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Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Sunday, 29 March 2009 10:11 UK

Australian GP as it happened


By Sam Lyon

To get involved text us on 81111 with FORMULA 1 before your message. (Not all contributions can be used; UK mobiles only; network rates apply)

1005: Well, we couldn't really have asked for a more explosive season-opener, could we? A storybook finish for Brawn GP, a remarkable back-to-front run from Jarno Trulli and Lewis Hamilton, collisions aplenty involving the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Robert Kubica, Rubens Barrichello and Heikki Kovalainen, and still plenty of controversy over rear diffusers, safety car deployment and safety car overtaking to come. Forget the rule changes, the spec' changes, Kers, and what not - apparently it's BBC One that brings the best out of Formula 1! I, for one, can't wait for Malaysia - see you then.

0959: "It was interesting to see the FIA "delayed" the deployment of the safety car until Jenson Button pitted over a minute after Kazuki Nakajima's crash. This ensured Button would not lose his lead, no?" Alan, Welwyn Garden City

0957: "Can I also just lend my congratulations to Jarno Trulli, regardless of whether he is third or fourth, because to do what he did from the pit lane today was truly one of the drives of the day."
Eddie Jordan on the F1 Forum

0955: "I would just sound one word of warning to Brawn GP ahead of Malaysia - BMW Sauber believe Robert Kubica would have won today had it not been for his collision with Sebastian Vettel, so I might put a sneaky £5 on him for the next race. He has pace."
BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz

0953: "The way I'm feeling is like yesterday but times 100! It was still tough but we came away with the win and I know I've said it before but I'll keep saying it, we deserve this, I really feel we do. Without the safety car periods it'd have been a whole lot easier and there's room for improvement, but we're going to enjoy this for now and then look forward to Malaysia with high hopes."
Jenson Button on the F1 Forum

0949: By the way, the suspicion here, on the F1 Forum and BBC Radio 5 Live is that Lewis Hamilton should indeed be given third place following that Trulli spin-off in the closing stages. That really would be remarkable given it looked all through practice and qualifying like he was driving a McLaren with all the manoeuvrability and pace of a combine harvester.

0945: "I really feel that Kubica was at fault. He gave Vettel no room and with his tyre performance would have easily got past by doing so and staying on the outside."

0944: "Vettel's apology just shows that he's a man and we need more people like him in F1. Great man."

0941: "As for Ferrari, I don't think they will be too unhappy with their strategy - I think the soft-tyres approach at the start of the race got them into it, their ploy to take advantage of the safety car periods were on the money, it's just they didn't have the pace. Add to that Felipe Massa's mechanical failure and the fact Kimi Raikkonen dropped the ball in spinning off inexplicable late on."
Martin Brundle on the F1 Forum

0936: Mario Theissen, BMW Sauber team boss, reveals Sebastian Vettel came into the camp to apologise to Robert Kubica, which is an indication of the quality of the man. Tyson believes Kubica would have gone on to win the race, by the way, courtesy of the fact that he was flying on the harder tyres. The BBC boys believe an apology was unnecessary, though, with wily fox Eddie Jordan already talking tactics ahead of future races.

0933: David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan are discussing the Vettel-Kubica crash at the moment, and both agree that it was an unnecessary collision. Coulthard says it was 50-50 blame-wise, Kubica for turning into Vettel on the turn and Vettel for not yielding despite not having the pace. Jordan believes it was 65% Vettel's fault.

0927: "Ferrari traditionally have their fair share of problems at Melbourne, what's their excuse for Massa's retirement this year?"
Ross, Northampton
A simple ol' reliabiility failure, I think, mate. No official word from the team yet but I'll keep you posted.

0925: "Rubens should have been penalised for causing two avoidable accidents - I wonder who he learnt that from? Ignore dangerous driving at your peril!"
Rich C, S.Staff

0922: McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh reveals on the F1 Forum that race officials are definitely looking at how Jarno Trulli came to overtake Lewis Hamilton during the safety car period (see lap 57 below). For the record, Trulli spun and Hamilton stole third while the safety car was out, a position the Toyota driver took back under safety car conditions. Whether Hamilton has any claim to third or not could come down to how severe Trulli's spin was.

0917: "Who was to blame in the Kubica-Vettel incident?"
Well mate, Sebastian Vettel was caught on the radio apologising profusely to his team, but I have to say I agree with Martin Brundle on BBC One and say I'm not sure there was a great deal he did wrong. Robert Kubica was certainly blameless, but Vettel couldn't have done much more to get out of the way.

0915: "We put in a set amount of money as team sponsors but we will have to wait and see what happens if we become owners of the team, but I have certainly got addicted to it today."
Richard Branson on BBC Radio 5 Live

0914: "I've never witnessed a fairytale like this. Let's just hope it isn't ruined on appeal in the courts, because this a great story and great start to the season."
Martin Brundle on the F1 Forum

0911: This will undoubtedly be the greatest achievement of Ross Brawn's career - even with all he has done in this sport. To get a one-two on debut with a car with your name on it - that's tremendous."
David Coulthard on the F1 Forum

0909: "This really is stunning - a tremendous feeling. It was a tough Grand Prix and we had our problems, for sure, but we knew we had the pace. To get a one-two is sensational."
Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn

0908: "If that is an indication of what we can expect for the rest of the season, we'll have huge audiences! It was the stuff of fairytale, it was a script made in heaven, and the GP had it all. Unbelievable."
Eddie Jordan on the F1 Forum

0905: I tell you what, watching back the highlights on the F1 Forum really brings home what a race that was! All it was missing rain and a dancing monkey. Jubbly.

0900: Don't start thinking that's the end of proceedings on BBC, though, for we have the F1 Forum for you now. It's on the Red Button, on the website for UK users, and I'll be bringing you all the chat as well, so you have no excuse. Run and get a brew in.

0858: "Such a brilliant race, so worth the 6am alarm! Well done Jenson, excellent recovery Lewis!"
Lynne, London

0854: "We did the best job we could - an incredible job throughout the weekend. We've kept our spirits up despite the fact we haven't got the pace and I'm so proud. If you'd have offered me that before the race I'd have bitten your hand off."
Lewis Hamilton on BBC One

0853: Ross Brawn is the most brilliant engineer alive as far as motor racing is concerned. I am allowed a few glasses of champagne I think - what a day! I have a feeling that I might have the F1 addiction."
New Brawn sponsor Richard Branson on BBC Radio 5Live

0851: "We are looking at this as the restart of Jenson's career. Incredible, wow - it hasn't hit me yet because of the way it ended - but this is brilliant."
Jenson Button's dad on BBC radio 5 Live

0850: "When I was growing up I used to love my comic books and this is what this story is - the stuff of comic books. I couldn't be happier for Ross Brawn and the Brawn GP boys. It truly is an utterly remarkable story and I am so emotional - it's brilliant."
Eddie Jordan on BBC One

0847: "Of course, if the three diffuser teams are deemed illegal on appeal, Lewis Hamilton will have won!"
James White, Reading

0845: Out come Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Jarno Trulli and the British national anthem rings out loud and proud.

0842: Tremendous scenes as Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello embrace and start celebrating in front of the adoring Melbourne crowd. Button is so excited, he looks like the Tazmanian Devil caught in a blender, and who can blame him? What a start to the season and what a race.

0840: "He has dominated all day - he has been so smooth all day long - driver of the day definitely goes to Jenson Button."
Anthony Davidson on Five Live

0838: So that's a stunning Brawn GP one-two, third for Toyota's Jarno Trulli - who started from the pit lane - and fourth for reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, despite starting from 18th on the grid. They are followed home by Timo Glock, Fernando Alonso, Nico Robserg and, brilliantly, rookie Sebastien Buemi.


Lap 57: Confusion as Jarno Trulli is now third - the suspicion now is that Lewis Hamilton may have passed the Toyota in error behind the safety car and had to concede the position back. Still, a fantastic - and unexpected - result for the Briton.

Lap 56: As the safety car comes out, Sebastian Vettel is attempting to finish the race on three wheels - remarkable. Lewis Hamilton - get this - is third, we think.

Lap 55: Unbelievable! Robert Kubica, attempting to pass Sebastian Vettel, collides with the Red Bull on Turn Three and both are wiped out. Vettel is too slow in Turns One and Two and Kubica eyes his chance, only for Vettel to tag his rear right wheel and both spin on to the grass. This race is Jenson Button's folks, with Rubens Barrichello second.

Lap 54: BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica is motoring now and he is taking chunks out of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull, who in turn is tearing lumps out of race leader Jenson Button. This is set up for a remarkable finish.

Lap 53: With Robert Kubica lapping faster than both Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, Rubens Barrichello passes Nico Rosberg. Jarno Trulli - what a race from the Toyota driver, given he started from the pit lane - is now pushing Rosberg for fifth.

Lap 52: This is looking like an extraordinary finish as Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica battle it out at the front for victory in the season-opener. The top 10 have all pitted twice, now, and Rubens Barrichello is breathing down Nico Rosberg's neck for fourth.

Lap 51: Rubens Barrichello goes in and comes back out in fifth behind Nico Rosberg. Fernando Alonso also goes in, while Timo Glock went in in the previous lap.

0824: "A Ferrari engineer has just told me that they think they made the wrong call on Kimi Raikkonen's tyres. The Finn started the race on super-softs but he has been having problems throughout. They now admit that now is the time to be on superssofts - it was the wrong call for both Ferrari's to go out on them."
Holly Samos on Five Live

Lap 50: Race leader Jenson Button does have enough to get through to the end of the race, but he is given a stark warning from his crew: "Robert Kubica is on the prime tyres and could be a threat, he could be a threat," they scream.

Lap 49: A reminder that of the top eight at the moment, Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso and Timo Glock have a stop to make. Lewis Hamilton could be looking at seventh, here.

Lap 48: A second pit stop from a host of teams mixes the order up, but the story of lap 48 is Nico Rosberg, the German Williams driver posting the fastest lap of the race so far of 1:27.706 from seventh.

Lap 46: Jenson Button pits but it's not the smoothest of stops, the team taking two attempts to refuel. The Briton comes back out in front, crucially, though and if he was fuelled properly this is surely his race to lose. Felipe Massa is out, though, and the Ferrari driver looks like he's swallowed a wasp in the pits as he climbs out of his car.

Lap 45: The lighter Brawn GP of Rubens Barrichello goes past Sebastian Vettel - both the Brazilian and Jenson Button have another stop to make, though, of course. Ferrari's day is getting worse, with Felipe Massa struggling for pace back in the field.

Lap 44: Sebastian Vettel goes in for his second pit and comes out just in front of Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello. Excellent work from the Red Bull pit team.

Lap 43: Kimi Raikkonen goes into the pits for the third stop of his race - I wasn't sure why until TV replays show the Finn spinning off and into the barrier inexplicably earlier in the lap. That's the Ferrari driver's race done, surely.

Lap 43: In comes Lewis Hamilton, the Briton re-emerging, possibly crucially, ahead of Felipe Massa's Ferrari.

Lap 42: Lewis Hamilton is hauling in Nico Rosberg as the Briton looks to pinch fifth spot - the doom merchants were claiming he would struggle to even finish top 10 weren't they? Good effort so far from the reigning champion, though he - like the entre top five - have a stop to go yet.

Lap 39: Kimi Raikkonen went in at the same time as Robert Kubica, by the way. Those two might just provide the greatest threat to Jenson Button's hopes of what would be only his second F1 Grand Prix win.

Lap 39: Robert Kubica comes into the pits and emerges in seventh place, behind Lewis Hamilton.

0807: "This race is far from over - Kimi Raikkonen is fourth and 11.5 seconds off the lead, but he has already got the soft-option tyres out of the way. Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel have not."
Martin Brundle on BBC One

Lap 38: Sebastian Vettel pinches a 10th of a second off Jenson Button's lead, with Robert Kubica 1.5 seconds further back. Further back, meanwhile, Sebastien Buemi has moved past Nico Rosberg and up into sixth, while Lewis Hamilton finds the best lap of his race - a 1:29.422 - in moving into eight and the points.

Lap 35: Mark Webber is not having the best of days and it's got even worse. The Australian pits from last place - his last stop - and he has to put on the soft-option tyres. That's 23 laps on the worst tyres. The poor blighter.

0801: Apart from Jenson Button, who is looking so comfortable, I think the story of the race so far is that Kers really does work, especially when they go up against non Kers cars. It was like taking candy from a baby at the restart."
David Coulthard on BBC Radio 5 Live

Lap 34: Robert Kubica - who is not running Kers, by the way, posts the fastest lap of the race so far with a 1:27.989 - where's that pace been before now? - and the BMW Sauber is closing the gap on Sebastian Vettel in second place every lap now. He is two seconds behind, with Jenson Button's lead now 5.3 seconds.

Lap 32: Rob Smedley tells Felipe Massa he has to push it now as Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica "have seven more laps until they pit". Lewis Hamilton is losing pace, now, and Fernando Alonso is looking for an opportunity to pounce.

Lap 31: Felipe Massa comes in to the pits and one can only assume that's him fuelled to the end of the race - that's the Ferrari out of phase, surely.

0754: "This is how racing should be. Excitement, speed, and it's all so close. This will be a great season."
Marcus Day 14

Lap 29: Lewis Hamilton is breathing down Nico Rosberg's neck as the Briton attempts to steal ninth from the Williams. With heat getting back into the tyres, all the drivers' lap times are reducing but Jenson Button is still the fastest man on the track. Jarno Trulli, in sixth, is now the second fastest driver out there.

Lap 26: Button's lead from Sebastian Vettel is now 2.1 seconds, while the lap timings at the moment are almost in the exact order of the running right now. A word on Sebastien Buemi, by the way, the Swiss debutant taking his Toro Rosso up to eighth so far with some impressive driving from the rookie.

Lap 24: Nice manoeuvres from Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso see them ease past the Toyota of Timo Glock, they sit 11th and 12th now. Piquet Jr tells the Renault team his "brakes just went crazy".

Lap 24: Nelson Piquet Jr, trying to pinch position from Nico Rosberg, spins out and the Renault's race is over, I think.

Lap 23: At the end of lap 23, the safety car goes in, moments after Felipe Massa locks out his front tyres for about the third time in the lap.

Lap 22: "Hugely frustrating for Jenson Button - this is where Jackie Stewart would say it's all about "mind management"", says Jonathan Legard . "You've done all the hard work, your lead is reduced, but you stay mentally strong and you push on when the safety car goes in." Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, tells the McLaren pits "it's hard to keep the temperature in these tyres, they are so cold already, I don't know how I am going to get it back."

Lap 21: Absolute chaos in the pit lane as Fisichella has a nightmare stop - he misses his stop mark and the 'distinctive' looking Force India crew scramble around the pitlane frantically push his car back to his mark! Ridiculous scenes. Adrian Sutil is now put back into his real place behind the safety car so the order is back as you were with the safety car still out.

Lap 20: The cars are starting to bunch up behind the safety car and good news for Jenson Button, who has a Force India behind him that might act as a helpful buffer when the car goes off. Rubens Barrichello is being told by Brawn GP that the safety car will help him - "this will bunch the group and you still have a good car remember, you have a good car" - they tell him.

Lap 19: "The safety car will ensure much of the pack will lose a great deal of tyre temperature, so those cars with good downforce and grip will benefit, those without will struggle."
Martin Brundle on BBC One

Lap 19: Jenson Button comes in and gets out just before the safety car is deployed. The Briton still leads the Australian Grand Pix, though his lead will obviously reduce behind the safety car.

Lap 18: Rubens Barrichello comes in for a refuel and his front wing is repaired - nice work from Brawn GP.

Lap 18: Jenson Button puts in the fastest lap of the race - 1:28.020 - but his mood will darken when the news comes through that Kazuki Nakajima has crashed out between turns four and five and that will have to be a safety car situation, you'd think.

0731: "Nico Rosberg has just had a nightmare pit stop he was kept in the pits for 21 seconds as the pit crew struggled to tighten up his tyres. Soul-destroying for both driver and team - he has gone from a possible podium right down to 11th. Nightmare."
David Croft on Five Live

Lap 16: In comes Sebastian Vettel, the Red Bull driver pitting from second... and he rejoins in second too - he and Jenson Button were over 30 seconds ahead when the German came in. Nico Rosberg also pits but it's a dismal stop - 21.1 seconds.

Lap 14: Rubens Barrichello is starting to struggle for pace with his front wing really beginning to disintegrate, he's lapping almost two seconds slower than Nico Rosberg. Jenson Button's lead is 4.3 seconds and he, Vettel and Rosberg are over half a second faster than anyone else racing round Albert Park right now.

0724: "This is one of the most exciting starts to an Australian Grand Prix that I can remember, these new cars may not be beautiful to look at but they are great fun to watch, it's wheel-to -wheel action out there and I'm loving it."
David Croft on Five Live

0723: This is a learning experience for everyone in race one and that goes to show that Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber made a mistake in starting on the super-softs. They gave the drivers nice zip off the start but grained so quickly - just 11 laps into the race - that they had to come in a lot earlier than they hoped. Advantage lost."
BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz

Lap 11: Felipe Massa pits and goes on to the medium tyres, while Lewis Hamilton goes in and does likewise - the Briton also taking a load of fuel on board. A change in strategy perhaps? Kimi Raikkonen rejoins in 14th.

Lap 10: Kimi Raikkonen goes into the pits. Felipe Massa, in third, is holding Robert Kubica up as the Brazilian's super-softs start to grain, and that gives Nico Rosberg the chance to get right on the back of the BMW Sauber.

Lap nine: Nico Rosberg responds to a hurry-up from his team by passing Kimi Raikkonen to go fifth, and he is followed immediately by Barrichello, the Brazilian losing the front edge of his wing as he clips the Finn on his way past.

0717: "It was obviously very busy going into the first corner and I think Mark Webber spun, I had nowhere to go and couldn't get out of the way. My left front corner touched him, so I lost the left-hand side of my front wing and it was basically game over."
Heikki Kovalainen talking to Holly Samos on Five Live

Lap eight: Rubens Barrichello is the third fastest driver on the track at the moment - despite that damaged front wing - but he remains behind Nico Rosberg in seventh. Fernando Alonso, by the way, is lapping in the low 1:31s and he sits way back in 14th with no great sign of progress right now.

Lap six: The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen are lapping nicely already, they are split right now by Robert Kubica who is looking to make the most of his super-softs from fourth spot. Massa, Raikkonen, Sebastian Bourdais and Lewis Hamilton are all taking the gamble and going out on the super soft tyres.

Lap four: Sebastian Vettel reduces the gap on leader Jenson Button with the fastest lap of the race so far with a 1:28.999. Lewis Hamilton is making good progress back in the pack, meanwhile, the Briton up to 10th already.

Lap two: Jenson Button's lead is up to 4.4 seconds after just two laps, with Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa battling it out for second and third. Rubens Barrichello has got some front flap damage after a first lap collision that caused Webber and Kovalainen's bump.

Lap two: Heikki Kovalainen is out as a result of that collision.

Lap one: Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen collided at the first turn and both those two, as well as Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld, limp into the pits immediately.

Lap one: Oh that's a disastrous start for Rubens Barrichello, the Brazilian almost failing to get going entirely at the start and dropping back to seventh even before the first corner. Jenson Button gets off to a flier but there's much more to tell you than that...

0703: We are go go go!

0700: The cars are off on their warm-up lap... and we're moments away. Excited? Nervous? Hungry? Me too.

0657: Just time enough for you to check out David Coulthard's BBC Column , in which he predicts: "The race will be won or lost on how the teams use the tyres and their pit-stop tactics." In 58 laps of the 5.303km Albert Park circuit, I'm going to stick my neck out not very far at all and predict we'll be looking at a Brawn GP one-two, with Felipe Massa - who starts on the soft tyre, as does Kimi Raikkonen by the way - also on the podium. Where's ya money?
David Coulthard column

0655: Five minutes until race time, folks, and the anticipation is building beautifully. Chris Dyer, chief engineer for Ferrari, tells BBC One the team are after "a decent handful of points today", adding: "we're a bit further back on the grid than we would've liked, but we feel we can fight back."

0653: "I'm a bit gutted because I had a bet on Jarno Trulli for an each way before the Toyota's were excluded, but my real hope is for a Nico win."
Tim, Williams fan, Oxford

0651: "Just dashed up to Bridgestone HQ to get some tyre information for you. They say the drivers at the back of the grid would be best advised starting on the super-softs in Melbourne to give themselves the best chance of overtaking, while those on the front would be better off doing longer stints on the medium compounds. During Friday practice the super softs were crumbling after four or five laps - they are supposed to last 10-15 laps so that is not encouraging. The track is supposed to be a little more generous today, however."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt, trackside at Albert Park

0649: "Jenson Button will win for Brawn GP, I think, but with a decent stategy for McLaren and some first-lap attrition I think Lewis Hamilton can score a handful of points. I'm going for fifth for the world champion."
BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz

0647: "The start's the difficult bit - we haven't done it too often in testing - thereafter hopefully it will be a bit more comfortable. Rubens is my biggest threat, I'd say, but he's not my only competition. The strategy could be vital for everyone today."
Brawn GP driver Jenson Button on BBC One

0645: "We didn't expect to be this high on the grid so it's fantastic to be fifth. Plus we have more fuel in the car than Robert Kubica in fourth, so we have a good chance to overtake him early I think."
Williams driver Nico Rosberg on BBC One

0643: "I'm just happy we have a competitive car and my feet are firmly on the ground. I have the pace to win and, even though it's tough to beat team-mates, I'll try!"
Brawn GP driver Rubens Barrichello on BBC One

0640: Martin Brundle is out and about, mingling on the track - I love this bit - and the BBC presenter grabs Brawn GP owner Ross Brawn: "We're just so glad to be here, to be honest, we didn't even know if that would be possible a few weeks ago." King of the expectation-dampener, that man.

0637: "Sam, do you know if the warm-up lap will produce enough energy to use kers at the start, and give certain cars a boost?"
Jon, Southport
Yes mate, it certainly will. We could be in for an explosive start.

Mark Webber
Webber waves to the fans on the fire truck bearing his name
0634: "The drivers always take a turn on the circuit before each GP to give fans a chance to see them without their helmets on and out of the cars. The organisers of this GP took the opportunity to pay their respects to the victims of the February's wildfires, which swept through the state of Victoria, claiming more than 200 lives. The drivers, many of whom have raised awareness of the wildfires charity, travelled the circuit in a fire truck bearing their name."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt, trackside at Albert Park

0630: The pit lane is open and the cars start emerging for a Sunday cruise around Albert Park. As you'd expect, the sun is blazing down in Melbourne and BBC One presenter Jake Humphrey is already regretting the decision to wear a thick, black shirt I'll wager.

0627: "I interviewed Rubens Barrichello on Saturday and he is adamant that if he is alongside Brawn GP team-mate Jenson Button into Turn One that he will not back off. Rubens is probably my favourite for the race victory. It's probably worth keeping an eye out for Robert Kubica too. The BMW Sauber driver qualified in fourth and so has a good chance. He did tell me he was uncertain about how heavy the cars around him might be. My big uncertainty is that it's very hot and I'll be wearing a fireproof race suit all afternoon."
BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie

0623: "I think its going to come down to reliability and that's where I believe Ferrari will come out on top. Come on Massa!"
Hassan, Manchester

0621: "Proper excited about this! Time to see if the new rules really do make overtaking more possible! Bring it on!!"
Richard, Weymouth

0618: By the way, Jenson Button may be on pole but don't expect Rubens Barrichello to simply concede defeat to his team-mate today. Asked if the pair might be under orders to ensure a Brawn GP, the Brazilian replied to BBC One: "My ears don't hear team orders right now, I'm just going to race."

0614: So, anyone betting against Brawn GP carrying out a Mr Muscle-style clean up here? Not only have they torn strips off their rivals all through winter testing, and then again in practice and qualifying, it emerged both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were around 10 kilos heavier than their rivals yesterday. Ouch.
Button hails 'amazing' Brawn pole

Sarah Holt
That's it, look straight at the camera Sarah... try not to look awkward...
0610: "Just popped up to inspect the BBC commentary boxes in the grandstand. If you suffer from vertigo, I wouldn't recommend a career as a commentator as you basically have to clamber up scaffolding for a birds-eye view. Our friends at 5 Live, who welcomed me into the box, described the set-up as "rustic" but apparently Silverstone is even worse. To put you - and my mum - in the picture, I include a picture of me in the 5 Live box.
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt, trackside at Albert Park

0607: "Hey guys, so happy to see Formula One back. After all the hype surrounding Hamilton from last year I think I will pledge my support to Alonso and Kovalainen."
Dan from Aberdeen

0605: Right then, just in case any of you crashed straight to bed immediately following qualifying yesterday (I don't know, where's your staying power, people?!) I'll remind you that Lewis Hamilton was relegated to the back of the grid after McLaren changed the gearbox in his car that forced his withdrawal from Q2 yesterday, only for him to be promoted back to 18th after both Toyotas were relegated after officials found their rear wings were too flexible.
McLaren blame form on title bid
Toyotas excluded from qualifying

0601: "Latte, snacks, a comfy bed and fantastic online BBC coverage... I am ready and waiting. In 60 mins we are go go go!"
Ant in Mansfield

0559: It's that time again folks... crank out your air guitars, bang your head like a sixth-form grunger, and turn the volume up on BBC One - it's time for 'The Chain'! Dummm… da da dum da da dum de dum dummm...

0558: "Woo! A proper start to the 2009 season, Button to finish third or higher - a good day to be British ;D"
Mickey from Canterbury

0557: "Hello from sunny Melbourne. Is everyone ready to go racing then? It's mid-afternoon here and in years gone by the chequered flag would have been looming on the horizon by now. But for the first time, the Australian Grand Prix begins at 1700 local time. That has not stopped the petrol heads and pleasure seekers arriving at Albert Park in good time. Each morning I catch the tram up to Albert Park from St Kilda and this time it was packed pretty early on with F1 fans - most of them sporting Ferrari gear and a few of those genuine Italians. Local favourite Mark Webber need not feel left out though as I raised a smile at a punter who had emblazoned himself in Webber leisure wear from head to toe. If the form book is right then we'll all be wearing Brawn gear before the day is out."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt, trackside at Albert Park

0550: Don't forget, you're involvement is very much required today and, given the more UK-friendly start time to proceedings, I'm expecting an avalanche of texts to myself and Radio 5 Live via 81111 . Over the course of the last two days I have given approximately 57 people stories to tell their grandchildren of "that time when my comment was posted on a BBC commentary" - today could be your turn. I know - what more incentive do you need right?

0545: Ah, so you managed to set your alarm then? Even considering the 0200 change to BST? Impressive work all round, gold stars for everybody. That's assuming any of you slept, of course, because what a Grand Prix we have in prospect in Melbourne today. We have headline-busting stories coming out of our ears - Brawn GP's Lazarus-style comeback, the potential for a midfield battle of Royal Rumble proportions given a difference of just 0.4secs between third and eighth on the grid, McLaren and Lewis Hamilton's continued struggles, Toyota's efforts to battle for points from the back of the grid, rumours of a Leo Sayer-Sarah Holt collaboration on the main music stage... all right, I made that last one up, but jeeze I'm excited.

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see also
Highlights - Australian Grand Prix
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Button seals dream Australia win
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Australian Grand Prix photos
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Full post-race news conference
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Vettel & Kubica crash out of race
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1

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