The Brazilian Grand Prix is sometimes the final GP of the F1 season, and though it’s not actually the final event in 2009, it could prove to be the last dramatic event for the World Drivers Championship. Jenson Button of Brawn GP has basically limped close enough to the finish line that if he lands on the podium this weekend at Interlagos then the F1 WDC is his. JB’s Brawn GP teammate Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull Racing’s Seb Vettel are the lone two remaining competitors who have any say in how this championship plays out. Everyone else is already looking ahead to 2010
And for either of them to have any realistic shot they will have to win (or get second) and have Button struggle mightily. Probably not going to happen, and Button appears to have a considerable chance of clinching the title with one round left.
Good thing the FIA meddled with the rules and aerodynamics of the cars, eh? I mean it’s not like the last two Formula 1 championships went dramatically down to the final event and were decided by a mere point or so, right?
Speaking of 2010, the silly season has already begun. Raikkonen is out at Ferrari, to be replaced by Fernando Alonso. What about Felipe Massa? Well, he tested in a 2007 Ferrari recently and by all reports has had a remarkable recovery and could possibly fight his way back into the race seat of the other Ferrari. Then what of Giancarlo Fisichella? Uhm, good question. He might become Ferrari’s third driver or be out of Ferrari altogether, I have no idea.
Raikkonen has been rumored to be rejoining McLaren, but that’s not exactly a done deal just yet. Renault, Red Bull, and even Brawn GP have all been rumored to be taking a close look at bringing the Iceman onboard. Ah, you gotta love the swirling rumor storms of the silly season.
As far as a wild season finish goes, did anyone catch the final ALMS event at Laguna Seca? Holy Hell, the GT2 battle went down to the last corner between the Flying Lizard Porsche and one of the Corvettes. The battle between those two raged for all of the closing laps with the Corvette absolutely hounding the Porsche with some fender banging in the last corner and pushing and shoving all the way up the hill to the finsh line which eventually spun the ‘Vette into the wall. The class victory (which had zero effect on the season’s final standings) went to the Porsche and had tempers a bit hot over on pitlane. Great stuff.
Will the Nascar Sprint Cup series have such a dramatic finish in 2009? Not sure, but it’s getting a bit scary with that 48 team starting to look like they’re ready to take a stranglehold on the title chase. The 5 team has been strong and so has the 42 team, but with the sort of pressure the 48 team puts on everyone, top five finishes just don’t cut it. Victories are the only way to beat the three time defending champs.
Mark Martin is still the sentimental favorite, and it would be great to see him finally get that much deserved title. How about Juan Pablo right there in third? He’s been too calm, and you just have to know that a storm is brewing with him. And then lurking around are Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon. Don’t count either of them out just yet either.
The Saturday night race in Charlotte will be bigtime significant. The 48 team looks extremely strong and history says it’s their race to lose, but racing is a fickle business and the car that looks so dominant early on isn’t necessarily the car that will take the checkers. I understand that the 5 and 42 teams have been saying how patient they’ll be and that there’s a long way yet to go in the Chase and all that press conference bullshit … but there comes a time when you’ve got to stand toe-to-toe with the 48 team and take the fight to them.
Let them get too far away from you, and you’ll never catch them at these Chase tracks.