Jenson Button's Virgin branded Brawn GP car going for pole position
What a day for Brawn GP. First they get their new sponsor – Richard Branson’s Virgin – and then they lock the front row for tomorrow’s Australian GP all for themselves.
Jenson Button will start from the pole position for the first time since 2006 Australian GP, Rubens Barrichello will line up next to him on P2. Perhaps surprisingly P3 went to Sebastian Vettel in Red Bull, P4 to Robert Kubica in BWM Sauber. Nico Rosberg, fastest in all three practice sessions will start from P5. Perhaps a bit disappointed are Toyota drivers with Glock P6 and Trulli P8, especially Trulli who was regarded as dark horse for pole position following impressive showing in practice sessions. Ferrari’s made it to Q3 but only managed P7 (Massa) and P9 (Raikkonen). Mark Webber completes the top 10.
The Jerez test continued for 3rd day . The drivers in action today were Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Nelson Piquet. Nico Rosberg spent some time at the top of the table with 1:18.071s, but Jenson Button and his Brawn – 1:17.844s topped today’s timesheets … What a pace … Lewis Hamilton in the meantime is getting faster, his best time today 1:19.121. Nico Rosberg caused the only red flag of the day after crashing out in similar fashion as Fernando Alonso on Monday.
Today was the last day of pre-season testing for Renault and Brawn GP. Only Williams and McLaren are expected to run tomorrow.
Test times Jerez March 17, 2009:
Giancarlo Fisichella and Force India VJM02 during Barcelona test
There is a bit of calm following the days of Barcelona testing. We will not have another chance to see all 10 teams on track together until the Friday practice for Australian GP (only Williams, Brawn, Renault and McLaren will test in Jerez next week) so let’s make an attempt to rank the teams ahead of 2009 season. Here is my ranking, how I see the teams at the moment:
Brawn GP BGP001 - The fastest car out there, for now
When Ross Brawn and Nick Fry were talking up the future of their team following Honda’s withdrawal announcement many people had their doubts. Yes, Honda F1 Racing did sacrifice 2008 season and focused on 2009, yes, they had Ross Brawn at their helm. But over the years we got used to promises and words of high hopes coming out of Brackley whether it was during their BAR or Honda days. Most of the time however delivering on those promises was entirely different matter.
The Barcelona test continued with day 2. The fastest driver of the day was Kimi Raikkonen putting Ferrari at the top of the time sheets for a change. Kazuki Nakajima managed a quick lap placing Williams 2nd for the day. Brawn GP continues to impress with their pace – 3rd fastest time for Rubens Barrichello on his first outing in the new Brawn GP car. What is it with McLaren though – problems or not showing the others what they have up their sleevs ?
Times Barcelona Test March 10, 2009:
There have been many rumours and speculations about Honda F1 future flying around since the car company announced the withdrawal from F1 back in December. Today Ross Brawn revealed a bit more on his new Brawn GP team. At least some of the speculations can now be set to rest.
Bourdais took STR4 to the track for the first time
Interesting day in Barcelona yesterday. Toro Rosso introduced their new car, STR4, a car made in Faenza that “is not a rebadged RB5″. Jenson Button and Brawn GP raised some eyebrows by spending most of the day at the top of the time sheets. At the end the honour of being the fastest driver of the day went to Nick Heidfeld for his 1:20.338 lap. Raikkonen’s Ferrarri and Trulli’s Toyota were about 6 tenths behind. This may suggest that Heidfeld (same as Vettel last week in Jerez) did a low fuel qualifying run. Only 2 tenths further back was Jenson Button.
The same day the takeover of Honda F1 by Ross Brawn has been announced Jenson Button took the new Mercedes powered BGP001 to the Silverstone track for shakedown. The team has released some photos – click here to view. The car is rather disappoitingly all white with some touches of black and flourescent yellow. There are some rumours flying around the web that the final livery will be metallic blue with red and white touches but I am not sure based on what those rumours are founded. This is what Ross Brawn had to say when asked about the livery:
The announcement this morning (or last night, depending where you live) of Honda F1 takeover by Ross Brawn’s Brawn GP and confirmation of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button that came with it filled the final blank fields in the 2009 Formula 1 driver line up. Here it is:
Brawn GP logo
Three months after Honda announced their withdrawal from Formula One both Honda and Ross Brawn confirmed the takeover of the team by Ross Brawn and renaming the team to Brawn GP. The team colours appear to be black and yellow (and perhaps white), the logo is quite ugly and their webiste brawngp.com is already up and running. Here is the official press release released not long ago by Honda Motor Company and Ross Brawn: