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Italy race analysis - Brawn deal Red Bull a knockout blow? 14 Sep 2009

Race winner Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn Grand Prix celebrates with Ross Brawn (GBR) Brawn Grand Prix Team Principal; Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn Grand Prix and the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/24 crashes out of the Grand Prix on the final lap.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 12 September 2009 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 retired at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009

Brawn GP emerged from the Italian Grand Prix as hot favourites for both titles after securing their fourth one-two of the season. It put them 40.5 points clear of Red Bull, who managed only an eighth place, and left Jenson Button with a 14-point lead in the driver standings. Rubens Barrichello’s fine Monza win - with no hint of team orders - means the Brawn duo now look set to slug it out for the 2009 crown, with only four rounds remaining. We take a team-by-team look at Sunday's race…

Rubens Barrichello, P1
Jenson Button, P2

The Brawn drivers started with the same refuelling strategy but on different tyres, Barrichello on Bridgestone’s primes, Button on the soft. Both made aggressive starts to pass Kovalainen on the opening lap, but Barrichello had the slight edge on Button throughout. This crucial win - their fourth one-two - moved the team away from Red Bull in the constructors’ stakes, and distanced the drivers from Vettel and Webber.

Kimi Raikkonen, P3
Giancarlo Fisichella, P9

Raikkonen said he thought he could have held off Hamilton had a move on the opening lap worked, but it didn’t. After that he had his hands full with Sutil, and said he was happy to make the podium again even if it needed a heavy dose of luck. He also said he was disappointed not to fight for the win, but that the F60 ran well and third place was a whole lot better than fourth. Fisichella kicked himself for his gaffe in final practice, without which he felt he could have scored a point.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, P4
Tonio Liuzzi, Retired lap 23, driveshaft

Sutil drove well and claimed the fastest lap, but like Fisichella in Spa got a back view of Raikkonen’s Ferrari throughout. He tried hard to get the job done during their second pits stops, which both came on the 37th lap, but he was late on the brakes and slid into the jack man, toppling another mechanic. Nevertheless, he opened his points account in some style. Liuzzi was mighty on the opening lap, pushing aggressively ahead of Kovalainen at Parabolica. He then coped with some graining on his soft Bridgestone rubber, cleaned it up, and was in good shape prior to his first stop when a driveshaft broke on the 23rd lap. The team believe he could have taken the final podium slot once Hamilton had crashed, so this was a highly impressive debut for the team.

Fernando Alonso, P5
Romain Grosjean, P15

Alonso said he was very happy with fifth, after a poor start in which he did not make best use of his KERS as it did not come up to his expectations. Grosjean said he had some contact in the first chicane which left the car with permanent damage.

Heikki Kovalainen, P6
Lewis Hamilton, Retired lap 53, accident

Hamilton was fast all race, driving what he described as qualifying laps throughout, but his two-stop strategy just wasn’t a match for Brawn’s single-stop and he was third, trying to chase down Button, when he pushed a mite too hard and crashed out at the second Lesmo on the last lap. Kovalainen got swamped on the opening lap because of his heavy fuel load, struggled on the Bridgestone prime tyre, and was thus in no position to exploit it later in the race.

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld, P7
Robert Kubica, Retired lap 15, oil leak

Kubica made a good start but his race was compromised on the opening lap when he tangled with Webber and damaged the left endplate on his front wing. He got the black and orange flag to have that investigated, and retired on lap 15 with an oil leak. Heideld fared better and said he had a great race after doing a fair bit of overtaking on the opening lap. He inherited seventh when Hamilton went out.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel P8
Mark Webber, Retired lap 1, accident

Red Bull lost Webber on the opening lap after a tangle with Kubica in the second chicane pitched the Australian off the road. Vettel struggled throughout with the RB5 in low-downforce trim, and was lucky to inherit a point for eighth when Hamilton crashed.

Kazuki Nakajima, P10
Nico Rosberg, P16

This was Williams’ worst race of the season. Rosberg made a decent start until his front wing got clobbered by debris and he had to stop to investigate serious understeer. That ruined his race there and then, and it got worse when he had to have a precautionary check to ensure that a wheel nut locking mechanism had engaged properly. Nakajima just trudged round in a difficult car and inherited 10th upon Hamilton’s demise.

Timo Glock, P11
Jarno Trulli, P14

Toyota’s race was something of a slapstick comedy at times. The TF109s were uncompetitive, and when Trulli got caught out by Nakajima hogging the middle of the road in Turn 1 on lap 48 he had a brush with the Williams driver and then half spun across team mate Glock’s bows, having only recently overtaken him in a tight move there as Glock rejoined after his stop on lap 38. They ran side by side for a while until Trulli went sideways over the kerb on the second Lesmo and dropped back. Eleventh and 14th was a hugely disappointing result after the speed shown at Spa.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, P13, not classified
Jaime Alguersuari, Retired lap 19, transmission

This race was such a contrast to last year’s, when the team won. Buemi was never in the fight and mistakenly followed the safety car into the pits at the end and did not thus take the chequered flag. Alguersuari started from the pits after a gearbox change overnight, chased Buemi for a while, then retired with further transmission trouble.