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1 Lewis Hamilton 63
2 Valtteri Bottas 58
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4 Lando Norris 26
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1 Mercedes 121
2 Red Bull Honda 55
3 McLaren Renault 41
4 Racing Point Merc 40
5 Ferrari 27
6 Renault 12
7 AlphaTauri Honda 7
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9 Haas Ferrari 1
10 Williams Mercedes 0

Button wins as Brawn team runs 1-2 on debut

by Mark J
Sunday, March 29, 2009


A happy Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello
Ross Brawn is a brilliant designer.  After so many winning years at Ferrari that brought Michael Schumacher 7 world titles, Jenson Button has won the Australian Grand Prix, leading home his teammate Rubens Barrichello in a Brawn GP 1-2 on their F1 debut. Third place went to Lewis Hamilton after Jarno Trulli was penalized - the race finishing under the Safety Car when Robert Kubica took out 2nd place Sebastian Vettel. 

The two Brawn-Mercedes cars started from the front row of the grid after dominating Saturday's qualifying session. Button had a good start, maintaining his advantage into the first corner and establishing a strong lead over the field.

"What an amazing day," said a happy Button after the race.  "This is just a fairytale ending to the first race of our career together at Brawn GP. It may have looked like an easy victory but it really wasn't easy at all out there today but we brought the car home and that's all that matters. This win is for me, my family and my team. It's been a traumatic few months and I want to say a massive thank you to them all for being so strong and never losing belief. This weekend we have achieved everything that we deserve for all of our hard work over the past few months. And what's so exciting is that there is so much more to come from myself and from this team. I can't wait to get to Malaysia!"

Hamilton drove a brilliant race to get third after starting last
Starting 18th, Lewis Hamilton was a brilliant 3rd after starting last, and was followed home by Timo Glock in 4th.

Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Sebastien Buemi, Sebastien Bourdais, and Adrian Sutil followed.

Jenson Button
There was a lot to be impressed with in the 2009 season opener. Buemi showing very well I think, Button gets another deserved win. Rubens drives like a hack and gets second.

The safety car was required after Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica, fighting hard for second place, tangled mere laps from the checkered flag.

The incident between Vettel and Kubica was inexcusable on both drivers part. They both got what they deserved. Kubica was on better tires and could have easily picked a better spot over the next 3 laps. At the same time, Vettel knew this and once he saw Kubica coming, he should have let him go and taken the podium in his first run with Red Bull.

The interesting part is that it appeared that either both drivers had no idea their front wings were gone, or they underestimated the effects of no front downforce, because they both seemed to go ahead almost full pace only to fly off the track the first time they tried to turn the wheel.

"I'm so sorry," German Vettel whimpered into his Red Bull's radio.

"I think he could have left me some more room," BMW's Kubica, who had subsequently slammed hard into the turn 5 barriers after losing a wing under the car, told reporters behind the pitlane.

Their clash gifted the second step on the podium to Barrichello, who had a race of incidents, including nearly stalling at the start, triggering a first-corner crash, and later shedding some more front wing by tagging the rear of a Ferrari.

Jarno Trulli in his Toyota
Jarno Trulli completed the podium despite starting from the pitlane following the 'flexi wing' disqualification of Saturday, ahead of a surprised world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"Our car is what it is at the moment, but if anyone can turn it around quite quickly, it is us," the McLaren driver, one of only a few to stay out of trouble on Sunday, said in the paddock.

2009's only rookie, Sebastien Buemi, attracted some criticism this weekend for being promoted by Red Bull ahead of arguably more qualified GP2 drivers, but performed strongly to finish ahead of his teammate Sebastien Bourdais for a debut point.

Local driver Mark Webber was bitterly disappointed to finish a lap down and last.  "It wasn't really embarrassing," said the Australian, who nursed a damaged car through 57 laps after early contact with Barrichello, "but a real shame as I wanted to do something for the fans here."

Ferrari kicked off its 2009 campaign with a disastrous nil points: Kimi Raikkonen spinning into a concrete wall and later retiring, while Felipe Massa also ended up in the garage with a failed F60.

Kazuki Nakajima escaped unharmed from his large impact in the Australian Grand Prix after as Williams-Toyota hit a concrete wall. The Japanese driver, having started eleventh on the grid, had risen to fourth position when an unforced error caused the premature retirement.

"I had a quite a big accident on lap 17 when I ran wide at turn four and I hit the curb," he confirmed. "It unsettled the car and I then lost the rear. It was quite a fast impact so I had a precautionary check in the medical centre, but everything is fine and physically I am okay. The outcome - my retirement - hurts! The race was really enjoyable - we had good pace, a good fuel load and good tires."


Pos Driver Team Time Pts
1 Jenson Button Brawn GP 94:15.784 10
2 Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP +0.80 8
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren +2.90 6
4 Timo Glock Toyota +4.40 5
5 Fernando Alonso Renault +4.80 4
6 Nico Rosberg Williams +5.70 3
7 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso +6.00 2
8 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso +6.20 1
9 Adrian Sutil Force India +6.30 0
10 Nick Heidfeld BMW-Sauber +7.00 0
11 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India +7.30 0
12 Jarno Trulli Toyota +26.60 0
13 Mark Webber Red Bull +1 lap 0
Ret Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Retirement (lap 57) - damage from accident 0
Ret Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Retirement (lap 56) - due accident with Robert Kubica 0
Ret Robert Kubica BMW-Sauber Retirement (lap 56) - due accident with Sebastian Vettel 0
Ret Felipe Massa Ferrari Retirement (lap 48) - technical problems 0
Ret Nelson Piquet Jr Renault Retirement (lap 25) - spin in the gravel 0
Ret Kazuki Nakajima Williams Retirement (lap 19) - crash at Turn 4 0
Ret Heikki Kovalainen McLaren Retirement (lap 1) - broken front suspension 0

Fastest lap: Rosberg, 1:27.706

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