Barrichello on pole after a mammoth qualifying session

After nearly three hours of persistent rain delaying the qualifying proceedings, Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello ultimately secured a crucial pole position at home while his title rivals suffered major problems in the tricky wet conditions.

World championship leader Jenson Button will start the Brazilian Grand Prix down in P14, having opted not to fit the Bridgestone intermediates tyres that could have vaulted him up the grid order. By staying out on track with full wets, Jenson lost the opportunity in setting a competitive laptime. Position fourteenth is not ideal but at least it is no worse than Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull Racing driver will start in P16 and will need at least second place on Sunday to remain in the title hunt.

Mark Webber joins Barrichello on the front row in the second Red Bull, ahead of another impressive qualifying effort from Force India’s Adrian Sutil in third.

The first qualifying session was red flagged after just four minutes following a spin by Giancarlo Fisichella in his Ferrari. The Italian lost control at the bottom of the Senna S and stalled on the racing line. He will start the race at the tail end of the grid.

With the conditions near impossible due to the heavy rain, race control decided to halt the session until the weather relented at least slightly.

As the skies became a little lighter, Q1 was restarted following a 12-minute pause, and although the spray and standing water remained a major issue for the drivers, the lap times were immediately 12 seconds faster than the pre-red flag laps.

Outside championship contender Vettel had been fastest by a full second among the seven cars that set times prior to the stoppage, but he was quickly shuffle down the order to P16 and could not improve. A trip off the circuit at Turn 5 did not help, and with the rain coming down harder again Sebastian abandoned his final lap. P16 is his worst-case scenario and the German faces a near-impossible task in Sunday’s Grand Prix as he strives to stay in title contention.

Also going out in Q1 were the McLarens, with Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton in P17 and P18 respectively. The latter having a spin after exiting Turn 5.

The start of Q2 was delayed further as the rain continued to fall. Despite no obvious let-up in the conditions, the green light appeared and the remaining 15 cars headed onto the track.

But in no time at all Vitantonio Liuzzi had a huge crash on the pit straight, bringing out the red flags once again.

With the rain continuing to fall it took an hour to get the session restarted. But when it finally did it brought a dramatic development – championship leader Button was eliminated.

The track began to dry quite quickly and halfway through several drivers switched to intermediate tyres – led by Nico Rosberg’s Williams, who once again looked instantly at ease with the wet conditions.

Neither of the Brawn GP drivers opted to try the intermediates and that proved a big mistake in Button’s case. But while Barrichello managed to scrape through to Q3, team-mate Button was 0.9 seconds slower and thus failed. He will start behind rookies Kamui Kobayashi – making a fine debut for Toyota – Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) and Romain Grosjean (Renault).

And so into the final ten minutes of Q3. With the track conditions improving all the time and the rain finally easing off, the top ten drivers all opted for the intermediates to set the quickest laps.

The pole position holder was changing at least once every minute with Sebastien Buemi, Robert Kubica and Jarno Trulli all having turns.

Twice Barrichello took the top spot but immediately was pushed back down the order. He eventually took the honour when the chequered flag was waved on the main pit straight, recorded his first pole position at the Interlagos track after five years of trying. His time of one minute, 19.576 seconds was just under a tenth of a second faster than rival Mark Webber.

Adrian Sutil grabbed third from Toyota’s Jarno Trulli right at the end, with Kimi Raikkonen fifth for Ferrari.

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi was rapid throughout and took an excellent sixth, but there was disappointment for Nico Rosberg, who had been quickest in both Q1 and Q2 but could not maintain that pace as the track dried. He fell to seventh, with his team-mate Kazuki Nakajima ninth between Robert Kubica (BMW) and Fernando Alonso (Renault).

Before the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, Formula One’s ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone has said he wanted to see the championship decided at the final round in Abu Dhabi. Well, following this lengthy qualifying session and with a grid line-up for Sunday, it seems that we could be heading that way.

Qualifying times from Interlagos:

1.  Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes        1:19.576
2.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault      1:19.668
3.  Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  1:19.912
4.  Trulli       Toyota                1:20.097
5.  Raikkonen    Ferrari               1:20.168
6.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:20.250
7.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota       1:20.326
8.  Kubica       BMW-Sauber            1:20.631
9.  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota       1:20.674
10. Alonso       Renault               1:21.422
11. Kobayashi    Toyota                1:21.960
12. Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:22.231
13. Grosjean     Renault               1:22.477
14. Button       Brawn-Mercedes        1:22.504
15. Liuzzi       Force India-Mercedes  1:24.645
16. Vettel       Red Bull-Renault      1:25.009
17. Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes      1:25.052
18. Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      1:25.192
19. Heidfeld     BMW-Sauber            1:25.515
20. Fisichella   Ferrari               1:40.703

11 thoughts to “Barrichello on pole after a mammoth qualifying session”

  1. The top three drivers’ views on a really long qualifying session at Interlagos (that last almost three hours!). Articles taken from

    Rubens Barrichello was a delighted man after grabbing pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix, but the Brawn driver admitted there was still a long way to go before he could celebrate properly.

    The local hero made the most of the conditions to grab his first pole position since 2004, crucially in a session in which team-mate Jenson Button finished down in 14th.

    Button is 14 points ahead of Barrichello in the standings with just two races to go.

    Barrichello said it was a special day for him, but admitted he was keeping his feet on the ground as he is yet to convert his pole into a good result in the race.

    “It is a special time for me,” said Barrichello. “It’s obviously a great time when you go out and you have a balance, it doesn’t matter if it is wet or dry, just off you go. There were plenty of strategies, you never know what is going to happen, it was so variable.

    “I am so happy, it was a great drive and it may be that we have less fuel than them, but it’s better to start at the front and have my own race pace than towards the middle of the pack.

    “I am very, very happy with this situation. It is great to see that all the people stayed to see it because they went through a heavy period of rain. I was expecting them to leave but happy they stayed to see it.”

    He added: “After so many years, after 17 in F1, I never got out of the car for a pee twice in the middle of qualifying! I am very proud of what we achieved today. We were on the borderline for Q2, we should have gone for inters but we were lucky enough to just make it.

    “I knew car was competitive, like I said, I am keeping my feet on the ground because we have won nothing yet. We did fantastic today, it will be a great night and I will sleep, but we still have to get everything tomorrow.”

    The Brazilian said he will not look at what Button or Sebastian Vettel do tomorrow, and instead will only focus on winning the race.

    “It is obviously great to start from the front,” he said. “I am not watching what is going on on the side. I will race as hard as I can to win the race, then when race is finished I will open the radio and see where Jenson and Sebastian finish. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

    Barrichello reckons the session, which lasted nearly three hours, should not have been restarted after Force India’s Tonio Liuzzi crashed.

    “We saw today, we were not expecting the rain that came down. The worst time of qualifying was when Liuzzi went off. We should not have restarted qualifying at that time, on that straight I was in fourth gear, you have not much pleasure from visibility and you are aquaplaning so don’t know what is happening. Sorry you guys had to wait, I had to wait but had pleasure to drive car.”

    Lessons have been learned about the capabilities of Formula 1 cars in wet conditions, following the 160-minute-long delayed and interrupted wet qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix, that is the view of Mark Webber.

    The Australian, who eventually qualified second on the grid for Sunday’s race and who is considered one of F1’s stronger wet weather racers, was critical of the stewards’ decision to allow qualifying to begin when the conditions were most difficult in Q1 and Q2.

    “I don’t think it was the right thing to probably start in those conditions, every driver I spoke to was of the same opinion, fortunately the right decision was made in the end, but TV drives things and we have to start,” he said.

    The second part of qualifying was stopped when Vitantonio Liuzzi aquaplaned in to the pit wall and crashed heavily.

    Webber, who was one of the drivers advocating the abandonment of the wet Chinese Grand Prix earlier this year, added that the sport is beginning to understand when modern F1 cars move out of an acceptable operating window in wet conditions.

    “You cannot have a car losing control in the last sector [at Interlagos], you have to have a chance to control the cars, which means accidents will be less. The standing water was massive and visibility was a big thing, we have learned today when to drive and not to, they are not street cars, they are F1 cars, they are quick and low to the ground and they go off quick when the conditions go wrong.

    “I am sure they have learned a bit upstairs today.”

    Webber added that he was pleased with his own performance in qualifying having survived the chaos to engage in a late duel for pole with Rubens Barrichello.

    “It was a very tricky session especially the first one, both for Seb (Vettel) and I. The car was tricky in the wet heavy conditions, we scraped through just, and when track came back I was much more competitive. We knew inters would come into play at the back part of qualifying. At first I thought it was not too comfortable, but the grip came and I saw I was going in the top three.

    “I would have liked to have a crack at the end but I made a mistake. I am happy with the job I did, as Rubens said, it was difficult to know what to do, congratulations to Rubens on pole at home, and we will give him a race tomorrow.

    “I am happy to be starting on front row, Suzuka was the only time this year I felt I missed a big opportunity, other races not quick enough or the drive through in Spa.”

    Webber’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel will start 16th on the grid, and asked whether he would consider compromising his own race to assist the German’s championship challenge, the Australian responded: “At the start I will back off and pull off straight away!

    “I doubt the situation will arise, how we can help each other,” he added. “To do a normal GP is difficult enough to get all the ducks lined up, with the exception of Turkey we have never been together on the track.”

    Adrian Sutil declared himself “very happy” with his third place on the grid for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

    The Force India driver brought himself up to the second row with his final lap of qualifying as conditions improved on the wet track surface.

    “We had some problems on Friday in the dry and it didn’t look great,” the German said. “Because of that I was really hoping for rain, and we got a lot of it.

    “In Q2, with the extreme wets, we went extremely well, and in Q3 I managed one good lap in the end, which was enough for P3. I’m very happy.”

    Sutil said that the major difficulty of the almost three-hour long session was maintaining his concentration throughout red flags and protracted sessions in the pits.

    “I had to wait so long, had to keep focus up,” he added. “So it makes me so happy after waiting for such a long time, to be so competitive in this field.”

    Sutil’s team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi qualified 15th, but could be penalised five places if Force India deems it necessary to change his car’s gearbox after his Q2 crash.

  2. Kimi Raikkonen reckons Ferrari would have had a much stronger Interlagos qualifying session had the weather not improved.

    The Finn ended up fifth on the grid, but had been second in Q1, when the weather was at its worst.

    Raikkonen felt the car was less competitive when the field switched to intermediate tyres following the long stoppage in the middle of the session.

    “With the inters the car is not so easy as with full wet tyres,” he said. “If it stayed in full wet condition then probably we would have been in a better position.

    “Hopefully tomorrow we can fight for a podium. We know the car is missing grip, but I am happy because it is a good position.”

    Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali added that the team cannot get complacent about its chances in the battle for third in the constructors’ championship despite main rival McLaren’s disastrous session.

    The McLaren drivers struggled with a dry set-up on the sodden track and were both eliminated in Q1, leaving them on row nine.

    Although Ferrari also lost Giancarlo Fisichella in Q1 – the Italian hitting the engine kill switch with his wrist as he tried to catch an early spin – Raikkonen is starting 12 places ahead of the best McLaren.

    That result gives Ferrari a chance to stretch its current two point advantage over McLaren with two races to go, but Domenicali said he was still wary of Toyota – a further 10.5 points adrift in the standings and with Jarno Trulli fourth and Kamui Kobayashi 11th.

    “It is unfortunate we could not have both drivers ahead on the grid,” said Domenicali.

    “Tomorrow will be an important race considering where our main opponents are, but we have to keep in mind that Toyota is ahead on grid and they are close on points.”


  3. Nico Rosberg believes he could have qualified higher up the grid in Brazil had the session stayed fully wet in Q3.

    The German was one of the quickest man when the track was at its wettest, but then was forced to switch to intermediates tyres for the final segment as conditions improved.

    Rosberg qualified his Williams in seventh position, but reckons it could have been better.

    “It was good to see that we were fastest on the wets throughout qualifying,” said Rosberg. “Unfortunately, however, I think we just weren’t quick enough on the intermediates.

    “We weren’t able to warm up the front tyres enough so they didn’t work properly which ultimately hurt our pace. Still, seventh is a position from which we can hope for a strong race tomorrow.”

    Team-mate Kazuki Nakajima completed a solid day for Williams, the Japanese finishing in ninth position.

    “It was a difficult qualifying session with a long time between red flags and each round,” Nakajima said. “It would probably have been better if it had continued raining because the car was very competitive in the wet, but we still managed to get a good position.

    “It’s the first time I’ve been in the top ten since Hungary so I’m looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”


  4. Vitantonio Liuzzi said that he was surprised by his crash that brought out the red flags during the second part of Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying at Interlagos.

    The Italian driver lost control of his Force India on the start/finish straight and slammed into the pitwall side-on.

    His car then slid backwards across the circuit at the entrance to the Senna ‘S’, narrowly missing Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, and hit the tyre wall on the outside of the track.

    “I wasn’t expecting something like that because I was just being calm, following Kimi on the track so I could see his lines and if there were any puddles,” Liuzzi said.

    “Then I just lost the car in a big puddle in the middle of the straight. I didn’t touch the brake at all. I’d just backed off on the straight. It’s just part of the game unfortunately.”

    Liuzzi, who had gone 12th quickest in Q1, said that the amount of standing water on the Interlagos track surface made driving a Formula 1 car a challenging prospect.

    “The problem here is that [with a lot of water on the track] you get a lot of rivers, and it was pretty dangerous to go out,” he added.

    “Yes, it was risky, but it was okay. The problem is that because it’s qualifying, you can’t wait [for conditions to improve] to come onto the track because that wastes time. It happens.”


  5. Despite being knocked out in Q1, Sebastian Vettel still reckons he has the chance to win the Brazilian Grand Prix. Read on for his views courtesy from

    World championship contender Sebastian Vettel says he can still win the Brazilian Grand Prix despite having qualified 16th in poor weather conditions.

    The German was bumped out of qualifying after the rain-delayed Q1 after his strategy was scuppered by a worsening of the weather.

    But the Red Bull Racing driver, who is 16 points behind Jenson Button in the title race with two rounds to go, says that it’s not over yet despite needing to finish first or second in Sunday’s race.

    “I think it would be much nicer to start from the front but that is not the case,” Vettel told the BBC. “That’s life, we have to accept but I think there have been other people winning from those kind of grid positions at the back.

    “Obviously it is much harder, we will see tomorrow the weather. In the dry we are very competitive, in the wet we should be also as well. It’s not a question of pace, more a question of timing.

    “Now we are in the back so for sure when we start tomorrow the knife will be between our teeth and we will try to do our best.”

    Vettel admitted that his car was not best-suited to the rain as it became heavier late-on in Q1, and was frustrated enough to slam his steering wheel down on his car when he returned to the pits at the end of the session.

    “I think I went to the pool not to the race track today,” he said. “Obviously it’s extremely disappointing, we were targeting to qualify much higher. That’s life.

    “There was a window where the circuit was quickest but we couldn’t use it. We struggled a bit with traffic here and there, and then after when we had clean air it started to rain more heavily and that’s it.

    “It’s a shame there wasn’t much missing, it was just a question of the right timing.”

  6. As for Jenson Button, the series leader will start the penultimate race of the season down in a disappointing P14. Read on for his views on how it all went wrong in qualifying. As taken from

    Jenson Button’s hopes of wrapping up the world championship in Brazil were dealt a serious blow after the Brawn driver qualified a lowly 14th for Sunday’s race at Interlagos.

    The 29-year-old Briton admitted it was a mistake not to switch to intermediate tyres at the end of Q2, despite several of his rivals doing so.

    He then found himself unable to responds as other drivers moved ahead of him after a protracted red flag period held up proceedings in the rain-interrupted season.

    “At the start of the session I had way too much understeer in the car on that run, when the circuit wasn’t wet like it was in the first session,” Button told the BBC.

    “I couldn’t do anything with the car and on lap three the rears started going away so that was it.

    “We made a mistake not putting the inters on at the end of the session.”

    Button, whose team-mate Rubens Barrichello grabbed pole position, refused to apportion blame for the decision when asked.

    “Well it’s all of ours, it’s a team effort isn’t it,” he said.

    Button starts the grand prix two positions higher than his other championship rival Sebastian Vettel, who was knocked out in Q1.

  7. Sebastien Buemi wants a dry race in Brazil despite recording a career best sixth place grid position in the chaotic rain-hit qualifying session at Interlagos.

    Toro Rosso’s Swiss rookie made it into the the top ten shoot-out for the third time this season as he kept his head through the red-flagged Q2 session.

    “Of course I am happy, as sixth is my best ever qualifying result,” he said. “It was a difficult session and I just stayed in the car, trying to remain focused. Our goal for tomorrow is to score some points. But with this kind of weather anything can happen.

    “I would prefer it to be dry tomorrow, but so far this weekend, we have been quick whatever the track conditions, so I will be fighting my hardest if it’s wet or dry.”

    Jaime Alguersuari also enjoyed a good day in the sister STR4, equalling his best starting position of the season.

    “That was not bad and I’m happy with the result,” he said afterwards. There was a lot of water and it was easy to crash, so my priority was to stay on the track, making no mistakes.

    “Visibility was very bad in these conditions, so I hope we have better conditions for the race. I think I did the best I could today. To make it through to Q3 would have required using the Intermediate tyre, but we gambled on sticking on the Extreme and the final result is pretty good anyway.”


  8. Lewis Hamilton bemoaned a “poor performance” that left him down in 18th on the grid during a wet qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

    The McLaren driver set the pace in Q1 shortly after it was restarted.

    But the world champion was pushed down the order while others made the most of being on track while conditions were at their best and was left unable to make it into Q2 for the first time since Silverstone.

    “That was a pretty poor performance from us,” said Hamilton. “Our car was so bad in the wet, you couldn’t even go flat-out on the straights. That’s how little grip I had.

    “We were running a dry set-up, which is a lot stiffer than you would normally go for in the wet, so that obviously hampered us. You can see the downforce levels really show in these conditions.”

    With a few minutes left, and laptimes having dropped off by more than seven seconds, Hamilton had a frightening moment exiting the quick turn five.

    After aquaplaning off the track, he then spun twice on the wet grass, but did not hit anything and was able to continue slowly back to the pits.

    “I was only on 70 per cent throttle then,” the British driver added. “And it just let loose on me.”

    Hamilton’s team-mate Heikki Kovalainen fared only marginally better, qualifying his McLaren 16th as neither car made it into Q2.


  9. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that Sebastian Vettel’s dismal qualifying position for the Brazilian Grand Prix was down to nothing more than bad luck.

    Vettel, who must finish at least second at Interlagos to maintain any hope of taking the world championship fight down to the final race of the season, failed to make it out of a wet Q1 and will start the race from 16th position.

    But Horner believes the performance was not the doing of the German driver, who has won three times already this year, and was instead down to his inability to get a clear track while the wet circuit was at its quickest.

    “We’re frustrated,” Horner said. “It’s desperately unlucky for Sebastian, because there was a window of about two-three laps when the circuit was at its best in Q1.

    “With cars making mistakes ahead of him and yellow flags, it just never fell right for him, and he had to abort those laps – which proved very expensive.

    “When he finally did get a couple of clear laps at the end, the circuit was in such a poor conditions, there was no chance for him to set a representative time.”

    Horner believes that the performance of Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber, who will start from the front row, was more indicative of the pace of the Red Bulls at Interlagos.

    With the set-up of both cars geared more towards a dry race than a wet one too, he reckons both drivers will prove competitive in the race.

    “As we saw from Mark’s performance, it was clear that the car was very competitive in the wet or the dry, and on both extreme and intermediate tyres, and for sure, Sebastian would have been right there if he’d have just snuck into Q2,” he added.

    “It will be a long race and it always throws up a few curve balls here. He [Vettel] just has to go for it. He’s got [championship leader] Jenson [Button] just ahead of him, which is a surprise, and Mark’s got to go for the front. We’ve just got to push as hard as we can from the first lap to the last lap.”


  10. Jenson Button has admitted he needs to deliver a ‘hell of a race’ in Brazil on Sunday if he is going to prevent the world championship battle going all the way to the finale in Abu Dhabi.

    After a disastrous qualifying session at Interlagos, where he failed to make it past Q2 after struggling for pace on wet tyres, Button knows that he will need to go on the attack from his 14th grid slot to have any chance of scoring the points he needs to win the crown here.

    “It is going to have to be a hell of a race from me, and I don’t want to just be picking up a couple of points,” said the deeply disappointed Button about his prospects for Sunday’s race.

    “I want a much better result than that, so I am going to be fighting tomorrow – as I am sure there will be a couple of other people fighting through the back.

    “With the weather I don’t know what is going to happen. I would rather it was dry. We have a very good pace in the dry, and there are good possibilities for overtaking so I think it could be a fun race in the dry – and it is a going to be a hell of a race.”

    Although Button’s boss Ross Brawn has said he will not be bothered if the world title battle between his drivers is not resolved until the final race, Button has said there will be little comfort in simply ending Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel’s hopes tomorrow.

    “You want it done as soon as possible, for sure,” he said. “Today was frustrating. We felt we had very good pace in the wet this morning, and also in Q1. So it is just frustrating.

    “Yeah, it is difficult to know where the pace went really. And it is the smallest of set-up changes that made a massive difference in qualifying. I suppose you could say it was a slightly wrong call – but when you make a set-up change like we did with the tyre pressures it should not be that big. But we found that it was.”

    And highlighting the level of frustration he was experiencing, Button said he did not know whether team-mate Rubens Barrichello had run with different tyre pressures to help the Brazilian scrape through Q2.

    “I don’t know,” he said. “You will have to ask the engineers [that]. I haven’t asked the question yet, I have been too pissed off to ask any serious questions. But we will run through all the information tonight.

    “We’ve had to do our fuel load so that is what we have been concentrating on most of all, for tomorrow. It could be wet, it could be dry tomorrow. It is a tough one but we have the option to choose fuel loads, and we will see hopefully quite soon what people are running. That is the only positive you can take from starting where we are.”

    Ross Brawn says he has no problem with the drivers’ championship being decided in the final race of the season, as long as it’s only his two drivers fighting for the title.

    “As long as it is between our two drivers I would be very happy. That’s the key element,” said Brawn after qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    “It would be fantastic if it went to Abu Dhabi between Jenson and Rubens I think that would make a fantastic final to the season.”

    He added: “Let’s hope we can go in to the last race with our two drivers fighting for the championship, I think that would be a fitting finale to the season.”

    Rubens Barrichello qualified on pole position on Saturday while team-mate Jenson Button suffered a big blow to his chances of wrapping up the title at Interlagos after finishing down in 14th position.

    Barrichello is 14 points behind Button in the standings, having outscored his British team-mate in four of the last five races.

    Brawn reckons things are now going Barrichello’s way following a very strong start to the season from Button, but says the Brazilian was never far from the Briton’s pace.

    “He wasn’t that far behind in the first half, some races just didn’t go well for him,” Brawn added. “What I saw in the first half of the season was that there were occasions in the middle of the race when he didn’t have the pace.

    “What I’ve seen in the second half, as we saw in Valencia and Monza, he has now got the pace in the middle of the race and that is where he seems to have changed. Now whether that is because we are finding better set-ups or what, I don’t know.

    “There is no single thing that you can say made a difference. He changed the brake material that he was using during the year, which we think probably helped. Because the one he was using was a bit too aggressive so this calmed things down a bit, which may have helped in.

    “I think it’s just a fine balance with both drivers in the team and it’s swinging a bit more towards Rubens at the moment.”

    Brawn admitted Button is facing a difficult race tomorrow starting from so far down.

    “There is a risk. Jenson is pretty experienced and he knows he is going to have to be sensible. But there is nothing we can do about that. It is the same risk that Sebastian faces as well. So he has got the same problem.

    “I’m not sure that Liuzzi will make it to the grid so therefore you have got Jenson and Sebastian [Vettel] next to each other trying to find their way through the lesser experienced drivers.”

    And the team boss insisted he had no problems with the rivalry between his drivers and their staff.

    “It’s up to me to control that,” he said when asked about Barrichello’s race engineer Jock Clear’s jubilant reaction at the Brazilian’s pole.

    “We all know Jock gets pretty excited, but Shov [Andrew Shovlin, Button’s race engineer] gets on with it in his own quiet way. Jenson’s engineer is just as competitive, and perhaps not as demonstrative in the way he approaches things.

    “But no, there is a natural competition between both sides of the garage and it starts with the drivers and goes through members of the team.

    “But in the end they have all got to do what is in the best interests of the team, and they know that. It’s good to see some enthusiasm.”


  11. From the 2009 season, the FIA is making public the weights of the cars, with their fuel load included, following Saturday’s qualifying session.

    Below is the weight of each car following qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, sorted by qualifying position.

    Pos Driver Weight (kg)
    1. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 650.5
    2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 656.0
    3. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 656.5
    4. Trulli Toyota 658.5
    5. Raikkonen Ferrari 651.5
    6. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 659.0
    7. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 657.0
    8. Kubica BMW-Sauber 656.0
    9. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 664.0
    10. Alonso Renault 652.0
    11. Kobayashi Toyota 671.5*
    12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 671.5*
    13. Grosjean Renault 677.2*
    14. Button Brawn-Mercedes 672.0*
    15. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 680.0*
    16. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 683.5*
    17. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 656.5*
    18. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 661.0*
    19. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 650.5*
    20. Fisichella Ferrari 683.5*

    * Declared weight

    Update: Vitantonio Liuzzi has been given a five-place penalty following an engine change.

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