by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 39
>>F1australia rand Prix, Melbourne Given the uphill struggle the Melbourne weekend looked as though it might be for Toro Rosso, a double points finish for the team will have come as no small shock. Bourdais and Buemi seemed very closely matched all weekend, but it was Buemi who looked the more impressive. Many had expected him to be out of his depth, and yet his matter-of-fact attitude towards the whole affair got the job done. Red Bull downplayed their expectations for the season before Melbourne, but after pulling off the shock performance of the weekend, their pace is no longer a secret. From neither driver finding their way into the top 10 in first practice, and a host of reliability issues, they were bang on the money come qualifying with Vettel taking third on the grid., Webber unlucky not to join him on row two after a minor error. Like Red Bull, Williams will feel that the Australian Grand Prix showed their pace, but left them frustrated. Top in all practice sessions, Nico Rosberg was driving with a smile on his face again, displaying the kind of speed that had netted him the GP2 title in 2005. He was phenomenal, and Nakajima wasn’t far behind. Qualifying was a shock, as the Japanese failed to make Q3 and Rosberg The mood down at Force India was positively buzzing on Friday. With Adrian Sutil netting ninth in both practice sessions there was a genuine feeling that the team was about to turn a corner after a disastrous 2008. The team’s buzz turned to a shattering low on Saturday, as the reality of its position hit. Plum last in qualifying save for Bourdais, it was a sucker punch the squad Not for 55 years had a new team come into Formula 1 and shaken up the establishment in quite this way. Front row of the grid and the first two places in the race, BrawnGP made itself the story of the Australian Grand Prix, ably helped by new sponsor Richard Branson. Of course, the BGP001 is what we would have called the Honda RA109 (minus the Honda engine), but Brawn The Swiss driver not only out-qualified his vastly more experienced team-mate, but out-raced him too. In the Grand Prix itself, Buemi put in a performance that showed he’s not just here to make up the numbers, putting up a stauncher defence of his position than many far more experienced drivers achieved in far better machinery. Bourdais got a point but was lucky. The race was a tough one. Webber was caught out at the first corner and again experienced nightmarish luck at his home race. Vettel streaked into second position and managed to hold onto Button for almost the entire duration. Contact with Kubica a few laps from home put an end to his race and, although he admitted fault, he may feel he needn’t have done so when he studies the replays. struggled to match his practice form. The race should have been better too. At one point the drivers were third and fifth, but a crash for Nakajima and a late struggle with the soft tyres for Rosberg ultimately left all involved feeling a little disappointed. Williams wants to compete for race wins in 2009, and on the basis of this weekend, there’s no reason to think that it can’t. didn’t need. Which is why the way its drivers raced on Sunday will have picked up team spirits. Sutil and Fisichella both drove brilliantly, pushing hard and using their brains. When all was said and done, they came home just one place out of the points, and there’s every reason to think that the team could pick up its first point on the right day in 2009. is still seen as a small team, and as such having a privateer win in F1 again is a very positive thing. The car was heavy, very heavy, all weekend and at points in the race Ross Brawn had to tell his drivers to slow down. That will be a huge worry to the team’s rivals but a source of inspiration to a team which, a month ago, didn’t even know if it would be on the grid ... 35