Saturday, March 28, 2009

Australian GP Qualifying

Wow. Brawn, the team formerly known as Honda on the front row and a Red Bull and a BMW third and fourth. Not a Ferrari or McLaren to be seen anywhere near the front! Check it out...

MELBOURNE, Australia - Brawn became the first Formula One team in 39 years to take pole position in its debut race when Jenson Button secured front place on the grid for Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Button's time of 1 minute, 26.202 seconds Sunday edged out teammate Rubens Barrichello by three tenths of a second, giving the F1 newcomers both positions on the front row for tonight's race (TSN, TSN HD, 1:55am et/10:55pm pt).
It was the fourth pole position of Button's career -his first since the 2006 Australian GP - and completed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the England-based team, which was threatened with extinction when former owner Honda pulled out of the sport after the 2008 season.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel will start from third on the grid at Melbourne's Albert Park circuit, ahead of BMW's Robert Kubica and Williams' Nico Rosberg. Toyota pair Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli qualified sixth and eighth respectively.
None of the top six drivers are using the KERS power-boost system this year, illustrating how problematical the technology is proving for teams as they balance its power boost against its additional weight and effect on car design.
The highest of the KERS runners is Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who will start from seventh, directly in front of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who had a hydraulic failure in pre-qualifying practice. Australia's Mark Webber will start from 10th in his Red Bull.
Brawn's achievement in taking pole on debut was the first time that had been achieved since Jackie Stewart's effort for Tyrell at the 1970 Canadian GP.
It had other other teams fearing that Brawn may run away with the championship this season, unless its rear diffuser is deemed illegal.
"If they carry on like that, they will win the championship by the middle of the year," Massa said.
"Its hard to believe a month ago they were sitting at home, now they are ready to fight for the world championship," Renault's Fernando Alonso said.
Alonso qualified in 12th, but close in times to other competitors bar Brawn.
Another disappointment was reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who will start from the back of the grid. The McLaren driver only scraped into second qualifying by five hundredths of a second and then elected to change his gearbox and not take part in the second session. The automatic penalty for the gearbox change means he will start from the back.
courtesy of

With the way qualifying went this looks like it maybe an interesting year, can parity finally have reached the ranks of Formula 1? Probably not, I remember saying that after last years first race as well and then it went back to the usual boring who can keep up with the Ferrari's and the McLaren's? Who knows maybe this will be the year when F1 becomes watchable again. I'm hoping so. I guess we will just have to wait and see...

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