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Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Back After Race Day! Brawn GP in Practice One and Two

Patrick AllenAnalyst IOctober 2, 2009

SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 02:  Jenson Button of Great Britain and Brawn GP talks with his race engineer Jock Clear during practice for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 2, 2009 in Suzuka, Japan.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

I must admit, I wasn’t able to watch either practice session as I usually have been able to. I thought long and hard about waking up at 02:00 AM for Practice one, but what would I do in the two and a half hours between Practice one and two? I couldn’t get any sleep, that was for sure, so I decided that I didn’t want to screw up my body clock too much before a personally important week starting next Monday!

So apologies for the shorter analysis, my normal reviews will continue with qualifying and of course the race but I think if I had physically watched the sessions today we would all be able to discover how a zombie article would read!

Practice One

It was almost a perfect start for the home fans when Nakajima looked as if he would finish the first practice session on top. However, their hopes were dashed when Kovalainen sped to the top of the rankings with only seconds remaining.

The conditions were wet to say the least! And the track didn’t dry out over the hour and thirty minutes. Reading that made me regret not seeing the session for myself as I would have loved to see how the Brawns fared in the wet.

The early pace setters were those resurgent McLarens in the worst of the weather. Alonso, Vettel, Sutil and even Buemi had turns on top of the standings before Nakajima set what many believed was the final top time (of course he was pipped with seconds to spare).


Looking at the overall results for the session it looks as if Fisichella and Buemi were able to find some speed, (Fisi beating his team mate for the first time). The session was apparently determined by when you ran but to have Rubens finish in P9 with a 1:41:821 and Jenson way down in P18 with a 1:43.318 didn’t make for exciting reading!

The session was a slow starter (due to the rain), and when you look at where the Brawns' season long challengers finished, (Vettel P17 and Webber P11), I think it could be argued that this wasn’t a representative session. Having said that, Rubens still managed to finish in a very respectable position. Jenson later stated that the team had been concentrating on finding the right balance set up and monitoring the wet tyre wear.

When all said and done it doesn’t sound as if those of us who stayed in bed missed much!

P1 Results

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps

1 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:40.356 24

2 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:40.648 0.292 18

3 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:40.806 0.450 14

4 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 1:40.985 0.629 27

5 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:41.421 1.065 26

6 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.443 1.087 15

7 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:41.532 1.176 22

8 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:41.577 1.221 25

9 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:41.821 1.465 19

10 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:42.188 1.832 20

11 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:42.332 1.976 10

12 21 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:42.475 2.119 15

13 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:42.657 2.301 13

14 11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:42.667 2.311 27

15 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:42.833 2.477 17

16 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:42.977 2.621 14

17 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:43.218 2.862 11

18 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:43.318 2.962 17

19 10 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 1:43.407 3.051 16

20 8 Romain Grosjean Renault 1:43.572 3.216 22

Practice Two

I think I would have been extremely bored for the second session as there were only 13 minutes of action!

Not long after the morning session the heavens truly opened! Bar two brave Torro Rossos, the track remained empty for over an hour.

Though the conditions eased with just under half an hour to go, neither Brawn ventured out to record a lap.

Now I want to categorically state that I detest Twitter and under no circumstances would I ever visit the site. However, whilst researching the session I did find a Jenson Button ‘Tweet’ (‘tweet’? is that right...do I care!) which I though summed up his feelings quite nicely.

Anyway, Jens wrote: "Would love to go out and do a few laps but F1 cars can't run with this much water on the track, we will all end up in the gravel at turn one!"

Perhaps he could have tucked into the new for Suzuka, ‘Jenson Button cookies, whilst keeping dry under his ‘Jenson Button towel’, resting his head on a ‘Jenson Button Cushion’? It would only have cost him £52!...and who says F1 is more about the fans than the money? (Sorry I’m a bit grouchy, I never like reporting on stuff I physically haven’t seen.)

Oh well, it really doesn’t sound as if I missed much. Jens and Rubens certainly don’t seem too upset. I mean it’s not as if they were any more disadvantaged than anyone else. On a positive note all this lack of preparation should make for a fantastically frantic qualifying day!

I can’t wait!

P2 Results

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps

1 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:47.261 5

2 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:47.923 0.662 6

3 21 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:47.931 0.670 5

4 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:47.983 0.722 5

5 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:48.058 0.797 8

6 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:48.691 1.430 9

7 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:48.693 1.432 5

8 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:48.737 1.476 7

9 11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:48.802 1.541 11

10 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:48.861 1.600 6

11 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:48.886 1.625 5

12 10 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 1:49.054 1.793 7

13 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:49.382 2.121 7

14 8 Romain Grosjean Renault 1:49.405 2.144 6

15 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 1:49.553 2.292 5

16 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:49.872 2.611 8

17 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:50.179 2.918 10

18 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes No time 0

19 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes No time 0

20 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes No time 0

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