The swicth to 2 stop strategy helped Jenson Button to reclaim the lead he lost to Barrichello at the start. Button went on to win the race, Barrichello could only wonder how on Earth he lost it. The final podium place belongs to Mark Webber who leapfrogged the Massa/Vettel duo thanks to his longer second stint.
Felipe Massa scored his first points of the season although he had to sacrifice his 4th place in order to preserve fuel and finish the race (at 6th).
2009 Spanish GP Race Result
1. J. Button – Brawn GP – 1:37:19.202
2. R. Barrichello – Brawn GP + 13.056
3. M. Webber – Red Bull + 13.924
4. S. Vettel – Red Bull + 18.941
5. F. Alonso – Renault + 43.166
6. F. Massa – Ferrari + 50.827
7. N. Heidfeld – BMW Sauber + 52.312
8. N. Rosberg – Williams + 1:05.211
9. L. Hamilton – McLaren + 1 laps
10. T. Glock – Toyota + 1 laps
11. R. Kubica – BMW Sauber + 1 laps
12. N. Piquet – Renault + 1 laps
13. K. Nakajima – Williams + 1 laps
14. G. Fisichella – Force India + 1 laps
Did not finish
15. K. Räikkönen – Ferrari + 49 laps
16. H. Kovalainen – McLaren + 59 laps
17. J. Trulli – Toyota + 66 laps
18. S. Buemi – Toro Rosso + 66 laps
19. S. Bourdais – Toro Rosso + 66 laps
20. A. Sutil – Force India + 66 laps
Fastest lap: Rubens Barrichello – 1:22.762
Jenson Button won his 4th race of the season and extended his championship lead to 14 points ahead of Barrichello and 18 points ahead of Vettel. Brawn GP leads constructors championship by 29.5 points from Red Bull.
I was not the only one wondering what was Barrichello’s strategy all about. As it became clear both Brawn cars were on 3 stop strategy at the beginning of the race. Button however switched to 2 stopper, apparently as he had no chance to come out of the pits ahead of Nico Rosbergs Williams. What also helped Button’s case was the fuel saving safety car period early on in the race. It is strange however that 2 laps later Barrichello’s crew hadn’t reacted to that and left him on 3 stopper. This is how Barrichello reacted to the whole situation in his interview with Speed TV:
“If I get a whiff that Ross favoured Jenson today I will hang up my helmet immediately. But I don’t think he would do that..”
Elsewhere Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki Kovalainen retired, Trulli, Sutil, Bourdais and Buemi were all involved in the spectacular pile up after the race start and Giancarlo Fisichella’s fastest lap was faster than the fastest laps of BMW Sauber, Toyota and McLaren.