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And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

Jenson Button and Brawn F1 off to a flying start

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If, in December last, you had told Jenson Button and Rubens Barrachello that they would take a 1-2 victory in the opening Grand Prix of 2009, they would have laughed in your face.

Jenson Button wins at Albert Park

Jenson Button wins at Albert Park

With a run of highly uncompetitive cars followed by the closing down of the Honda F1 project, their future looked gloomy.

When Brawn F1 emerged like the proverbial phoenix, little was really expected from it. The general consensus of opinion was that they were there to make up the numbers. If Formula 1 started losing teams, like the World Rally Championships, it would spell disaster.

But rather than playing the supporting cast, Ross Brawn, finally free from Honda’s agenda, drew up his war plan. In no more than three months he had developed the car he had wanted to build. Add to that some tricky rear diffusers and some highly tactical thinking with the car’s set up, and the plan was set in motion.

Virgin are Brawn F1's first sponsor

Virgin are Brawn F1's first sponsor

The Brawn train picked up speed when Sir Richard Branson came on board as a sponsor. He had some fancy new clean carbon fuel he needed to sell.

The car itself is, I have to say, not the prettiest. It is Ugly Betty on wheels, garish yellow and pristine white. It looks bare of sponsorship logos with Virgin being the honorable exception. But it can do the business alright.

The Brawn 001

The Brawn 001

Meanwhile where was Lewis Hamilton? Well he gave a first class drive, as always, but the car he was in was simply uncompetitive, which was a terrible shame. He did however, move up from eighteenth place to third place, a feat which reflects his enormous talent. I hope McLaren get the new model set-up sorted out before the third or forth race or they may not retain the title.

Sebastian Vettel finished with a completely new tyre set-up

Sebastian Vettel finished with a completely new tyre set-up

The rest of the pack did their best, but they found the race hard going, with skids and accidents commonplace. The race even ended with the safety car still out.


Well I am sure Jenson certainly deserved his victory, only his second in nine seasons. Enjoy it lad, it doesn’t come around too often.


Written by Nick Gilmartin

March 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Motorsport

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

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