On the Button


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Well we are off then and who would have predicted a Williams one/two in any practice session. Obviously early doors yet but it looks like we could be in for a facinating weekend. Let's hope and pray that the FIA don't stuff it all up.

It's not just very early in the season but very early in the first weekend but I've just been thinking about the Brawn GP drivers and speculating on this question:

What happens to Jenson if Rubens consistantly out paces him this season ??

While last season Rubens was helped by a great result in a wet race and generally there perfomances were a lot closer than it looked I'm wondering if we see that sort of thing again this season what the outcome will be. Rubens is a strong, consistant driver with good pace and Jenson can show flashes of brilliance on any given day but who is more likely to come out on top. Given that Rubens is going to be on a one year deal does he believe that he can go on again next season?

If by the summertime Rubens is ahead on points and in the comparisson charts it's going to make Ross think long and hard about his ilne ups for 2010 especially if the team have a strong season and feel like they can push on. Undoubtably Rubens will retire with his head high and perhaps become a consultant to the team but If Jenson can't up his game then where will he end up?

Like I said this is some very early speculation and we haven't seen how they look on race pace yet so I prepared to take a good custard pie to the mush for this but I think it's an interesting question.
I stayed up for P1 but that was enough for me....I'm way to old to be pulling all-nighters :D

I know we shouldn't read too much into testing but it's clear that some teams have a distinct advantage and others will struggle to avoid being lapped early on.
The only real comparison we can make is between team mates.
Good to see Mark Webber splitting the top 3 teams though.

Here are the final posiitons for P1 and P2.

Friday Practice 1
Pos  	No  	Driver  		Team 			Time/Retired  	Gap  	Laps
1 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:26.687 19
2 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:26.736 0.049 21
3 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.750 0.063 24
4 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:27.226 0.539 21
5 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.453 0.766 15
6 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:27.467 0.780 12
7 3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.642 0.955 24
8 10 Timo Glock Toyota 1:27.710 1.023 24
9 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:27.993 1.306 20
10 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:28.123 1.436 16
11 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:28.137 1.450 20
12 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:28.142 1.455 21
13 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:28.511 1.824 22
14 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:28.603 1.916 16
15 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:28.785 2.098 27
16 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:29.042 2.355 18
17 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:29.081 2.394 7
18 8 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 1:29.461 2.774 25
19 11 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 1:29.499 2.812 21
20 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:32.784 6.097 4

Friday Practice 2
Pos  	No  	Driver  		Team 			Time/Retired  	Gap  	Laps
1 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:26.053 36
2 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:26.157 0.104 38
3 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:26.350 0.297 42
4 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:26.370 0.317 30
5 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:26.374 0.321 38
6 10 Timo Glock Toyota 1:26.443 0.390 42
7 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:26.560 0.507 33
8 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:26.740 0.687 19
9 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:27.040 0.987 29
10 3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.064 1.011 35
11 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:27.204 1.151 32
12 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:27.232 1.179 28
13 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:27.282 1.229 32
14 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:27.317 1.264 34
15 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:27.398 1.345 36
16 11 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 1:27.479 1.426 36
17 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.802 1.749 35
18 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.813 1.760 31
19 8 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 1:27.828 1.775 35
20 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:28.076 2.023 33
Thanks Brogan. All the times are pretty close. I suspect there could be quite a bit of shifting around when qualifying time comes, though the broad performance pattern is probably the right one.
cider_and_toast said:
It's not just very early in the season but very early in the first weekend but I've just been thinking about the Brawn GP drivers and speculating on this question:

What happens to Jenson if Rubens consistantly out paces him this season ??

There is a feeling that he may become a has been. Nigel Mansell's previously been quoted as saying Jens has blown it and Brundle-Fly has also stated he thinks Jenson has wasted his talent.. I know that it's been said that he's thought of well at
Honda/ne Brawn but can/should he survive a season being out-driven by his teammate? :dunno:

Brogan said:
The only real comparison we can make is between team mates.

I know people say we can't read too much into practice, but surely having the McLaren's down in 17th & 18th isn't a good sign!
I mean, did Lewis & Heiki forget to drop off their bucket,spade and bags of sands, that they intend to use for making sand-castles & sand-replica cars like red bull did? :nah:

As was thought, the Defuser-Rebels are doing well. Williams & Brawn are up there, but Toyota where are you!?
What is interesting is that the Red Bulls were 1 and 2 outwith the "Diffuser" teams in the second session. I for one am not too surprised as I expected Brawn, Toyota and Williams to be leading the way. I was impressed by how well the Force Indias did, especially Sutil.

I predicted a Rosberg win a couple of weeks ago - before the emergence of Brawn - and I think I'm going to stick with it.

Now just to set the alarm and enjoy. :popcorn: :snacks:
I didn't see the coverage of the practice sessions today, but I've heard that McLaren have a new diffuser up their sleeve, so to speak. If so, could they fit it & improve this weekend? :dunno:

On another note, I'm thinking of starting a new thread, "The smoke Screen" thread. First post will be this - The established pecking order has been overturned - Domenicali

He's saying 'I do not really want to admit that we're behind, but in case anyone notices, I want you to know that it's far too early to say that we're behind and even if we are, we knew we would be behind, way back in winter testing, so it's no surprise to us' !
Button takes the top spot and that'll be one custard pie for Cider!!! :snigger:

Great to see Vettel up there in third proving that the "Diffuser Rebels" may not have as much of an advantage as first thought.

Is Lewis going to go where Jody Scheckter and Damon Hill have gone before? :disappointed:

With Jenson 2 tenths quicker than Rubens and 7 tenths quicker than Vettel it looks like being a great start for Brawn.

My next rash prediction is going to be Nelson JNR out the door before long and Senna JNR in. Remember where you heard it first. Now where as those pies again........

Have a I woken up in an alrernate universe? :D

What a great season it promises to be.
The 2 biggest teams in F1 are struggling, the underdogs are on the 1st row of the grid and a non-disputed-diffuser car is in 3rd which implies that if they did have a split level diffuser they'd be even faster.

Roll on tomorrow :cheer:
Glad I set the alarm to get up for it - well worth it! Great to see Brawn getting a 1-2 and as Eddie Jordan said "it is a fairy tale - not just in F1 but in all sport". Talk about a phoenix from the flames!

Also, great laps by Vettel and more so Kubica, who came from nowhere to claim 4th. And not only is the Mclaren slow but it's unreliable as well. Might as well pack up and concentrate on next season because I really can't see them pulling back the massive performance gap between them and the others.
Here are the fuel loads.
We can see that the Brawns have true pace and weren't running light.

Pos. Driver                  Car Weight
1. Jenson Button 664.5kg
2. Rubens Barrichello 666.5kg
3. Sebastien Vettel 657.0kg
4. Robert Kubica 650.0kg
5. Nico Rosberg 657.0kg
6. Felipe Massa 654.0kg
7. Kimi Raikkonen 655.5kg
8. Mark Webber 662.0kg
9. Nick Heidfeld 691.5kg
10. Fernando Alonso 680.7kg
11. Kazuki Nakajima 680.5kg
12. Heikki Kovalainen 690.6kg
13. Sebastien Buemi 675.5kg
14. Nelson Piquet 694.1kg
15. Giancarlo Fisichella 689.0kg
16. Adrian Sutil 684.5kg
17. Sebastien Bourdais 662.5kg
18. Lewis Hamilton 655.0kg
19. Jarno Trulli 660.0kg
20. Timo Glock 670.0kg
Haha Brogan was just about to post that but you beat me to it!

It would appear that Hamilton is going for a very aggressive strategy - short first stint 2 stopper or even 3 stops. Kubica seems to be doing the same just to get into a good grid position. And the only things that I can see stopping the Brawns are reliability, an unforced error or plain luck.
Interesting points about the fuel loads are that even though both Ferraris are relatively light, they were still only just able to make the top 10.

Lewis Hamilton has to be the most worried driver on the grid right now...even with a low fuel load he was still only able to manage 15th and was comfortably beaten by his team mate.
Do be fair to Lewis, he didn't compete with Kova in Q2! McLaren do look shockingly bad! Hill, Scheckter, Andretti etc. are already in the rubbish car no.1 club.

Anyway, we all know the winning combination - British driver, no.22, Yellow helmet, British constructor, Mercedes engine...

It seems KERS is not a good idea at the moment; the highest KERS cars were Massa and Raikkonen in 8th & 9th 6th & 7th. Also in the main KERS comparison, Kubica qualified 4th, whilst Heidi was 11th 9th.

Some things never change though - Nelsinho Piquet was still disappointing, Alonso's mouth was opened without too much forethought (Everyone else: "I don't know what to expect", Fernando: "We should get in top 8" :givemestrength: Force India were slightly disappointing, I thought. But Brawn looked like Ferrari in 2002 going out for qualifying - setting 1 & 2 and then beggaring off to the garage. And if any team knows how Ferrari in 2002 worked...

Anyway, good luck Jenson, you really deserve it.
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With the publication of the car weights after qualifying it now becomes possible to get an approximate idea of the true pace of the leading drivers/cars without having to wait to see how far they run in the first stint tomorrow.

This thread would not have been possible without the work of The Artist formerly known as on this thread - http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/F13013...

The idea is that I have tried to work out what sort of lap time each car would have done if they had all been at an equal weight in Q3. In this case I have equalised them down to the lightest runner, who was Robert Kubica at 650kg.

Using the weight differential I can calculate approximately how many laps' extra the weight equates to (according to figures from Williams a lap of Melbourne uses around 2.63kg of fuel) and then from that using historical data for the circuit convert each lap less of fuel into 0.125s of lap time taken off...

It probably makes more sense just to post the table:

Pos/Driver		Time	"Extra" weight	Adjusted Time
1. (1) Button 1:26.202 14.5kg 1:25.513
2. (2) Barrichello 1:26.505 16.5kg 1:25.721
3. (6) Glock 1:26.975 20.0kg 1:26.025
4. (3) Vettel 1:26.830 7.0kg 1:26.497
5. (5) Rosberg 1:26.973 7.0kg 1:26.640
6. (8) Trulli 1:27.127 10.0kg 1:26.652
7. (10) Webber 1:27.246 12.0kg 1:26.676
8. (7) Massa 1:27.033 4.0kg 1:26.843
9. (9) Raikkonen 1:27.163 5.5kg 1:26.902
10. (4) Kubica 1:26.914 0.0kg 1:26.914

Some things to consider:

-Brawn's advantage on a level playing field may be in the region of half a second
-Toyota move up from 6th & 8th to 3rd & 6th - that car seems to have good pace
-The field is incredibly tight, with tiny gaps between the drivers in most cases
-The BMW's qualifying position is probably flattering to deceive, though it's not far behind the Ferraris on pace (which were also running lighter than most)

DISCLAIMERS - this is an estimate only and should be used with caution. It doesn't take into account whether the drivers had a clean qualifying run, whether they used all their KERS etc. The estimate of a lap of fuel being worth 0.125s/lap is based on analysis of the last three seasons' races at Melbourne - with the new regulations that figure might have changed. So please take it all with a pinch of salt.
Thanks GM, excellent stuff.

It will be interesting to see how the relative speeds of the drivers and teams change throughout the season.
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