Button takes title honours as Webber wins in Brazil

After a difficult second half of the 2009 Formula One World Championship, Jenson Button has finally fulfil his dream ambition in winning the drivers’ title after an aggressive drive in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Starting in P14 after a frustrating qualifying session, the Brawn GP driver pulled off some impressive overtaking manouvres to land fifth spot in the end. This was enough to secure the championship.

It capped off an amazing season and Jenson has undoubtedly silenced his critics whether he fully deserves the drivers’ title following this thrilling Grand Prix, won by Mark Webber.

The result also gave Brawn a remarkable Constructors’ Championship title in the team’s first year, less than 12 months after Honda’s departure left its staff facing an apparently bleak future.

As for the winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix, this was a comfortable victory for Mark Webber. The Australian took the lead after the first round of pitstops and never look back.

Behind the victorious Red Bull, Robert Kubica took his best result of the year in second for BMW while Lewis Hamilton came through from the tail end of the field to take third for McLaren.

For Rubens Barrichello, who started his home Grand Prix in pole position, the Brazilian’s crude luck at Interlagos continued. Even though Rubens had the opportunity to take the championship down to the wire if he wins, his mid-race pace wasn’t enough to prevent his team-mate in taking the title. A puncture eight laps from the chequered flag while running in fourth ending his chances.

As for Sebastian Vettel, who started alongside his title rival in P15, the German drove his heart out in the 71-lap Grand Prix but fourth was not enough to keep his title bid alive.

The opening lap was quite dramatic with Vettel making contact at the Senna S with Heikki Kovalainen, who spun his McLaren and was almost collected by Giancarlo Fisichella, who took avoiding action in the Ferrari. Both were able to continue but at the tail end of the field.

Kimi Raikkonen was also involved in the chaotic first lap when he broke his front wing against the back of Webber’s Red Bull as the Australian defended his position into the Descida do Lago.

Through the next corner Toyota’s Jarno Trulli went wide onto the grass – accusing Adrian Sutil of putting him there – and spun back across into the Force India, which was then collected by the Renault of Fernando Alonso. All three were out on the spot and prompting a safety car.

There was even more drama under the yellow, as Kovalainen took the McLaren fuel hose with him as he left the pits, resulting in a flash fire as fuel splashed out of the hose onto Raikkonen’s close-following Ferrari! Remarkably both were able to continue without delay.

As the race stewards began investigating all of those incidents, Button and Vettel found themselves ninth and eleventh in the restart queue, with Barrichello leading the race over Webber, Rosberg and Kubica.

Both Button and Vettel immediately charged forward with some aggressive passes, before getting stuck behind Kamui Kobayashi’s Toyota and Kazuki Nakajima’s Williams in seventh and ninth respectively.

It took until lap 24 following several near-misses before Button successfully dived inside Kobayashi at the Senna S. By that time his title prospects looked much better, for Barrichello had fallen from first to third after the first pitstops.

The Brawn had only managed to pull two seconds clear of Webber, and when Barrichello stopped on lap 20 he emerged into the thick of the traffic and was further delayed being overtaken by Vettel. He not only lost out to Webber, but also fell to third behind Kubica, with Rosberg losing a chance to also get involved in this fight when he retired on lap 26.

That settled the lead battle for the rest of the race. Webber ran a comfortable five seconds ahead of Kubica, with Barrichello becoming an ever more distant third. The Brazilian’s only hope of keeping the title fight alive was now that Button finished eighth or lower, but the Briton’s excellent progress continued as he moved up to second before making the first of his two stops on lap 29.

Vettel ran a similar strategy but pitted even later, which enabled the German to jump Button at the final stops, but by that time they had moved up to fifth and sixth – which was not enough for the Red Bull driver but it was perfectly adequate for Jenson in the Brawn.

Just to underline that Barrichello’s task was hopeless, he was passed for third by Lewis Hamilton ten laps from the end, then fell to eighth with a puncture – no thanks to a brush with the McLaren – two laps later.

Hamilton had pitted under the safety car to immediately get rid of his soft Bridgestone tyres, meaning he could run the rest of the race on a one-stop strategy. He then had the pace to quickly move through the field, keeping up with the lighter-fuelled cars, and emerging fourth behind Barrichello as others stopped.

Behind Vettel and the euphoric Button, Raikkonen recovered to sixth, with Sebastien Buemi scoring two points for Scuderia Toro Rosso in seventh.

Kovalainen finished in ninth, with Kobayashi losing ground as others around him ran longer strategies, but pushed past Fisichella for tenth in the closing laps.

The Toyota rookie escaped a frightening incident with compatriot Nakajima – who he had already banged wheels with through the Senna S – that saw the Williams have its front wing swiped off on the rear of Kobayashi’s defensive Toyota as it came out of the pits. Nakajima lost control on the grass and speared into the Descida do Lago barriers, but was unhurt.

So, congratulations to Jenson Button and the Brawn GP team in winning the title. For Button, this was a dream come true and he becomes the tenth British driver to taste success as the world champion.

What is ever more remarkable is that Brawn GP has achieved the constructors title in its first-ever season. Credit to the all the members at Brackley and especially Ross Brawn in leading the outfit to championship glory.

Race results from Interlagos, 71 laps:

1.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault      1h32:23.081
2.  Kubica        BMW Sauber            +7.626
3.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      +18.944
4.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault      +19.652
5.  Button        Brawn-Mercedes        +29.005
6.  Raikkonen     Ferrari               +33.340
7.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari    +35.991
8.  Barrichello   Brawn-Mercedes        +45.454
9.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes      +48.499
10. Kobayashi     Toyota                +1:03.324
11. Fisichella    Ferrari               +1:10.665
12. Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes  +1:11.388
13. Grosjean      Renault               +1 lap
14. Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    +1 lap

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:13.733

Not classified/retirements:

Nakajima      Williams-Toyota       31 laps
Rosberg       Williams-Toyota       28 laps
Heidfeld      BMW Sauber            22 laps
Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1 lap
Trulli        Toyota                1 lap
Alonso        Renault               1 lap

World Championship standings, round 16:

1.  Button        89
2.  Vettel        74
3.  Barrichello   72
4.  Webber        61.5
5.  Hamilton      49
6.  Raikkonen     48
7.  Rosberg       34.5
8.  Trulli        30.5
9.  Alonso        26
10. Glock         24
11. Kovalainen    22
12. Massa         22
13. Kubica        17
14. Heidfeld      15
15. Fisichella     8
16. Sutil          5
17. Buemi          5
18. Bourdais       2

1.  Brawn-Mercedes        161
2.  Red Bull-Renault      135.5
3.  McLaren-Mercedes       71
4.  Ferrari                70
5.  Toyota                 54.5
6.  Williams-Toyota        34.5
7.  BMW Sauber             32
8.  Renault                26
9.  Force India-Mercedes   13
10. Toro Rosso-Ferrari      7

Next race: Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit. October 30-November 1.

20 thoughts to “Button takes title honours as Webber wins in Brazil”

  1. Being world champion is ‘totally amazing’, according to the new world title-holder Jenson Button.

    The Briton was crowned the 2009 Formula 1 world champion after finishing fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix and helped his Brawn team to a title double as it wrapped up the constructors’ championship.

    “It’s really amazing,” he said. “After the last few races I’ve had this makes up for it. It was a totally awesome race, I’m world champion!

    “It’s 21 years since I first raced a kart. I love winning, I never expected to be world champion in F1, because you think racing drivers in F1 are different from you. But I did it today.”

    Brawn clinched the teams’ title thanks to Button and Rubens Barrichello’s combined score, despite Red Bull’s Mark Webber winning the grand prix and Sebastian Vettel finishing fourth.

    Button produced a combative performance to bring himself into contention having started 14th on the grid at Interlagos.

    He made the most of an early safety car, having fought his way up to ninth by the end of lap one. He then produced several overtaking manouvres and stayed out of trouble to move up to fifth position and seal a long-awaited world title victory.

    The 29 year-old scored a crucial four points, which put him 15 clear of his nearest rival Sebastian Vettel, and therefore out of reach with one race still to go in Abu Dhabi, in two weeks time.

    Button’s other title rival Barrichello could only finish eighth after suffering a late race puncture.

    Ross Brawn heaped praise on Jenson Button after the British driver’s fifth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix ensured that he and the Brawn team won the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships.

    The ex-Ferrari technical chief, who formed his own squad out of the ashes of the Honda team earlier this year, was in tears after Button crossed the line.

    “We made hard work of it over the second half of the year,” he told BBC TV. “But we’ve done it, and it’s very special. It’s going to take a while to set in.

    “As for Jenson, he’s a fantastic racer and on the day he had a great race. He knew what he had to do.

    “We’ve lost a little bit of pace in the car compared to some of our rivals over the second half of the season, but he’s stuck with it and deserves everything he’s got.”

    Brawn was quick to congratulate the whole Brawn team, including the former Honda staff who were forced to leave the Brackley-based squad during a period of downsizing earlier in the year.

    “The work they [everyone] did over the winter was sensational,” he added. “And I have to say to all of those that couldn’t be with us because we had to resize the team, my thanks goes out to them because they worked so hard.

    “I hope they can be very proud with what they achieved for the team because they’ve been a part of everything we’ve done.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  2. Rubens Barrichello remained upbeat despite losing the world championship title to his Brawn team-mate Jenson Button in the Brazilian Grand Prix – insisting that 2009 had still been an incredible season for him too.

    Despite starting 13 places clear of Button on pole position at Interlagos, Barrichello slipped to third by the time the first pitstops were complete, then later dropped to eighth with a puncture, while Button came through to finish fifth – putting the championship beyond his team-mate’s reach.

    But Barrichello was not downcast – pointing out that 12 months ago it looked like he might leave Formula 1 with a whimper as Honda considered dropping him for 2009.

    “I’ve said before that people put flowers on my coffin at the beginning of the year, and I was back, driving a fantastic car and I was so, so up for it.” Barrichello told reporters.

    “I’ve got to really thank God for the situation I’ve had for the year. It was a great car to drive all year.

    “I’m pleased for Jenson as a friend and as a great champion, and if I didn’t win, he should have won it, so well done to him.”

    Barrichello reckoned he had been the better driver in the second half of the season, by which time Brawn had lost its early dominance and regularly trailed Red Bull, McLaren and others.

    Button won six of the first seven races, but failed to win again, while Barrichello’s first victory of 2009 did not come until Valencia at the end of August.

    “Jenson won it, and he deserved to do it, but he won it on the first six races, and I think the second half of the championship was mine,” said Barrichello.

    “It was a true fight and I fought really hard, but in a time of the championship when we didn’t have the performance of that grade anymore. So it was a big fight and I kept going, kept myself alive, and I’m really pleased.”

    He also paid tribute to the team’s efforts in its first year under Ross Brawn’s full control.

    “They’ve been superb, and I think Ross was able to get everyone together, to give speeches to prepare them, and they were really well prepared,” he said.

    “It’s a hell of a team and it deserves to win. We will have a good night together because I feel the constructors’ title is part of me as well and I’m happy for that.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  3. Mark Webber says his Red Bull team has every reason to be proud despite being unable to beat Brawn in the championship.

    The Australian scored his second win of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix, but was unable to stop Jenson Button and Brawn from clinching both titles.

    Despite that, Webber said Red Bull had to be delighted with second place in the standings.

    “It’s a fantastic day for the team to win again,” said Webber, “confirming second in the constructors’ for us. It was not good enough to win the championship but we have done ourselves proud.

    “I want to thank Renault because the engines were very good, and it was not an easy environment for them.”

    The Red Bull driver praised world champion Button, who put on a charging performance to finish in fifth position today to clinch his first title.

    “Jenson I think deserves the championship,” Webber, who scored his second F1 win today, said. “He drove very well in the early part of the season. It was not easy to have error-free weekends.

    “He has driven very well. Brawn had some strengths and weaknesses, but JB did a good job so I want to congratulate him.”

    Webber, who finished ahead of BMW’s Robert Kubica, admitted he had the race under control a trickier opening stint.

    “You never know in the first stint. We knew Rubens was a bit shorter and Robert was a bit shorter, and when they pitted I knew I had a good gap for the second stint. I just cleared JB in the second stint, which was good.

    “Then I was quite comfortable, but I was a bit panicky with Robert closing in on me in the second stint. The guys said he was a bit shorter, but I was asking a few questions.”

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that his squad can be very proud of its performance this season following Mark Webber’s victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    Despite Webber’s win, his team-mate Sebastian Vettel missed out on the chance to take the title fight down to Abu Dhabi, with Brawn denying Red Bull a final-round shot at the constructors’ title as well.

    But Horner believes that the season has so far been one of positives rather than negatives.

    “We said we were going to fight every single lap and both drivers today did a brilliant job,” he said.

    “Sebastian gave it everything and he can be very proud not just of what he achieved today but what he’s achieved this season in only his second full season in Formula 1, he’s put a great championship together.

    “We pushed the Brawns as hard as we could, when you reflect on a season there’s opportunities lost and won.

    “When look right back to the beginning, Melbourne, penalties, diffusers, it’s a long season and everybody has the same stories but I think the team can be very proud of what its achieved this year and we’re very well structured for the future.”

    Horner praised the drive of Webber, who claimed the second F1 win of his career at Interlagos.

    “Mark was supreme at the front,” he added. “He was so cool throughout and just got the job done. It was a brilliant drive from him today.

    “I’m very proud of what both drivers have achieved this year, and the team, it’s our fifth win, that’s the 135th point, so it’s been a great season, and next year the momentum is with us to have an even stronger showing.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  4. BMW’s gamble to stick with a dry set-up in qualifying was key to Robert Kubica’s second place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    The Pole managed an overheating car to record his and the BMW teams most convincing result of the season.

    “It has been a difficult season for our team, I think yesterday was a big part of the job,” Kubica said afterwards. “We knew it might be a dry race today so we decided to keep our low downforce configuration car that we had on Friday.

    “It was hard to drive in the water [in qualifying]. Nick Heidfeld went out in Q1, it was not easy to drive a car in the wet. I managed to qualify eighth and some people were disappointed about this qualifying, I don’t know why because maybe they think miracles happen!”

    “Today I had good pace, consistent. I was a bit surprised about the slow pace initially from Rubens and Mark, I was able to keep with them.

    “But we had straight away the problem with the water temperature and I had to reduce the revs on lap 10. I had to pull out every time on a straight line, slip stream, just trying to cool down the temperatures and bring car home.”

    Kubica suggested he could have delivered an even more competitive performance but for bad timing emerging from his first pitstop.

    “I was very unlucky with my first pit stop, I got stuck behind four cars, Kamui Kobayashi, Kazuki Nakajima, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. I was heavy and they were light, I had no chance to overtake them, I had no chance, so Mark Webber built up a good lead.

    “After that I tried to look after tyres and keep the gap to Rubens, it paid off, I had problems with tyre degradation, gaps quite easy and I brought car home.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  5. Lewis Hamilton admitted he was very surprised to have finished on the podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix after having started from the back of the grid.

    The McLaren driver started from 17th position but charged through the field to finish in third behind Mark Webber and Robert Kubica.

    Hamilton said it had been a very difficult day, and conceded he never expected to finish so high up.

    “Today has been an extremely tough day, a tough weekend,” said Hamilton, who handed his world title to Jenson Button. “Today is a huge surprise to me, I had no idea that we would be able to get into points.

    “The team did a great job on strategy but I was a on knife edge all the way. I feel great, the car felt great. There are still some improvements we need to make, but to fight up to third from 18th is a great job from team.

    “I am thankful to them for the good job they did. I had an incredible battle with Rubens and congratulations to Jenson, a great job from him and a great season.”

    The McLaren driver said the result would please his bosses, who had pushed him to do his best to try and beat Ferrari in the standings.

    “I have the bosses breathing down my neck to get the job done. Today will make them happy. We really needed it as both of us were at back, so this will be good. I am sure lads in team and happy and bosses are too.”

    McLaren is now one point ahead of Ferrari with one race to go.

    Source: Autosport.com

  6. As for the incident on the opening lap between Adrian Sutil and Jarno Trulli, the pair have expressed different viewspoints. Read on for the full story, as taken from Autosport.com.

    Adrian Sutil says he is happy to settle his dispute with Jarno Trulli in the stewards’ room after the Italian accused him of deliberately driving the Toyota off the track on lap one of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    The pair collided on the exit of Turn 4 as Trulli attempted to pass Sutil on the outside.

    Trulli ran wide on to the grass, lost control of his car and made contact with Sutil, whose Force India then careered off the track, then back on it, collecting Fernando Alonso’s Renault for good measure.

    A furious Trulli remonstrated with Sutil at the scene afterwards, and told the BBC that he believed the German had pushed him off the track deliberately.

    “Basically Sutil was on the inside I was on the outside,” he said. “I overtook him gradually because I came out of that corner with more speed. And then I saw him keeping pushing and pushing me to the outside until I was on the grass.

    “So I lost control of the car and I hit the wall. It was a deliberate manoeuvre and a really dangerous manoeuvre, from my point of view and also Alonso’s point of view.

    “I have talked to him [Alonso] and he says this guy is completely crazy and didn’t think this was right.”

    Sutil remained calm about the incident, claiming that it was Trulli and not him that had driven dangerously adding that he was entirely comfortable explaining his side of the story to the stewards in a meeting called for after the race.

    “I got a hit in my rear end and just lost control,” he told the BBC. “I didn’t realise really what happened because I was on my race line exiting this corner.

    “I didn’t do anything wrong, but Trulli tried it on the outside and just lost control somehow and crashed in to my car, so end of the race.

    Asked whether he thought Trulli had been right to accuse him of dangerous driving, Sutil replied: “His manoeuvre was dangerous, I was flying over the gravel there and lost control. I didn’t see anything and just drove my corner and he crashed into my car so I don’t know what his problem is.

    “Definitely we will go to the stewards, so I will have a pleasure to talk to him after the race in a normal way. The way he did it on the circuit was in a really low level.”

  7. Kamui Kobayashi was disappointed to miss out on a points finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix, although he admitted he was pleased to finish the race.

    The Toyota driver had a remarkable grand prix debut, running as high as third, before dropping down the order to finish in 11th position.

    Kobayashi admitted it had been a difficult day for him, and left lamenting having missed the chance to score.

    “It was a tough race for me,” said the Japanese driver. “As this was my Grand Prix debut I experienced a lot of things for the first time in Formula 1 so it was a learning experience. Physically it felt like a really long race and it was quite tough.

    “My first target was to finish the race and I am pleased to achieve that, but after the start I was in a decent position to score points so I am a little disappointed I didn’t.

    “The car felt good in the first stint but when I changed tyres the balance felt a different and I was struggling a bit; probably this was just down to experience.

    “It was my first race so there are several areas to improve but overall I am happy with how I have performed this weekend and I would like to thank the team for all its support.”

    Team-mate Jarno Trulli insisted he was angry after retiring from the race due to an incident with Adrian Sutil.

    “I am extremely frustrated by what happened today because I had a very good chance to challenge for the podium,” Trulli said. “On the first lap (Adrian) Sutil was very slow through turn four because he was fighting with (Kimi) Raikkonen. He was on the inside so I took the outside line but he kept pushing me wider and wider.

    “In the end I was on the grass and had no control of the car so I crashed into the wall at high speed. I think there was enough space for both of us to get around the corner.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  8. Kimi Raikkonen says his first-lap clash cost him the chance of finishing on the podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    Raikkonen had a very troubled start to the race, first making contact with Adrian Sutil and later with Mark Webber when trying to pass the Australian.

    The Ferrari man was forced to pit for repairs and was later involved in a bizarre incident with Heikki Kovalainen in the pitlane when the Finn tore off the fuel hose when leaving his pits.

    The accident caused a big fire right in front of Raikkonen’s car and got fuel into the Finn’s eye.

    Raikkonen recovered to sixth position, but reckoned a top three finish was possible.

    “What happened on the first lap ruined my race,” said Raikkonen. “First I was hit at the first corner, then when trying to pass Webber, I was hit and lost the front wing.

    “At the pitstop, I ended up with some drops of petrol in my eye, from the fuel line stuck on Kovalainen’s car and then I was engulfed in flames and blinded: I was going to stop, but luckily the flames soon went out.

    “Even now, my eyes are still burning, but I’m alright. After the restart, I could only try and use the strategy to move up the order and at least I brought home a few points.

    “I am disappointed because today I’m sure we could have made it to the podium. There is one race to go: let’s see what we can do in Abu Dhabi to get back that third place.”

    Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella also endured a difficult first lap after having to avoid the spinning Heikki Kovalainen at the second corner.

    The Italian, starting from the back, finished in 11th.

    “Obviously, starting from the back row, my race was already compromised,” he said. “Then there was also the incident with Kovalainen, who spun in front of me, forcing me onto the grass, which prevented me from trying to make up a few places in the fight on the opening lap.

    “We had opted for a one-stop strategy and it was a good one, but in the final part of the race, the soft tyres began to develop a bit of graining and I was not able to match the pace of those ahead of me and I even lost a place. On top of that, the KERS worked in fits and starts.

    “Looking at my experience with Ferrari so far, I don’t want to hide that I feel a bit upset, as there has not been a single weekend in which everything went to plan. Now we go to Abu Dhabi which will be a new venue for everyone: I will do my very best to help the team retake this third place which slipped away from us today.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  9. Brawn GP CEO Nick Fry reckons Jenson Button dismissed any doubts about whether he would be a worthy champion with his drive from 14th on the grid to a title-clinching fifth place finish in Brazil.

    Although Button dominated the first part of the season – winning six of the year’s first seven races – he has only taken one podium since then, as Brawn was overhauled by its rivals and he encountered a series of problems and setbacks.

    But despite only needing a handful of points from the last two races to secure the crown, Button charged through the field at Interlagos today and became champion as rivals Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel failed to do enough to prolong the title battle to Abu Dhabi.

    “Jenson knew what he had to do today and he just went out and did it,” said Fry, “and I think it shows that he is a worthy champion.

    “That first stint today, overtaking under those circumstances when he had everything to lose, really showed his true mettle,” said Fry.

    Fry believes Button’s tribulations over the previous two years – when the team languished near the tail of the field under its previous Honda incarnation – meant he was better prepared to take the chance offered by the extremely competitive Brawn GP car this year.

    “Jenson’s taken a lot of bullet wounds over the last few years, and when you get into that situation and you’ve got the bruises, then it makes it much easier to handle the success,” he said.

    “He’s just remained the same, he’s remained focused, and he’s gone about it in a very intelligent way. And it’s a situation where it would have been easy to blow the whole thing and he took it sensibly and did what he needed to do and he got there.”

    Fry added that he had always believed Button was capable of a title-winning performance, even when he was struggling to drag Honda’s cars into the points.

    “Jenson doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Fry. “It sounds like I’m married to him but we’ve been together for a long time now and I’ve always felt that he could do it.

    “I think he’s just demonstrated to everyone what he can do, and the doubters who said he couldn’t overtake or he wasn’t aggressive enough, hopefully they’re now eating humble pie.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  10. Ross Brawn “deserves a medal” for guiding Jenson Button to the Formula 1 world title at the Brazilian Grand Prix, according to the newly-crowned Briton.

    Button was crowned champion with fifth place while his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel could not manage the podium positions they needed to take the title fight down to the final round in Abu Dhabi.

    With Brawn also becoming the first team to win the constructors’ world title in its maiden season, Button paid tribute to his boss.

    “This team would not exist if Ross was not here,” said Button. “The car has his name on the side of the car, and that is a lot pressure on a person. So for him to win today both the constructors and the drivers championship is exceptional.

    “The guy deserves a medal. He has won many world championships and he has also seen tough seasons. He has been in every situation, he knows that normally winning the world championship is not easy and you have many dark days. He has been helpful. I don’t think anyone could have done it without him.”

    Button, who has won six races so far this year, paid tribute to the rest of the Brawn team, which didn’t even exist until a month before the season-opener in Australia.

    He believes that winning both world titles after the uncertainties over the sale of the Honda team during the winter, has made this year’s season the best in F1 history.

    “This team has done staggeringly well, what this team achieved this season after the winter we had is exceptional. I don’t really think there has been a season like it in Formula 1,” he added.

    Source: Autosport.com

  11. A host of motor racing legends paid tribute to Jenson Button after the Brawn driver was crowned Formula 1 world champion at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    AUTOSPORT gathered them below.

    Niki Lauda: “He did a perfect job in all this driving forwards and backwards to be a real good world champion. There’s nothing more to say about it. Nobody asks in the end how you come to be a world champion – I did it by half a point once, but it doesn’t matter. Just to be a world champion is the difficult part and he’s done it.”

    Damon Hill: “Jenson’s done a fantastic job. He was out of a job over Christmas, and really he didn’t know that this season was going to happen. He’s been there through all the pain and I’m really delighted for him.”

    Sir Jackie Stewart: “Brawn have done an amazing job and Ross a master. But it takes a driver to get the job done at the end of the day, and Jenson did it. Well done to him.”

    Bernie Ecclestone: “Well, he’s not world champion until the end of November when the FIA announce it. He’s got enough points, if everything else is alright, to be world champion and he deserves it too. He did a good job. All the question marks from the last few races, in my opinion, now have disappeared.”

    Colin Hilton, MSA chief executive: “Jenson has done a fantastic job and we are all delighted for him. For those of us who have followed his career as he came through the ranks of UK motor sport, it was always clear that he had the makings of a future world champion. The team have obviously given him the right equipment this year and he has delivered spectacularly. For the UK to enjoy back-to-back F1 world championships is a wonderful boost for the sport.”

    Nick Fry: “Jenson hasn’t surprise me at all. I’ve always felt that he could do it, and I think he’s just demonstrated to everyone what he can do, and the doubters who said he couldn’t overtake or he wasn’t aggressive enough, hopefully they’re eating humble pie because he really has shown them under a tremendously pressured situation and the competition today and through the latter part of the season especially has been phenomenally strong.”

    Rubens Barrichello: “I’m pleased for Jenson as a friend and as a great champion, and if I didn’t win, he should have won it, so well done to him. Jenson won it, and he deserved to do it, but he won it on the first six races. The second half of the season was mine. It was a true fight.”

    Mark Webber: “JB’s always been incredibly consistent, but the problem was that at the beginning of the season, he was also blisteringly quick. They were running really well and he was really on top of the car, and a bunch of other drivers had a shopping list of excuses why they weren’t getting results. At the end of the day, they weren’t and JB was, and that’s what made the difference. He’s a deserving champion.”

    Norbert Haug: “Congratulations to Jenson Button and the Brawn. Ten months ago these guys were in danger of having no future in Formula 1. Today, they all achieved the biggest reward possible for all their hard work and effort. Well done guys – you wrote a fairytale story this season. Jenson is a worthy successor to Lewis Hamilton as F1 world champion.”

    In addition, Autosport has interviewed the new world champion. Read the article here:

  12. The opening laps of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix were a busy time for the Interlagos race stewards, with several incidents taking place in close succession. As a result Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, McLaren and their driver Heikki Kovalainen have each been handed penalties.

    On the first lap Trulli and Force India’s Adrian Sutil tangled as the Italian attempted a move on the German. After considering video evidence and telemetry data, the stewards decided not to take any further action, labelling the coming together as a racing incident.

    But after ‘failing to leave the track as required by the marshals immediately after the incident and aggressively confronting Sutil’, Trulli was found to have breached Article 151 (c) of the 2009 FIA International Sporting Code, which rules against ‘any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally.’ Consequently he was reprimanded and fined US$10,000.

    With the safety car deployed for the Trulli-Sutil incident, there was drama in the pit-lane soon after, when Kovalainen exited his pit too early, leaving with his fuel hose still attached to the car. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who was right behind the emerging McLaren, got a face fuel of fuel, which then ignited.

    McLaren were fined $50,000 for the unsafe pit stop release, while their Finnish driver was given a drive-through penalty. As this was handed down after the race had finished, 25 seconds were instead added to his race time, dropping him from ninth to 12th in the final results.

    An earlier Lap One incident between Kovalainen and Ferrari’s Giancarlo Fisichella, in which the McLaren driver was sent spinning into the Italian after being tagged by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, was deemed a racing incident.

    Source: F1.com

  13. There must have been moments in 2008 when Jenson Button felt like giving up. Honda had landed him with a car that gleaned him just three points, forcing him to watch a younger British driver, Lewis Hamilton, take the title he had long craved. Then the Japanese manufacturer pulled the rug out from under him, withdrawing from Formula One racing and putting the team up for sale.

    On the back of an uninspiring season, and with a world financial crisis to contend with, Button’s prospects for 2009 were looking bleak. Ten months on, however, and Button has clinched his first-ever world championship with one race in hand after his storming drive to fifth place in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

    He’s been the favourite ever since Brawn showed their cards at the season opener in Melbourne, and although his title success comes a lot later than many had predicted back in March, for the British driver things couldn’t have turned out better. Over two decades since he first sat in a kart, he’d finally got his hands on motorsport’s supreme prize. And the achievement couldn’t taste sweeter.

    “It’s really amazing,” he told reporters in parc ferme. “After the last few races I’ve had, this one makes up for it. I’m world champion and that race deserves it!”

    After nine years of feeling hamstrung by inept machinery, Button was given an inkling of how quick the Brawn was during the winter tests and he was determined not to waste the chance. The car, fitted with its controversial yet legal double diffuser, was a dream to drive, and as the season got underway, Button was nothing short of sensational. The fairytale had finally come to fruition.

    Wrapping up six victories (and one third place) in quick succession over the opening seven events, he looked so dominant that bookmakers reportedly started paying out on bets he would win the title back in June. He had certainly put team mate – and nearest rival – Rubens Barrichello firmly in his place during those early races, outpacing him at most meetings and outscoring him at all. The de facto champion’s lead in the standings seemed unassailable.

    A glimmer of doubt, however, had already begun to creep into view. At April’s cold and wet China race Button found it tricky to keep up with the dominant Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, while in front of his adoring home crowd at Silverstone the Briton, bettered by Barrichello, could only muster sixth. The first weakness in Brawn and Button’s well-crafted armour had been laid bare, and team members began to openly discuss the trials of getting adequate heat into their tyres at the colder races.

    Unwittingly it seemed Brawn had dropped the ball and Red Bull (and a resurgent McLaren) were all too willing to pick it back up, with Sebastian Vettel, then Mark Webber, and then McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton seizing the advantage at June and July’s British, German and Hungarian Grands Prix. Before those events, Button had almost double the points of his rivals; after them they were much closer and catching.

    Perhaps most worrying for Button was that by then Barrichello was firmly in the hunt too. At first the Brazilian been comparatively off the boil, but his aggressive driving style forced more heat into the rubber than Button’s distinctly smoother approach, and it started to pay dividends. With 300+ races under his belt, he was also much better equipped to eek the most out of the car’s set-up over a weekend (and crucially himself during qualifying), and won his first ’09 race in Valencia. Meanwhile Button made a silly mistake during Q3, thereby ruling himself out of the chance for a podium.

    In Belgium Button struggled all the more with tyre temperatures and there were more and more mutterings in the press that he couldn’t handle the pressure of a title campaign. Despite his lead in the standings, the crown was slipping from his grasp. A second place in Italy (behind Barrichello), a fifth place in Singapore and an eighth in Japan, did little to assuage those doubts.

    And as the paddock arrived in Brazil, with everything still to play for in the title fight, it seemed like fortune was favouring Barrichello who took a dominant pole in front of his home crowd. Button was left bitterly disappointed in 14th. It was a devastating blow, and the only consolation was that Vettel (also still in the running albeit with a 16-point deficit) was in 15th. But it wasn’t much.

    Button, however, remained calm and collected in Sunday’s race. Seizing the advantage from the very start, he pulled off a series of early of amazing, title-worthy overtaking moves. Keeping both Vettel and Barrichello within his sights, he had all but secured the championship by the closing stages of the race and ultimately secured the crown with fifth place.

    It had been the drive of a champion, and the title was his. Fittingly it came at the same circuit at which, as a fresh-faced Williams driver in 2000, he secured his first-ever Formula One points. Congratulations Jenson!

    Source: F1.com

  14. Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn has paid tribute to driver Jenson Button after the Englishman secured his first drivers’ title with a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. The race also saw Brawn wrap up the constructors’ championship at their first attempt.

    Button, who won six of the season’s opening seven races, had come in for criticism of late, having only once finished higher than fifth in the subsequent rounds. But all that was swept aside at Interlagos after a spirited drive from 14th on the grid saw him capture the points he needed to clinch the crown.

    “What a day! Jenson is a fantastic racer and he had a great race, particularly after such a difficult qualifying,” said Brawn. “He knew what he had to do and did just that and is a very deserving world champion. I am so incredibly proud of the team and our drivers and it’s so very special to have won the constructors’ and the drivers’ championships in our first year as Brawn GP.”

    Button’s team mate Rubens Barrichello started his home race from pole position and had looked set to take the title race down to the wire at the last round in Abu Dhabi. However, he was leapfrogged by rivals during the first pit stops and then suffered a late puncture, dropping him to eighth place at the flag.

    “The spirit in which our two drivers have fought for the championship makes me very proud,” said Brawn. “They have been a credit to the team and our sport. Rubens has made a fantastic contribution to this season without which we could not have won the constructors’ championship.”

    Sunday’s result confirmed a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of a team whose future had looked uncertain until only weeks before the season, following the withdrawal of previous owners Honda at the end of last year, after which the Brackley squad underwent some major restructuring.

    “I want to thank everyone who has worked with the team over the years that couldn’t be with us this season as we had to resize the team at the start of the season,” added Brawn. “My sincere thanks go out to them because they worked so hard and should feel a part of our success.”

    Source: F1.com

  15. Jenson Button will become a stronger driver because of the tough time he had bringing home this year’s world championship title.

    That is the view of his team owner Ross Brawn, who believes the fact that Button’s season had both high points and low moments will actually have made him an improved man for the future.

    Brawn has said he was unsure about Button’s abilities when he arrived at the team, but is now in no doubt about his qualities after observing him close up.

    “You don’t until you work with somebody,” said Brawn about how he viewed Button before he arrived at the team. “You have a superficial opinion of them and in 2004 he was giving us a hard time at Ferrari.

    “We had a sensational season but he was always there nipping at our ankles. He impressed us then. He made a big impression then. But until you work with people it is difficult.

    “Last year was very difficult for me to work with Jenson because of the poor equipment we had. Lots of guys in the team who I respect said, stick with it because he is exceptional.

    “And I think going through this experience of the terrific first half and the very tough second half of the season is going to be quite a development in Jenson’s character.”

    Although Button has struggled to deliver results in recent races, having not won since the Turkish Grand Prix in June, Brawn believed his stirring drive in Brazil from 14th on the grid to finish fifth showed the kind of grit only title winners are capable of.

    “He drove a fantastic race,” explained Brawn. “There were some close calls and a little bit either way would potentially have been the end of it. He drove a fantastic race, and again it is the contrast between a dreadful qualifying and a great race. He drove a race worthy of a world champion today.”

    Button admitted after the race that he had felt sick on the Saturday in Brazil when his team-mate Rubens Barrichello secured pole position, and Brawn praised the way the Briton responded.

    “There is this persona that people see,” he said. “Last night [on Saturday] he was destroyed. He knew that together with the team he had done a bad job and it was a golden opportunity.

    “He went back and he thought, how am I going to turn this around? How am I going to put myself in a position to win the world championship? He came in on race morning really determined and I was impressed.”

    And although Button’s future at the team it not yet settled, with he and his team having not yet agreed on financial terms for next year, Brawn says with the world title settled contract talks can now start in earnest.

    “We can now sit down and start to sort it out. We missed the window of opportunity to sort it out in the summer, and now this is done, Nick [Fry] and I will be sitting down with the drivers in the next few weeks to sort it out.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  16. Jenson Button’s father John says his world championship success has left him with a totally surreal feeling following a winter when they did not even know if they would be in Formula 1 this year.

    Button clinched his maiden title at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday to mark what he believed was a fairytale success for Brawn – whose future in the sport was in doubt when parent company Honda pulled out of the sport last December.

    And his father John said he was struggling to fully comprehend the events of the weekend – as Button clinched the title with one race of the season to go.

    “It doesn’t seem real at the moment,” he told AUTOSPORT. “It was very emotional obviously in the last few laps when I realised it was going to happen, but now it has all gone. It is really weird. It is really strange.

    “I don’t know what is around the corner, what happens when we walk through that door now? I don’t know what is on the other side now that he is world champion. It is going to be really weird because he is just my boy, end of story.”

    Button admitted that the trials of the winter following Honda’s decision to quit F1 had been harder for him to deal with than Jenson.

    “Well the winter was terrible,” he said. “In front of Jenson I was really positive, but away from him I feared it would all be over now. But he was still young, and I thought: what am I going to do with him? All he knows is racing.

    “But he had the faith all the way through. I just could not get it, but he was right. It worked out – and he jumped in a little devil in Barcelona for the first test. He got out of the car after six laps and went: ‘wow Dad’. And here we are. It is not right is it? This is not what happens in F1.”

    John Button, who has helped guide his son’s career from karting all the way through to F1, says he has never seen him happier than post-race in Brazil.

    “I’ve never known him like it,” he said. “I saw him in parc ferme before he came out, I gave him a squeeze and he locked onto me like a limpet. I could not get him off. It was unbelievable. He was screaming and crying: ‘I am world champion’. That is all it was. No other words at all.”

    And John believes that Jenson will be far more relaxed when he hits the track in Abu Dhabi having sealed the title already.

    “Yeah, that will be a great race. I spoke to Niki Lauda after the race. He said people do not know how hard it is to win the first world championship, and they change – because they have done it and they have proved that they can do it. It will make a difference.

    “Jenson is a world champion forever, not just for one year, and he will be in the history books, which is what I wanted.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  17. Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug says the German car marker was delighted with the success of the Brawn GP team this season.

    The British squad won both the drivers’ and the constructors’ championships on Sunday using a Mercedes engine, after securing a last-minute deal last year when Honda decided to leave Formula 1.

    Despite that, the Mercedes-powered team has gone on to win both titles, while the German manufacturer has won ten races so far thanks to its partnership with Brawn and McLaren.

    “It’s very pleasing, I’m very happy for the guys, it’s a fairy tale story,” said Haug, whose company has been linked with a buyout of the Brawn team.

    “To get a call on 5 December and then, three months later, to go fastest at Barcelona over a single lap and a race distance, it’s incredible. It’s fully deserved.

    “And at McLaren, nobody has scored more points than us in the final part of the season, so we’ve recovered quite well. I think Jenson was strong today, very committed, and he deserved it.

    “And it’s car 22 for the second year in a row, two English champions in a row, two Mercedes engines winning in a row and the second time that they champion scored the points he needed by finishing P5 in Brazil.”

    Haug, who could supply up to four teams next year, admitted the company was very happy with its image in Formula 1.

    “We feel that Mercedes has a very good image,” he added. “People know we are racers and not bulls******* or political. We’re tough racers. We have earned money with our engine leasing and the customers are satisfied.

    “We’re absolutely in the plan with the engines. Remember where we were five years ago, or at the start of the 2006 with the V8, and we have had no failures this year. We’re absolutely pleased.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  18. Jenson Button celebrated his first Formula 1 world championship alone in his Sao Paolo hotel room, just lying on a bed smiling.

    “I was up until about four just really lying in bed with a big grin on my face,” Button told reporters at his hotel on Monday, one day after clinching the title at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    “Just time by myself, just relaxing and thinking about what I had achieved. That was the best place for me.

    “I only slept for about three hours, I couldn’t sleep for any longer. I just wanted to be awake to enjoy it. I woke up every hour just with a smile on my face.

    “I’ve got a few pinch marks on my arm. In my engineering debrief yesterday with Shov (race engineer Andrew Shovlin), we were running through everything and I lent over and I pinched his arm and he squealed like a girl.

    “He said ‘what was that for?’ and I said ‘Shov, I’m just making sure you’re awake’. And then…I needed to make sure I was awake so I had to pinch myself as well.

    “It’s been such a memorable few days, such a rollercoaster of emotions just even over this weekend. Forget the season, just this weekend,” the Briton was quoted as saying by Reuters.

    The newly-crowned world champion said he just wanted time to enjoy his achievement after having spent some 45 minutes at Brawn’s post-race party.

    “I think most drivers when they have the possibility of winning the world championship, they go crazy,” added Button, wearing a t-shirt with the message ‘What goes around comes around.’

    “They go out and have an absolutely crazy evening. But we all celebrate in different ways and for me to just chill on my own was the best thing for me.

    “I obviously wanted to go out and congratulate the whole team, which I did, and then I got home and just relaxed and just took everything in. It was perfect.

    “It was great to see all the guys, they were on top form but it was a bit hectic for me. It was just so full on…I wanted a bit of alone time.”

    He added: “It’s always difficult in a nightclub to speak to people because it’s so loud and there’s so much going on.

    “Everyone’s celebrating but you can’t feel the emotion together. Wednesday will be the time when I see everyone that’s put this together and made this happen and that will be the special time for me.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  19. OK first off, a shout out to Mark Webber over his win in Brazil. All too often a race winner gets over looked at a championship win way down the placings. It was a supreme race race and one which he should be proud of. I’m sure behind closed doors though he’ll be a bit hacked off about the lack of praise. Well he is an Aussie after all LOL.

    But now to be slightly hypocritical, onto the winner.

    The winner lets face in the world of F1 is Brawn GP. As we all know back in March this year, there was no Honda, no Brawn and on the outside, no hope. But in that factory, (that Honda funded to the deal was done BTW), there was more hope than anyone could have comprehended. Yes Nick and Ross both confessed, there were a couple of time where they were standing on the cliff edge, but everyday they put hope into that team that they would be saved, they would have a job, and their car was in fact the best car in F1. So along came Virgin and as mentioned still huge help from honda, and 8 months later they are the happiest team of people in the world.

    just imagine working for them. Your job is all but gone, and your F1 dream is all but shattered. But you just knew IF you got the chance, great things could happen. But then, you get the green light, and the race is on!

    Australia 29th March, and the F1 world gets the shock of it’s life ( happy shock ). A one/two, and in F1 terms, it was like taking candy from a baby. The team showed what money will never do. It’ll never beat cleverness and balls. Cleverness to see holes in car design regs that you could drive a bus through. Cleverness to implement them and of course the balls to do it. NEVER underestimate an underdog with hope. Ross’s purpose once funding was in place was to show the world, what guts can do and to say to the world ” hey, you should have listened to me about the loopholes, you didn’t and now I’m going to show you why “. Wow what a guy© Red Dwarf!! LOL.

    I am just so pleased for the team and just love how they turned the F1 world on its head. Yes it’s a shame so many had to let go, and for them it must hurt. But I’m sure they can be proud they were there making the team what it is today, Championship winners.

    And so onto the man Button. Of we all know he’s not a deserving champion!! Yeah only failing to score in ONE EFFING RACE?! Yep he sucks. Winning SIX RACES IN A ROW?! Again the work of someone who sucks. The man who has easily made the best overtaking moves all season?! Oh yes, does that man suck or what?!

    That race in Brazil was simply outstanding. For sure good fortune shone his way, but since when in any sport EVAR does fortune not strike? Shit happens and he still would done all that overtaking. If no-one crashed out, he’d win it at Abu and be no less of a driver. Deal with it! Those overtaking move were sublime just like most of his other takes in previous races. That showed the fire was still raging, and it was not just him that was his lack of flare in the second half of the season. Your car aint set up right? You cannot do those No.1 spot qualies. You cannot overtake on the outside with millimeters to spare. You cannot drive round corners when the car just wants to drive straight on. Oh and lets not forget EVERY other team did some incredible improvements, Inc copying the diffuser once that they were told they could.

    It’s been a long time coming, and 10 years ago, he did well fro Mclaren. Since then he got a shit car, and there really is only so much you can do with one of those. Even Shuey’s sucky Ferrari way back when sucked with him behind the wheel.

    Jenson is a great guy and certainly loved more around the paddock, then Lewis. Though more popular then Rubins? Well know and my heart goes out to him. This was certainly his last chance to take the championship, and to come so close must conjure up so much pain. EVERYONE would have loved for him to take the title, but, at the end of the day, at the most crucial times, he was too slow. Too emotional, as we all saw at times. Like Lewis and Jenson, you need a cool head. Lose that and it starts to go wrong without you knowing. Hell look at Kimi! The bloke’s so laid back he fall over lying on his back! That’s what won him his title 3 years ago. I hope he gets a good seat next year as it’s always a joy to see him race and hear. Just listening to the fans at Brazil when he got pole was just incredible! It’s a magic track and one that greatly benefits being held to the near end of the season. Yeah OK so it’s facilities are erm basic, with just mere portacabins for most teams, and it’s incredibly tight pit area. Just goes to show that Bernie and his cronies daren’t touch Brazil with their big threatening stick and yet his hatred of the BRDC is so apparent with his demands on Silverstone.

    I’ve gone on enough so despite some quite incredible incidences by teams, and the FIA all of which still call to question what F1 is really about, it’s been a fantastic year. Yeah so some of the design changes did sod all for overtaking and KERS was ah, about as embarrassing as hell, next year does sound as good as we can expect. Pole really does mean pole. no more ‘overtaking’ in the pits. I for one cannot wait, and despite many morons thinking Brawn will be a one hit wonder ( remember they were redesigning their car all year long ), the funding they’ll get will make for a great car. Besides, whoever is driving the car, Ross and Nick will be driving the team, and that is just fine by me.

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