Flashback Friday – 2009 Australian Grand Prix

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Updated: March 14, 2014

Every Friday Let’s Talk Sport will be doing ‘Flashback Friday’. We’ll be having a quick look at a past sporting event of our choosing. And as it’s the first big shake up of the regulations since 2009, I’ll be looking at the first race of 2009, and Brawn GP’s success.

At the end of 2008 after two dismal seasons, Honda decided they were going to leave Formula 1. Ross Brawn, who was the team principal of Honda decided to buy the team outright, and keeping the two Honda drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello he set up his own team using what would have been the 2009 Honda chassis. He shoehorned a Mercedes engine into the car and renamed the team Brawn GP.

Due to the change in aerodynamic regulations in 2009 there were many loopholes to be exploited, and Brawn GP exploited one to perfection. Without going into too much detail, Brawn fashioned the so called ‘double diffuser’. Only two other teams exploited this loophole, but Brawn did it best.

After all the big teams stumbled in testing, Brawn and their double diffuser stole the show. This culminated in Jenson and Rubens qualifying first and second on the grid in Melbourne. The race itself followed a similar vain, Jenson flew away at the start and led every single lap. Rubens had a more difficult race, bogging down at the start and lost a far few positions. But with two laps to go he was fourth, when suddenly the

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second and third placed cars of Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel took each other out. Button crossed the line first with Barrichello second. The first time since 1954 that a team has won on it’s début.

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Button went on the win six of the first seven races and along with it the championship, also helping Brawn GP win the constructors championship. After 2009 the team was bought out again and became what we know today as the Mercedes F1 team. Brawn GP contested one season of Formula 1 and won the drivers and the constructors championship.

You couldn’t make it up.

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