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Recap & Analysis

  • Summer Recess: Brawn's good start & recent slump

    Here we are just beyond half way through the 2009 season – it's been quick I know. We're on a 4 week break between races, and an official 2 week factory shut-down, so now seems like an ideal time to roundup what's gone on so far and feed a little perspective back on the ever turbulent world of F1.

    First up, the Brawn roller coaster

    The fairytale team from Brackley had an incredible start to the season, Jenson Button winning 6 of the first 7 rounds, and the one he didn't he still managed a podium, driving a car in the wet that had never seen a drop of rain before that weekend. Contrast that with the last 3 grands prix results, 6th, 5th and 7th. From dropping only 4 points from the maximum attainable in the opening rounds, Jenson has only collected 9 from a possible 30 since.

    It's worrying that the updates the team has put on the car have upset the way that it works the tyres, it would seem chasing a two-tenth aerodynamic improvement has resulted in losing something like a second from the performance of the tyres.

    Ross Brawn now has the quandary to remove aero-updates to try and get the tyres working again – which could put them months behind in the development race, or redevelop the updated parts to correct their flaws – that is if they know which part or combination has unsettled the car. No mean feat given the testing ban.

    Ross Brawn told Gazzetta dello Sport,

    “It’s true that the opposition has got a lot stronger, but in the first part of the season we were getting the most out of the tyres and unexpectedly we’ve had problems there [since].

    It’s certainly related to some modification which we’ve introduced during the year and so we are analysing exactly every step we’ve taken to understand what has caused this problem.”

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Rubens Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber jostle for position in the first corner at the 2009 German Grand Prix - © Red Bull/Getty

Hamilton got a cracking start, but it was Barrichello and Webber that lead into turn 1 © Red Bull/Getty