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Massa: The title is Brawn's to lose UPDATE (GMM)  Brawn's Melbourne form could see the team on a fast track to the 2009 championship, according to 2008 runner-up Felipe Massa.

Before recording a predicted one-two finish at Albert Park on Sunday, the Mercedes-powered cars also qualified first and second -- laden with more starting fuel than the Ferraris further down the grid.

Felipe Massa
"If they carry on like that they will win the championship in the middle of the year," Brazilian Massa said in Melbourne.

His countryman Rubens Barrichello, second in Melbourne behind Brawn teammate Jenson Button, had an eventful race and revealed that the component that has been the talk of the paddock this weekend was not even working.

He said in a first-corner hit from a McLaren, his famous 'double-decker' diffuser - whose legality is subject to an appeal hearing next month - was damaged.

"If people think our car is only good because of the diffuser, that big hit broke the diffuser completely, so the car was strong," said Barrichello in the press conference.

03/28/09 Felipe Massa has warned that Brawn GP will win the Championship by the halfway stage of the season unless F1 finds a way of slowing them down - or belatedly catching up.

The team's two drivers, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, blew the rest of the field away in Saturday's Australian GP qualifying, half a second ahead of their nearest rival.

"Yes," Massa told Autosport when asked if Brawn GP were in a league of their own. "If they carry on like that, they'll win the Championship in the middle of the year."

"We always expected a little bit better, but not a lot," he said. "We expected a tight qualifying. This morning I thought top five would have been possible, but very difficult. But it was not possible.

"Anyway, if you see the difference between the third and myself is quite small, so it means we need to see the fuel levels.

"But anyway, it was a big difference to the guys in front.

"I am confident. I believe in my team. I know we can do it, so we need to work very hard," he added. "It won't be easy, especially when you start like that and you have cars in front of you with better pace.

"That's why we need to work very hard, but I trust the team and I trust myself."

"We are not racing against McLaren, we are racing against everybody, so it doesn't change anything to fight with McLaren or to fight with another team. Every team who has a competitive car can fight to win the race and the championship so...

"It's always a bit of a surprise, but we have so much to do that we better concentrate on ourselves."

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