Brawn GP team wins Australian F1 Grand Prix
Jenson Button won the season-opening 2009 Australian Grand Prix on the 29th of March, giving all-new Brawn GP a victory in its first ever Formula One race.
Button, proving he still has some juice left in him, led from start to finish, beating teammate Rubens Barrichello and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, with the race finishing under caution following a late crash.
Barrichello recovered after being slow off the line at the start, while Italy’s Trulli was strong after starting from pit lane.
It is the first time since 1977 that an F1 team has won in its debut. It was only the second GP win for Button, who is in his 10th year of F1.
The win capped a remarkable turnaround for the former Honda team which was at risk of disbanding in the offseason when the Japanese automaker pulled out of F1. Team boss Ross Brawn took over the team himself, which has benefited from development spending for 2009 by its former owner last year. The new Brawn GP cars, unsponsored until just before the race, are powered by Mercedes-Benz engines.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and BMW’s Robert Kubica collided while running second and third with only four laps to go, ending their days and bringing out the safety car.
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton was fourth for McLaren after starting 18th, finishing ahead of Toyota’s Timo Glock, Renault’s Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg of Williams and Red Bull’s Sebastien Buemi, who got one point in his first grand prix.
For the second year in a row, Ferrari finished without a point in the season opener. Felipe Massa was running in third place before his steering went on lap 45, three laps after Kimi Raikkonen spun out.
There was a crash at the first corner that ended the race for McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen, and forced BMW’s Nick Heidfeld, Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Force India’s Adrian Sutil to pit, effectively ending their chances.
During the late safety car period Trulli went off the road and then passed Hamilton under the yellow to regain his place. After the podium celebration for 3rd place, Trulli was given a 25-second penalty, which dropped him back to a 12th-place finish. It later became apparent that Hamilton cheated by letting Glock pass, for which Hamilton was stripped of his points.
1. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes
2. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes
3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes
4. Timo Glock, Toyota
5. Fernando Alonso, Renault
6. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota
7. Sebastien Buemi, STR-Ferrari
8. Sebastien Bourdais, STR-Ferrari
9. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes
10. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
11. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes
12. Jarno Trulli, Toyota
13. Mark Webber, RBR-Renault
14. Sebastian Vettel, RBR-Renault
15. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
16. Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari
17. Felipe Massa, Ferrari
18. Nelsinho Piquet, Renault
19. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota
20. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes