The 2009 World Champion, the off-season triathlete who is now only a Schumacher re-retirement away from taking an Old Fogeys of F1 podium, is confusingly envious. The loathsome nose exhibited on every other 2012 F1 car, other than Jenson’s majestic McLaren MP4-27 reminds me of the scene in Midnight in Paris when Salvador Dali, played by the notable nose of Adrian Brody, goes on at length about the RHENOCÉROS(!), a creature known for its bi-horned beak (I’ve included the scene below for the unfamiliar). Come to think of it, if you crossed Brody with a rhino, a 2012 F1 car wouldn’t be far off. Except the very pretty McLaren. Yet the monstrous muzzle is the apple of Button’s eye! How can this be?!
After Peter Orosz’s compelling thesis in favour of McLaren’s beautiful sniffer swept me off my feet, Button’s clear uncertainty regarding his team’s 2012 design direction, despite his admitted preference for the new seating position, doesn’t instill confidence.
C’mon man! You’ve got two weeks to grow a pair! As Tina Fey famously said, “Confidence in 10% hard work and 90% delusion”. And it sounds like Jenson might be too experienced (read: old) to delude himself any longer.
This would be the last time Herr Vettel would smile at the 2010 Australian GP. Just as two weeks ago in Bahrain, his Red Bull car would give up the ghost and cost the talented Teuton another race win. This time though, his RB6 car also robbed him of any points, as a brake failure would send him into the gravel, rendering him unable to finish. Red Bull looked set to dominate this weekend’s Grand Prix with Vettel and Webber qualifying 1-2. The usual suspects of Ferrari’s Alonso (Q3) and Massa (Q5) and McLaren’s Button (Q4) and Hamilton (Q11) were also near the front of the grid. Another strong contender was Renault’s Robert Kubica, who found himself on the top of time sheets in practise Friday, but stumbled in qualifying into 9th on the grid. After a tumultuous start to the race that saw Schumacher’s front wing damaged, Kubica jumped up to 4th and Alonso and Hamilton were sent further back. Kubica would finish the race is a solid 2nd.
The race started with a wet track, but warm weather was on the way. Button used his gut feeling to pit early on lap 7 for dry tires and used this strategic manoeuvre to vault past other cars still on wet tires. Using his characteristically smooth driving style, he didn’t need to pit again and would go on to win the Australian GP for the second consecutive year – also marking his first win with McLaren. Hamilton used a two-pit strategy and made for a very interesting second half of the race as he closed in on the two Ferraris ahead of him who were on older tires. Hamilton closed a 20+ second gap in no time but couldn’t get past the cunning Fezzas. Massa and Alonso would stay ahead of Hamilton for the duration of the race and finish in 3rd and 4th, respectively. Naturally, Hamilton started whining over the radio to his pit crew about how Button had only pitted once and he had pitted twice. Boo hoo. Hamilton ended up in 6th despite a late race spill with Mark Webber’s Red Bull. Webber would finish in 9th.
Away from the drama at the front of the pack, both Virgin cars, Sutil’s Force India, Petrov’s Renault, Senna’s HRT, Buemi’s Toro Rosso, Hulkenberg’s Williams, and Kobayashi’s Sauber all failed to finish the race.
Schumacher snagged a 10th place finish after spending about 30 very frustrating laps stuck behind Toro Rosso’s Alguersuari. Mercedes GP teammate Nico Rosberg finished in 5th, once again ahead of his 7-time World Champion teammate, proving that he isn’t afraid of a challenge.
It was also a big day for Force India, who secured crucial Constructor’s Championship points after a 7th place finish by Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Those who were concerned that the 2010 season would lack drama and excitement quieted down after this morning’s race. It turns out that it was the Bahrain event itself that was lacking. All the season needed was a little rain.
The full gallery of haps, mishaps, and candid driver moments is below.
Now that the champagne has dried from the track and all the beautiful Brazilian women have left the paddocks for the beaches, let’s take a look at the ex-Honda team that won the Constructor’s Championship and the Brit who won the Drivers Championship but had never won a race before this season.
More Button/Brawn love action in the gallery below.
Ross Brawn and his Brawn GP Formula 1 team have a sponsor in the form of Graham-London, the British-sounding but Swiss-made watchmaker. The Chronofighter and the Silverstone are two of Graham-London’s renowned models, and now they’re both available in G-BGP-001 spec.
Get it? Boosted? Because Hamilton’s McLaren uses KERS? Knee-slapping, I know.
Winning from the pole position by a triumphant 9.634 second margin over Toyota’s Timo Glock and 16.624 seconds over Renault’s Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton won for the second time this season and is now in 6th place in this season’s Driver Standings. Speaking of Driver Standings, let’s take a look at how Button, Barichello, and Vettel are standing now that the night-race dust has settled over the Pacific island city-state.
Today, the Austrians (Red Bull GmbH) and the Germans (Sebastian Vettel) teamed up today to re-enact the Second World War air raids on London. Although instead of bombs there was a dominant car, instead of London it was Silverstone, and instead of the Second World War it was the 2009 British Grand Prix. Ok, so it was exactly nothing like those notorious air raids.
In the wake of another stunning victory by Jenson Button at the 2009 Turkish Grand Prix this past weekend, tensions up and down the paddock are rising over the budget caps that Max Mosley and the FIA (there’s a band name for you) have proposed from 2010 forward.
Under the "wins" system, Jenson Button would very nearly be the winner of the 2009 F1 Driver's Championship.
Forget what you’ve heard previously about the future of how the Driver’s Championship will be determined from 2010: it will remain as a “points” system rather than a “wins” system. Under the “wins” system as proposed, following yesterday’s win at Barcelona, Jenson Button would only need to win one more race in order to have clinched the Driver’s Championship. How much fun would that make the rest of the season, both for teams and for spectators? Not much.
Now that you’re sufficiently relieved, follow the jump to learn more F1 news!