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Sunday, March 29, 2009

F1 - Button leaves Brawn speechless

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Jenson Button managed to render Ross Brawn speechless following a remarkable Australian Grand Prix victory.

Up until a few weeks ago Brawn GP did not exist, but the power and persuasion of their unlikely team owner led to them rising from the ashes after Honda Racing had financially crashed and burned.

After leading a management buy-out, the technical genius has now led the team to Formula One's promised land after scoring a one-two in the season-opener around Albert Park in Melbourne.

Not since 1954, when legendary five-times champion Juan Manuel Fangio led home Karl Kling for Mercedes in the French Grand Prix, has a team taken the top two places on their debut.

Put into greater context, Button on Sunday scored more points in this one race than he managed in his previous 35 over two years with Honda.

Brawn, who played a prominent role in Michael Schumacher winning all seven of his world titles with Benetton and Ferrari, could be on the brink of his most remarkable achievement yet.

Certainly the foundations have been laid, although quite clearly to his own amazement given how close he was to not even being here.

"You don't find Ross speechless very often, but during the last 15 minutes I would be surprised if he said a word," revealed Button, after only the second victory of his 154-race career.

"Seeing him on the way up to the podium he had nothing to say. The big bear was just there speechless.

"It was good to see as it was a very emotional day for him, as it is for us as well."

Appreciably, and it was an obvious but understandable comment to make, Button described the day as "a fairytale" as the 29-year-old led from start to finish.

The fact team-mate Rubens Barrichello joined him on the podium was a feat in itself as the Brazilian was involved in a first-corner melee that led to him damaging his front wing.

Then in the closing stages, Barrichello benefited from a reckless incident involving Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica in his BMW Sauber as they crashed out when running second and third.

It led to the safety car being deployed for a second time, after an earlier accident involving Williams' Kazuki Nakajima, behind which they ran virtually to the finish for the final three laps.

It was hardly the grandstand ending Button might have hoped for when he took the chequered flag, but that mattered little in the grand scheme of things.


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