Can Brawn GP win it all


Two Heads Up: Season opener in Melbourne on Sunday saw an historic one-two finish for team formerly known as Honda F1 Racing. The Brackley based team almost joined the ranks of Lotus, Brabham and Arrows. A last minute management buy-out led by Ross Brawn saved the team from extinction. The dramatic debut win in the Australian Grand Prix is not, in true F1 tradition, without controversy. The Diffuser-gate hearing in April may close the unfair advantage other teams are claiming Brawn GP enjoys in the design of their diffuser.

Jenson Button scored his second career win ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello, who is now in his 17th. year at the top tier of professional motor racing. Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton was classified third.

The 2009 season is off to a steamy start. More of the same in the simmering heat and humidity in round two this weekend at Sepang–the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vijay Mallya has his eye on Bruno Senna.

Ferrari may not be competitive until mid season.

Nico Rosberg believes Formula 1’s twilight races are dangerous.

Scuderia Toro Rosso extremely happy with Buemi performance.





Button takes Brawn GP to victory

USED CARS                                                                                                                         CAR LOANS


Dramatic Debut: Reims 1954, Buenos Aires 1977 and now Albert Park 2009. The Maestro Juan Manuel Fangio gave Mercedes-Benz victory in the French Grand Prix upon their return to Grand Prix racing after the war. Jody Scheckter gave Canadian oil man Walter Wolf debut win in Argentina. Jenson Button joined this elite group on Sunday with a dominant win for Brawn GP from pole position in Australia, opening round of the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship.

Teammate Rubens Barrichello was second and Toyota of Jarno Trulli third, thanks to late race coming together of Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel. World Champion Lewis Hamilton, relegated to the back of the grid following a gearbox change, was fourth ahead of the second Toyota of Timo Glock. Alonso, Rosberg and Sebastien Buemi, making his F1 debut with Toro Rosso, finished in the remaining points paying positions.

Round 2 is next Sunday at Sepang, the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Jenson Button takes the checkered flag in Melbourne.

Rubens Barrichello recovers from a bad start to finish second.

Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica tangle fighting for the podium.

Ferrari’s hopes turn to disaster after Massa and then Kimi fail to finish.

Trulli given a 25-sec penalty moving him outside of the points finish.

Vettel given a 10-place grid penalty for the Malaysian Grand Prix.


The Australian Grand Prix
Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia;
58 laps; 307.574km;
Weather: Sunny.


Pos Driver Team
1. Button Brawn GP
2. Barrichello Brawn GP
3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
4. Glock Toyota
5. Alonso Renault
6. Rosberg Williams-Toyota
7. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari
8. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes
10. Heidfeld BMW Sauber
11. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes
12. Trulli Toyota
13. Webber Red Bull-Renault
14. Vettel Red Bull-Renault
15. Kubica BMW Sauber
16. Raikkonen Ferrari

Fastest lap: Rosberg, 1:27.706

Shake and brake in Formula 1



Brawny Roll: Wonder down under in qualifying for the opening round of the 2009 Formula 1 season was the performance of Brawn GP team. Jenson Button, the lost man of British motor racing after the emergence of Lewis Hamilton, put the Mercedes-Benz powered car on pole position on its debut. Fellow Brit Jackie Stewart was the last man to achieve this feat when he put Uncle Ken’s Tyrrell on pole at Mosport for the 1970 Canadian Grand Prix.

Teammate Rubens Barrichello, the lost man of Brazilian motor racing since the emergence of Felipe Massa, will share the front row with Button. Barrichello’s experience and long term relationship with Ross Brawn salvaged his career after the shock withdrawal of Honda late last year. Their decision deprived the return of Senna’s name, as in Bruno, to the Grand Prix circuit.

Third man in the photo and on the grid is Sebastian Vettel, youngest Grand Prix and pole winner, his determined looks and raw talent reminds one of another young German driver from the early 90s.


Come undone: Nelsinho Piquet is feeling the heat from the start of the new season. Poor and erratic season last year has made him a marked man. He must up his game against his teammate, no small task, or risk Romain Grosjean gearing up for a debut later in the year.

Toyota excluded from the final results of the qualifying.

Jenson Button takes the pole in Melbourne!

Rubens Barrichello completes the front row for the Brawn machine.

Sebastien Vettel holds on to third position.

Virgin may take over Brawn GP name.

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps

1. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:25.211 1:24.855 1:26.202 19
2. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:25.006 1:24.783 1:26.505 21
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:25.938 1:25.121 1:26.830 21
4. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:25.922 1:25.152 1:26.914 19
5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:25.846 1:25.123 1:26.973 21
6. Glock Toyota (B) 1:25.499 1:25.281 1:26.975 19
7. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:25.844 1:25.319 1:27.033 21
8. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:26.194 1:25.265 1:27.127 20
9. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:25.899 1:25.380 1:27.163 21
10. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:25.427 1:25.241 1:27.246 20
11. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:25.827 1:25.504 14
12. Alonso Renault (B) 1:26.026 1:25.605 12
13. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:26.074 1:25.607 16
14. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:26.184 1:25.726 15
15. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:26.454 no time 5
16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:26.503 10
17. Piquet Renault (B) 1:26.598 12
18. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:26.677 10
19. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:26.742 9
20. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:26.964 10

F1weekly podcast # 334


Nico Rosberg on top in Friday practice with a flying 1.26:053

Adrian Sutil in his force India outpacing the Ferrari’s.

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir hameed.

Special Interview with John Edwards.


John Edwards first entered organized motor racing in karts in 2003 winning the Great Lakes Sprint Series Junior Briggs Restricted Championship. In October of that same year he became the youngest ever licensed driver in U.S. open-wheel road racing.

Competing in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Race Series on January 17, 2004, John first won at the historic Daytona International Speedway, becoming the youngest winner in open wheel road racing history. His first year in racing concluded by being selected as the sole winner of the coveted 2004 Red Bull Driver Search, a program designed to find the next American Formula One World Champion.

To begin 2005 John moved to Europe, first competing in international karting. John’s early mid-year promotion to the highly competitive Formula Renault Cup and EuroCup Series resulted in him becoming the youngest in history to hold a FIA license, and the youngest to compete in the Formula Renault series. After a first year of learning and "baptism by fire" John completed a successful campaign in 2006 with podium finishes at Spa-Franchorchamps and the Nurburgring, and his first European victory at Anderstorp. In 2007 John set another “youngest-ever” record racing in the ultra-competitive Champ Car Atlantic Championship. John recorded on podium finish, with second place at Toronto, as well as many other top-five finishes, ultimately ending 9th in the championship standings.

In 2008, John is racing in the Star Mazda Championship. Despite missing the first race of the season, John is aiming for the championship and is already a multi-race winner.

Melbourne Saturday practice times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:25.808 21
2. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:25.811 + 0.003 19
3. Button Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:25.981 + 0.173 20
4. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:26.020 + 0.212 17
5. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:26.078 + 0.270 18
6. Barrichello Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:26.348 + 0.540 19
7. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:26.355 + 0.547 16
8. Glock Toyota (B) 1:26.410 + 0.602 25
9. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:26.514 + 0.706 18
10. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:26.555 + 0.747 19
11. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:26.652 + 0.844 13
12. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:26.714 + 0.906 18
13. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:27.009 + 1.201 12
14. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:27.062 + 1.254 12
15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:27.152 + 1.344 16
16. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:27.192 + 1.384 17
17. Alonso Renault (B) 1:27.357 + 1.549 18
18. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:27.492 + 1.684 20
19. Piquet Renault (B) 1:27.739 + 1.931 22
20. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:28.801 + 2.993 5

Kazeem speaks with Nasir




Kazeem Manzur, Formula BMW Europe racer and faithful F1 Weekly listener, talks about his maiden season in single seaters in 2008 and his agenda for 2009.

Q: What are your expectations in your second season of Formula BMW?

A: After one year of experience in Formula BMW I feel that I am able and will aim to win the championship. It will be difficult considering Formula BMW Europe is once again extremely competitive.

Q: What were biggest adjustments in single seaters compared to racing in karts?

A: The biggest adjustments would definitely have to be learning how to use the aerodynamics and also the whole process of a race weekend and testing is very different to that of a karting event.

Q3: Both of your teammates were in second year in 2008, was that a good learning experience?

A: Although it was hard to have two second year drivers as teammates last year, I believe that it enforced me and helped me to learn the art of driving a Formula BMW car quickly and also they helped me to understand the world of single-seater racing.

Q: Most races are on Grand Prix weekends, does that add to the pressure?

A: It definitely adds pressure, mainly because an F1 weekend is extremely busy and therefore it is difficult to book hotels close to the circuit. Therefore, getting to the circuit is pressurizing in itself.

Q: You raced in Valencia, how much fun is racing on a street course compared to Spa or Silverstone in the wet?

A: It was a great experience to drive the car through the streets of Valencia, although Valencia didn’t feel like a tight and twisty street circuit as it was a fairly wide fast circuit with great amounts of run-off area.

Q: What were the best and worst races for you last year?

A: My best race last year would have to be the last race of the season at Monza where there was torrential rain. I had to start at the back of the grid and in a 13 lap race I managed to get to eighth position from 26th on the grid. The worst race would have to have been Valencia where I started 9th. I entered the first corner and I was hit by another driver, who eventually drove over my car causing a fair bit of damage.

Q: What has been the biggest learning experience in taking driving instructions from Rob Wilson?

A: I’ve learned a great deal from Rob, and the main thing I have learned from him is how to be harmonized with the car, the surface and myself.

Q: Who would be main challengers for you for the championship?

A: It is hard to say at this point, I guess we shall find out at the first race.

Q: Last year you took part in Formula BMW Asia round at Sepang, any plans to compete in Formula BMW Americas events this year?

A: I have not made plans to take part in the Americas or the Pacific championship yet, but I would love to do the Singapore event and maybe the Interlagos event if it is possible.

Q: Your favorite track?

A: My favorite track would have to be Spa. Mainly because of how fast and flowing the track is with the elevation changes and such. Not to mention Eau rouge…

Q: F1 season starts at the end of this month, who would you put your two Liras on for the title?

A: It is hard to tell at the moment, but I reckon one of the Ferrari drivers or even possibly one of the Brawn drivers.

Q: What is the best advice you can give to rookies this season?

A: My advice would be not to put too much pressure on yourself in the first season as that will stop you from learning. Make sure you enjoy the entire experience as well.

17-year old Kazeem Manzur was born in Milton Keynes, England, and now resides in Florence, Italy. He drives for German based Josef Kaufmann Racing. For more information on his career please visit

This interview was conducted by Nasir Hameed.


Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota diffusers have been given the green light.

Henry LIoyd joins Brawn GP.

BMW will set up one car with KERS for Melbourne.

Brawn GP has informed it’s Brackley-based staff that 275 of them will be laid off.