Hello and welcome to the final episode of Sidepodcast's F1 Advent Calendar 2009. We've come a long way since the 1st December, peeking behind door after door to reveal the story of the 2009 season. Here we are at the last one - Day Twenty-Five - Doing the double.
With Trulli and Sutil out of the race and squabbling amongst themselves in the pitlane, the Brazilian Grand Prix continued. The Safety Car was out, and Kovalainen came into the pits after sustaining damage from a collision with Vettel. Räikkönen was also into the pits early, after a brief contact with Webber that damaged his front wing. The McLaren team released Kovalainen when the fuel hose was still attached to the car. It flew out behind Heikki as he travelled down the pitlane, spraying fuel directly into the path of the oncoming Ferrari. The fluid very quickly ignited for a brief fireball moment, but burnt itself out just as quickly. Later, Kimi said his eyes were still sore long after the incident had taken place.
Meanwhile, out on track, the safety car came in, leaving pole sitter Barrichello still in front with Webber and Kubica behind him. Button had moved up a few places thanks to the chaos around him, and from 14th on the grid, 9th was his reward. Being outside the points and having his nearest championship challenger leading was clearly not good enough, so he chased down and overtook Grosjean . Before an entire lap had passed he had overtaken Nakajima, and was heading towards Kobayashi. The rookie gave him a bit of trouble, and Button was on the radio complaining about his rival potentially moving about in the braking zones. However, he eventually dispatched Kobayashi in the same manner as the previous two, and began to hunt down his next target.
Webber managed to jump Barrichello in the first round of pit stops, and Rubens found himself under pressure from Robert Kubica, and Lewis Hamilton. Despite starting so far down the order, Lewis had pitted early, getting rid of the unfavourable tyres behind the safety car, allowing him to move forward. Hamilton and Vettel both managed to get ahead of Button when the Brawn driver came in for his second stop, and it was in fifth place that Button managed to finish.
Webber took the win, with Kubica and Hamilton joining the Australian on the podium. Button's nearest championship rival Barrichello picked up one point, and although Vettel finished ahead of Button in fourth, it was not enough to stop the Brit taking his very first world championship.
Jenson was screaming down the radio to his engineers, and there was even a dodgy version of We Are the Champions ringing out during the slowing down lap. Brawn had done enough to secure the constructor's championship as well, so it was time for a double celebration. For the second year in a row, the champion was not on the podium as he won the title, but that didn't dampen Button's spirits. It may have dampened Webber's, who celebrated his win but was completely overshadowed by the success of his rival team.
Ross Brawn summed it up best, saying: "The spirit in which our two drivers have fought for the Championship makes me very proud. They have been a credit to the team and our sport. The work and the commitment that the team showed over the winter and throughout this season really has been sensational." Button though, wanted to give credit where it was due: "This team would not exist if Ross was not here. The car has his name on the side, and that is a lot pressure on a person. So for him to win today both the constructors and the drivers championship is exceptional."
That brings our mini series to a close. We’ve covered the entire 2009 season in 25 short shows, about three minutes each, meaning it has taken at least 75 minutes to sum up the year. That’s not surprising considering how jam packed full of racing and politics it was. From the very beginnings of Brawn GP’s good form, through potential breakaways, non-existent comebacks, injuries, collisions, new winners and old, to a double world championship celebration. It has been brilliant sharing this year with you, so thank you for sharing it with us. All that remains is for me to say bring on 2010, oh, and a very Merry Christmas as well.
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