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Formula 1 - Race 5 Barcelona, Spain

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Spain Circuit

15th May 2009 - With many new parts being added to the cars for the European leg of the season, this race was always looking at being an interesting indicator for the coming races. During the two practice sessions on Friday though, things seemed to be ‘same old, same old’ as far as the season had gone so far; that being the ‘big boys’ from past years struggling and the lower teams from past years dominating, with the exception of Saturday morning’s practice when Ferrari picked up the 1st and 2nd best times for that 3rd session of testing.

When qualifying began there still managed to be a few surprises as the laps raced by - the major one being the huge discrepancies of the Ferrari team. With their improvements in the 3rd session of testing they were expected to do well.  However, only one driver managed this; Felipe Massa picked up 4th place whilst his team mate Kimi Raikkonen only managed 16th, although his team said it was their mistake rather then the driver’s fault for the bad result. Other than that Brawn, Red Bull and Toyota kept up their great results so far this season by picking up the rest of the places, with Jenson Button 1st, Sebastian Vettel 2nd and Rubens Barrichello taking 3rd.

Once racing began, the new improvements to the cars seemed not to make much difference to the results seen so far this year. Ferrari is by the far the biggest improver with Massa pulling in a 6th place, which could have easily been a 4th place if it hadn’t been for a technical mess up by his team when putting fuel into the car. This caused him to have to drive slow the last 4 laps so he wouldn’t run out of petrol, and he was passed by two faster drivers. Another good result was for former double world champion Fernando Alonso who picked up 5th place. This left Red Bull to pick up 3rd and 4th and Brawn to take another 1-2 finish and extend their lead in this year’s championship.

With this race looking to be a turning point in the season not much really changed, apart from BMW really struggling, Toyota slowly falling down the field, and teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Renault making improvements up the field.  However, with many races left in the season there’s still lots of time for a shake up in the teams if the car developments continue.

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