Button wins for Brawn in spectacular start to season

2009 Australian Grand Prix

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After months of anticipation the first race of 2009 was a contest to savour and a result to remember. Jenson Button may have led every lap but Sebastian Vettel kept him honest throughout the race – before a controversial late clash with Robert Kubica.

Rubens Barrichello completed Brawn GP’s joy by taking second place, while Lewis Hamilton took a surprise third place from 18th on the grid.

Kovalainen out at the start

The Brawn cars had mixed fortunes at the start – Button motored serenely down to the first corner while Barrichello got bogged down and was swamped by the chasing field.

Button took the lead from the start
That included Heikki Kovalainen, who tagged the back of the Brawn GP car, setting off a chain reaction which also claimed Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld. All bar Barrichello headed for the pits, and Kovalainen’s damage proved terminal.

The Ferraris, with KERS primed and super soft tyres, made lightning starts. Felipe Massa pounced on Robert Kubica off the line, and slotted past Nico Rosberg at turn three as well. Kimi Raikkonen followed him through top take up fifth behind Kubica, with Rosberg bumped back to sixth.

Button, meanwhile, had checked out – dropping Vettel by a massive 3.9s on the first lap. But Vettel, running with several laps’ less fuel, was able to keep Button’s lead down to around five seconds.

Ferraris hit trouble

The Ferraris quickly ran into the shortcomings of the super-soft tyres: graining and the accompanying huge drop-off in performance. Rosberg launched an attack on Raikkonen on lap nine, squeezing by at turn one, allowing the chasing Barrichello to pounce. Barrichello clipped Raikkonen’s car, causing more damage to the front wing of his BGP001, but took fifth place off the 2007 champion.

Wasting no time, the red cars brought their pit stops forward. Raikkonen headed for the pits on the next lap to switch to the more durable medium compound. Massa followed on lap 11, as did Lewis Hamilton, who had also started one the super-soft tyres.

Hamilton had steered clear of the mayhem at the start to run 11th by lap three. Exploiting the brief performance of the super soft tyres and using his KERS boost he moved up to ninth by lap six, passing Nelson Piquet Jnr. But with the life gone from his tyres he had struggled to make an impression on Kazuki Nakajima’s Williams.

The other early stoppers were Jarno Trulli (lap ten) and Kubica (lap 12). Trulli, who had started from the pits along with team mate Timo Glock following their qualifying infringement, passed Hamilton for 14th shortly after his stop.

This left Button and Vettel at the front with Rosberg 27.3s behind thanks to spending so long stuck behind the struggling Massa. Behind him were Barrichello, Nakajima, Piquet, Sebastien Buemi and Giancalo Fisichella.

Nakajima triggers safety car

Vettel and Rosberg were the next to pit on lap 16, Rosberg losing time with a sticking front left wheel nut. Button responded by setting a new fastest lap of the race in anticipation of his first pit stop.

But on lap 18 Nakajima lost control of his FW31 on the kerb at the exit of turn four, and hit the barriers hard. The safety car was summoned while marshals retrieved the wrecked Williams.

Under last year’s rules this would have pole-axed Button’s chances, leaving him unable to pit for several laps. Thankfully, the ‘pit lane closure rules’ were wisely dropped over the winter, and Button was able to take his pit stop as normal before queueing up behind the safety car. This took rather a long time, however, and the interruption dragged on even longer as the lapped cars were allowed to re-take their positions.

Button led Vettel at the restart, both putting off their stints on super soft tyres until the final phase of the race. Then came the trio that had already used the green-striped tyres: Massa, Kubica and Raikkonen.

Piquet tried to pass Rosberg for sixth on the outside of turn one at the restart, but was caught out by his cold brakes and tyres, and spun into retirement. Team mate Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, took 12th place off Glock, who had also just been passed by Hamilton.

Massa made an early return to the pits on lap 31, having fuelled aggressively short at his first stop in a bid to get back to the front. After taking on enough fuel to reach the finish the Brazilian driver fell towards the back of the pack from where he struggled to mount a recovery.

On lap 45 Massa’s F60 slowed and his race was over. This was a double blow for Ferrari – two laps earlier Raikkonen had crashed into the barriers on the exit of turn 13. The constructors’ champions start their title defence with no points after one race.

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Vettel and Kubica crash

Kubica’s pace late in the race suggested Ferrari’s gamble of starting on the super soft tyres might have paid off had they gone the distance. Vettel made his final pit stop on lap 45, and Button came in two laps later, losing vital time as the team had to switch between refuelling hoses.The leading pair were now both on the super soft tyres and Kubica, on mediums, was catching them rapidly.

The stage was set for a grandstand finish with the leading trio covered by just a few seconds. On lap 56 Kubica pounced on Vettel at turn three and the pair collided. Vettel was surprisingly apologetic afterwards for incident in which both drivers could have given each other a bit more space. Instead both lost their front wings, and crashed separately at turn five. Vettel tried to keep his three-wheeled car going, but eventually pulled up. He was handed a grid penalty for the next race at Malaysia for the crash, and a $50,000 fine for driving around the track on three wheels.

This remarkable turn of events robbed us of a nail-biting chase to the flag, and brought the final curtain down on the whole race. The safety car was sent out to recover the wreckage and there was no time to get the race running again.

Kubica and Vettel collide, Vettel handed penalty (Video)

Hamilton inherits third

Meanwhile, unseen by the TV cameras, Trulli went off the track, losing what was now third place to Hamilton. Trulli then re-passed Hamilton after the safety car had arrived on track, and was later handed a 25-second penalty by the stewards which demoted him from third to 12th.

Trulli’s form at Melbourne was quite atypical: out-qualified by his much heavier team mate, but in superb form on race day, he deserved much more from the weekend. He later claimed Hamilton had slowed and he had no choice but to pass the McLaren.

Hamilton inherited third place against all expectations, and was the highest-placed KERS-equipped finisher. Glock took fourth after deftly passing Alonso around the outside of turn four on lap 51, having practised the move on Buemi two laps earlier.

Rosberg was sixth, a disappointment after his qualifying form, having lost time at crucial moments with his pit stop problem, the clash with Piquet, and being passed by Massa on lap one.

Buemi took seventh place on his debut, an ominous sign for team mate Bourdais, who finished eighth. Adrian Sutil was ninth after a spirited battle with team mate Fisichella. The Italian was 11th behind Heidfeld and no doubt rued missing his pit box when he pitted during the first safety car period, losing a lot of time.

Webber was a suitably unlucky 13th after another miserable home race, and Vettel, Kubica and Raikkonen were all classified behind him despite having stopped.

But this was a Grand Prix with a feel-good result. For two long months it looked as though Honda’s feverish work on its RA109 would reap no reward. But, re-born as the Mercedes-powered BGP 001, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello scored an historic result that would have been totally unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

That said, their margin of victory was nothing like as great as the pre-race form suggested. The signs are very good that we could be in for a close, competitive and exciting championship. Roll on Malaysia next weekend!

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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64 comments on “Button wins for Brawn in spectacular start to season”

  1. exellent race good to see f1 back.well done to brawngp and jb and lewis 3rd brilliant.bring on next weekend:)

  2. what a lucky set of points will these be for Lewis Ham

    1. They weren’t lucky. Other cars broke down, fell off the track, crashed into each other or broke the rules.

      He and his car didn’t do any of these – so he deserves third place.

  3. I think the scrap between Vettel and Kubica was nice… ok it ended in tears but a fight at the front between 2 great talents that won’t give way just like that… Got to love that.
    I do agree with Brundle, 50/50.

    Glad to follow F1 at BBC from this year :D

  4. Lewis drove a superb race, keeping out of trouble and pushing hard when he needed, and making great use of KERS, in what is universally acknowledged to be an aerodynamically flawed car.
    3rd place totally deserved. He kept his head during SC, while Trulli fell off and, surprise surprise, tried to blame Lewis.
    Great drive from Jensen as well, soaking up the tremendous pressure through out the race. To me, he looked like a Champion.

    1. Totally agree SYM. The WDC making the absolute most possible out of a bad situation. Very impressive as always. Bit like Alonso towards the end of 2008.

  5. I wonder what Button would have done in an MP4-24 which is universally recognised to be a dog. Oh yes, just look at last year for your answer. It was the car wot won it.

    1. Im sorry but last years Honda car does not prove button to be a “bad driver” as you put it, as his car was way off the pace and Barichello also struggled last year as well. Button is one of the best drivers out there who understands a lot about ‘technical’ stuff, and also drives extremely smoothly, which benefits the tires.

    2. Jenson’s also shown he can out drive a horrible car to get decent results as well , look at what he did in some races in 2007.

      I do agree that was probably one of Lewis’s best drives in so much as he just put his head down and got on with the race without doing anything rash or trying too hard.He passed an impressive number of cars in the early stages with the help of his KERS.

    3. You can hardly compare this years Mclaren to last years Honda – Lewis wouldnt have done much better than Button did in that Honda last year – it was an awful car! This years Mclaren isnt awful, its just average.

      Plus you could argue that Lewis’ Mclaren helped him to the title too, just like Jenson’s Brawn is helping him this year – the car is always a contributor – no matter how good a driver is if you put him in a truly rubbish car he wont get the results

  6. Charlie Whitting waiting 3 laps to put the SC on the track, and doing it just after Button pit stopped made me feel sick.

    Brawn GP and Button are fair winners, but this kind of decissions are not good for the sport.

    Futhermore, if you add the diffusor issue, with Renault and Red Bull asking in the past about similar diffusors and FIA answering in a negative way…

    It’s obvious for me that FIA is trying to break FOTA unity. Am I a conspiranoic?

  7. Well done jenson-barra.
    its great to see great sportsmanship rather than a certain person with “daddy” kissing his son goodbye like last years “tripe”
    JENSON TO WIN TITLE coultards right jenson is a world class driver,never had the equipment to do it.
    shuv it up em jens

  8. Your right andy,couldnt stand last year all the hype around hamilton.
    Jenson gets in quietly and does the job massive well done.
    By the way last years champ was SWISS not british!!!!!

    1. And today winner is from Monaco, not from UK ;)

    2. Not the silly Switzerland thing again?

      The Swiss haven’t taken over Stevenage and Monaco hasn’t annexed Frome. They’re both British.

    3. Of course they are. In Spain we have the same comments. Alonso also pays taxes in switzerland, and most of the F1 drivers do it now and did it before.

      I was just kidding

    4. if a business were to do this, via ofshore holding company (a mailbox in the bahamas), it would be deemed illegal. individuals are allowed to stick it to their home countries, and i find that despicable. in this context, the only thing worse are the olympic athletes that sold their nationality.

    5. If our tax laws didn’t penalise people for being successful……

    6. Bernification
      1st April 2009, 2:03

      F1 Yankee- all business does do this. Where have you been living?

  9. Hugo Bourgeois
    29th March 2009, 16:06

    I wonder how long we’ll have to wait before we see Hamilton score points again :-)

    Nice to see Brawn GP (drivers, but also Ross Brawn obviously) perform so well!

    1. I think we’ll have to wait for the diffuser issue to be resolved. Mclaren are surely one of the best equipped teams to quickly adapt and use it if it’s deemed legal.

      That said, even without the luck, Hamilton looked in pretty good form to finish 8th and snatch a point. And that’s having had a failed gearbox preventing him from taking part in Q2 in addition to being demoted 3 places on the grid. So maybe it’s not all bad for him.

  10. Thats not strictly true frecon,jenson spends more time in uk than hammy.
    i should know i live in his hometown frome!!
    hammy just a whiner and whinger anyway, doesnt like the photos being taken thats why he went to cuckoo clock land.

  11. theonlygayinthevillage
    29th March 2009, 16:10

    Please please no that smirking cheshire cat branson (who cant even get broadband working right)

    1. I find his doppelganger blonde twins more spooky, actually..

    2. Yeah, the blonde twins! Was that just cooked up to look like some garbage movie script “super business man saves the world”?
      He should just keep his stupid grinning mush off the screen. You don’t see the boss of RBS or Panansonic (for example) gurning round the grid with jail bait on each arm.
      Give Brawn the dosh alredy and bugger off Branson.

  12. vettel handed a grid penlaty for what? racing hard or trying to complete the Race. Man F1 just could not leave it a lone.

    1. Yeah that was a great battle!!
      Neither man wanted to give up the place.
      Its unfortunate they both went out but thats racing!!!

      Next year we’ll probably see airbags to stop the cars hittin off one another LOL.

      Seriously thought leave the racing alone.

      Well done to Jenson and Rubens (an ex Jordan racer),
      And good to see Force India (ex Jordan) not dead last. I hope they do well this year.

      Great race anyway, more of the same please!!

  13. Eduardo Colombi
    29th March 2009, 16:27

    the durability of the front wing was a big surprise for me. Barrichello crashed twice with it and did not lost it. his performance got a little worst but nothing that compromised his race.

    What a great race with lot of surpises, good for ones not that good for others, extremely exciting!

    For my surprise Lewis made an outstanding race with a doubting car, drove like a champ and deserved the 3rd place. Not a big fan of his driving but in this race it was really nice.

    1. Even more amazing is that Kova shunted Barichello’s rear at the start mangling the diffuser and robbing him of rear downforce.

      To bring the car in at all, let alone in 2nd place was an amazing feat and shows that Brawn was right in picking experience over the Senna name (which would have brought a lot of sponsorship by itself).

  14. It’s interesting that Brawn are yet another team to take their first win with a 1-2. Jordan took a 1-2 at Belguim 98, as did BMW at Canada 08. Also, Stewart finished 1st and 3rd at the Nurburgring 99 and the old Honda team finished 1st and 4th at Hungary 06, though they had won before in the 60’s I think.

    I can’t wait for the rest of the season, even the next 3 races at three Tilkedromes should be better than usual now that the cars have KERS and the wrong tyres. Was it just me or did that race remind anyone of the tyre troubles back in most of the races in 2005?

    One more thing- as good as it is to see Button and Barrichello on the podium, how long before we all get bored of Brawn dominating?

  15. After everything that was said and done to try to burry Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and the World Champion Lewis Hamilton in pre-season and before Australia GP, it was with great delight I saw Lewis taking home a deserved third place – a perfect race from the back to the front.

    It’s also with delight I saw double Brawn GP winners, even if I don’t really like the man (Ross), I like both drivers a lot – Button and Rubens.

    It was a pity for Heikki to retire so soon, since we was in a different fuel strategy and we will never know what that would do.

    About the last accident – I believe the blame is on Kubica and not Vettel, but those 80 year old guys behind that big table looking at a monitor know better…

    I think in the future what happened with Truli – overtaking a car with yellow flags -MUST BE handled on the spot and not after the race is over.

    If it’s a weight problem of some other irregularity, of course only after the cars are inspected, they can know, but what happened, we all saw…

    I guess some guys didn’t want another British driver on the podium… but I believe Ron Dennis already call Toyota Team Manager to ask for the trophy :). It WILL go to McLaren Museum!

    About Ferrari, after hearing a lot that the past mistakes were not to be repeated, it looks bad – Kimmi had mechanical problem in Q1; Massa also during the race, and Kimmi hit the wall – resulting in either car finishing the inaugural Grand Prix of what looks it will be a great Season with more than 2 drivers fighting for the title and a lot of them fighting for race wins.

    About the FIA meeting, it won’t change a lot – if the damn things are OK, all teams will use them, if not, I don’t think the Browns will go from front row to last… as Rubbens said during the press conference, he was hit from behind (as hit other with the front left wing and still was second, so it’s not the all mighty magical exhaust that make them now the team to beat on the pack, at least for now.

    Can’t wait from next weekend!

    1. I think in the future what happened with Truli – overtaking a car with yellow flags -MUST BE handled on the spot and not after the race is over.

      It happened about two laps before the end of the race. Turning around a decision that quickly isn’t easy, particularly when the TV cameras at the track seemed to miss both Hamilton passing Trulli and Trulli passing Hamilton.

      In an ideal world perhaps the team could have contacted race control and asked them what order the cars should be in. But that didn’t work out for McLaren at Spa last year and now Max Mosley has told the teams they aren’t supposed to do that any more.

    2. About the last accident – I believe the blame is on Kubica and not Vettel, but those 80 year old guys behind that big table looking at a monitor know better…

      Lol – that shot of Charlie Whiting and his army of officals ammused me as well. (Max obviously through it would show how professional and open and on the ball the officals are instead it just showed a room of ageing baboons) Also considering the number of officals in that room no wounder it takes for ever to make a decision.

  16. The new rules appear to be vindicated. Racing was much closer than in years past. But he stewards are at it again. Penalty for Vettel but none for Barrichello wontonly causing the turn 1 wreck? The SC delay was inexplicable, as was the length of the caution period.

    Hamilton was definitely the drive of the race, period. How many aggressive, clean on-track passes did he pull off? I lost count. That was a Schumacher like drive—aggressive, mistake-free, maximizing the machinery, and bringing home the result.

    Massa, Raikkonnen and the team again showed the strategic brain-fade that cost them the WDC last year. Raikonnen is I’m afraid earning a reputation for poor driving under pressure and Massa has never done anything special with a mediocre car and I’m afraid he never will.

    I don’t think Brawn was all that invincible. Button and Barrichello did everything they needed to do to lose, and they had no major speed edge, but their closest pursuers were tripping over themselves and each other all day. Button never really got away from Vettel and BMW’s strategy would have really but Button under pressure. Branson better start the cash flowing because Redbull, McLaren, Ferrari have plenty of capital and infrastructure and Europe will be a different story if they don’t develop that car.

    1. starting line drama?
      first turn carnage?
      tons of action?
      close fights at the end of the race?
      questionable officiating?
      weirdness, like a 3-wheeler?
      billionaires smiling like they’re….billionaires?
      check, duh

      although it’s early, the new rules produced a great race, no monsoon needed. i think it’s pretty conclusive that all this back and forth about kers and diffusers is just hot air. cars were running every possible combination, and nothing provided any driver with an overwhelming advantage. overall, the action was extremely close, even by modern standards.

      the sc delay is disappointing, but only a nut would believe it was held up so that button could pit. speed tv crew speculated the delay was due to the new pit timing system, although this doesn’t explain the length of the sc period.

  17. Way to go Jenson! Can’t wait to see how he’ll perform in the wet in a real race car.

    I think it’s unfortunate that there is such a disparity between tire compounds as it may have cost teams positions. Is it time to rid the sport of the mandatory use of the two compound rule? Isn’t this a hold over from the Michelin-Bridgestone tire wars?? Let teams use compounds available that suit their chassis setups.

    1. Is it time to rid the sport of the mandatory use of the two compound rule? Isn’t this a hold over from the Michelin-Bridgestone tire wars?

      Quite the reverse actually. After the FIA ended the tyre war Bridgestone wanted a reason to keep tyres in the picture, so to speak, and so the rule was brought in for the first season without Michelin – 2007.

    2. After watching the Williams terrible performance on the option tyre in the race, and with no real testing time to rectify this, I think it makes a lot of sense to let the teams use their own compound choice.

      It might make things less interesting in the race though!

  18. Supplying data to your future “Australian Grand Prix facts and stats”.

    Rubens Barrichello stepped on the podium driving for the fifth different team: Jordan (1994 Pacific Grand Prix, 1995 Canadian Grand Prix), Stewart (1997 Monaco Grand Prix, 1999 French Grand Prix, 1999 European Grand Prix, and other I can’t remember), Ferrari (dozens of times), Honda (2008 British Grand Prix) and Brawn (2009 Australian Grand Prix)…

    Can anyone remember another driver doing something similar?

    Also, it’s the second time he backs a british team-mate in a 1-2 finish that marks a team’s maiden win (1999 European Grand Prix, Johnny Herbert with a Stewart, 2009 Australian Grand Prix, Jenson Button with a Brawn).

  19. “just one policeman surrounded by lots of bandits”

    jalousy all around

  20. Great opening to the season, Just a couple of things that confused me:

    Barrichello on turn one was not penalised?
    What happened to the tether on Kubica’s car? The tyre flew of like it was 1980 again, such a dangerous failing of this sort usually requires a investigation before the car can race again.

    Cant wait for next weekend though.

    1. If the force is too much the tether will give way, it’s simple physics.

      It will however reduce the velocity and that tyre didn’t seem to be going too fast TBH.

  21. Eduardo Colombi
    29th March 2009, 18:58

    What happened to the tether on Kubica’s car? The tyre flew of like it was 1980 again, such a dangerous failing of this sort usually requires a investigation before the car can race again.

    think o too Steve, one of those flying tyres killed Ayrton Senna at Imola, another killed a steward at the track in Australia in an incedent with Villeneuve i think.

  22. Absolutely great!
    Edge of the seat television!
    This is a wake up call for the rest, watch out for the white…

    Bring on malaysia!!



  23. I’m still trying to figure out why Vettel was not immediately black flagged for blatantly running his trike around the track with a front wheel hanging off, thereby potentially endangering other drivers? What was his team thinking and what was race control thinking by allowing him to continue doing it for so long?

  24. The right driver won the 1st race, good on you Jenson. Though Im still unsure shy Barrichello didnt get a penalty for turn one. I have just found found out that Hamilton has now been bumped up to 3rd. I wish they wouldnt change the positions after the trophies have been handed out

  25. Firstly great race and well done brawn and co for their effort and belief in themseves when everyone including branson would not put any backing behind them – as for selfpromoting good guy branson – he flew across the world to say he wanted to tell F1 about saving fuel???
    other sponsers let their stickers do there talking – he should just shut it – he hasnt in all his other stunts thought on saving the planet – Brawn is the brains and driving force – Button and Barrichelo have given their loyalty over the months and deserve their places today.
    As for Lewis and Trulli? – a bit of luck backed up by good driving prove he is a very determined driver and that is what F1 needs – enjoyed the blog as well – gives that other dimension – ta all

  26. As an Aussie I was obviously gutted when Webbo got punted out of contention on lap one, and I too ask the question why wasn’t Rubens penalised? Now lets say the same incident occured four months ago, and Mark’s car was red and Rubens car was silver…

    Look back at Japan ’08. Lewis slides, all four wheels locked up, along the inside of the 2 Ferraris allowing neither to turn into turn 1 but not hitting anyone, yet gets a penalty. Rubens smacks into Webbo, turning him around and into Heidfeld and eventually Heikki, yet nothing happens.

    Gotta love consistency from the stewards…

    1. Maybe because Rubens didn’t do anything wrong. Not only was the kind of incident that often happens at the start, but it was actually Kovalainnen that got behind Barrichello first.

    2. Lewis slides, all four wheels locked up, along the inside of the 2 Ferraris allowing neither to turn into turn 1

      Actually it was Kovalainen that forced the Ferraris off on that occasion. But I see your point – if that was a punishable offence, why wasn’t this?

  27. BRASIL Power
    29th March 2009, 23:51

    Barrichello did Good…
    Hope that next time Massa and Piquet do the same…

  28. sayonaraman
    30th March 2009, 0:38

    Great race although I still can’t get over Kubica/Vettel clash. We would witness an epic fight, with the Pole catching up Button and at least challenging him for the top spot on the very last corners of the race. The good part of it is that apparently BMW is a very fast car, able to match BRAWN‘s true, racing pace.
    Lewis has been great. I don’t like the guy, but that was just great performance, one of those that define the true champions.
    So much has been said about Button, Barichello and BRAWN that I’ll just say yesterday they made history in the best possible manner. Bravo…

  29. Riccardo Patrese also scored podium finishes with five different teams:
    Arrows, Brabham, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Benneton

  30. I was pretty upset with Renault’s performance. Alonso looked like he no pace whatsoever, he did come out say he was unhappy with the car, particularly with KERS. His 5th place was very lucky. But he didn’t seem very concerned, based on his comments, they’re expecting better when the European races start, apparently they’ve got new bits coming..hope that works out well. It would be a shame if Alonso’s car cant push for podiums this year.

    As for Lewis, good race, although his intial moves seemed spectacular as he was on the super softs. I would like to go back a year a see what kind of comments Alonso got when he finished fourth last season at Melbourne, in a car that was absolutely rubbish. Lucky or deserved?

    1. Agreed, Alonso didnt seem to bothered..in my opinion, there car will develop early into the season and with a driver like Fernando..i still reckon he is going to take the Championship this yr.
      Well done Brawn GP..enjoy it while it lasts..i feel the others will catch up quick!!

    2. Hello Freind,
      I am planing to book tickets for F1 racing in march. Can you please advice me your experiance regarding General stand, i mean do you enjoy in general stand? i am not looking to spend more that is why i need some advice.

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  31. Great Race, Two Brits on the podium no Red in the points. Good action and drama. What more could I ask for. SPEED dose great coverage in the USA for F1. Who’s ready for round two. BTW I am not buying that the diffuser is the only reason Brawn was good. It helps but they just flat out had a better car all around. Great Race

  32. KingHamilton
    30th March 2009, 7:28


    and what a result for Brawn, over the moon for them!

  33. Martin Bell
    30th March 2009, 7:45

    “A donut with no hole is a Danish” Go,go,go, Joseph!!!!!! Must go to bed now.

  34. Frecon
    I do agree with your statement about the safety car. Had the safety car come out earlier, Button would no doubt have pitted and come out well within the pack. The safety car was released when the car was already being cleared off the road and as such was pointless.

  35. That was a good start to the season, a win for Brawn GP and Button, Hamilton making his way from the back of the grid to fourth (later third), in a car that everyone knows is bad at the moment, and Trulli confounding his critics say he is a good qualifier but poor racer by starting from the pit lane to get a podium, although he later lost it.

    The TV coverage seemed to miss Hamilton overtaking Trulli so when the commentators said Hamilton was third in final few laps behind the safety car I thought it must have been a computer error. It seems Hamilton thought his pass was illegal so let Trulli by, and unfortunately for Trulli it appears the penalties available to stewards meant that he was demoted to 12th.

    When the Toyotas were penalised after qualifying for a flexi wing what were they able to do to make the cars legal before the race, as I thought it might be something where they would need a whole new wing.

    Considering the protests about the diffusers the cars with the disputed diffusers didn’t exactly race off in the distance did they? If it is worth half a second a lap as some claim then if it could be fitted to the Red Bull Vettel would be totally dominant.

    What is worrying for F1 in general is the steward are still handing out penalties for things that even just a few years ago would have been classed as racing incidents, and some people have come to expect this as the norm.

    For the Vettal/Kubica coming together, I think that although Vettal may be more to blame overall it didn’t justify a penalty. But I have also seen people saying Barrichello should have been punished for what happened at the start, before Hamilton’s penalty at Fuji last year people would have classified this as a normal first corner incident, nothing more.

    Personally I don’t think the later start worked because of the light levels at that time of day. Button commented on it in the press conference about the glare, and on TV in some parts of the circuit it was hard to tell which car it was.

    On a final note, does anyone agree with me that the trophies for the Australian GP are the best ones around.

  36. A pretty decent race to start the season although some seriously dubious calls by the stewards and race directors.

    Its great to see Brawn GP’s success. My only wish is that it was still Honda but at least its still Rubens. I’ll be routing for him to take the title at the 17th attempt – now that would be a story!

    I have to say though, we’ve just witnessed one of the most blatant cases of the powers that be manipulating the results yet. After Nakajima crashed it was clearly a safety car situation but the call came over two laps later, literally as Button left the pitlane. Unless the FIA can come up with a credible story about why there was such a delay, then I find it hard to believe this wasn’t deliberate. In a world filled with redundancies and cutting back, how better to make the ultra-rich extravagance of Formula 1 more palatable to the public than a heartwarming story of the team that were effectively out of work coming back to win at their first attempt.

    Keith, what do you think?

    Furthermore, whats the point of introducing a medals system to ensure the drivers attack if they’re going penalised every time they battle? Somebody please explain the words ‘RACING INCIDENT’ to the FIA.

    Complaining aside, the cars seem to be an improvement. Its early to say whether they cars can follow each other more easily, but at least with slicks and lower downforce, they squirm, twitch and slide, just like racing cars should. Much more entertaining to watch. :)

  37. The Kubica/Vettel crash is a hint of things to come if we get the “most wins=champion” points system.
    BMW felt Kubica was going to win.

  38. damonsmedley
    31st March 2009, 4:22

    What an exciting race. The 2009 Australian Grand Prix will be remembered for a long time. Good action, shame it had to finsish under the pace car. It will be interesting to see if Brawn remain the team to beat throughout the rest of the season.

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