Rubens Barrichello starts 13 places ahead of Jenson Button

Barrichello on pole at home as Button slumps to 14th

2009 Brazilian Grand Prix qualifyingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Rubens Barrichello starts 13 places ahead of Jenson Button
Rubens Barrichello starts 13 places ahead of Jenson Button

Rubens Barrichello has a precious opportunity to slash Jenson Button’s championship lead in tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The home hero took pole position in a wet session that took a mammoth two hours and 45 minutes to complete. Button was eliminated in Q2 and starts 14th, two places ahead of Sebastian Vettel.


After most of final practice had been missed due to rain a fresh downpour greeted the drivers as qualifying got started.

With the rain settling in all the drivers apart from Barrichello and Mark Webber went out to begin with. But only seven of them had a chance to set times before one of them – Giancarlo Fisichella – spun at the first corner, bringing out the red flags.

The restart was delayed as the Ferrari was recovered while race control waited for conditions to improve. They did, and when Lewis Hamilton led the first of the cars out when qualifying resumed they were instantly 12 seconds quicker than they had been before.

For most of the rest of the session the times tumbled quickly as the track began to dry. The Williams duo led the way to begin with, bot Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima setting fastest times.

Two teams were visibly struggling – McLaren and Red Bull, raising the suspicion they had picked dry-biased set-ups as tomorrow’s race is not expected to be wet.

Whether they expected that choice to leave them struggling to reach Q2 is a different matter. Although Webber scraped through by a tenth of a second, championship contender Sebastian Vettel couldn’t escape the bottom five. Nor could Hamilton, who went off at the start of his last lap as the rain got heavier again.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault – 1’25.009
17. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes – 1’25.052
18. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes – 1’25.192
19. Nick Heidfeld, BMW – 1’25.515
20. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari – 1’40.703


The start of Q2 was delayed further as the rain continued to fall. Despite no obvious let-up in the conditions, the green light surprisingly appeared and 15 cars headed onto the track.

But in no time at all Vitantonio Liuzzi had a huge crash on the pit straight, bringing out the red flags once again.

With the rain continuing to fall it took an hour to get the session re-started. But when it finally did it brought a dramatic development – championship leader Button was eliminated, and left in 14th on the grid.

The track began to dry quite quickly and halfway through several drivers switched to intermediate tyres – led by Rosberg, who once again looked instantly at ease with the wet conditions.

Neither of the Brawn drivers opted to try the intermediates and that proved Button’s undoing. But while Barrichello scraped into the last place in the top ten Button, 0.9s slower than his team mate, failed.

Read more: Vitantonio Liuzzi suffers huge crash as qualifying starts in heavy rain (Video)

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota – 1’21.960
12. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1’22.231
13. Romain Grosjean, Renault – 1’22.477
14. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes – 1’22.504
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India-Mercedes – no time


The top ten drivers strapped on intermediate tyres and spent the final ten minutes trading fastest lap times – the pole position holder changing at least once every minute. Sebastien Buemi, Robert Kubica and Jarno Trulli all had turns at the top.

Barrichello should have been at a disadvantage as he was one of the first drivers to start his final lap. He took pole position back with it – a 1’19.576 – but his chasing rivals should have had the benefit of a slightly drier track to improve their times on.

It didn’t work out that way, with some failing to improve and others backing off. Webber took second, a scant tenth of a second off Barrichello, and Adrian Sutil made a late move up into third.

But Barrichello was safe and ended his five-year pole position drought – his last coming at the same circuit five years ago.

Before the race weekend Bernie Ecclestone said he wanted to see the championship decided at the final round in Abu Dhabi. It looks like there is a very good chance of that happening now.

The fuel weights have been published: Early pit stop could compromise Barrichello (Brazilian Grand Prix fuel strategies)

Top ten drivers in Q3

1. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??19.576
2. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??19.668
3. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??19.912
4. Jarno Trulli, Toyota ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??20.097
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??20.168
6. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??20.250
7. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??20.326
8. Robert Kubica, BMW ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??20.631
9. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??20.674
10. Fernando Alonso, Renault ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1?σΤιΌ??21.422

Read more: Brazilian Grand Prix grid

64 comments on “Barrichello on pole at home as Button slumps to 14th”

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  1. I had a feeling when I read an article that called the coming rain ‘Vettel weather’ it was joining to jinx it completely for Seb…

    Good luck to Button. He’s going to need it for the drive of his life if he wants to finish it here, and that includes getting past Alonso just to get into the points….

  2. Anyone no where i can watch the full replay as i could’t watch if live and the final bit is not on iplayer?


    GO RUBENS!! GOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. What a qualifying!

    Let’s hope that Rubens doesn’t suffer from “bad luck” during his pit stops…

    1. If Jenson manages to get ahead of Rubens in this race he is going to be seriously peaved!

      1. If Ruby senses that they messed one of his pit stops I suspect him to jump out of the car or better still slam right at Button to give the constructor title to Red Bull :)

  5. I am happy that Eddie Jordan is not running the races, since he was saying they should not restart. Great quali, great driving by Chello, and also horrible driving by Button. Chello deserves the title, and it doesn’t look like it should be to hard for him to get if Button doesn’t step up, which he has yet to do in the second half of the season.

  6. Four Six Tango
    17th October 2009, 22:29

    RUBINHO!!! I must say I’m ecstatic today! I really hope the rain goes away and Rubinho can have a clean race tomorrow

    Go Rubens it’s your turn to be Champion!!

  7. The craziest qualifying session I have seen to date, but a good result for the home fans. Indeed, a good reward after having to stand in all that rin for those who chose to stay at the circuit!!

    1. Crazy indeed- it made the Japanese GP qualifying seem relatively normal!

  8. Oddly enough, if Rubens becomes world champion and goes to Williams, and they secure a Renault deal, it would be the first time the formerly dominant pairing of Williams-Renault that they’ll actually have the #1 on the car!

    Epic qualifying, gutted for Vettel though. Are the Brawns on a wet setup? At first it seems that some cars had gone for a wet setup with the Williams’ performances but Patrick Head said that’s what they were going to run with in the dry, so maybe the gap to the Q1 dropouts isn’t as great as we think? Either way, unless Button is on a different setup to Barrichello, whatever the weather tomorrow one of his rivals will score big, barring any incidents.

    Go Ruby Ruby Ruby Rubens!

  9. Would love to see Barrichello winning the race and the championship. 3 and half hours were sometimes frustrating but the result made up for it.
    Btw Barrichello’s father is his carbon copy.

    1. Or rather Barichello is his father’s carbon copy!! :P

  10. Bravo Rubino!!

  11. Still think the WDC will fall Button’s way tomorrow. I’d bet that Rubens isn’t the fastest fuel corrected and with wet weather predicted, what couldn’t happen?

  12. Anyone no where i can watch the full replay as i could’t watch if live and the final bit is not on iplayer?,,15011,00.html

  13. Go Rubinho Go Go !!!

  14. Webber could have done another lap why didn,t he do that?

  15. Can anybody answer me,

    Why was the medical car was doing all the inspection despite you have the Safety car?

  16. Why doesn’t anyone talk about Sutil? Force India is going to get a podium or P4 I think, for sure.

    1. I was about to point out the same. He might be as light as Barrichello. But he is almost as good as him in the wet.

      And fuel weights wont matter so much if the race starts in the wet conditions, it will come down to the performance of the car + driver.

      Rubens winning will be great for the title fight and local fans, but Sutil winning would be a just reward for him after what Kimi has done to him twice.

      1. Kimi rammed into Sutil once and Sutil rammed into Kimi once (trying to block him coming out of the pitlane). It’s pretty much a tie there.

        Sutil might go fast, but he also does tends to crash in the wet.

  17. To WasiF1. I also thought Webber could do another lap.
    He crossed the line with seconds to spare. And the medical car. What was that all about. Surely thats the job of the safety car

  18. go rubinhoooooooo……i want rubinho to win the race…but i want also to see the fight from button

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