• Season Review - Part Three

Spa thriller is our race of the year

Claire Furnell and Laurence Edmondson
December 23, 2009
Add the backdrop of the Ardennes forest to the on track drama, and you have ESPNF1's race of the season © Getty Images

Race of the Year

Winner: Belgian Grand Prix
There weren't many races this year which went down to the wire, mainly due to the dominance of Brawn and Red Bull. However, the Belgian Grand Prix was different. The two teams were uncompetitive on the high-speed track, which requires a unique set-up, allowing Force India to take pole. It was one of the few occasions when KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) really came into its own, allowing Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari to pass Giancarlo Fisichella's Force India at the start and then hold on to the lead throughout and take victory. But it was never a done deal; Fisichella was faster over a lap, meaning one mistake by Raikkonen would trigger a chance for the Force India to pass. Add the backdrop of the Ardennes forest to the on-track drama, and you have ESPNF1's race of the season.

Second: Brazilian Grand Prix
Championship deciders are usually exciting, and when they are at Interlagos they are thrilling. The circuit didn't disappoint this year, as a wet qualifying session gave a mixed grid. Jenson Button fought from 14th to fifth to gain the vital points he needed to be crowned champion. It wasn't a close contest at the front - Mark Webber ran away with it after the first round of stops - but Button pulled some of the overtaking manoeuvres of the season on Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi.

Third: Australian Grand Prix
The first race of the season was full of action and incidents. Button won at a canter, but behind him all hell broke loose. Two safety cars were deployed; five cars spun or crashed out, and due to the late start of the race, low light levels led to complaints from nearly all the drivers. The most exciting moment came three laps from the end as Vettel and Robert Kubica tangled racing for the podium, eliminating both from the results.

Quotes of the Year

"He was clearly blinded by an excessive desire for personal revenge."
Flavio Briatore on why he believed Max Mosley influenced the FIA to ban him for life over Crashgate

"They need to go and buy a pen."
Bernie Ecclestone's candid reaction to being asked what Silverstone needed to do to secure the British Grand Prix

"That's Lewis straight on the radio for new underwear."
Martin Brundle on Lewis Hamilton getting out of shape in the high speed corners at Silverstone