56||+1:35.834||11|
|13||5||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||56||+1:46.853||17|
|14||21||Giancarlo Fisichella||Force India-Mercedes||55||+1 Lap||20|
|15||16||Nico Rosberg||Williams-Toyota||55||+1 Lap||7|
|16||8||Nelson Piquet, Jr.||Renault||54||+2 Laps||16|
|17*||20||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||50||Accident||18|
- K Indicates a driver was equipped with KERS during the session.
- * Sutil was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Sebastian Vettel secured the first pole position for Red Bull as a constructor.
- Also the twentieth pole for a car using #15 as its race number.
- Second career victory for Vettel.
- Red Bull claimed their first victory as a constructor.
Jenson Button retained his lead in the Championship after the third round of the season, leaving China with a six point advantage. Rubens Barrichello had likewise retained second, moving onto fifteen points, while Sebastian Vettel had rocketed up to third with his victory. Timo Glock had remained in fourth ahead of Mark Webber, with thirteen drivers on the board after three races.
In the Constructors Championship Brawn-Mercedes remained at the head of the field, and had ensured that they had a fair advantage of sixteen and a half point. Red Bull-Renault, meanwhile, had been the big winners in China as they shot into second on 19.5 points, with Toyota one of a handful of teams to make way for the Austro-Anglo-French combination. McLaren-Mercedes had also moved up the field into fourth, while Ferrari and Force India-Mercedes had once again failed to score.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- '3. China 2009', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2009/chine.aspx, (Accessed 20/03/2020)
- 'Vettel storms to first Red Bull F1 victory in China!', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 20/03/2020), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/145535/1/vettel-delivers-red-bull-first-f1-win-in-shanghai, (Accessed 20/03/2020)
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- 'China 2009: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2009/chine/engages.aspx, (Accessed 20/03/2020)
- '2009 FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2006), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2009/races/845/china/qualifying.html, (Accessed 20/03/2020)
- 'China 2008: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2009/chine/classement.aspx, (Accessed 20/03/2020)
- [Archived] '2009 Chinese GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), https://web.archive.org/web/20190409185943/http://chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2009&gp=Chinese%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 20/03/2020) - Original
|V T E||Chinese Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Shanghai International Circuit (2004–present)|
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