Brawn muscle to top of Melbourne grid

Jenson Button seized pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Saturday in a fairytale front-row sweep for his new Brawn GP team.

Written by Alan Baldwin | Melbourne | Published:March 29, 2009 11:18 pm

Jenson Button seized pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Saturday in a fairytale front-row sweep for his new Brawn GP team. Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello will line up alongside Button in Sunday’s race in a remarkable turnaround for a team who were fighting for their Formula One survival earlier this year.

The pole was Button’s first in Formula One since the 2006 Australian GP,when he was driving for now-departed Honda. Mercedes-engined Brawn,who have emerged phoenix-like from the ashes of Honda,will be the first to start their debut race on pole position since the March team in the 1970 South African GP.

“The last five or six months for both of us have been so tough,” said Button. “Going from not having a drive or any future in racing to putting it on pole here is just amazing,it really is.”

Gearbox trouble

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton will start 18th after a gearbox failure kept him in the garage from the end of the first session. The 24-year-old would have been last but he moved up two places when stewards excluded Toyota’s Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock from the classification after ruling that their cars’ rear wings were too flexible.

Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil will start 15th and 16th respectively. The two had dropped out in the first session,but were promoted from their 18th and 19th places because of penalties to Hamilton,Trulli and Glock.

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