Seven years ago, we were all looking forward to a Christmas time like any other year. The F1 world, however, was a little different to any other. With major regulation changes beckoning, Honda sacrificed 2007 and 2008 seasons in an attempt to improve its prospects for 2009.
Ross Brawn and his design team believed they had hit the jackpot with their 2009 challenger, only for the catastrophic 2008 to get worse for the Honda employees when the manufacturer pulled out of the sport. The bad news for Button and Barrichello was they were unaware if their careers were at a standstill or even worse, over. On the 6th March, 2009, Ross Brawn purchased the team from Honda and in the nick of time the jobs were saved as Brawn GP was born, and bred for this season.
First race day - Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria. March 29th. Just over 3 weeks after the team officially formed, they were about to make their grand prix debut, a record for the youngest team to compete in F1 was made. But little did any of us know how much history would be made in only one weekend.
Practice sessions showed that the BGP-001 was a car with potential, but the Williams looked like being the package of the season after a 1-2 finish in session 1 and Nico Rosberg topping second practice, and later the third practice on Saturday. Qualifying, however, was the first time Williams didn't take the top spot, instead the debut team who were only a mere 22 days old had took pole position, with Jenson Button, securing his first pole since the same grand prix three years earlier, beating team mate Barrichello in a 1-2 finish.
The race was even more successful for the squad with Button leading from lap one to the race end on lap 56 with a time of 1:43:15.784. Barrichello followed him home only 0.807 seconds later in second place to secure his first podium since the British Grand Prix the season before and his best result since the infamous 2005 United States Bridgestone Grand Prix.
So with one round down the team who had existed for only 23 days left Melbourne topping both standards, and as they all say, the rest is history.
by Matthew Ganon