Jenson Button leads Brawn GP 1-2 (Australian Grand Prix qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button took pole position for the Australian Grand Prix
Jenson Button took pole position for the Australian Grand Prix

A few weeks ago we had never heard of Brawn GP. Now the team that rose from the dead has sensationally locked out the front row of the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.

Jenson Button took pole position – his first for three years – from Rubens Barrichello. Sebastien Vettel claimed third on the grid while Robert Kubica, fourth, demonstrated the KERS-free BMW is rather quicker than the KERS-enabled car of team mate Nick Heidfeld.

But Lewis Hamilton’s nightmares came true as the MP4-24 struggled not only for pace but also reliability – the car failing to get going at the start of Q2. He starts 15th.

Qualifying part one

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, Melbourne, 2009
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, Melbourne, 2009

Qualifying began with a hectic scrap for honours at the front of the field: Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello all took turns at the top of the teimes. But it was Barrichello who stayed there, with a 1’25.816 pipping Rosberg by 0.031s.

Lewis Hamilton surprised by briefly going second fastest, though he used the super-soft tyres to achieve it while many others were using the medium tyres.

Ferrari revealed some pace with Felipe Massa stepping up to take second, then Kimi Raikkonen fourth having been quickest in the first two sectors but making a mistake in the final one. That left the Force Indias, Sebastien Bourdais, Heikki Kovalainen and, surprisingly, Jarno Trulli in the bottom five, facing the threat of being knocked out.

Mark Webebr sprung a late surprise by going fastest, largely thanks to a very neat and rapid final sector, pulling 0.4s clear of Barrichello. But the Brawn duo struck back – Barrichello posting a 1’25.006, 0.2s faster than his team mate.

Hamilton survived by a scant 0.049s, while Nelson Piquet Jnr was eliminated along with the Toro Rossos and Force Indias.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16. Sebastien Buemi – 1’26.503
17. Nelson Piquet Jnr – 1’26.598
18. Giancarlo Fisichella – 1’26.677
19. Adrian Sutil – 1’26.742
20. Sebastien Bourdais – 1’26.964

Qualifying part two

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Melbourne, 2009
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Melbourne, 2009

Any pleasure Hamilton may have got out of scraping into Q2 was extinguished when his MP4-24 suffered a drive train problem, leaving him stuck in the pits and rooted to 15th on the grid.

Once again the Brawns and Williams looked quick but now the Red Bulls were in the mix as well – Sebastian Vettel edged out Rosberg by 0.002s to go fastest. BMW too showed improvement with Robert Kubica briefly leaping up to third.

Heikki Kovalainen was able to do a lap in his McLaren but he was the slowest of the remaining runners leaving him 14th ahead of Hamilton.

Nakajima was half a second slower than team mate Rosberg which was the difference between fourth and 13th. Alonso was also eliminated, as was Heidfeld in the KERS-boosted BMW, while Kubica in the non-KERS car reached the final stage of qualifying.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11. Nick Heidfeld – 1’25.504
12. Fernando Alonso – 1’25.605
13. Kazuki Nakajiam – 1’25.607
14. Heikki Kovalainen – 1’25.723
15. Lewis Hamilton – no time

Qualifying part three

Jenson Button, Brawn GP, Melbourne, 2009
Jenson Button, Brawn GP, Melbourne, 2009

The final session featured the Brawns, Ferraris, Toyotas, Red Bulls, Rosberg’s Williams and Kubica’s BMW.

Button was comfortably faster than Barrichello with his first lap, despite making a small mistake, suggesting the two were on different fuel loads. Even so, Rosberg was a whole second slower than Barrichello.

Rosberg was pegged back by the Red Bulls – Webber ahead of Vettel – and Kubica. The Ferraris, surprisingly, were ninth and tenth after the first round of laps.

Barrichello improved his time to take provisional pole with his final effort – but as he crossed the line Button was lighting up the first sector with a new best time, and one minute later he deposed Barrichello – and cemented a front row for Brawn GP.

Vettel grabbed third ahead of a surprisingly quick Kubica while Rosberg, the star of practice, was fifth. But the Ferraris of Massa and Raikkonen could manage no better than seventh and eighth.

As Brawn GP is officially classed as a new team, this is the first time a new team has taken pole position in its first race since Mercedes 55 years ago.

Top ten drivers in Q3

1. Jenson Button – 1’26.202
2. Rubens Barrichello – 1’26.505
3. Sebastian Vettel – 1’26.830
4. Robert Kubica – 1’26.914
5. Nico Rosberg – 1’26.973
6. Timo Glock – 1’26.975
7. Felipe Massa – 1’27.033
8. Jarno Trulli – 1’27.127
9. Kimi Raikkonen – 1’27.163
10. Mark Webber – 1’27.246

The weights for the ten cars in the top ten should be announced within the next two hours, giving us an idea of what fuel loads they are running.

Update: Starting grid and fuel weights published: Australian GP grid and race weights

Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Sebastian Vettel, Melbourne, 2009
Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Sebastian Vettel, Melbourne, 2009

170 comments on “Jenson Button leads Brawn GP 1-2 (Australian Grand Prix qualifying)”

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  1. Andrew White
    28th March 2009, 11:09

    @eddie irvine

    pitpass is reporting that it is the other way around: “we also hear from sources in the Melbourne paddock that Williams is protesting Ferrari and Red Bull”


    1. Eddie Irvine
      28th March 2009, 11:14

      My source is these It’s in greek though, however I translated the exact words from greeks to english.

      I hope you are right though, I am a hardcore williams fan:)

    2. Eddie Irvine
      28th March 2009, 11:27

      Yeah you were absolutely right, it’s now fixed in my site too, thanks

  2. What a fantastic quali session. I’m so happy for Ross and the team! Roll on race day!!

  3. wow! We got gearbox penalty, wing penalty and protests.

    We don’t have fuel loads ;-)

  4. Massa the loser
    28th March 2009, 11:27

    So first thing massa does is bitch about how Brawn GP will win the title by June and ‘hint’ at measures to slow them down

    While Hamilton heartily congratulates Button and promises fans he will try to mount a fight from the back of the grid.

    FIA rushing in to help Ferrari anyone? (followed by Massa claiming all his wins are legitimate, ya right u forgot Belgian in 2008 my fren haven u?),18954,3213_5110630,00.html,18954,3213_5110713,00.html

  5. Why are people so hopeful that Ferrari or even McLaren will do well?

    Even Luca Balidsserri claims that he doesn’t understand why they didn do as well in Q2 as they did in Q3 and sort of blames it on their fuel load. Message to Balidsserri, you did worse in Q2 (9th and 10th) than in Q3 (7th and 9th)!

  6. I don’t know where they get it from (can’t see it on or , but you will find the weights at:

    1. Eddie Irvine
      28th March 2009, 11:38

      This can’t be right…why Alnso’s and heiki’s car to be overweight, they didn’t make it into Q3

  7. All I can say is wow, we knew it was hard to predict but I didn’t think the Ferrari’s would be so far back.

    Aparently Williams are protesting winglets on Ferrari and Redbull.

  8. 1. Lewis Hamilton 655

    2. Heiki Kovalainen 690,6

    3. Felipe Massa 654

    4. Kimi Raikkonen 655,5

    5. Robert Kubica 650

    6. Nick Heidfeld 691

    7. Fernando Alonso 680,7

    8. Nelson Piquet 694,1

    9. Jarno Trulli 660

    10. Timo Glock 670

    11. Sebastien Bourdais 662,5

    12. Sebastien Buemi 675,6

    14. Mark Webber 662

    15. Sebastian Vettel 657

    16. Nico Rosberg 657

    17. Kazuki Nakajima 612,5

    20. Adrian Sutil 684,5

    21. Giancarlo Fisichella 689

    22. Jenson Button 664

    23. Rubens Barrichello 666,5

  9. Toby Thwaites 93
    28th March 2009, 11:39

    God that was intense, Kubica has had horrible practices and managed to get himself above every ferrari and mclaren (even without KERS). Im very pleased :) and i wonder whilst the two Brawns fight for first place going into the first corner, Kubica as always will sneak past :)
    anyway great job by Brawn GP and good luck to button
    More luck to Kubica :)

  10. lol thought you were going to leave me hanging for a sec mike :)

  11. the Sri lankan
    28th March 2009, 11:45

    Both Toyota’s demoted to the back of the grid…


    there goes my Toyota Dream! first a god damn Brawn, then tire issues now at the back of the grid! Dont think there will be any positives for Toyota unless Williams make it to the podium…. *Sigh*………

  12. Any Sign Off The Weight?

    Its More Than 2 Hours After.

  13. @ R1
    What are those numbers?

  14. Of the ten cars who ran in Q3, only Timo Glock had a heavier car than Brawn. WOW

    1. Those numbers by r1 are the weights (fuel loads of the cars)

  15. Looks like Kubica only qualified where he did from having a light car.

  16. Can i just say that the BBC coverage so far is absolutely fantastic, the red button is brilliant and EJ and DC seem to work very well together!

  17. @ Wen
    Ok, so I know these are weights. But from which part of the qualifying session? The first one?
    They are refueling for Q3, so Kubica might have been heavier in Q3 in comparison to others that here.

    1. @ Damon

      The weights would be the starting weights of the cars tomorrow I presume. since all cars are allowed to run at minimum weight at q1 and q2 and the top ten qualifiers had to run with race fuel already in it in Q3, you can deduce who had the heavier car in Q3. The rest just fueled the car according to the strategy they want to use for tomorrow.

  18. Minimum car weight is 605kg but I am not sure how much over they laden the cars before fuel.

    BTW the FIA published the Nakajima weight above wrong it’s apparently 680.5kg not 612.5kg.

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