Live Race Report from Australian GP: Brawn Wins 1- 2

Lochie LawrenceCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2009

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28:  Jenson Button of Great Britain and Brawn GP drives on his way to taking pole position during qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on March 28, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Hello and welcome to the 2009 Formula One Australian Grand Prix.

Today will now doubt be an exciting event that will be remembered for years to come.  Never before in Formula One has such a raft of rules changes been introduced at one time.  Out go the grooved tyres, shark fins and large rear wings.

In come the slicks, Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) and adjustable front wings.  Add all this with the off-season form of the new Brawn GP and the closeness of the majority of the field and you have all the ingredients for one cracker or a Grand Prix.

The weather for the race is fine with a slight southerly wind creeping across the track.  Ambient temperature is 22 degrees Celsius with an estimated track temp of 30 degrees Celsius.

The temperature is significantly lower than previous years due to the new 5:00PM, or twilight starting time for this event in order to fit in better with the TV viewers in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Also significant are the shadows across many of the braking zones including the ultra tight turn 3, turn 5 and turn 13.  Watch for driver error in these parts of the track as the pilots get used to the sun being at such a low angle.

So what can we expect for the race?  Well you'll just have to wait and find out, but in case you missed qualifying the headline of the day was the raw pace of the Brawn GP team, with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello taking a one-two for the team first time out.

Next up was Vettel in what was a strong showing for Red Bull, proving you don't need to be one of the diffuser gang to run quick.  Kubica did well for BMW, while the quickest man in all three practice session, Nico Rosberg, managed to get into the top five, with the Ferrari's, the Toyota's and Webber making up the rest of the top 10 on the day.

However, in breaking new over night, Toyota have now been put to the back of the grid for the race due to the FIA stewards deeming an “upper rear wing element that showed extreme flexibility in contravention to article 3.15 of the Technical Regulations”. This sees Raikkonen and local boy Webber move up to P7 and P8 respectively, as well as Heidfeld and Alonso in P9 and P10.

At the other end of the field, things went from bad to worse for McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton qualifying 15th, only to be relegated to 20th (18th after the Toyota penalty) after having to change his gear box due to a failure in Q2 of qualifying.  Heikki Kovalainen, who has outpaces Hamilton all weekend, ended up in 14th.

Check out the full grid below to see where your favourite driver ended up.

Qualifying Grid

P1   No. 20 - Jenson Button, Brawn GP-Mercedes
P2   No. 21 - Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP-Mercedes
P3   No. 15 - Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault
P4   No.  5 -  Robert Kubica, BMW-Sauber
P5   No. 16 - Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota
P6   No.  3 -  Filipe Massa, Ferrari
P7   No.  4 -  Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
P8   No. 14 - Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault
P9   No.  6 -  Nick Heidfeld, BMW-Sauber
P10 No.  7 -  Fernando Alonso - Renault
P11 No. 17 - Kazuki Nakajima - Williams Toyota
P12 No.  2 -  Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes
P13 No. 12 - Sebastiam Buemo - Scuderia Toro Rosso
P14 No.  8 -  Nelson Piquet - Renault
P15 No. 19 - Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes
P16 No. 18 - Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes
P17 No. 11 - Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
P18 No.  1 -  Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes (Penalty*)
P19 No.  9 -  Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Penalty*)
P20 No. 10 - Timo Glock, Toyota (Penalty*)

Live Updates

Lap 5

The 2009 F1 season is go an it’s Button in Brawn GPs first ever race who is bounding away from Vettel in his Red Bull.

Mark Webber was collected in the first corner by a late-braking Barrichello and has rejoined in 19th.

Kovalainen is out with damage to the front left of his car.

Lap 13

Jenson Button is continuing his charge at the front with Vettel 4.5 second behind.

The first rounds of the pit stops has begun, with roughly half the field coming in to take on fuel and new tyres.

Lap 15

Buemi takes seventh place off Fisichella. Brilliant debut for the Toro Rosso newcomer. Barichello has a damaged front wing and seems to have impacted his race.

Lap 17

Vettel pits from second place. He stays in for 11.6 seconds.

Lap 19

Kazaks crashes his Williams into the pitwall and yellow flags are out.

Lap 21

Safety Car is out and Button is behind it.

Lap 24

Piquet has an incident at Turn 23 and he is out.

Lap 25

Hamilton is in P11, P1 - Jensy, P2 - Vettel, P 3- Massa P4 - Kubica P 5- Raikkonen

Lap 29

Button maintains his lead and puts in a two seconds lead, and Vettel is trying to put in a three seconds lead over Massa.

Lap 31

Jensey is up 4 seconds.

Lap 32

Massa pits for the second stop. Vettel is still at P2. Kubica is the fastest man on track

Lap 33

Rookie Buemi is P7 and Kimi is P4

Lap 35

Kubica sets another fastest lap of 1:28:268

Lap 36

Kimi from P4 tries to play catch up with Kubica at P3 with a lap of 1:28:228

Lap 37

Kubica is going in fast. The KERS seems to be helping him the most,. Is he on lighter load?

Lap 40

Kubica goes to pits and so does Kimi Raikkonen. Mass as at P11 now.

Lap 41

Timo Glock spins. Hamilton is ahead at P6. Raikkonen joins back in at P9. Kubica rejoins at P7.

Lap 42 standings

P1 - Jenson P2 - Vettel P3- Barrichelo P4- Rosberg P 5- Lewis P 6- Kubica P 7- Alonso P 8- Raikkonen

Lap 44

Kimi pits for a third pit stop. The battle for P2 is on between Vettel and Barrichelo

Lap 46

Vettel pits from P2

Lap 47

Massa seems to be having a mechanical problem. Kimi earlier hit the pit wall due to his own mistake. Massa is out of the championship points.

Lap 48

Button pits but come ahead of Vettel by a few seconds

Lap 50

Raikkonen is down to P15, Lewis Hamilton in at P 10

Lap 51

Button, Vettel, Barrichelo maintain lead.

Lap 52

Barichello pits. Will he rejoin at P3 ahead of Kubica?

Vettel is trying to decreasing the distance between him and first placed Button. It is now down to 1.6 seconds

Lap 53

Barichello rejoins at P5 with Kubica and Rosberg ahead of him and beats Rosberg for P4. Will he able to cross Kubica at P3. Rosberg has some problem. Lewis is P7

Lap 54

Trulli at P5, Rosberg is losing time on the soft compounds.

Lap 55

Glock is at P 7

Lap 56

Vettel and Kubica take each other out...GOD! Both are out of the races. The yellow flags are out.

Lap 58 - Final Lap

Trulli in at P4, Will Hamilton beat him to come to P3

Button finishes P1

Barichello P2

Jarno Trulli P3

Hamilton P4

Glock P5

So, IT IS A BRAWN 1-2!

Final Standings

P1  Jenson Button Brawn GP 1:34:15.784
P2  Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP + 0.807
P3  Jarno Trulli Toyota + 1.604
P4  Lewis Hamilton McLaren + 2.914
P5  Timo Glock Toyota + 4.435
P6  Fernando Alonso Renault + 4.879
P7  Nico Rosberg Williams + 5.722
P8  Sebastian Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 6.004
P9  Sebastian Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso + 6.298
P10 Adrian Sutil Force India F1 + 6.335
P11 Nick Heidfeld BMW + 7.085
P12 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India F1 + 7.374
P13 Mark Webber Red Bull + 1 laps

Did not finish

Sebastian Vettel Red Bull + 2 laps
Robert Kubica BMW + 3 laps
Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 3 laps
Felipe Massa Ferrari + 12 laps
Nelson Piquet jr. Renault + 34 laps
Kazuki Nakajima Williams + 41 laps
Heikki Kovalainen McLaren + 55 laps

Race Analysis

It seems like the Brawns are the Wizards of Oz, with Button weaving his magic and Barrichello sharpening the knives. Competitors are all struggling to keep pace with the Brawns.

Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull and Robert Kubica in the BMW drove a great race if not for that mishap just two laps before the chequered flag.

Lewis Hamilton came in at P4 from P18 for five points and it was unimaginable at the start of the race. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock showed how much the Toyota is technically strong by coming in at P3 and P5 from their starting positions at the back of the grid.

It is crunch time for the Ferraris as both their drivers failed to make it to the chequered flag and one wonders what is wrong with their engineering as well their botched pit strategies.

Overall, a great race for Brawn, Toyota, and Lewis Hamilton. And a sad note for Kubica and Vettel.


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