After a much rain delayed qualifying session at Brazil, Rubens Barrichello drove his car into the spot reserved for the man on pole.
Hairs on the backs of necks, were they not soaked with rain, were surely standing proud as Brazilian fans cheered “Rubinho! Rubinho!” to welcome their hero.
The reason for their joy was well summed up by Barrichello’s engineer, Jock Clear, of the Brawn team, who told his man on the team radio:
“You beauty! That is P1 in Brazil… Jenson Button P14 Sebastian Vettel, P16 where are you now!”
Having needed to gain at least 5 points on his team-mate, Jenson Button, to remain in the title hunt after the Brazilian Grand Prix, things could not have been better set up for Barrichello.
After a huge delay between Q1 and Q2 while standing water following torrential rain drained away, Button failed to make the top 10 and missed out on the last round of qualifying.
Barrichello scraped into the final round in the last P10 position.
However, on his final flying lap – the red “finish the lap you’re on” lights came on as Rubens roared toward the finish line – Barrichello secured pole with the fastest lap of the session, of 1:19.576.
Mark Webber, who’s RBR Renault team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of clinching this year’s title appear to be dwindling following an out in Q1, was 9 hundreths down in P2 and Adrian Sutil of Force India again put in a fantastic performance to make the P3 spot.
It is perhaps a mark of just how open Formula 1 has become this season that, quite remarkably, the top 8 cars in the grid all belong to different teams.
While the weather surely had it’s part to play – several drivers spun out – the new style qualifying and rule changes which were much talked about leading into the 2009 season, must get a resounding thumbs up following yet another exciting qualifying session.
Tomorrow’s race is likely to see tricky tyre choices, with changeable weather predicted, as well as some men at the back with a point to prove and a score to settle.
Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying Result – Grid Positions:
- Rubens Barrichello
- Mark Webber
- Adrian Sutil
- Jarno Trulli
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Sebastian Buemi
- Nico Rosberg
- Robert Kubica
- Kazuki Nakajima
- Fernando Alonso
If Button can get to within 5 points of his team-mate and Sebastian Vettel, he will lift the title in Brazil. The odds are against that, however anything can happen in the wet. Jarno Trulli, who put in a magnificent qualifying performance will surely be the man to watch if the rain does fall during the race.
Sebastian Vettel, starting right back in position 16 knows that only a win will do for his Championship hopes, so expect some fireworks there, for Brazil is a track which offers some joy for those looking to overtake.
A fascinating race is in store for fans of Formula 1 motorsport. Neutrals and locals will be hoping Barrichello wins and takes the title to the final race in Abu Dhabi. Fans of Button and Vettel will be hoping they can make up many places from the rear of the grid. Everyone will be watching the skies.