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Qualifying - Button grabs pole by a whisker in Spain 09 May 2009

Post qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn Grand Prix, third; Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn Grand Prix pole position; Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, second.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 9 May 2009 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF109.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 9 May 2009 Pit board held out for the fastest driver in practice, Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 9 May 2009

Brawn GP’s Jenson Button crossed the finish line with two seconds to spare to start his final qualifying lap on Saturday. It gave him pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix, after he completed it a tenth faster than Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

The Englishman had played second fiddle to his Brawn team mate Rubens Barrichello in Q2, and the Brazilian himself had been pipped for fastest time by Vettel when Button just made it over the line for his last run. As Button lapped in 1m 20.527s, Vettel had to be content with 1m 20.660s, Barrichello 1m 20.762s. To add spice to Sunday’s race, Felipe Massa put the much improved Ferrari F60 into fourth place with 1m 20.934s.

When the fuel weights are subsequently published, we will finally know the true current pecking order after all the latest upgrades.

Mark Webber was fifth for Red Bull in 1m 21.049s, chased by the Toyotas of Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli on 1m 21.247s and 1m 21.254s respectively. Fernando Alonso gave his fans something with eighth for Renault in 1m 21.392s, and Wiliams’ Nico Rosberg and BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica (1m 22.558s and 1m 22.685s) completed the top 10.

Where was the other Ferrari? You might well ask. Kimi Raikkonen had not even made it through Q1, after lapping in 1m 21.291s and being bumped by Trulli in the dying seconds. Ferrari had opted not to send him out for another run, thinking he had already done enough. He will start 16th, on the outside of row eight.

Between him and the top 10 were Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima (1m 20.531s), Renault’s Nelson Piquet (1m 20.604s and much closer to Alonso than of late), BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld (1m 20.676s), McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton (1m 20.805s) and Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi (1m 21.067s).

Behind Raikkonen, Sebastien Bourdais was 17th on 1m 21.300s in the second Toro Rosso, ahead of troubled Heikki Kovalainen in the McLaren(1m 21.675s), and the Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 21.742s and 1m 22.204s.

So we have a very close grid, and several front-running cars that appear reasonably well matched. And a KERS car (Massa’s Ferrari) fourth on the grid with a long run down to Turn One. It’s going to be a cracking race.