The recent events at Renault have left many motorsport fans feeling a need to leave Formula One behind. In fact, as a Brawn fan it would be nice to finish my love affair with the sport on a high.
The situation isn’t made any better by the track we go to this weekend which epitomises everything I have grown to hate about Formula One. Before you start leaving nasty comments about my anti-night race views, these are just my opinions and I do realize that Singapore’s GP is a popular one; (the grandstands were pretty full for a Friday).
I simply feel that street circuits, the whole corporate feel of the event and the ridiculous waste of energy and money in lighting the place, (this coming from someone who is by no means a green campaigner), leave a very bitter taste in the mouth of a fan who enjoys classic circuits. The emphasis is on drivers and cars not on what ‘he or she’ is wearing in the paddock. I mean the cars are painted with glitter paint for this race so that they glimmer like garish jewellery in the fake light.
Ironically, if it wasn’t for all of the fabricated dramas last year I believe that Singapore would have simply been a more expensive and brighter Valencia! (hmmm should Bernie be up against the FIA with Renault?).
Anyway, I apologize for my negativity on a day that as a Brawn fan has started really rather well. Whether or not I turn my back on Formula One can wait, as for now I simply want to continue as normal and cover the progress of my favourite team…..
Vettel lead the pack out in the relatively bright early evening light. The newly branded Brawn of Jenson Button
For this race Brawn GP have big upgrades for their front wing and a lot of new additions to the rear of the car. These new parts all help to increase down force.
After an 18 minute wait, Alguersuari set the first session time of 2:00:874. With just one hour left, there were only three times on the board. Many drivers may have shared Vettel’s view that there was no point in going out whilst it was still relatively light. More likely was the fact that the track severely needed cleaning and no one was willing to do it!
With 55 minutes to go, Webber was P1 with a 1:53:076 and the Brawn drivers were preparing for their opening laps.
Jenson shot up to P9 on his first run with a 1:55:309. His second attempt raised him to P2, and then it was a case of third time lucky when a 1:51:589 put the Brit on top.
Just as Jens crossed the line the unthinkable happened!
Renault’s number two driver, Grosjean, went off in Piquet corner! (turn 17). With 48 minutes left, the session was red flagged and all you could really do was laugh.
Rubens led the pack back out again when the session re-opened 10 minutes later. The Brazilian’s first proper time was a 1:53:502 (P9).
Jens was also back out again but had this time removed his rear ‘hub caps’ to help with brake cooling. Rubens’s second lap took him up to P5, whilst Jenson who had dropped a few places, re-took P1 with a 1:51:181.
The Brawns then began to dominate for a short while. Jenson went faster still and Rubens got up to P3 (1:51:274).
With 15 minutes left, Jens held P1 and Rubens had only slipped to P5. However, the Brazilian Title challenger wasn’t finished and blitzed around the track to put in a pole time of 1:50:107.
Jenson slipped down the rankings a bit, but a final time of 1:50:356 insured a Brawn GP one/two finish. So all in all it was a great start for the current leaders in the Championship. I hope the afternoon event will prove to be just as positive!
Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:50.179 19
2 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:50.356 0.177 22
3 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:50.416 0.237 21
4 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:50.567 0.388 16
5 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:50.614 0.435 16
6 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:50.699 0.520 21
7 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:50.715 0.536 17
8 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:50.815 0.636 15
9 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:50.865 0.686 19
10 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:51.089 0.910 25
11 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:51.427 1.248 23
12 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:51.544 1.365 14
13 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:51.643 1.464 28
14 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:51.656 1.477 15
15 10 Timo Glock Toyota 1:52.083 1.904 20
16 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:52.135 1.956 20
17 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 1:52.390 2.211 24
18 21 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:52.905 2.726 23
19 11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:53.232 3.053 25
20 8 Romain Grosjean Renault 1:53.458 3.279 9