Monday, March 30, 2009

Australian Grand Prix

That was an unbelievable showing from the whole Brawn GP team. The cars were reliable and had spectacular pace. And both the drivers put those to good use to take a well-deserved and much celebrated 1-2. It shows not only Ross Brawn’s midas touch but also the potential of the ex-Honda squad he leads. I have to admit that I shared the popular skepticism with regards to the reliability of the cars—after all they didn’t have so much as a proper winter testing—but happily they got to the end. I also think the driving style of the drivers helped—I was always under the impression that Button had a bit more in reserve.

David Coulthard was talking later on on whether Ross Brawn purposely builds a physically strong car and I suspect he does. That is the only way Rubens could have got away with his nose relatively intact after his clashes. Normally, as Eddie Jordan said, the nose cone would be flying in that kind of impact. 

Vettel in the Red Bull stayed vaguely in touch with Button’s Brawn although promptly lost a podium finish with a clash with Robert Kubica whose BMW came alive in the last part of the race on prime tyres.

It’s difficult to know what Ferrari could have done if many of the things that went wrong for them had went right: strategy, cold tyre problems in the restart, Raikkonen’s mistake and a steering issue for Massa. I think it’s fair to say that the Ferrari of these days don’t seem to radiate the solidity of the Jean Todt/Ross Brawn/Michael Schumacher days. Getting back lost operating philosophies is more difficult than clawing back lost performance. I hope the team have not yet fully forgotten their methodical perfection of the recent years.

And it was incredible to watch how quickly fortunes change; Hamilton’s arrival had the F1 media nearly forget that there was at least one other talented British driver on the grid (read Button) who can get the job done. And now Button is leading the championship with an inch-perfect driving and an incredible start to the season! Keeping my fingers crossed for their reliability in the Malaysian GP!

More Information: Race Pictures

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