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2009 FIA Formula 1 Season

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2009 FIA Formula 1 Season
Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
Champion Constructor: Brawn Mercedes (GB,1,1)
Putative Constructor: Brawn Mercedes (GB)
Champion Driver: Jenson Button (GB,1,1)
Putative Driver: Jenson Button (GB)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model BGP 001, 2.39-liter, eight-cylinder vee, aluminum alloy engine, DOHC, fuel injection, seven-speed semi-automatic paddled, ventilated carbon ceramic disc brakes, carbon fibre/carbon composite honeycomb monocoque, double wishbone-pushrod independent suspension, power-assist steering, rear double diffuser, 800 horsepower (Jörg Zander, Loïc Bigois).

The FIA re-introduces slick rubber back into the series for the 2009 season, mandates a series of aerodynamic changes aimed at reducing downforce, and implements its own version of American push-to-pass technology with the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), a technology that stores the energy generated during in-race braking in battery cells for subsequent use in acceleration assist. In another effort to insert cost efficiency into the sport, the sanctioning body bans in-season testing, reduces wind tunnel usage days, limits power unit output to 18,000 RPM, and mandates an eight-weekend duration for both power units and gearboxes with a threat of grid penalty for changeouts. The FIA also rescinds its standing rule of not permitting in-race service until Race Control opens the lane for the same during a caution condition. Mosley and his legion of bureaucrats face two major issues in 2009; the rear crash plate utilized by Brawn, Williams, and Toyota from season onset that produces additional downforce by way of its drag-reducing opening slot (referred to as a 'double diffuser'), as well as building speculation around Renault and its purported race fixing during the 2008 season. Motorsport enthusiasts can only stare and wonder as newly minted constructor Brawn, racing as a placeholder for mighty Mercedes in 2009, stuns the other teams by snatching six of seven early victories in its maiden shakedown season with a truly unbloodied, non-KERS enabled entry, yet only a third place finish by its driver Rubens Barrichello in the season finale at Abu Dhabi in November allows Brawn to remarkably escape with the constructors' title after upstart Red Bull closes out the campaign with a mad rush. Theretofore underachieving Brawn pilot Jenson Button puts paid to all of his detractors by winning six of the first seven events before masterfully holding off hard charging Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull in deep stretch for his maiden drivers' crown. Series tyro Brawn takes the jewels in its maiden outing at Melbourne in March amidst fierce criticism from its competition over its rear double diffuser solution. The superior ability of the Brawn entry and driver Jenson Button to run on prescribed rubber with less race wear allows the team to win six of seven events from season onset. The major constructors howl in disbelief after the FIA deems the double diffuser utilized by three constructors as legal in April. Jenson Button wins four consecutive races between late April and early June. Ferrari driver Felipe Massa suffers a freak skull fracture after a suspension spring unburdened from a crashing entry strikes his helmet at full speed during qualifying at the Hungaroring in July. The FIA in August rules that Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. intentionally crashed out his entry at Singapore in 2008 on express instructions from his team to assist teammate Fernando Alonso in winning the event. The sanctioning body bans Renault principals Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds from the series, and the French make sacks a host of personnel including driver Piquet Jr. Briatore successfully appeals his harsh banishment penalty. The FIA fines McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen $50,000 USD after his entry spews fuel from a shorn away refueling hose upon the entry beneath Kimi Räikkönen while exiting the service lane at São Paolo in October. The FIA fines Jarno Trulli $10,000 USD for his in-race argument with Adrian Sutil after an on-track incident at São Paulo in October. F1 makes its inaugural visit to Abu Dhabi in November. New Racing Makes: British Brawn. Racing Evolution: KERS acceleration assist (F1).

HeM applies the Putative Model to all racing seasons for two primary purposes: First, to effectively normalize all racing seasons for empirical comparison across the decades, and second, to step clear of series organizers which score season championships primarily out of commercial interest or to attract manufacturer participation. The Putative Model simply scores all seasons in the same fashion as a standard track and field meeting, with the only purpose of tracking what takes place at the finishing stripe If the Putative Champion differs from the nominal Series Champion, please note the (SC) notation below.

Brawn Mercedes155     Button95
Red Bull Renault152     Vettel87
McLaren Mercedes55     Webber M70
Scuderia Ferrari53     Barrichello65
Toyota39     Hamilton L50
BMW Sauber20     Raikkonen40

Noteworthy 2009 Races

2009 LXVII Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo2009 2009 LXVII Grand Prix de Monaco At Monaco for the Grand Prix (260.5 kilometers) in May, the race comes to a British Brawn BGP 001 Mercedes under Jenson Button (GB) in 1:40:44.3 (average 96.42 mph), under eight seconds ahead of a companion Brawn driven by Rubens Barrichello. Button moves out front after passing race leader Kimi Räikkonen in his Ferrari on Lap 53 of 78 before motoring away to a comfortable victory. Photo Credit: XPB Images.