(An analysis/feature type article I wrote for my coursework in my A2 year at college. I got an A for it :). Written October 2009)
After fifteen exhilarating races in what has been one of the most exciting F1 Championships in recent years there are only two races left to decide who will be crowned victor on the biggest stage of competitive motorsport in Formula 1s first ever day - night race in Abu Dhabi.
Surely the World Constructors Championships is all but over with Brawn F1 only needing half a point out of a maximum of thirty six to become the first debut team to win the championship ever. The only thing that can stop them is two disastrous races with neither of the drivers getting into points positions or a massive points deduction which looks highly unlikely. For Ross Brawn and the entire team at Brawn F1 it is an unbelievable effort to do so well in their first season especially as they formed only just over three weeks before the race before becoming the first team to secure a one – two finish in their debut race since Alfa Romeo 1950.
The team principal at Brawn, its namesake, Ross Brawn has done a fantastic job. In fact the entire team has to produce such a reliable car which especially at the beginning of the season was head and shoulders above everyone else. Just like he did with Ferrari where he won six consecutive constructors championships he will carry on from this season to next and put Brawn F1 in history.
Now to the more exciting stuff, the racers title. Jenson Button leads the world championship race with eighty-five points with team-mate Ruebens Barrichello fourteen behind him on seventy-one and Sebastian Vettel on sixty-nine. With only twenty points up for grabs in the next two races it would seem Button can cruise from here to his first ever world title. However the main reason he has such a commanding lead is due to him winning six of the first seven races. Since that seventh race of the season he hasn’t won. In fact the only time he has made it onto the podium once in the last eight races and that was when he finished second to team-mate Ruebens Barrichello. Distressing times for the Brit it would seem.
Maybe due lack of experience is what has led to Jenson Button’s mammoth, early season, lead to slowly decrease. Now at twenty-nine he is no spring chicken and has actually been a Formula 1 driver for nearly nine full seasons. So “how is he inexperienced?” you may ask. Well the fact is before this season he has never been in a championship winning car. He has never been a title contender. He has never been the man to beat. Although towards the latter stages of the season he has came out multiple times to say he is in the right frame of mind and there is no mental block in terms of racing the title does not look definite despite his still commanding lead with only two races to go.
Sebastian Vettel is the outsider in this year’s title race. At only twenty-two however he should be supremely proud of being in the top three. He may even be able to steal second place from Reubens Barrichello. He won’t be aiming to do that though. As long as there is a chance of him becoming Germanys first Formula 1 Champion since the legendary Michael Schumacher he will keep going until the end. He also served well to remind the media that in 2007 Kimi Räikkönen won the title when only two races earlier he was also sixteen points behind the leader, which was in that case Lewis Hamilton. Vettel is definitely one to watch especially with his emphatic win at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. Before that race he was twenty-five points with only a maximum of thirty to claim and the title bout looked like a two horse race but then Vettel threw himself right back into the mix of things. He still has the smallest of chances but even if he doesn’t make it now most would agree he will one day.
Reubens Barrichello is the oldest man on this year’s grid at the age of thirty-seven. Before Honda decided to make their way out of F1 he looked like he may not have even got a drive with Honda seriously considering rookie Bruno Senna who is nephew of the most exciting and possibly the greatest F1 driver of all time, Ayrton Senna. However when Ross Brawn took over he decided to keep “Rubinho” as they worked together at Ferrari in the past. Having won in the European Grand Prix and yet again at the Italian during the second half of the season where Button has looked out of sorts the veteran looks like he can seriously challenge the championship leader and take the title race down to the wire to last race in Abu Dhabi. What he will be have to be relying on though is Jensen Button not having a good race. This is as Button will take the title in Brazil if he finishes third or better. Even if he only outscores Barrichello by four points in the penultimate race of the season the title race is over in Interlagos. That little detail though, the fact that it’s the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos will give Barrichello a little bit of extra hope, belief and confidence. This is due to it being his home race and the very, very passionate Brazilian fans will come out in force to support their man and will him on to put himself in for contention the last race of the season.
The season ends on the 1st of November at the new Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. As well as being the first race ever to be held in the middle east it is also the first ever day-night race. It is to start 1700 and finish under the dark of night. Barrichello and Vettel will hope they still have a mathematical chance of winning the title when the time comes and so will probably everyone in the world except for Button. May we have an enthralling spectacle at Abu Dhabi and may the best man win.
By Hassan Ahmed