It looked after practice and qualifying that Brawn’s measure had been acquired; at least by Toyota and Red Bull. After all, the best Brawn could manage was fourth on the grid with Button, and a front row lock-out by Toyota, and Vettel’s third on the grid, seemed to strike a note of reality for this years F1 season.
Those who condemned Brawn’s early success this year called it luck. They were lucky they had the diffuser. They were lucky they had the rain. They were lucky McLaren and Ferrari had been too busy last year fighting over the championship to worry too much about this year’s car. And they may be right. But then again…
Brawn GP, with Jenson Button at the wheel, has just recorded its third victory of the season, to leave it top of the drivers and the manufacturers leader board. Button, who started fourth on the grid, had made it up to third by the start of the second lap, leaving just the Toyotas, which had started on the front row of the grid, to pass. He managed this when the Toyotas (which had a light fuel load that enabled them to take the front row in qualifying) pitted, and he stayed there for the rest of the race.
Vettel in the Red Bull managed a very creditable second, with Trulli coming in third. In truth, if Vettel had had more time, he could have challenged Button for the win. Hamilton managed a very good fourth place, with Button’s team mate Barrichello coming in fifth.
This is the end of the opening phase of the season, and the real F1 starts in two weeks in Europe. That’s when we’ll really find out who has the chance of taking this year’s F1 Championship. But Brawn are still looking good.