Pos Driver Team Time
1. Button Brawn GP (B) 1h34:15.784
2. Barrichello Brawn GP (B) + 0.807
** 3. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1.604**
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 2.914
5. Glock Toyota (B) + 4.435
6. Alonso Renault (B) + 4.879
7. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 5.722
8. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 6.004
9. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 6.298
10. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) + 6.335
11. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 7.085
12. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) + 7.374
13. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1 lap
14. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) + 2 laps
15. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 3 laps
16. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 3 laps
Fastest lap: Rosberg, 1:27.706
Driver Team On lap
Massa Ferrari (B) 46
Piquet Renault (B) 25
Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 18
Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1
**Trulli got a 25 second penalty for overtaking Lewis Hamilton behind the safety car**
There will be more features here about the race later on today and tommorrow.
Pos. Driver Car weight 1. Jenson Button 664.5kg 2. Rubens Barrichello 666.5kg 3. Sebastien Vettel 657kg 4. Robert Kubica 650kg 5. Nico Rosberg 657kg 6. Felipe Massa 654kg 7. Kimi Raikkonen 655.5kg 8. Mark Webber 662kg 9. Nick Heidfeld 691.5kg 10. Fernando Alonso 680.7kg 11. Kazuki Nakajima 685.3kg 12. Heikki Kovalainen 690.6kg 13. Sebastien Buemi 675.5kg 14. Nelson Piquet 694.1kg 15. Giancarlo Fisichella 689kg 16. Adrian Sutil 684.5kg 17. Sebastien Bourdais 662.5kg 18. Lewis Hamilton 655kg 19. Jarno Trulli 660kg 20. Timo Glock 670kg Each car's minimum weight including the driver is 605kg so anything over that is fuel. Therefore we can see that Brawn GP are heavier than the cars behind them. Their qualifying pace is real. They didn't achieve a front-row lockout by going light on the fuel. Kubica is the lightest so therefore his lap wasn't as impressive as might havwe thought. The Mclaren drivers are doing different strategies. Hamilton is going light and aggressive, and Kovalainen is brimmed up with fuel.
Toyota have been stripped of their qualifying positions and will now both start at the back of the grid. This is due to the fact they were running flexi wings, which of course is banned in F1.
Statement from the FIA: The Stewards have heard the explanation from a representative of Panasonic Toyota Racing and have examined the cars in question.
“The Stewards concur with the opinion of the Technical Delegate and find the cars contravene the requirements of Article 3.15 of the 2009 Formula One Technical Regulations.
“It is the Stewards decision that cars number 9 and 10 be excluded from the Qualifying Session Official Classification.”
Article 3.15 of the technical regulations states that wings must not have ‘any degree of freedom’ and ‘remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.’
Toyota will now have to fight their way through the field, which should be interesting. This may show us if its easier to overtake or not.
Free practice session one
1. ROSBERG Williams 1m26.687s
2. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m26.736s
3. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m26.750s
4. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1m27.226s
5. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m27.453s
6. BUTTON Brawn 1m27.467s
7. MASSA Ferrari 1m27.642s
8. GLOCK Toyota 1m27.710s
9. SUTIL Force India 1m27.993s
10. ALONSO Renault 1m28.123s
11. HEIDFELD BMW 1m28.137s
12. TRULLI Toyota 1m28.142s
13. KUBICA BMW 1m28.511s
14. FISICHELLA Force India 1m28.603s
15. BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m28.785s
16. HAMILTON McLaren 1m29.042s
17. WEBBER Red Bull 1m29.081s
18. PIQUET Renault 1m29.461s
19. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso 1m29.499s
20. VETTEL Red Bull 1m32.784s
Free practice session two
1. ROSBERG Williams 1m26.053s
2. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1m26.157s
3. TRULLI Toyota 1m26.350s
4. WEBBER Red Bull 1m26.370s
5. BUTTON Brawn 1m26.374s
6. GLOCK Toyota 1m26.443s
7. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m26.560s
8. VETTEL Red Bull 1m26.740s
9. SUTIL Force India 1m27.040s
10. MASSA Ferrari 1m27.064s
11. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m27.204s
12. ALONSO Renault 1m27.232s
13. FISICHELLA Force India 1m27.282s
14. HEIDFELD BMW 1m27.317s
15. KUBICA BMW 1m27.398s
16. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso 1m27.479s
17. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m27.802s
18. HAMILTON McLaren 1m27.813s
19. PIQUET Renault 1m27.828s
20. BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m28.076s
It’s been a very interesting day in Melbourne. It was great to see all the cars in anger on the track for the first time. First impressions are that the new cars look great. You get used to them very quickly. I even started to get used to the sight of the Renault after a while.
Who’s hot and who’s not?
In terms of who impressed today, there is no doubt that the 3 teams with question marks over their diffuser (Williams, Brawn GP and Toyota) all look in extremely good shape. All 3 of these teams have performed consistently well throughout the day. Williams are probably the most pleasant surprise of Friday practise, as Nico Rosberg topped both sessions.
Throughout testing it looked as if they were going to be stuck in the midfield. However on their final day in Jerez they set a very fast time, the fastest time set in Jerez all winter. It looks as if they may have brought that form with them to Melbourne. Let’s hope they can keep this pace up throughout the weekend.
Richard Branson is en route to Melbourne to confirm that he will sponsor the Brawn GP team. He has apparenlty cut short a family ski holiday in order to talk over the deal.
There is an outside chance that Brawn GP may run under a new livery as early as this weekend. Their livery has had no sponsors on it upto this point.
This would certainly be brilliant news for the team should the deal go through. This is a deal that could potentially help towards the team safeguarding their long-term future.
For this season the team were always going to be safe financially with 100 million pounds of Honda money, and prize and commercial money from Bernie Ecclestone.
Earlier on Brawn GP got their diffuser system cleared by the stewards.
It’s safe to say that so far things are going well for Ross Brawn.
Will he be celebrating a race victory this weekend? I think there is a very strong chance of that.
There is no better place to begin the FIA Formula 1 World Championship than in Australia. The weather is fantastic, the facilities are excellent and the people of Melbourne make us all feel extremely welcome. Most importantly, everyone arrives with an air of enthusiasm and expectation. Despite weeks of winter testing, it’s still difficult to know exactly who has the best package, and finding out over the weekend in Albert Park is always fascinating. Perhaps Vodafone McLaren Mercedes doesn’t come to Melbourne with the same prospects to challenge at the front that we experienced in both 2007 and ’08, but the whole team will be working tirelessly to help us move back to the front.
I’m really looking forward to the Australian Grand Prix. I’m happy that the race season will finally get started and all the speculation of the pre-season testing will stop. It will be very interesting to see how competitive the teams really are.
I like street circuits in general, so Albert Park is one of my favourite race tracks. You have to be very precise. That applies to the whole circuit; you need to stay on the clean line. But this year precision will be especially important for the first corner after the start, when we will have our very first fight for position with the bigger 2009 front wings. I’m pretty sure it will be an interesting race. In addition, Melbourne is a very nice city and the people create a truly special atmosphere for all of us in Formula One.
At the moment there is a row about the design of the diffusers on Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota’s cars. All of the other 7 teams think that their designs are illegal.
This kind of thing regularly happens at the start of a F1 season. Teams try to find hidden loopholes in order to extract more performance from their car. This is what the 3 teams in this case have gone. In 2006 we had the issue over flexi-wings which were banned. In 2007 the moving floor was banned.
The 3 teams involved in this diffuser row have been quite innovative. It could just be that the other teams are jealous that they didn’t discover the idea.
I think it’s Brawn GP that the protesting teams are most frightened of. Rumour has it their diffuser system gives them 0.5 seconds per lap. That is a huge chunk of time in Formula 1.
In scrutineering earlier these systems all passed.Red Bull, Ferrari and Renault have now lodged protests. Now the stewards decision is being awaited. However I think there is a very good chance that they will clear the systems and deem them legal too.
There is a chance that this could well end up going to the courts of arbitration (whatever verdict the stewards give). This certainly wouldn’t take place until after Malaysia. So we will have this “are they legal or not question” lasting for a few weeks yet.
The worse case scenario is the 3 teams involved losing race results (if the court of arbitration goes against the 3 teams). Hopefully it shouldn’t go that far. In the past when a car part has been made illegal, the guilty teams have to ensure that they have made the neccessary changes before the next race.
I think in particular Ferrari will be hoping that they win their case. Brawn GP are currently around 6 or 7 tenths quicker than them. You can imagine that Brawn GP losing 0.5 seconds of performance would make a huge difference to them. Other key rivals Toyota would also lose performance. You can being to see why Ferrari are so desperate for these systems to be banned. Winning races would then become easier.
It’s interesting to note that Mclaren weren’t one of the teams that were protesting. Obviously Brawn GP is a customer so they probably want to stay out of it. On the other hand Mclaren would surely not mind the likes of Brawn GP and Toyota taking points off Ferrari, whilst their own car isn’t quite up to scratch.
**UPDATE** Stewards have now declared that the diffusers on Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams are legal. Lets wait and see if the protesting teams take this to the court of arbitration.