Mark Webber drove a strong race and took maximum advantage of a perfect strategy to win the Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo but the big winner of the day was Jenson Button as he drove magnificently to finish fifth and clinch the 2009 Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in the penultimate race of the season. He had a touch of good luck as well! Pole sitter Rubens Barrichello first lost out on the race lead to Webber and fell down into third place and then picked up a puncture to fall behind Button and thus spell the end of his title challenge.
BMW’s Robert Kubica also drove beautifully as he finished in 2nd place, having started in eighth place. More satisfying would be the 3rd place finish of Lewis Hamilton, who started down in sixteenth place! Sebastian Vettel also had a good race as he finished 4th having started fifteenth. Button took 5th place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 6th with Sebastian Buemi finishing 7th and Rubens Barrichello taking the last point-scoring position in 8th. Button now has 89 points and an unassailable 15 point lead in the championship with just the one race remaining. Sebastian Vettel leapfrogs Barrichello into 2nd place with 74 points compared to Rubens’ 72. Brawn GP also take the Constructors’ Championship and Red Bull will finish second. Hamilton and McLaren leapfrog ahead of Kimi and Ferrari into 5th place in the drivers’ and 3rd place in the constructors race.
The start of the race was a frenetic one as pole sitter Rubens Barrichello managed to pull away clearly with Mark Webber behind but it was a close run for third place as the KERS-powered Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen came close onto the tail of the Force India of Adrian Sutil and there was some wheel banging and wing touching as Sutil had to squeeze between the Ferrari and Red Bull. Kimi lost his front wing as he tagged the back of Webber and had to make an early pit stop to rectify that. At the tail-end of the field, Heikki Kovalainen got caught into a spin and nearly tagged the Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella behind him. That also brought him into the pits and there was a scary moment therein as Kovalainen drove off with the fuel rig still attached and the Ferrari of Kimi following behind, managed to light up the spraying fumes and causing a flash fire on the Ferrari!