Now that was intense. If you’d have asked me at the end of last year to predict which Brit would be on pole in Australia 2009, I wouldn’t have called it for Jenson Button. But what an amazing story that it is.
From facing down a potential early end to his career, when Honda decided to exit F1, to putting his Brawn GP car on pole in Melbourne this morning, it’s been a proper Hollywood moment. The Rocky of Formula One.
I can’t think of a team that deserves it more than Brawn. They’ve overcome adversity to become the ones to beat. What a great story.
But Lewis Hamilton? Drivetrain problems kept him from even starting the second session – McLaren looked off the pace all day. This is going to be a true test of his character, and he starts from 18th tomorrow – he’s been penalised for having a gearbox change, but now the Toyotas have been dropped to the back (see UPDATE below) I assume he’ll move up two spots. His teammate Heikki Kovalainen could only manage 14th.
So it’s a Brawn front row lock down, with Button and then Rubens Barrichello first and second respectively, followed by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in third.
No wonder Red Bull has kicked up such a stink about the double-deck rear diffusers, they’ve got some pace on them, although Mark Webber disappointed, only managing tenth.
At the beginning of qualifying, Ferrari looked like they’d been keeping their true pace underwraps, but by the end, Felipe Massa could only manage seventh, with teammate Kimi Raikkonen ninth.
I can’t wait for the race tomorrow – can you?
UPDATE: According to a story on Pitpass, Williams are going to protest against something they believe that both Ferrari and Red Bull have done wrong.
Also, both the Toyotas have been stripped of their qualifying positions due to having flexible rear wings it was found in the post-quali FIA technical inspection. The new top ten looks like this:
1. Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:26.202
2. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:26.505
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:26:830
4. Kubica BMW-Sauber 1:26:914
5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:26.973
6. Massa Ferrari 1:27.033
7. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:27.163
8. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:27.246
9. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber
10. Alonso Renault