Rubens Barrichello won his third and final race in Monza today in front of his team mate Jenson Button in crucial 1-2 for Brawn GP while Raikkonen finished third after Hamilton crashed in final lap while trying to catch Button.
Jenson Button led the championship from the first race in 2009 and arrived in Monza with 16 points ahead of Barrichello and 19 in front of Vettel after retiring in the first lap in the previous race in Belgium.
Monza was the 13th race of the championship and Hamilton won the pole position (1:24.066) in the McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 with the KERS system and fuel for 15 laps. In first two chicanes big red sausage kerbs were insetred to prevent drivers to cut the chicanes agressively, which made the comparison with previous times irrelevant.
Sutil was the second fastest in Force India (+0.195 s) after Fisichella was on pole position in Belgium and finished the second in the race. Fisichella drove this race for Ferrari and replaced Badoer who did not show a competitive edge after initially replacing Massa after Hungarori. Raikkonen started third, Kovalainen fourth, and Barrichello and Button in Brawn were fifth and sixth, with just under a second behind.
Hamilton started well and kept the lead, but pitted in lap 15, first from leading drivers. Raikkonen was second behind Hamilton at the end of the first round, Sutil was third and Barrichello and Button were on the fourth and fifth place, which would prove to be crucial because they were on the one stop strategy.
Button pitted for the first and only time in lap 28 and Barrichello in the lap 29, thus securing a 1-2 win for the Brawn GP. Hamilton was on the road to third place and was one second behind Button and 4.4 seconds behind Barrichello in the last laps, but spun in the first Lesmo, crashed out and retired, enabling Raikkonen to take the final podium spot for Ferrari.
It was Barrichello’s third victory in Monza after 2002 and 2004, as he reduced the gap behind Button to 14 points, three races before the end.
“Monza has always been a great track for me and it’s great to win here again. This weekend we made some great decisions and Friday was crucial to today’s result,” Barrichello said.
“We had to think strategically about the drivers with KERS system, and our one stop strategy really paid off. I had a great start and passed Heikki and after that I had the speed I needed to beat drivers on two stops.”