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GP Week : Issue 39
>>F1australia Brawn’s a World Guy ... PHIL BRANAGAN Australian Journalist THERE were some rules abandoned in Melbourne, including some of my own. Within minutes of the podium, there I was, striding down the back of the pits, a foot from Ross Brawn – who was still dripping with Mumms. He was slightly dazed, seemingly floating just above the ground, as you would be after a 1-2 finish. I was armed with everything I needed; my trusty Mini-Disc recorder, complete with very effective (and very expensive) microphone, and questions to spare. He had answers, and the situation called for grit. The rule is, no matter what, stick with your quarry and, even if they stay silent, keep firing the Qs. I broke the rule. Brawn was on the move until Vijay Mallya, now a brother team owner, the two linked by a common engine supply from Mercedes-Benz, appeared from nowhere to give Brawn a big teddy- bear hug. I stepped back, the two shared a moment and some private words. Then Ross marched on, but I stayed put. For a minute, I abandoned my job. He was anxious to get down to his team. BrawnGP was in the last garage (which conversely, gives them the first pit box) and he wanted to share the moment with his men and women. There were more hugs and laughter than you usually see in such circumstances and it seemed less important to salvage a few quotes than it did to let the man enjoy the triumph with his troops. This was not Ross Brawn’s first Grand Prix victory – far from it – but all of his previous wins have been in the name of someone else. The first was when he was with Williams, Frank’s and Patrick Head’s team; then with Benetton, they of the multi- national clothing line; then Ferrari, the most recognised name in all of The original World Guy: Kenny Roberts pictured with Mario Andretti back in 1978. racing. In context, Melbourne 2009 was special. Anyone who knows me knows I love an anecdote. I quite like the one about Kenny Roberts who, after years of beating up the best motorcycle racers in the USA, set out to conquer Europe and 500cc racing. He did it, taking three titles on the trot in 1978-79-80. After sealing the ’78 crown, he exclaimed to his tuner, Kel Carruthers, in fluent Californian, “Hey Kel, I’m a World Guy!” After this win, Ross Brawn is a World Guy. Hell, he always was. Pos # Driver FORMULA 1 Round 1 AUSTRALIA Team 1 22 Jenson Button Laps Time Brawn-Mercedes 58 1:34:15.784 2 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 58 +0.8s 3 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 +2.9s 4 10 Timo Glock Toyota 5 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 58 +4.4s 58 +4.8s 6 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 58 +5.7s 7 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 8 11 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 9 20 Adrian Sutil 10 6 Nick Heidfeld Toyota RBR-Renault RBR-Renault Ferrari Ferrari 58 +6.0s 58 +6.2s Force India-Mercedes 58 +6.3s BMW Sauber 58 +7.0s 11 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 58 +7.3s 12 9 Jarno Trulli 13 14 Mark Webber 14 15 Sebastian Vettel 15 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 16 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ret 3 Felipe Massa Ret 8 Nelson Piquet Renault 58 +26.6s 57 +1 Lap 56 Accident 55 Accident 55 Differential 45 Suspension 24 Spin Ret 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 17 Accident Ret 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 0 Accident Points – Drivers: Button 10, Barrichello 8, Hamilton 6, Glock 5, Alonso 4, Rosberg 3, Buemi 2, Bourdais 1. Manufacturers: Brawn 18, McLaren-Mercedes 6, Toyota 5, Renault 4, Williams-Toyota 3, Toro Rosso 3. 33 Grid 1 2 18 19 10 5 13 17 16 9 15 20 8 3 4 7 6 14 11 12 opinion