March 28, 2009
The last time Rubens Barrichello was on the front row in a grand prix was 2004.
Jenson Button had his last pole in 2006, in Australia.
Today, all of those numbers changed.
Here's the provisional grid for the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia:
|| || ||Team|| ||Q1||Q2|| ||Q3|
||Brawn-Mercedes||1:25.211 || 1:24.855 ||1:26.202|
|4||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||1:25.922||1:25.152||1:26.914|
|11||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||1:25.827||1:25.504|
|15||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||1:26.454||no time|
|17||Nelson Piquet Jr
|18||Giancarlo Fisichella||Force India-Mercedes
|19||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.742|
A front row lockout for the new Brawn Racing team, as well as fast-lap? Ferrari 7th and 9th? McLaren 14th and 15th? The only thing that seems like last year is Force India down near the bottom.
Understand, Brawn's domination wasn't a fluke. They were fastest in all three Q sessions. Barrichello's Q2 time was close to the all-time track record, set with a V10 engine with a couple hundred more horsepower. The FIA has also revealed that the Brawns had about 7.5 kg more fuel on board than anybody else, so not only are they fast, but they're faster than everybody else while being able to go longer between pitstops.
This is looking really good for the newbies, and really, really bad for everybody else.
Particularly Lewis Hamilton. You'll note that he barely made it into Q2, at which point he stayed in his pit box and didn't get a lap in. That's because he had a gearbox failure that, eventually, required a complete change. Because of that, he has to take a five-spot penalty and moves to the back of the grid. Except for one thing...
In breaking news, both Toyotas have been excluded from the qualy results, and therefore will be starting from the back. A FIA technical delegate noticed some questionable flexing of the rear wing and notified the stewards. The stewards tested the rear wing elements, found that they broke article 3.15 of the Tech Regs, and stripped the team of their times, and rightfully so. Now the question becomes, will the team be allowed to fix the problem with their cars in parc ferme, or will they have to do the work during the parade and recon laps?
We'll know more tomorrow!
I think it's pretty awesome that Kubica qualified 4th.
But it's really wonderful that Brawn did so well. The folks at Honda must wonder whether they desecrated a shrine given that "their" team did so well, but after Honda stopped supporting them.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 28, 2009 12:17 PM (+rSRq)
Qualifying was just awesome!!! There are probably a few teams that didn't do so well that are scrounging for loopholes or violations or anything that could make the Brawn team look less dominant.
But Brawn just trounced them!!
Posted by: Mallory at March 28, 2009 05:00 PM (WJ2qy)
Posted by: Robert M. Mitchell Jr. at March 29, 2009 10:02 AM (xqpbD)
I just sneaked a peak at the news reports, and I'm really looking forward to your writeup for this race.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 29, 2009 11:40 AM (+rSRq)
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