Northern Waffler Formula 1 Awards 2009
Hope everyone has had a great Christmas. But it is time to put on the slightly expensive clothing and look smart for the first annual, Northern Waffler Formula 1 Awards. Hosted live, here, at the lovely Croft Circuit. Well, we can pretend it is.
So what are these awards, well, they show the excellence and achievements of the season just gone. I call the specific awards, RG Bargies, named when F1 journalist Joe Saward commented on the name RG. It seems appropriate to use it for something else. So, lets get started.
Nominees: Sebastien Buemi, Kamui Kobayashi and Romain Grosjean
This wasn’t the greatest year for debutants, with Jaime Alguesuari the only other driver to have made his debut in F1 this season. I felt these three did the best of the four, so unfortunately for the Spaniard, he misses out. So the winner of the Best Newcomer goes to, Sebastien Buemi.
Buemi picked up five points in a less than impressive Toro Rosso alongside Sebastien Bourdias and Alguesuari. This included results which fell under the radar, a 8th in Abu Dhabi as well as a 7th in Australia, on his debut.
Kamui Kobayashi only had two races, and whilst showing his potential, didn’t have enough time to impress. Romain Grosjean was fairly crash prone and picked up no points.
Scandal of the Year
Nominees: Liegate (Lewis Hamilton and Dave Ryan), Breakaway Series (Everyone) and Singapore GP Race Fixing (Nelson Piquet jr, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds)
Debutants had a bad year, scandals had a brilliant one. Every other week there was a new thing to spread across the back pages, but only one can be the biggest scandal of 2009. It goes to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix Race Fixing.
We all know what happened, Nelson Piquet jr crashed just as Fernando Alonso had pitted. Alonso went on to win the race. But this wins as the scale of it, the fact that someone had cheated to win a race. Caused danger to other drivers, marshals and spectators by crashing. This just about clinches it.
Heart in Mouth Moment of the Year
Nominees: Felipe Massa’s crash in Hungary, Timo Glock’s crash in Japan and the last 3 laps of the Japanese Grand Prix.
It was a thrilling year, in some ways not the way in which it intended. Serious accidents at times marred the racing. So the Heart in the Mouth Moment goes to the Felipe Massa crash during qualification of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The whole event was nerve-wracking, how bad were the injuries, would he survive? Thankfully, he did. Though a week after the death of Formula 2 driver Henry Surtees was not the ideal time for it to happen.
The ‘Rolex’ Time Waster Award
Nominees: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Malaysian Grand Prix and the Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying.
Time is precious. Sadly some of the races ruined this precious time. Time which can not be returned and sadly, will likely be wasted again in the future. So not a big thank you to the Malaysian Grand Prix for winning this award.
One whole hour of waiting. Staring at a bunch of cars littered on the main straight, with mechanics around it and drivers chatting hiding under the immense monsoon rain. It could have been called off earlier, but, in true Formula 1 fashion. It dragged on until the final call came and half points were awarded.
At least there was an overtake in the entire one and a half hours of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In Brazil, there was something at the end of the needless waiting.
Howler of the Year
Nominees: Jaime Alguesuari driving into the Red Bull pit box, Ferrari bringing in Luca Badoer and the new 2009 Rules and Regulations.
As a goalkeeper, I know when someone has made a downright fool of themselves by doing something daft. So after a whole season of awful races, the award finds itself in the hands of the Overtaking Working Group for the new regulations.
Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, Turkey, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Valencia, Singapore, Japan and Abu Dhabi. All these races partially suffered due to these regulations (also due to some of them being designed by Hermann Tilke, but that is for another time). That is a grand total of 11 races. Well done.
Race of the Year
Nominees: Chinese Grand Prix, Italian Grand Prix and the Brazilian Grand Prix
There weren’t that many stand out races this season. But with the amount of dull and tedious ones, the good races really shone. But one shone that little bit brighter, and that was the Brazilian Grand Prix.
It had everything, overtaking, crashes, fire in the pitlane, excitement, fights, the lot of it. Brilliant, title deciding stunning drive from Jenson Button. Another solid win by Mark Webber. Robert Kubica’s only podium of the season. Kamui Kobayashi, doing what Kobayashi does. Jarno Trulli and Adrian Sutil at wars. Brilliant stuff.
Underrated Driver of the Year
Nominees: Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg and Sebastien Buemi
This season had two distinct categories for drivers. Jobs well done and Must do better. To say someone was underrated was very hard, and to come up with 3 was especially difficult. However the winner is Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg carried Williams, had it not been for him the team would have been down with Toro Rosso. Kazuki Nakajima just didn’t make the grade in 2009 and it was down to Nico Rosberg to save the show. A grand total of 34.5 points included no podiums, there were no wins. He sure blew the best chance of a podium in Singapore with a silly error, but still had some excellent fourth places to his name, especially in the middle part of the season.
Team of the Year
Nominees: Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing and Force India
One time flew ahead of everyone else, just one team attempted to scrape claws and try to hold on. But Brawn GP were unstoppable, especially in the first part of the season.
6 wins in the first 7 races, another 2 later on by Rubens Barrichello. It was a great year for Brawn in the only season that they will compete in. Despite a poor turn in the latter stages of 2009, they held strong and still kept up with solid drives. They certainly deserved this award.
Drive of the Year
Nominees: Jenson Button at Monaco, Giancarlo Fisichella at Spa-Francorchamps and Jenson Button at Interlagos.
To say the least, we were all shocked when Giancarlo Fisichella put his plucky Force India on pole for the Belgian Grand Prix. We remained shocked when he finished second on the Sunday.
Everyone expected cars to fly past the Force India at ease, it never happened. We expected Kimi Raikkonen to fly ahead of Fisichella, it never happened. In fact, if it wasn’t for the chaos involving Romain Grosjean, Jaime Alguesuari, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, he might have even won the whole race.
Driver of the Year
Nominees: Jenson Button, Sebastien Vettel and Lewis Hamilton
The big award, driver of the year. The driver who put his all in everything and it showed. So the first RG Bargy Driver of the Year Award is presented to Sebastien Vettel.
He showed class in helping Red Bull get there first win in China, with follow up wins at Silverstone and Abu Dhabi. He had a small chance of the title and gave the Brawn pair a run for their money, finishing second in the Championship. Despite a few errors, he came through them all.