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Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 16:09 UK

Spanish GP as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

1515: Right then, that's me done folks, another cracking day's racing and another cracking result for Button and Brawn. You lot are all legends, thanks for your company. I'm off to watch a re-run of that Webber manoeuvre on lap five - that was mouth-wateringly brilliant wasn't it? Don't forget to keep watching on the Red Button or here on the website (UK users only) for the F1 Forum and all the post-race chat, analysis and assessment. Jubbly.

1510: "Hamilton needs to remember McLaren continued working on his '08 car to give him the Championship! My, how short some people's memories are."
Stanley Nelson, London via text on 81111

1507: "So there you have it, the word from Ross Brawn. The strategy was 3 stops for both drivers, they changed Jenson's because they were worried about him coming out of the pits stuck behind Rosberg, so played safe. Rubens strategy should have won him the race, but he wasn't fast enough on his second set of tyres."
TheMightyGusset on 606
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1503:Ross Brawn insists it was not strategy that played against Rubens Barrichello in Barcelona, revealing that the Brazilian, on his second option tyres, was half to three-quarters of a second a lap slower than he should have been. Conspiracy theorists might not agree, of course, but...

1500: A summary of the mood in the post-race press conference? Jenson Button looks delighted, but politely muted sat next to a clearly disappointed Rubens Barrichello, while Mark Webber is understandably very happy with his afternoon's work. Brawn GP may be running away with things at the top of the leaderboard, but Red Bull are firm number twos on the grid, that's for sure. David Coulthard names Webber his driver of the day, describing the Australian's fabulous manoeuvre to snatch back position from Fernando Alonso on lap five as "delightful" and "hungry".

1457: "Yet another calamitous weekend for Ferrari. Never mind the pace of their cars, they have to eradicate the stupid mistakes if they want to pick up any serious points this season."
Estesark on 606
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1455: Lewis Hamilton is not a happy bunny. Not a happy bunny at all. "Look, of course, as it stands I don't have a car to win the Championship. I drove my heart out but what can I do? I have not been given a car that enables me to challenge. I want to congratulate Jenson - he ran a good race - I just hope I'm up there competing with him soon."

1452: "Usually, the driver has a lot of control over which strategy he chooses. Was Rubens robbed, or did he mess up his own race?"
limeyjeff on 606
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1450: "That's four out of five for Button and Brawn GP. This could have been a turning-point race for their rivals, but instead it's an underlining of the Briton and the team's dominance. Brilliant."
Jonathan Legard on BBC One

1448: Here come the anthems and the champagne sprays. As Kool and the Gang would say... "Celebrate good times, come on!"

1447: Nice shots of Jenson Button consoling Rubens Barrichello after the race. "I can't believe how I lost that race" exclaims Barrichello. Button sympathetically responds: "It's difficult because I'm excited to have won, but I feel for you man". Cue hugs all round. Ahhh.

1445: This season has gone from good to better to absolutely brilliant for Jenson Button!"
David Croft on BBC Radio Five Live

1443: Bosh. Done. Jubbly. Jenson Button cruises across the line, leading home another Brawn GP one-two, with the Red Bulls following - Mark Webber out-performing team-mate Sebastian Vettel to grab a podium spot for the second time this season. Fernando Alonso finishes fifth and Felipe Massa crawls across the line in sixth, just 1.6 seconds ahead of Nick Heidfeld. The Brazilian can't even complete his out lap as he runs out of fuel and he faces the minor indignity of walking back to the pits. Bless 'im.


Lap 65: Deary me - Fernando Alonso eases past Felipe Massa at an absolute canter and the Spaniard is up to fifth.

Lap 64: Jenson Button laps Lewis Hamilton - no wave from either driver, though, shame - and Fernando Alonso is taking massive, massive chunks out of Felipe Massa now and the Spaniard looks odds-on to jump the Ferrari. How can Massa have expected to save a whole lap's worth of fuel in just four laps?

Lap 63: Sebastian Vettel passes! No resistance at all from Felipe Massa as the Brazilian limps down the straight, Rob Smedley ordering him to let the Red Bull pass. "We're a lap short Felipe, you have to save fuel." Massa is 16 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso, but that gap is closing fast.

Lap 62: Hold the phone - Giancarlo Fisichella pulls a doozy of a 1:24.902 lap out of the bag! I tell you what, if he continues like that, and this race goes on for another 87 laps, he might just be in the running.

Lap 61: Another leisurely stroll at the front of the pack for Jenson Button, this, and the Briton leads by more than 13 seconds. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Lap 60: For the Hamilton fans among you, Lewis and Timo Glock are having a bit of a tussle back in ninth and 10th, but of course it means little with no points on offer. Still, nice defence from the Briton nonetheless. Meanwhile, Ted Kravitz reports that Ferrari did not get enough fuel into Felipe Massa's car at his last stop, hence their concerns about consumption now.

Lap 57: Fernando Alonso is the second fastest man out there, behind Jenson Button, now, but he is 18.3 seconds off Sebastian Vettel and you have to think that's too great a gap. Vettel continues to trail Felipe Massa - the German has the faster car but Massa's defending well aided, of course, by that Kers boost. That said, Ferrari's Rob Smedley continues to press Massa about his fuel consumption. "If you don't ease off you won't last the race" he warns. Massa responds with the understandably blunt: "What am I supposed to do? I am defending my position!" Martin Brundle wonders if the Brazilian might be better to yield position to Sebastian Vettel and coast to the end, guaranteeing fifth place.

Lap 55: Just as Mark Webber looks to be taking chunks out of Rubens Barrichello's lead over him, the Brazilian responds with a 1:25.219 lap to take the gap back to nearly two seconds. Jenson Button's lead is almost 10 seconds.

Lap 54: Felipe Massa, strangely, is being asked to save fuel and "let's see if we can get to the end". BBC Sport's pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz puts it down to Massa being hard on the throttle and Ferrari are starting to feel some concern that he might not last the race. Will that play into Sebastian Vettel's hands?

Lap 51: So Webber's long middle stint appears to have paid dividends. The front three are lapping a second faster than the chasing pair of Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel, now, and the biggest could now be between those two for fourth.

Lap 49: Rubens Barrichello and Mark Webber are in. Both are short stops and both are back out in front of Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel - that's vital and the front three, Jenson Button, Barrichello and Webber, are all on the hard tyres now. It's hard to see past that as your podium, now.

Lap 48: In comes Jenson Button - re-emerging in third, fuelled to the end, and on the hard tyres. It's now about how far and fast Rubens Barrichello can get on those soft tyres.

Lap 47: Mark Webber - who was clearly heavily fuelled first up for a long middle stint - is now up to third and just 2.9 seconds behind Rubens Barrichello. The Brazilian is nibbling a bit at Jenson Button's lead, but the Briton is still 12.1 seconds clear - and the strategies of Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel appear to have played into the Brawn GPs hands.

Lap 44: Team radio to Rubens Barrichello: "The two cars ahead of you stopped a lot earlier than we expected so you can now push, you can now push on." Meanwhile - and there's a flashback to a great rivalry - Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso almost touch wheels as the Briton attempts to pass the Spaniard as he makes his way out of the pits, but Alonso holds position on the inside brilliantly and Hamilton is forced to pull back. Hamilton, by the way, has been complaining that his rear tyres "are completely gone". He is hoping for an eighth-place finish here, I'd wager.

Lap 43: Both Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel go in to the pits. The Brazilian emerges in front of the Red Bull, with Vettel taking a second longer on his stop. The Red Bulls have been frustrated once more.

Lap 42: "Jenson Button is not just keeping an eye on Rubens Barrichello, here, he has to watch out for Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel too. Button needs to put pedal to the metal because the gap is around five seconds and Massa and Vettel are flying. Their last stop will be around the same time too, you would think."
Martin Brundle on BBC One

Lap 40: Brawn GP ceo Nicky Fry reveals to BBC One it was Jenson Button's - not Rubens Barrichello's - strategy that was switched earlier in this race. Both were on a three-stop strategy originally but Button was switched to a two-stop at the first pit. It looks like paying dividends for the Briton.

Lap 39: Another hurry up from race engineer Jock Clear to Rubens Barrichello as he lets the Brazilian know that he is "dropping behind Jenson Button" and that he needs to string some "low 1:23s" together.

Lap 38: Kazuki Nakajima pits from ninth and that pushes Lewis Hamilton up a place, behind Nick Heidfeld. Fernando Alonso currently sits sixth, 7.9 seconds off Mark Webber, with Nico Rosberg 5.6 seconds further back in seventh. The Toyota of Timo Glock, strangely, continues to struggle and the German is four seconds off Lewis Hamilton.

Lap 36: Rubens Barrichello is limping a bit now there is fuel in that Brawn GP and he is struggling to put pressure on Sebastian Vettel in third. Mark Webber is starting to kick on but he is not yet within spitting distance of the front runners.

Lap 33: So, Jenson Button leads from Felipe Massa - the gap is 3.6 seconds - with Sebastian Vettel and Rubens Barrichello following. Mark Webber is fifth but he is showing few signs of pressing the top four. Robert Kubica, meanwhile, is one off the back of the pack - he really hasn't got his BMW ticking yet this season. Very frustrating.

Lap 31: Rubens Barrichello comes in for his second stop - he was clearly uber-light after that last pit - and he re-emerges in fourth behind Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel. That's going to cost him big, you would think. Lewis Hamilton also pits, from seventh, but he stays on the softs so he will have to pit again. As will, by the way, Nick Heidfeld who also stays on the softs. Interesting.

Lap 29: "This is now the Brawn GPs' to lose, surely, and you have to say it is looking like a Jenson Button win over Rubens Barrichello because the Brazilian is just not doing enough to stretch that lead over his team-mate."
BBC Sport's pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz

Lap 27: Rubens Barrichello's lead over team-mate Jenson Button is now up to 11.3 seconds but, given he is on an extra stop strategy, he will need to push that up to 20 seconds if he wants to stay ahead of the Briton. Sebastian Vettel continues to be frustrated behind Felipe Massa, who is holding position well, with Mark Webber down in seventh behind Nick Heidfeld and Lewis Hamilton.

Lap 25: In comes Nico Rosberg, meaning it is the Brawn GPs at the front once more. Lewis Hamilton is told over team radio to "keep up with the BMWs and we can overtake them on the stop. A points finish is predicted, but you must keep pace with the BMWs". He trails Nick Heidfeld at the moment.

Lap 23: Lewis Hamilton, who is on a one-stop strategy, is up to seventh as Robert Kubica comes in. The Briton sets his fastest lap of the race with a 1:24.764 - that's a second and a half slower than race leader Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP.

Lap 21: Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel are in and out, now, and they sit behind the Brawns and Nico Rosberg, who is still second. Mark Webber, meanwhile, has re-emerged back in ninth. David Coulthard reveals Red Bull had problems getting the fuel hose off Sebastian Vettel's car in his pit which cost them vital seconds in their bid to get ahead of the Ferrari of Felipe Massa. The Brazilian is sure to hold Vettel up for the forseeable and that might just cost him any chance of victory...

Lap 19: And now Rubens Barrichello comes in. Crucially, he remerges ahead of Nico Rosberg - who is fuelled long - and Jenson Button who is fifth. Suspicion, given that ultra-fast Barrichello stop, that the Brazilian is fuelled a lot lighter than Button - could it be a three-stop versus a two-stop strategy?

Lap 18: Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso pit. And disaster for Kimi Raikkonen - his race looks done and dusted as he crawls round the track towards the pit, sounds like a hydraulics problem. What a weekend for the Finn.

Lap 17: Timo Glock is the first into the pits, he continues with the softs and it looks a decent fuel too. Nelson Piquet Jr has caught up with the pack at 9-12, by the way, but no changes in the order just yet.

Lap 16: It's confirmed - Kimi Raikkonen is unable to use his Kers, which may explain to a point his failure to get past Heidfeld so far. Felipe Massa, meanwhile, is definitely holding up the two Red Bulls - that trio are nearly seven seconds behind the Brawns now.

Lap 14: Kimi Raikkonen is piling the pressure on Nick Heidfeld now, but the German does well to hold position from the Ferrari. It looks only a matter of time before the Finn gets ahead, though.

Lap 13: Another fastest lap from Rubens Barrichello - 1:23.094 and he extends his lead over Button to 1.6 seconds. Felipe Massa is now 5.4 seconds further back - he was slated to pit after the Brawns before this race got started.

Lap 11: Jenson Button is giving his team-mate Rubens Barrichello a bit of grief over the Brawn team radio - he wants to put as much daylight between the two Brawns and the chasing pack as possible. "Come on Rubens you can go quicker than this..." he pleads on the radio. That lead is growing, though... Lewis Hamilton, Robert Kubica, Kimi Raikkonen and Nick Heidfeld are involved in a bit of a battle down at 9-10-11-12, meanwhile, could be one to keep an eye on.

Lap nine: Rubens Barrichello's race engineer Jock Clear is heard on team radio: "I am just going to leave you to it for the next four or five laps so just get the hammer down." Jenson Button posts the fastest lap of the race with a 1:23.849 circuit, he is a second behind race leader Barrichello, with Massa 3.7 seconds further back. Kovalainen's problem was with the gearbox - a problem he endured during first practice, apparently.

Lap eight: Heikki Kovalainen is out - Martin Brundle suspects there is a lack of drive or a clutch problem - and we're down to just 15 runners already. A lot will come down to strategy, now, and the question is whether the proposed pit-stops have been affected by that safety car period...

Lap six: Lewis Hamilton pulls out a nice manoeuvre himself as he gets himself up into 12th on the straight going into the sixth lap. I think there's a problem with Heikki Kovalainen...

Lap five: We're back under way and the front four stay as they are. The story of the restart, though, is the punch-counter punch between Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard gets past the Red Bull on the straight, before Webber retakes the position on the inside in Turn One. Fabulous racing.

1314: "Looked kind of like Rosberg came out of the first corner slow and caused Trulli to swing wide to go round him. He spun and was then caught by Sutil, who'd cut the corner, those two then collided, as did the Toro Rosso's..."
dbfinch on 606
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1312: "That is the worst possible outcome for Red Bull - both Brawns and Felipe Massa are ahead of them now and if Sebastian Vettel has any hope of winning this race, it is going to have to be in his second or third stint, you would think."
BBC Sport pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz

Lap three: The safety car continues as the dust settles from that earlier collision. This could take a while, there is a hell of a lot of debris about.

Lap two: Kimi Raikkonen made up six places there with his Kers injection at the start - he lies 10th. That collision occured on Turn Two, by the way, and replays suggest it was Trulli's fault having gone wide into the corner and then spinning back on to the track, taking out Sutil and the two Toro Rossos as a result. Lewis Hamilton did well to avoid all that, bobbing and weaving his way through the wreckage - he lies 15th. Felipe Massa, meanwhile, is getting advice on keeping his tyres warm and the pits are a flurry of activity as the strategists get to work.

Lap one: Cracking start from Rubens Barrichello as he storms into the lead with Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel seemingly distracted by the threat of Felipe Massa. Massa gets ahead of Vettel, but Barrichello leads from Button. Meanwhile, further down the field, Jarno Trulli, Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastien Buemi and Adrian Sutil have a massive pile-up after the Toyota spins back into the track having gone into the gravel. That brings out the safety car.

1303: We are go, go, go...

1259: "Ferrari need to kick start their season now or it could be the end of them for this season. Come on Button and Hamilton."
WillWill88 on 606
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1258: By the way, apparently Felipe Massa's Kers boost could return the equivalent of 20 metres at the start. Like I said - Do. Not. Blink.

1257: Only minutes to go, so here's the latest from the track. "Actually I don't have a fantastic strategy I will just try to stay out of trouble," says Giancarlo Fisichella, while Rubens Barrichello admits: "I have to keep my eyes open - especially for Ferrari who have the Kers button. I am hoping not to have the brake problems I have had in the last few weeks. It's difficult to overtake a Kers car so I will be hoping to stay in front of Felipe." I think it's fair to say those two have rather differing ambitions going into this Grand Prix.

1255: Five minutes until race time, folks, so I hope you're settled down and ready to rock. The first lap - nay, the first corner - could prove absolutely pivotal in this race given overtaking is so notoriously difficult on this track. Felipe Massa is the man to watch - he has Kers and Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Rubens Barrichello will have to defend position for their lives going into Turn One. It could be blink-and-you-miss-it stuff, so keep your eyes peeled...

1250: "Alonso is needed in a Ferrari to remind a few people of what he can do."
Kitchen on 606
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1248: Fernando Alonso fans, listen up - your man is not exactly brimming with confidence, but could he just be playing it ever so coolly in front of his home fans? Here's what he had to say from the track: "It's not the best day possible for me. We have struggled all weekend, we are not quick enough, and it will probably be the same today. But of course we will do our maximum and hopefully get in the points. We're probably a bit too light - and from eighth it will be hard - but it is a long race and we'll see what happens."

1245: Right then, back to all things racing - here's the latest from the Circuit de Catalunya. "Sundays just wouldn't be the same without some information on tyres would they? Well, tyre strategy probably won't be as important in today's race because Bridgestone say the softer tyres are performing so well that they are the clear favourites. Most teams will be expected to go for a soft-soft-hard tyre combination in Barca. The 2.90-mile track is pretty tough on the rubber because of the high-speed straights and the tricky tyre combination in the final chicane. So the tyre selections should be pretty straightforward - it will be intriguing to see whether any team decides to take a risk by opting for a different strategy."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Barcelona

1244: "Really hoping Kimi can push his way through the pack at start-needs to finish in points for Ferrari"
Lizzi, Ipswich via text on 81111

1241: "And, talking of changes (see 1224) - 2010 is likely to see team as well as personnel reshuffles. New teams are being lined up to join the grid - and some are threatening to quit it. Kimi Raikkonen's feelings on the proposed budget caps are well known I think (suffice to say, he's not a fan), but the latest news is that Toyota have revealed they will withdraw from F1 if the proposals remain as they are. I said it yesterday and I'll say it again - this one looks set to run and run..."
Wary Raikkonen ponders F1 future
Toyota threaten pull-out from F1

1237: "Hamilton to finish 6th I reckon."
lionihatethisgame on 606
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1233: "The Spanish fans have turned out in force to get behind their main man Fernando Alonso. Everyone on the circuit for the last four races has been telling me about the atmosphere in Barcelona and it is quite lively I have to say. There are lots of fans decked out in team colours and flags and BBC HQ has been peppered with constant bursts of air horns. Pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie made a brave foray into the grandstands a little while ago and reports high levels of excitement - she was even offered legs of ham, beer, hat and hugs, ahhhh."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Barcelona

1229: "Re: 1140 - Adrian Sutil wont stay as a 'cult' favourite for long if you keep drawing attention to him! I've already moved on, throwing my support behind Kazuki Nakajima for this one."
Elliot via text

1224: First glimpses of the crowd on BBC One's coverage, and it's fair to say Fernando Alonso can expect more love in Barcelona than a Pussycat Doll at the Hamiltons. The crowd represents a veritable feast of reds and yellows and if vocal support could determine a Grand Prix, Alonso would fly to victory by a matter of minutes. All that stands in his way is his Renault - no matter how awesome his talent is, does Fernando Alonso really have the car to threaten the podium today? Well if rumours are to be believed Ferrari are waiting in the wings - could Spain's finest be driving for the Prancing Horse next season?
Bank on Alonso for Ferrari move

1220: "The start of the race will be crucial and I expect Felipe Massa, who has the benefit of the Kers power boost, to get away quickly. History is on Ferrari's side in Barcelona - in the last 10 years they have had at least one driver on the podium in nine Grands Prix. The Italian team will be hoping Massa can keep up that trend by climbing onto the podium for the first time this season in Spain. If it rains, things may not go Massa's way as Kers could be unreliable in the wet. I have a feeling the race could be played out on the pit wall rather than on the track. It may not be Jenson Button or Sebastian Vettel's to lose because pit-stops and team tactics will be key."
BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie

1216: "For the season's sake, I hope Button crashes out or finishes out of the points - it will be season over if he wins or is in the top 4"
bestchelseasteven on 606
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1213: "If Vettel was the fastest driver fuel-adjusted, then Red Bull made a mistake in their strategy because whoever was on pole was always going to be favourite to win this race."
John, Sheffield via text on 81111

1210: Dom... ba da dom ba da dom dom dom dom... LOVE that theme tune! We're up and running on BBC One folks. Sing along, you know the bass line..

1209: "Why do I get the feeling that Massa's actually going to WIN this one?"
superphysics on 606

1206: "Webber to get second? Sam have you gone mad! He's the unluckiest driver on the grid, he will probably go off at the first corner now you have predicted that!"
Mattfd on 606
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1202: "Pacesetters Brawn GP are one of six teams not to have experimented with 2009's optional kinetic energy recovery system (Kers). Only Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber and Renault have given Kers - which gives drivers a 6.7-second boost of power per lap - a whirl, and in Barcelona only Ferrari and McLaren are sticking with it. Brawn said at the start of the season they have no plans to introduce Kers during the course of the campaign. The team's engine suppliers Mercedes-Benz, who also make McLaren's Kers device, say that isn't likely to change in the near future. When asked if Brawn could get their hands on Kers any time soon, Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug joked; "Just one phone call and I can deliver. It is a good price for an extra four tenths of a second." But Haug pointed out cost is only part of the equation - the effort to integrate Kers with the design of the car is also contributing to some teams' reticence."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Barcelona

1200: "I have a couple of quid on Massa to win-with more fuel on board and, if it's working, KERS to get ahead at the first corner, I think he's in a brilliant position."
Anon via text on 81111

1157: RKW - Heart and Pole™ (below) - I offer you these 'predictions' (if that's what you can call them) with a stark warning; any financial backing of my tips will lead to loss of funds and a stern ticking off from your accountant. Deal? I'm going for a Red Bull 1-2, Sebastian Vettel from Mark Webber, Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello, Jarno Trulli, Robert Kubica and Fernando Alonso - in that order. Like I say, keep your money in your pocket. For an alternative prediction, why not check out Jonathan Legard's tips? Or, alternatively, stick the top 10 drivers in a hat and pick out a winner blindfolded. Easy.
Jonathan Legard's predictions

1153: "Sam - Who are you tipping to win the race?"
RKW - Heart and Pole™ on 606
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1150: "Fernando to grab a podium for his home crowd after Vettel and Button collide at the first corner!"
EL_NANDO on 606

1147: Anyway, all that leads me to suggest you all get involved in your normal brilliant way on 606 or via text on 81111 and I'll publish a random selection of the best and the worst. Generate a 'dear diary' moment by getting yourself published on the BBC Sport website. You know you want to...
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1145: And, then there is Lewis Hamilton. As Sarah points out below, his good missus Nicole Scherzinger is in attendance this weekend which, if nothing else, will liven up our photo gallery. I doubt even she will be able to inspire the Stevenage Speedster (all right, I made that one up) to greatness today, though, given the Briton has made no secret of the fact that he is driving something akin to a milk float in Barcelona. As David Coulthard says in his BBC column, "McLaren took two steps forward in the first three Grands Prix but two steps back in Barcelona." I can hear the rain dance from the McLaren paddocks as I type...
David Coulthard column

1140: And what about the other runners? The BMWs showed some improvement with Robert Kubica qualifying in 10th - they are without Kers again this weekend, fyi - while "El Eyebrows" Fernando Alonso will clearly be going all out to reward his adoring fans with something to toast their chorizo omelette and vino to. Force India, meanwhile, will have to limit their ambitions to making sure Adrian Sutil retains BBC F1 live text commentary legend status just by being, erm, well his legendary self. Jubbly.

Nicole Scherzinger and Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton's Pussycat Doll girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger is in town
1136: "Hola F1 fans. Shall we get the weather out of the way first? Well, I woke up to grey skies and the sniff of rain in the air but there are no black clouds in sight now and the sun is beating down on the Barcelona paddock, where the pre-race throng is gathering. Home favourite Fernando Alonso managed to escape yet another mobbing as he hot-footed it from the garage to the motorhome for some lunch. Sebastian Vettel was much more relaxed as he strolled down the paddock clutching a bowl of salad, generously sprinkled with olives. Lewis Hamilton's girlfriend Nicole Sherzinger was in town to support her man in qualifying but no sign of the Pussycat Doll at McLaren HQ just yet. Anyway, enough celeb-spotting the main attraction is still the racing - it all happens at 1300BST."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Barcelona

1133: Well it might not be quite as cut and dried as that today, folks - and given how this season has gone already, who will have expected any different? Button, by his own admission, has not been completely besotted with his car all weekend and, one stunning lap aside, has actually been a little off the pace of the front-runners. Brawn GP expected his team-mate Rubens Barrichello, rather than the Frome flyer, to grab pole, for example. Then there is the fuel-adjusted grid to consider - Sebastian Vettel (who reminds me of a young Kiefer Sutherland. No? Just me then) was actually the quickest man on the track yesterday, while every man, woman, child and pet was impressed with the Ferraris' improved pace as well. Felipe Massa will undoubtedly be a threat today you would think, and let's not write off the other Red Bull, Mark Webber, or the Toyotas either. What am I getting at? Just don't go anywhere folks.
BBC F1's fuel-adjusted Spanish GP grid

1130: Four races down, three wins to Jenson Button, and the Briton starts from pole position in Spain again today. You have heard this statistic before and you will hear it again - the last eight winners at the Circuit de Catalunya have started number one on the grid. We might as well not run the race at all, huh?

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see also
Button wins as Brawn GP dominate
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Spanish Grand Prix photos
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Last-gasp Button grabs Spain pole
09 May 09 |  Formula 1
Spanish GP practice as it happened
08 May 09 |  Formula 1
Spanish Grand Prix starting grid
05 May 09 |  Results
Raikkonen takes blame for fiasco
09 May 09 |  Formula 1
Brawn admits Button fortune
09 May 09 |  Formula 1
Button's in-car pole lap in Barcelona
09 May 09 |  Formula 1
Alonso uses home pressure as motivation
08 May 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton remains positive about season
08 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1

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