Fantastic Qualifying for Brawn

Patrick AllenAnalyst ISeptember 12, 2009

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 11:  Rubens Barrichello of Brazil and Brawn GP drives during practice for the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 11, 2009 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

What a difference two weeks makes! After a poor Spa performance, Brawn have come to Monza with a totally different ethos! Jenson looks calmer and seems to have re-found his form, and Rubens is determined to push for the title and a drive for 2010. Yes, when all is said and done Rubens finished today in P5 and Jenson in P6, and yes, the "sports reporters" on tonight’s BBC News will report Lewis, the king, Jenson poor in P6.….but that as per usual, that will be a completely wrong!

Jenson and Rubens were on fire in all three sessions and I bet you very strong money that they are on a one stop strategy!

Qualifying One

Fisichella was first out to the cheers of thousands of apprehensive and passionate fans. The Ferrari driver set the first time of 1:25:590.

Rubens set the first Brawn time of 1:25:375, which put him P6. Jenson was straight on it and sped his way up to P3 with a 1:25:484. Then the Brawns found their mojo and hammered it! Rubens blitzed past the line with a 1:24:036 to take pole and Jenson followed up with a strong P2 1:24:189.

Rubens then went even faster and with 10 minutes left was still first. Jenson had fallen to P8 but he wasn’t going to finish Q1 back there! He put his foot well and truly down to clock in a 1:23:403, stealing pole from his team mate. Unfortunately for Jens, his time on pole was short lived after a quick lap from Hamilton.

With four minutes to go, Hamilton was first, Jens was P2, and Rubens was P3. Meanwhile Vettel was only P10 and Webber was way back in P19!

The Red Bulls found some pace and scraped into Q2 whilst at the other end of the grid Raikkonen finished up on top with a 1:23:349.

Q2 Results

Jenson: P3: 1:23:404

Rubens: P4: 1:23:483


Glock, Nakajima, Rosberg, Buemi, Alguersari

Qualifying Two

For the first time I can remember Jenson opened the proceedings in Q2 on the harder tyres. He was fast throughout his first lap but backed off in sector three and set a first time of 1:24:623. Rubens’ first time shot the Brazilian up to P1 with a 1:24:101, but he was quickly knocked down by Jens with a 1:23:427.

The Brawns were simply stealing the show at this stage. The news could not have been better, Rubens rocketed to P1 with a 1:22:976, making him the first driver to break into the 1:22s, and Jenson had driven so well in Q1 that he had a spare set of super softs to play with!

Jenson climbed from P6 to P3 but it looked as if Brawn’s thunder was going to be stolen by the amazing form of both Force Indias! Sure enough both of the Indian cars made it through which was amazing, but whilst BBC’s Alan Partridge (oh sorry Jonathon Ledgard) was harking on about Fisichella’s exit, Jenson quietly crept up to P1 with an amazing 1:22:955.

Q2 Results

Jenson: P1: 1:22:955

Rubens: P3: 1:22:976


Trulli, Grosjean, Kubica, Fisichella, Heidfeld


Raikkonen set the pace in the final shoot out with a 1:25:586 but the pressure was very much on the Brawn boys who would only be making one run!

With five minutes left there were only three times up, but all 10 cars were now on track. Jens’s first time was a 1:26:208 which put him P8. Rubens too was slower than expected with a 1:25:612 (P7).

It increasingly looked as if the Brawns were going for a one stop strategy, and who could blame them? Hamilton looked a shoe in for pole so why try and beat him just to be massacred by his KERS tomorrow?

Jenson put in a great time of 1:25:030 to get his presumably heavy car up to P4, but he was then knocked down a place by his team mate with a 1:25:015. Despite an exciting last minute push from Sutil, Hamilton ended the day in pole. Jenson will start from P6 and Rubens will be in P5. Crucially The Red Bulls will be behind Brawn in P9 and P10.

All of this should make for a hugely exciting first lap!

Three of the top four have KERS, and with Sutil added to the equation it should be fascinating. Rubens looks good in P5 and despite having a KERS car right behind him, Jenson has two cars between him and the Red Bulls.

Tomorrow should be a beautiful day!


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