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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Button captures pole in Australia

From sitting on the sidelines wondering if they have a future, to front row on the grid. That's the story today as Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello put Brawn GP on pole position in qualifying for the season opening Australian Grad Prix.

As expected, the diffuser boys were strong, but before jumping to conclusions, the device was not good enough to put Kaz Nakajima in the top 10, and Sebastian Vettel put a Red Bull in third.

The Ferraris, both Red Bulls, the Toyotas and Robert Kubica made the final shootout. We also learned we can put those McLaren-sandbagging rumors to rest. Both cars were not only off the pace of the diffuser gang, but more alarmingly, Ferrari, with defending champion Lewis Hamilton not even turning a wheel in Q2 due to a gearbox issue.

Later, it was revealed the Toyotas were sent to the back of the grid (excluded from qualifying) for a wing infringement, and Hamilton was penalized for a gearbox change.

But in this "world turned on it's head," the big story has to be Brawn GP. Another blog recently opined whether Brawn will be everyone's new favorite team. Richard Branson's on board, and admittedly, it is hard not to latch on to the underdog come good. One hopes it can seal the deal before the FIA Court of Appeal hears its case April 14.

Formula One - F1

The grid

  1. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes
  2. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault
  4. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
  5. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota
  6. Felipe Massa, Ferrari
  7. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
  8. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault
  9. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
  10. Fernando Alonso, Renault
  11. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota
  12. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes
  13. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
  14. Nelson Piquet, Renault
  15. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes
  16. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes
  17. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
  18. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes
  19. Timo Glock, Toyota
  20. Jarno Trulli, Toyota

The press conference

The quotes

From the BBC: Australian GP qualifying as it happened

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