Damp Track Does Not Deter Button

Button does it again

Button does it again


Brawn GP’s Jenson Button continued his perfect start to the 2009 Formula One season as he took his second successive Grand Prix victory today when the Malaysian Grand Prix was stopped after 31 laps following a torrential downpour. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello also had a strong race to bring his Brawn-Mercedes car home in fifth position.

Jenson had a good start from pole but was unable to prevent the cars on the other side of the grid overtaking down into the first corner and was running third by the end of lap one. He took full advantage of his heavier fuel load to put in some quick laps when the cars ahead pitted and took the lead on emerging from his first pit stop on lap 19. Rubens had a good start from eighth on the grid, battling through to make up six places and to be running in second position by his first stop on lap 20.

The race became increasingly hectic as rain threatened and the field dived into the pits. Jenson and Rubens pitted on lap 22 for wet tyres but the downpour was less than expected and they came back in for intermediates on lap 28 for Rubens and lap 29 for Jenson.

When the rain did arrive, it was so torrential that the wet weather tyres which the drivers fitted on lap 31 were not enough to allow the race to safely continue. After a lengthy delay on the grid, the race was declared over and half-points awarded.

After two rounds, Brawn GP lead the Constructors’ Championship with 25 points and Jenson leads the Drivers’ Championship with 15 points with Rubens in second position with 10 points.


Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P1 01:36.641
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 P5 01:37.484

Weather Dry start with heavy rain halfway through the race
Temperatures Air: 24-30°C Track: 27-37°C

“What a crazy race! It was really exciting out there and I’m delighted that we came out on top today. I didn’t have the best of starts and was surprised at the lack of grip on my side of the grid. I went in deep at turn one and got a big snap of oversteer which dropped me to fourth but I was able to get past Alonso at the end of lap one and overtake Trulli and Rosberg at the first pit stops. I was happy with the car and our pace was good but the weather really threw the race wide open. Choosing the tyres was difficult but we made the right calls at the right time, particularly when it started raining so hard and so quickly. I have to say a massive thank you to my engineer Andrew Shovlin who was on the podium with me today and the whole team for their work on the strategy and in the pits. Last weekend we said that we had a fairytale start to the season and I am so proud that has continued here.”

“It was a great race today and I was really happy with how the car was performing in the dry in the first stint of the race. After a good start, I felt that I had the pace to catch up with the front-runners and score some good points. Unfortunately once the conditions started to deteriorate, we lost a little too much time on my side of the garage with the pit stops which cost me a few places. However the important thing is that the car is going great and we have proved that it is competitive at different types of track. Congratulations to Jenson and the team for maintaining our fantastic start to the season and I look forward to continuing the challenge in Shanghai.”

“A fantastic team performance today and a thoroughly deserved second victory of the season for Jenson and the team. It was an eventful race to say the least and I am pleased with how quickly we were able to react to the changing conditions to maintain the lead that Jenson had achieved in the first stint of the race. However it was not perfect as we could have had both cars in the top three if we had been a little bolder in bringing the drivers in for their third stops for intermediate tyres. We are delighted to have had such a successful start to the season with two pole positions and two victories in the opening races. You can’t ask for more than that and it is a credit to the talent, attitude and dedication of our team that we have been able to achieve such results.”


Button Takes Pole Again!

Jenson Button took his second successive pole position today in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit maintaining his and the Brawn GP team’s perfect start to the 2009 Formula One season.

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello qualified in fourth having battled with understeer with his car throughout qualifying. Rubens will incur a five-place grid penalty ahead of tomorrow’s 56-lap race after a gearbox change.

The Brawn-Mercedes drivers topped the times in all three qualifying sessions with Rubens going quickest at the end of Q1 on the soft option tyre and Jenson posting the fastest lap of Q2 on his first set of options having used the harder prime tyre for his previous runs. Both drivers completed two runs in Q3 with Jenson coming out on top to secure his second pole of the season.


Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Free Practice Qualifying 1 Qualifying 2 Qualifying 3
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P10 P7 01:35.058 P1 01:33.784 P1 01:35.181
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 P9 P1 01:34.681 P6 01:34.387 P4 01:35.651

Weather Hot and humid
Temperatures Air: 29-30°C Track: 36-40°C

“Achieving pole position today in Malaysia is possibly even more special than last week in Australia. It’s not easy to get one pole but two successive poles is just fantastic and it’s a first for me in my Formula One career. It’s a great feeling and proves that our car works well on different types of circuit. We were really struggling with the balance yesterday and I had a lot of rear locking however we made some changes to the car overnight which really improved it for today and it felt really good throughout qualifying. It’s a big turnaround and I have to say thank you to the team for their hard work in such tough conditions. They did a fantastic job. We are hoping that the rain stays away tomorrow but you just never know at this circuit and we will be working hard tonight to make sure we are prepared for all eventualities.”

“It was a good qualifying session for the team today and well done to Jenson once again as he had the pace to put the car on pole. Unfortunately on my side of the garage, the car developed understeer in qualifying and we were not able to resolve the problem. However we know the performance of the car in race conditions is strong and I will be aiming to score as many points as possible tomorrow before I can start chasing for my own pole position and wins.”

“It was a great qualifying performance from Jenson and the team today particularly as we had some issues with the balance of the car in yesterday’s practice sessions. At the start of qualifying, there was a distinct possibility of rain so we went out early in Q1 to bank some dry running and from there it was a busy session with the track evolving incredibly quickly. Rubens was struggling for grip under braking which resulted in understeer and he was never completely happy with the balance of his car. With the replacement of his gearbox, this puts him further back on the grid than we would have hoped, however his experience will stand him in good stead in the race. Jenson was much happier with the balance which reflects in his second pole of the season after an excellent lap. It was an incredibly close session and with the prospect of rain in the race tomorrow, we should be in for a very eventful and exciting Malaysian Grand Prix.”

Brawn GP Malaysian Grand Prix Preview


Following a sensational debut race weekend in Australia where Jenson Button led Brawn GP to its first Grand Prix victory, the team headed straight to Malaysia for Round Two of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.

This weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 5 April at the Sepang International Circuit close to Kuala Lumpur. The 56-lap race is one of the toughest on the calendar due to the punishing heat and humidity coupled with the challenge of the circuit’s demanding corners, long straights and bumpy asphalt.

This year’s race will be the 11th to be held at the Herman Tilke designed track which was built on the site of a 260-hectare swamp. The 5.54km 3.44 mile circuit sees the cars average 210kph 130mph around its 15 turns.

Brawn GP will be hoping to build on its successful weekend in Melbourne which sees the team leading the Constructors’ Championship with 18 points and Jenson Button leading the Drivers’ Championship with 10 points.


Q. A dream start to the season in Australia. Can you follow up that level of performance in Malaysia

“The Australian Grand Prix weekend was a fantastic experience for our team and the one-two result for Jenson and Rubens went beyond our hopes and expectations for our very first race. We know that our competitors will not stand still however and that the challenge will become ever more difficult from here. We can rise to that challenge and we have a very good and stable car which should go well around the Sepang circuit. As in Australia, we will need to maximise the practice running that we have on Friday to develop the set-up, and we will be faced with the usual reliability concerns caused by the high temperatures that we expect in Malaysia. As the race is later than usual in the calendar and will take place later in the day, we are expecting some rain showers which will make the strategy for the weekend very interesting.”


Q. With such an impressive opening weekend, what are your thoughts ahead of the second race of the season

“After the amazing weekend that we experienced in Melbourne, the whole team was keen to get to Malaysia and start racing again. However the Malaysian Grand Prix is always one of the toughest races of the season and it will be a real challenge for our new car with so little testing under our belts. Malaysia has a really hot and humid climate which really tests the car’s durability and coupled with the frequent torrential downpours can make for an unpredictable race weekend. It’s a tough place for the drivers as the heat in the cockpit can be unbearable and tests the limit of your fitness and concentration. You have to work hard to find a good balance for the car at Sepang and it can be challenging for the tyres to work well for the whole lap. Malaysia is a special circuit for me as I achieved my first podium here back in 2004 so I’m hoping that this weekend will provide some more happy memories”


Q. What are the particular challenges of the Malaysian Grand Prix

“The Malaysian Grand Prix is always a really tough race but if you can cope well with the heat and humidity, it is a track that the drivers enjoy. It’s a real engineering challenge to find the right balance and you need to have a car with good aerodynamics to find time around the lap. The intense heat puts pressure on the engine, brakes and the drivers as the temperature can rise above 50 degrees in the cockpit so you have to be well-prepared and ensure you are fully-hydrated. Our team had a really good race weekend in Australia and the car performed as we expected, however we anticipate that our competitors to be closer this time so we will be working extra hard to improve on our performance from last weekend.”

Sepang International Circuit Stats

Circuit Length: 5.543km

Race Distance: 310.408km

Number of Laps: 56

Full Throttle: 68

Brake Wear: Medium / Hard

Tyre Compounds: Soft / Hard

Downforce Level: High 8/10

Tyre Usage: Hard

Average Speed: 210kph 130mph

Jenson on the Button – Brawn GP One Two in Australia

Jenson Button in Melbourne, with cheap Virgin stickers on the car as a stop gap

Jenson Button in Melbourne, with cheap Virgin stickers on the car as a stop gap

Jenson Button led the Brawn GP team to victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix today, achieving his second Grand Prix win and capping a stunning debut race weekend for the British-based team. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello brought his BGP 001 car home in second position to achieve the first one-two finish for a new team since Mercedes-Benz in 1954.

The two Brawn-Mercedes cars started from the front row of the grid after dominating Saturday’s qualifying session. Jenson had a good start, maintaining his advantage into the first corner and establishing a strong lead over the field. From there he controlled the race, responding well to the first safety car period and recovering from a slow second stop which reduced his lead over Vettel to 1.5 seconds, before taking the chequered flag for a well-deserved victory at the end of the 58-lap race

Rubens had a somewhat more dramatic race with a difficult start off the line dropping him a few places and he subsequently sustained damage to his front wing and nose in a first corner collision. He battled with the damage for the first stint, survived a further collision with Raikkonen, and passed Rosberg on track to be up to fourth by lap 53.

Rubens took his podium finish when an incident between Vettel and Kubica put both cars out of the race with three laps to go promoting Rubens to second and bringing out the safety car which brought the field home.


Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P1 01:28.020
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 P2 01:29.066

Weather Warm and sunny
Temperatures Air: 20-22°C Track: 23-31°C

“What an amazing day This is just a fairytale ending to the first race of our career together at Brawn GP. It may have looked like an easy victory but it really wasn’t easy at all out there today but we brought the car home and that’s all that matters. This win is for me, my family and my team. It’s been a traumatic few months and I want to say a massive thank you to them all for being so strong and never losing belief. This weekend we have achieved everything that we deserve for all of our hard work over the past few months. And what’s so exciting is that there is so much more to come from myself and from this team. I can’t wait to get to Malaysia”

“Well you could say that I had an eventful afternoon I had a lot of mixed emotions during the race and honestly I am so delighted to have achieved second. It was really tough for me at the start as the anti-stall kicked in which cost me a few places off the line and then I was hit heavily from behind going into the first corner and thought my race was over. Thankfully the car survived and I was able to battle my way up to fourth and be in the position to take advantage of the accident between Vettel and Kubica. It just goes to show that you should never give up Congratulations to Jenson for a fantastic win today and my heartfelt thanks to the team for providing us with such a good car. This is the start of a very exciting journey for us.”

“We have worked incredibly hard for this victory today and to see the dedication, commitment and sheer hard work come to fruition with Jenson and Rubens bringing home a one-two finish for Brawn GP at the first race of the season is immensely rewarding. After everything that our team has been through over the past four months, this is quite simply a sensational result. It is just the beginning for us and it wasn’t a perfect race by any means so we will learn from today and continue to improve. We have to keep developing the car throughout the season if we want to challenge for further wins and the championship. I would like to express our sincere thanks to Norbert Haug and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines who have been so supportive over the past few months and have worked closely with the team to ensure we were in a position to go racing this year. Thanks also to Virgin, Henri Lloyd and all our team partners for having the vision to see what the team could do before today and wanting to be a part of it. It’s difficult to put into words what this win means to our team but I’m sure that I speak for every single one of them, here at the track and back at the factory in Brackley, when I say it has been a wonderful weekend.”

Brawn GP Lock Out Grid at Australian GP


The Brawn GP team locked out the front row of the grid today in qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

On the day in which the team announced its new partnership with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Jenson Button put the BGP 001 car on pole at the end of a closely-fought qualifying hour. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello will start alongside Jenson on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s 58-lap race.

The BGP 001 cars ran at the front of the field throughout qualifying with the team’s two drivers vying for position at the top of the timesheets. Rubens took the honours in Q1 and Q2, posting the fastest lap of qualifying in the second session. In the pole position shoot-out, both drivers completed two runs with Jenson taking pole in the dying seconds of the session.


Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Free Practice Qualifying 1 Qualifying 2 Qualifying 3
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P3 P2 01:25.211 P2 01:24.855 P1 01:26.202
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 P6 P1 01:25.006 P1 01:24.783 P2 01:26.505

Weather Warm and sunny
Temperatures Air: 24-25°C Track: 29-33°C

“To put the car on pole at our debut race is a fantastic achievement and I have to give so much credit to Ross, Nick and everyone at the factory in Brackley. The last four months have been incredibly tough for the team and to go from a situation where you don’t even know if you are going to be racing to achieving pole at the first race of the season is just incredible. Tomorrow is obviously the most important day of the weekend and there is a lot of work to be achieved to come away with a successful result however we have to remember where we have been and really enjoy this moment.”

“It has been a great day and I want to congratulate the team for an outstanding job. I was hoping that I could put the car on pole and it was looking good in the first two sessions but in Q3 I developed some understeer in the car which comprised my final runs. However the first row for both cars is a real credit to the team and gives us a great chance in the race tomorrow. We have a really good car which everyone deserves credit for and I am just so happy to be racing at the front again.”

“Watching our two cars top the timesheets throughout qualifying capped an excellent day for the team which began with the announcement of our new partnership with Virgin this afternoon. The track conditions were more favourable than we experienced yesterday and we found that the tyres worked in a more conventional way. In addition, the changes that we had made following yesterday’s practice sessions proved positive and both drivers had a well-balanced car which allowed them to concentrate on maximising the lap times. Whilst this is a great achievement and gives both drivers an excellent opportunity in the race tomorrow, the job is only half done and our full focus is now on getting the best result possible in the race. I would like to pay credit to Jenson, Rubens and the whole team, both here and at our factory, for their achievement today and to Mercedes-Benz for their invaluable support over the past few months.”

Button Takes Pole as Brawn GP partners with Branson’s Virgin Group

Jenson Button takes Pole at Australian Grand Prix as Brawn announced partnership with VirginJenson Button takes Pole at Australian Grand Prix as Brawn announced partnership with Virgin

Jenson Button takes Pole at Australian Grand Prix as Brawn announced partnership with VirginJenson Button takes Pole at Australian Grand Prix as Brawn announced partnership with Virgin

Brawn GP is delighted to confirm that the team has agreed a partnership agreement with Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group on the team’s debut race weekend at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The partnership brings together the world championship winning experience of Ross Brawn and the technical expertise of the Brawn GP team with the marketing and business skills of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

This is Virgin’s first foray into the world of Formula One and the first step in what is anticipated to be a broader relationship between the two.

The Brawn GP team’s BGP 001 car will take to the track at Albert Park later this afternoon in qualifying for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix featuring Virgin branding.

Ross Brawn, Team Principal of Brawn GP commented; “On behalf of the Brawn GP team, we are delighted to have signed a partnership agreement with Sir Richard and Virgin in Melbourne today. An exciting debut race weekend for our team has become even more important as we have secured our second commercial agreement of the season. We look forward to working closely with the Virgin Group and sharing our on-track successes.”

Sir Richard Branson said; “I have always said I would love for Virgin to be involved in Formula One and I am thrilled that we will be entering this fantastic sport with people as skilled as Ross Brawn and the Brawn GP team. Over the years Virgin has had the great honour of partnering with technical geniuses and I truly believe that Ross Brawn is to F1 what Burt Ratan is to space travel with Virgin Galactic. We are confident that the Virgin BGP 001 car driven by Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will go from strength to strength this season and we look forward to a great future working with the Brawn GP team.”

Brawn GP Free Practice – F1 Australia

Exactly three weeks after the Brawn GP team ran the BGP 001 for the first time, the car made its competitive debut today at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne on the opening day of the Australian Grand Prix weekend. Drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello took to the track with their helmets liveried in the team’s distinctive yellow, black and white colour scheme to mark the occasion.

Grip levels on the public roads which make up the Albert Park circuit were very low for the first practice session as the team began working through their Friday programme. The drivers concentrated on refining the balance of the BGP 001 to their liking and putting further valuable mileage on the new car. As the track conditions improved in the second session, the team completed a thorough evaluation of the Bridgestone tyre compounds available for this race.

The team’s two BGP 001 cars covered 109 laps of the 5.3km (3.3) mile track today, finishing the second practice session with Rubens in second place on the timesheets and Jenson in fifth position.


Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Free Practice 1 Free Practice 2
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 21 laps 01:27.226 P4 38 laps 01:26.157 P2
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 12 laps 01:27.467 P6 38 laps 01:26.374 P5

Weather Sunny with a light breeze
Temperatures Air: 18-19°C Track: 25-33°C

“To be here in Melbourne is a real achievement for the team and it feels good to be back in the car and working towards a race weekend strategy again. Despite the limited testing time that we were able to do before this race, we have proved that we have a competitive car and were achieved some good work today. We evaluated both tyres and are happy with the overall performance so I think we have a good chance of a strong qualifying performance tomorrow.”

“It was great to finally get the season underway today. We had a good first day of practice and the long run performance looks competitive, particularly on the harder tyre. We still have some work to do on the softer tyre so that will be a priority for tomorrow’s practice session. I had traffic on both of my new tyres runs at the end of the day which was a shame so we don’t know how quick we are over one lap yet but there is plenty of time to find that out tomorrow.”

“The circuit at Albert Park is very different to the tracks that we used for our limited pre-season testing programme so our focus today has been on setting the car up to suit the conditions that we have here and the preferences of our drivers. Track conditions improved considerably in the second session however we are clearly not alone in finding the experience of running slightly later in the day less favourable than anticipated. It is a useful indication of what we may find when the race runs at a similar time on Sunday. The car performed well and we are pleased with the day’s work experiencing only minor issues which are to be expected with our limited testing mileage. A good start to the weekend.”