2009 Australian GP – Team Review

Jenson Button, Brawn GP

Jenson Button, Brawn GP

Before moving on to Malaysian GP here is quick look back at the 2009 Australian GP. I watched the race live in Melbourne and although thanks to the nice people from Kangaroo TV I had the pleasure to use their handy little device there was so much happening and so fast that I may have to watch the race again on TV to see what was actually going on. So instead of reviewing the race that I enjoyed but could not really follow to the detail here is my brief review of the teams:

I start with Bridgestone as the tyres influenced the race quite a lot. The super soft tyres did not last, the medium tyres were hard to warm up. Not sure if this is what Bridgestone had in mind when they were talking about increasing the difference between 2 compounds used in the same race. If yes, then the trick definitely worked. The tyre strategies influenced the performances of cars more than any time last season if my memory serves me right.

Brawn GP – quick, strong and a bit lucky. At the end it all worked out well for them. They qualified on front row after impressive qualifying runs while their strongest rivals had to start from pit lane. They avoided (just) getting caught up in safety car confusion (after Nakajima’s crash), the only car that could challenge Button’s lead in the closing stages crashed out together with the only other one racing between Barrichello and Button. And so despite mistake at the start, several hit and runs by and to Barrichello, mistake and delay during Button’s final pitstop the team ended up with one-two finish they probably hoped for. And there are suggestions that Button was not even racing on the limit. How must the Honda guys back in Japan feel. They paid for all this but it was Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin logo all over the place instead :-) .

Toyota – quick, strong but not so lucky. Strong in practice, a bit weaker in qualifying then disqualified and starting from pitlane. And still Trulli finished 3rd (before the 25 sec penalty) and Glock 5th (later moved up to 4th following Trulli’s penalty). They do look like second best team at the moment.

Williams – quick, but they made some mistakes and it also looked like their car was much tougher on the super soft tyres than Brawn or Toyota. It was a sad sight watching Nico Rosberg towards the end of the race loosing position after position when the tyres totally deserted him … They however are in better shape than many other teams because they do have a good car. And Nico Rosberg recorded the fastest lap of the race.

Alonso and Heidfeld in Turn 1

Alonso and Heidfeld in Turn 1

BMW Sauber - Heidfeld’s race was very much over right after the start but Kubica could have finished at least 2nd and perhaps he also could give Button some difficult time. The mix of the the tyre strategy and pace combined with bit of luck (as the first safety car erased the gaps between the teams) put Kubica in very strong position in the closing stages of the race. BMW Sauber is a team to watch.

Red Bull – There was only one Red Bull car really in the race after Webber got hammered in Turn 1. But Vettel was set for a podium finish with the only challenge coming from Kubica in final few laps. The strategy of qualifying rather light worked for Vettel very well. They left Melbourne empty handed but unlike some others at least knowing they have very competitive package.

Midfield battle - Hamilton and Massa

Midfield battle - Hamilton and Massa

McLaren – I am not sure what to make of their performance. They were struggling in free practice, in qualifying but then when the race day came the performance was not that bad. Good enough to pass several cars at least. The podium was pure luck but that is part of the sport.

Starting on supersofts did not work for Ferrari

Starting on supersofts did not work for Ferrari

Ferrari – Obviously they thought they may have a chance but risks were necessary. It did not work out. The super soft tyres they started on were gone after 5 laps, both drivers had to pit much earlier than planned, their strategies (especially Massa’s) were compromised. They may not be as much off the pace as they say they are but in a season like this one is shaping up to be they can’t afford mechanical troubles and retirements …

Nelson Piquet crashing out

Nelson Piquet crashing out

Renault – Alonso picked up decent points and Nelson Piquet was on course for some too before his crash. Not a bad result but not a result that reflect the current strength of the Renault package.

Toro Rosso – very decent debut performance from Buemi, solid drive from Bourdais. They kept out of trouble and ended up with both cars in points.

Force India – They must be reasonably happy with getting very close to points and having both cars running without too much trouble. But … realistically, their only chances for points will come in races where chaos is present. The only way to capitalize on that chaos is to keep out of it. That means no crashes in Turn 1, that also means knowing where your garage is and not going to neighbours for the pit stop :-)

Photos: F1Wolf

15 Comments Post a Comment
  1. I’m thinking that KERS may have come good for McLaren on the day – hence the overtaking from Hamilton. A gearbox failure in qualifying does not bode well, though.

    It will be too early to say that Brawn are untouchable, but those cars are strong (in more ways than one). Malaysia can’t seem to come quick enough.

    Steve Robertsons last blog post..Start of the F1 Season on the Radio

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      During the practice sessions it was very obvious when the cars hit the KERS button in Turn 1 Turn 2 area. Very visible kick forward. But during the race I had no chance to see that, too much action :-) I haven’t heard Hamilton talking too much about his use of KERS during the race but I believe that it could have helped slicing through the midfield. I only noted Alonso’s disappointment with performance of Renault’s KERS

  2. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    Great Review Wolf man! The Force India was faster than the McLaren of Hamilton for a few laps, right! Seems like the use of KERS should be well timed, as we see from Kimi’s performance…he hit it too late when Nico was catching up with him and when Kubica passed him…all in all, a lesson to learn for young Vettel and the mighty prancing horse.

    I am right now wondering about the news of some secret technology of BMW’s…any ideas?

  3. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    You know they say the Brawns were underperforming as they were worried about the FIA’s close scrutiny and all that, otherwise it seems like they could’ve done at least a few seconds more faster…looks like while the rest of the grid will be trying to play catch up with Brawn, Brawn is miles ahead in terms of interpretation of rules and technical advances…they seem to have a lot of tricks in their bag…let’s wait and see what they will do in the wet in Sepang…

  4. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    The diffuser is not the only thing right…it is all the aero package

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      looks like that, Barrichello lost his diffuser early on and still had very competitve race

      well, it may all be totally upside down in Malaysia, it looks like chances of wet race are rather big …

  5. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    Man, so Ferrari must be repenting the loss of Ross

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      Ferrari maye. But how about Honda ? They paid for all of this, they finance the team in 2009 but the only corporation that gets mentioned is Virgin and Mr Branson who got on board on Saturday morning only :-)

      • SarahNo Gravatar says:

        Well, I guess they can come back for the next few races…as Branson is there only for two races and not for the long haul…any idea who is funding the buy out, I hear a McLaren-Mallya-Branson connection

        • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

          the buyout money came from Honda, the figures circulated around are somewhere in region of 180mil USD for 2009 season, plus of course all the facilities etc …

          Branson plans to have talks about increasing the sponsorship, and as he said, the team did not their chances for bigger money from Virgin any harm in Australia.

          Also, worth noting is how Branson kept referring to the team as Virging Brawn last weekend … I think his plans are now for term longer then few races …

  6. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    yeah I am hoping Webber gets a podium (P3) or so, and if not for that grid penalty Vettel a race to P1, let’s see how the Brawns do in the wet…and Sutil…and of course Brit brat Hamilton :-)

  7. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    You know the BBC article brings up an interesting point, why compete? The race seems to have already been bagged by Brawn GP. What more is left? Leaving it all to the off chance that the others might overpower such technical advancement?


2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Fernando ALONSO
Adrian SUTIL
Force India
Sergio PEREZ
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi


2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise
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