Malaysia GP: New breed

Brawn, Toyota, Red Bull… it’s definitely a case of changing of the guard at the end of pole day for the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Ferrari, McLaren and Renault all out of the picture. Jenson makes a career first with two pole positions on the trot. We’re racing in interesting times, no doubt about it.

The biggest shock has to be Ferrari’s Felipe Massa not even getting into Q2, with the team believing they were comfortable enough to stay in the garage rather than send him out for a quicker run. They watched on as many of the other runners banged in quicker and quicker lap times, knocking Massa back into 16th spot. Pride does indeed come before a fall.

Lewis Hamilton has looked dejected for the past few days due to his and McLaren’s error over the Trulli incident, all of which seems to have taken its toll on the reigning World Champion. His car still isn’t fast enough, either – he’s back in 13th, with teammate Heikki Kovalainen one place behind him.

Sebastian Vettel qualified his Red Bull into third, but due to a 10 place grid drop penalty over his hand in the accident with BMW’s Robert Kubica last weekend, he’ll now be starting in 13th. This would have promoted Brawn’s Rubens Barrichello to third, but he himself is carrying a five place drop penalty after having to change his gearbox, so Trulli’s Toyota teammate Timo Glock will be up there come the race.

Nico Rosberg and his Williams are up to fourth, followed by Webber, Kubica, Raikkonen, Alonso, Heidfeld and Nakajima.

Tomorrow’s race is set up to be awesome, so give us your predictions… After last weekend’s performance, you’d be hard pressed not to put your money on Button though, right?

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Just heard the declared weighting of the cars after Q3. Turns out Button is still a few laps heavier than the rest. No problems for the win then, apart from the monsoon.

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@Bruce and mugen: I agree that Brawn is the key factor to the team’s success, but you can’t ignore the fact that if Honda still owned the team they would still be running Honda engines, KERS, and different aero, which would make for a very different, and quite frankly, lesser car. Remember, Brawn was at the helm last year, and where were Honda then? No where. Now that Brawn has the “final say,” Brawn GP is thriving. Yes, Honda had a hand in the development of the early ’09 chassis, but when Brawn took over and refined it with his genius, it became what it is. You really can’t deny this.

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I totally agree that Brawn is really the key for making a fast car and whatever team he is in it will definitely be a fast car. i just wish that Honda didn’t pull out F1 . O well, I’ll just gonna cheer the former Honda F1 Team!

Go brawn GP!!

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Since I am in Australia and classified in a regional area I do not get live coverage on HDTV. I have to make do with Live Timing on the Formula1 website.

What happened to Vettel? And I hope they have good drainage on those cars if they are just sitting in the rain.

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and @ 76, if you think Honda would have run the same aero as the Brawn, go back and take a look at the ’09 Honda testing photos. Even just looking at the nose you can tell that Honda would have run a very different aero package.

The Brawn is a developed, improved Honda chassis. It is a different car, plain and simple. Mercedes engines, no KERS, and it would be a safe bet to assume that Honda would have chosen not to run a diffuser that would be perceived as “questionable.” (I call it clever, while the slower teams call it illegal.)

Just like the Red Bull can no longer be called a Jaguar, or a Stewart before that, the Brawn can no longer be called a Honda. It’s a different, better car.

anyway, the race is on. Lap 40 of 56 and Button is right behind the Trulli Train. Hopefully Button can get around him, or else he’s going to lose a lot of time…

Wait, Trulli just pitted! Crisis averted!

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Sorted, JB 2nd Win out of 2!!

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Great race so far. The rain is making for some nice drama.

And it looks like the new regs have taken care of the Trulli Train problem. He’s been passed a few times with no problem, in stark contrast to previous seasons.

And don’t get me wrong, Trulli is one of the quickest drivers over a single lap, almost Michael territory, but in races over the past few seasons he’s had the undeniable and statistically proven habit of holding people up. But like I said, it looks like the new aero regs have taken care of that problem.

…safety car is out due to the rain, Button in the lead…this is going to be a toss up if they don’t stop the race!

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The Live timing results changed. Whats up with that.
Glock was second now he is third?

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Watching an F1 car spin at 15kmh is funny.

Shame it rained so hard, but pleased for Button.

Ferrari on top?!!!

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Lol that was a great radio transmission between Ferrari and Massa…

Massa: “I need my visor whiped! I can’t see a thing!”

Ferrari: “Stay cool baby! We’re bring out someone to whipe your visor, we’re bringing you into position…”

Stay cool baby! Classic.

I’m not a Massa fan, but that little conversation just brought me a nice chuckle.

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I like it. They award 1/2 points. I really want the championship to be decided by 1/2 a point. That would be fantastic.

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That sucks Bruce! Usually when sporting organizations “black out” local events it’s because they want to encourage people to actually buy a ticket and attend the event, but they expect you to go to Malaysia to watch the race?!

Sorry I can’t fill you in on what happened to Vettel :( It must have happened when I was making a trip to the refridgerator! Sorry mate! (I called you “mate” because you’re from Australia…get it? Eh? Eh? Funny right?) ;)

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Race stopped! Booooo! Congrats to Jenson, but boooo to the situation itself!

Slap some rally lights on the cars’ noses and get on with it if you’re worried about the darkness! I’m kidding, of course, so don’t start calling me an idiot :|

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It is the late start times of these lst 2 races. Melbourne you have the sun making the drivers blind. Malaysia you have the heavy afternoon rains. If the races started at the usual times it would not seem like God hates the F1.

You can call any aussie mate. Although in the 70’s according to Monty Python every male from Australia is called Bruce. To really impress an aussie you greet them with “gid’day mait”- how it sounds. And if you want to make an aussie laugh really hard you get an american to say “aussie”. For some reason it sounds like “huossey” when they say it. Barrel of laughs.

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Marcus, in your comments #80 and #81, are you referring to Brawn the man or Brawn the team?

Ross Brawn came to Honda in late 2007. It was a bit late for him to turn the fortunes around for the 2008 season. That’s why his full influence hasn’t revealed itself until this year.

Honda declared their withdrawal from F1 in December 08, but continued support and development of the car until March — last month. The car is a product of Honda’s development since early 2008. You cannot claim it was designed and fine-tuned by Brawn GP (the team) in the last 6 weeks or so. But it is definitely a piece of engineering genius led by Brawn the man. Albeit with some last-minute twiddling to fit the Merc engine.

As for the changes to aero since Honda’s early tests, obviously after the huge aero rules shake-up the cars had evolved from the initial tests last year to when they arrived in Melbourne last week. McLaren hadn’t started testing their 2009 rear wing until the last few pre-season tests. Most teams hadn’t revealed their 2009 front wings until late January. No wonder the BGP001 looks different to Honda’s test mule from yonks ago.

You’re right that you can’t call Red Bull a Jaguar or Stewart, but then they re-designed their car from the ground up, which is what they’re paying Adrian Newey lots of money for. The BGP001 is mostly a car developed by Honda over the past 15 months, and then re-engineered by Brawn GP to accept the Merc engine (plus a couple of tweaks) in the few weeks following Ross’s takeover.

That said, Brawn is taking full advantage of their excellent car and I really hope they keep it at the front until the end of the season :)

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The dominance of Brawn is going to kill F1. People will stop watching races may be before half way through the season. Last year we had McLaren and Ferrari. This year we have the Brawn and the others

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Well done Jenson! Good job!

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