Kimi Raikkonen Wins The 2009 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen fought off continuous challenges from Giancarlo Fisichella in the Force India car on Sunday to win the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. For the Ferrari team, it was their first victory in the 2009 season, and for Kimi Raikkonen it was the 2007 F1 world champion's first win in 25 races. Giancarlo Fischella's performance this weekend in Belgium was spectacular with his pole position start and his second place finish to Raikkonen in the race. Third place was taken by Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull Racing F1 car.
After the race, Giancarlo Fisichella said second place was an excellent result, but he noted that he felt he could have won the race but for the added surge power that Raikkonen achieved from his KERS Hybrid system. Raikkonen's KERS enabled the Ferrari to launch past his him once the safety car went in after the first lap racing incident. The Lap 1 accident involved multiple cars and appeared to have been initiated by Renault's Romain Grosjean as he shunted Brawn Mercedes driver Jenson Button out of the race. Lewis Hamilton was also taken out of the race as he slowed his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes car to avoid the Grosjean incident and was then hit from behind by another driver in the process.
Lewis Hamilton had the following to say about his race at Spa-Francorchamps, "I got a poor start, the anti-stall kicked in and I tried to recover, but got sandwiched at the first corner and lost a bit of my front wing. When Romain Grosjean spun Jenson around at Turn Five, everyone was trying to avoid them, so I slowed down to try and avoid the damage and got taken out by one of the drivers behind me, who was trying to avoid the accident too. A disappointing day, but we'll come back and try to win this race next year."
From an F1 world driver's championship title perspective, Brawn Mercedes driver Jenson Button retained his leadership but scored no points with his race retirement today. With his third place finish at Spa, Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel moved into third place in the driver's standings behind Brawn Mercedes drivers Button and Barrichello. Sebastian Vettel's podium result bumped his Red Bull Racing teammate Mark Webber into fouth position as the two exchanged places in the world driver's standings.
The technology advantage of KERS Hybrid's additional boost power proved itself in Belgium as Raikkonen engaged the system in his Ferrari to catapult from sixth on the grid to second place behind Fisichella at the start of the race. Raikkonen then went on to use his KERS again after the safety car went in to launch himself past Fisichella to take the lead. It appeared that Ferrari had engineered extra torque into their KERS since the last race.