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The Boys Are Back in Town! As Brawn Destroy the Opposition in Monza

Patrick AllenAnalyst ISeptember 13, 2009

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Race winner Rubens Barrichello (R) of Brazil and Brawn GP celebrates with second placed team mate Jenson Button (L) of Great Britain and Brawn GP in parc ferme following the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 13, 2009 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Well, Rubens had a few gear box issues in the lead up to the start but that didn’t worry the Brazilian one bit. It was also lovely to see the driver’s reactions at the end as Jenson and Rubens were all over each other and clearly showing that they are great friends; (they were like naughty children in the press conference!).

So another Brawn GP won, two was just what the doctor ordered and the Championship is now essentially between two drivers, awesome sauce!

I must admit I wasn’t quite as tense as perhaps I should have been as the lights went out at the start. Maybe I knew the Brawns were on strong strategies? Or maybe I have Derren Brownesque fortune telling skills? (for the American readers….Derren Brown is our David Blaine).

Anyway, my adrenaline soon began violently pumping as the cars pulled away! Rubens got off to a fantastic start and darted into the middle of the pack. Jenson too had a great start and went a bit wide before beginning a fight with the slow moving and lairy-looking Kovalainen.

Jenson did the business and put a beautiful and crucial manoeuvre over on Kovalainen as the unfortunate McLaren driver's day went from bad to worse.

Amongst the first lap chaos, Raikkonen had a brilliant start to get up to second place, Liuzi took Kovalainen, Webber crashed out, Vettel slipped down the pack and all I could write on my note pad was ‘wow’. However, the important information was that Rubens was now in fourth and Jenson was sixth.

As the first few laps developed, Hamilton was blitzing round the track doing all he could to eke out a crucial gap as he was on a two stopper. Jens initially moved in on Rubens but a few scruffy laps pushed the Brit back a bit. Meanwhile Rubens had found his zone and was keeping the gap between him and Hamilton minimal.

The leading McLaren needed about a 15 second lead by his pit stop to beat the one stopping cars behind him, and by lap seventh, Rubens was 11.082 down, with Jenson 13.624 back. Rubens was doing his job perfectly but Jenson was starting to look a little bit ragged.

The Championship leader pulled his finger out though and was putting in personal bests by lap 10. However, by this stage Hamilton was crucially 17.547 seconds clear of car 22; it was going to be a close run thing!

On lap 15 Hamilton darted into the pits and took on 7.8 seconds of fuel plus a pair of medium compound tyres. This put Hamilton fifth, with Rubens up in third and Jenson fourth. The Brawn's now had to push like mad to make their strategy pay off.

After Sutil stopped a few laps later, Jens and Rubens were on the limit and doing a fantastic job. This section of the race belonged to Jenson though, as he put in personal bests and fast lap times. After Raikkonen’s stop on lap 18 the lead belonged to the Brawn's and it was looking difficult for their main contenders.

Jenson actually had Sutil to thank for a little bit of good fortune. Raikkonen might have given Jens a bit of a hard time but Ferrari were forced to bring their number one driver in and short fuel him to get him out in front of the very speedy looking and threatening Force India of Sutil. This mini race took two cars out of the race for Jens and Rubens but Hamilton was still very much in the picture.

Jenson began to put real pressure on his team mate and by lap 22 was only 2.133 seconds behind first place. The afternoon was slightly spoiled when gear troubles ended Liuzi’s fantastic weekend, but this downside quickly gave way to the excitement of the battle between the Brawn's.

The race at the front was putting extra pressure on Hamilton who was forced to push like crazy to stay in contention for second. By lap 24 Jenson was only down 1.996 on his team mate but he had to stop four laps later. Jenson had done a great job on his in-laps but had he done enough to challenge for the win?

The Brit took on 9.1 seconds of fuel and the medium tyres in what was a beautifully slick stop. Rubens was in just one lap later and took on 8.6 seconds of fuel, but he too had done some excellent in-laps and when it actually came down to the race for the first corner, Rubes was miles ahead.

By this stage, if all went to plan, Rubens had the race in the bag. However, Jenson’s day was far from over when a resurgent Hamilton began to heavily breathe down the second placed man’s neck.

Initially it looked as if McLaren had messed the day up, bringing their man in much earlier than expected. All they had really done was take away his slim chance of a win. Rubens always looked more likely to take the chequered flag but if Hamilton could nab second it would have been a pretty successful day for the World Champion.

It was tense as Hamilton moved ever closer to current Championship leader and they traded lap times; of course if the McLaren could get in between the Brawn's it would be crucial for the Title race.

It was edge of your seat stuff right up to the last lap, made even more tense when the camera suddenly swooped over to a McLaren in bits. Initially I was jumping for joy but where was Jenson? Had Hamilton attempted a last ditch move and taken them both out?

Those few seconds between realising that and physically seeing Jenson cross the line in second were amazing! But at the end of the day Jenson had made it and Hamilton threw away crucial constructor's points with a mistake as he pushed hard for second place.

Alan Partridge, aka Jonathan Ledgard, then began talking about rivalry between the Brawn boys but their reaction in park ferme yet again proved the silly BBC man wrong. Jens and Rubens were clearly the two happiest blokes in Italy and were all smiles hugs and even play fighting!

It was lovely to see such nice guys having such a great time and it only strengthened my belief that Brawn GP are a thoroughly nice and deserving team. The Brawn's are back in town and the final four races should be immense!

Drivers Championship

Jenson: 80

Rubens:66

Vettel: 53

Constructors Championship

Brawn: 146

Red Bull: 105.5

Ferrari: 62

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