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F1 ’09, Four Races In…

Sunday 3rd May 2009

And they’ve all been rather good (if short, in the case of the Malaysian Grand Prix).

It’s great that the established order of the last few years has been shaken up, and Jenson Button is really showing his skill. The naysayers will say “oh he’s in the best car”, which was mostly true for the first couple of races, but not now. At the last race in Bahrain, he started 4th with a KERS-equipped McLaren in the hands of Hamilton right behind him. That’s a fairly formidable combination to beat at the start; KERS allows the driver to get a better start than drivers with non-KERS cars and Hamilton is probably one of the best racers out there. The fact that Hamilton got past Button on the first lap was fairly predictable, but the way Button got past Hamilton at the end of the first lap was absolutely sublime. Also, Button didn’t have the strongest car out there on the day; the engine was turned down to keep it from overheating and I’m fairly sure Vettel had the pace to win, given his qualifying performance. Button managed to win though, partially thanks to a good strategy, but also thanks to a great drive. Really, you’ve gotta say he’ll be challenging for the championship this year.

Not so easy to say who he’ll be fighting. I don’t think his teammate is gonna be up there; he’s not really that great. My instinct is to say that it’ll be between Button, Vettel and Hamilton. Vettel will be really interesting to watch; I don’t think the Red Bull has the raw race pace that the Brawn has, but I think that he’s one of the best drivers out there. Actually I think he could well turn out to be one of the greats and win several championships, judging by his performances so far (winning in the rain – from pole – at Monza last year, in a Toro Rosso… That’s special). I rank Hamilton in the same sort of category, based on the way he demolished Alonso at McLaren in 2007, his win at Silverstone last year (over a minute ahead of the guy in 2nd place, and he’d lapped everyone up to 3rd), and how well he’s going this year in a sub-par McLaren (actually I also have a theory about last year; I reckon the McLaren was a bit slower than the Ferrari all through the year, but he managed to get more out of it to put himself in contention, and to eventually win. Tbh I can’t see any other reason why McLaren would keep Kovalainen on as 2nd driver). The McLaren seems to be coming good now with the new parts they’re adding to it, and if you give him a sniff of a chance I think Hamilton will be there.

It’s gonna be an exciting year, and I really hope Button wins it. He’s driving fantastically well so far, so if he keeps that up and can at least match Vettel and Hamilton, hopefully his early-season form will give him the advantage. To be honest though, I’m really excited at the thought of those three really racing each other. The prospect of more races like Spa, Hockenheim or Brazil last year, when I was pretty much on the edge of my seat, is really cool.

I really wanna go to the British Grand Prix. Not really got time to do it though. Might go to Spa in September instead (if I can afford it…)

Posted at 6:01 pm | Posted In: Motorsport Tagged:

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