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LIVE COMMENTARY: F1: 2009 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE DAY AT ALBERT PARK
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Race day at Albert Park
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
04:30 Hello everyone and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live, as we gear up for a new, exciting beginning to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Anticipation has been building for weeks, and finally now is the time - round one, the ING Australian Grand Prix from Albert Park, Melbourne.

04:32 AUTOSPORT forum members are invited to join the fun throughout the race, offering thoughts and opinions as the event unfolds.

• Are we set to see Brawn GP domination and a one-two finish?
• Will Ferrari or Renault manage to score a useful amount of points from lowly grid spots?
• What will Lewis Hamilton and the Toyota drivers be able to achieve from the back of the grid?

Tell everyone what you think.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

04:35 The weather has been kind throughout the weekend so far and today's 58-lap race will be no exception.

Clear skies, plenty of sunshine and a maximum air temperature of 25 degrees Celsius will certainly allay pre-event concerns about the fading of the early-evening light.

Jenson Button04:40 Saturday provided two marvellous sessions of action, and demonstrated a continuation of the winter testing form.

Nico Rosberg made it hat-trick of fastest times in final practice, blazing his Williams FW31 around the 5.303km Albert Park circuit in 1:25.808. Jarno Trulli was second for Toyota, with Jenson Button third in the Brawn Mercedes.

Everyone wondered if Rosberg could do it again and grab the pole position in qualifying. It wasn't to be, as Brawn GP took control of all three periods of the knock-out session with some stunning times. Jenson Button got the better of team-mate Rubens Barrichello in the final shootout with a lap of 1:26.202 as the pair of BGP 001s left the competition in their wake.

Sebastian Vettel claimed an impressive third spot for Red Bull Racing. Robert Kubica starts fourth for BMW, with practice pacesetter Rosberg in fifth.

04:45 Lewis Hamilton's day went from bad to worse on Saturday. Having only just made it through the first period of qualifying, he was forced to pull out of the session with a gearbox problem. The subsequent change to a new unit means he will start at the rear of the field.

Hamilton to start from back of the grid

Hamilton won't be on the back of the grid, though, after Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli were stripped of their grid positions for a flexible wing infringement.

Toyota duo excluded from qualifying

Toyota have since decided that the pit lane is the best place to start from for today's race.

Toyota cars to start race from pitlane

04:50 The stewards' room was a busy place after qualifying when Williams protested against the Ferrari and Red Bull cars.

Hours later, the protest was withdrawn.

Williams withdraws Ferrari, RBR protest

Albert Park04:55 A massive crowd has arrived at Albert Park to enjoy a great day of racing. So far today they have been treated to several spine-tingling support races since the gates opened at 10:30.

Firstly, the Formula 5000 Tasman Cup Revival turned back time to a golden age of Australian single-seater motor racing.

Formula Ford, the Mini Challenge and Australian GT supports then followed, before the thunder of the V8 Supercars where Ford made it a clean sweep of non-championship victories for the weekend.

Aside from the racing, the spectators have been wowed by air displays, historic car demonstrations and the Minardi two-seater. Tonight, The Who will perform a live concert to round off a busy weekend at the circuit.

Drivers05:00 Earlier, the stars of the show assembled at the front of the grid for the traditional 'class of 2009' drivers' photograph.

They appeared to a rapturous applause from the large Melbourne crowd, and were arranged in the familiar three rows while the Formula 1 photographers snapped away.

The 2008 championship rivals, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, sat side by side, as a new title battle beckons.

05:05 The drivers' parade took place a short time ago, and gave a poignant reminder of recent events in Victoria that made worldwide headlines.

Traditionally, the drivers would be taken round in a wide variety of historic cars. But in a moving change, they were taken round in local fire trucks, as a gesture of support to those caught up in the recent appalling bushfires.

05:10 On March 17th the FIA announced that the weight of each car would be published after qualifying, allowing the media, spectators and fans to have an idea of the fuel load in each car before the race.

The heaviest cars will go further into the race before making their first pit stop, while the lightweights can be expected to enter pitlane earlier - on a strategy involving more stops.

No weight advantage for Brawn GP cars

05:15 The all-new KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) makes its race debut today. The device stores the energy generated by the car under braking then distributes the stored energy in the form of extra horsepower via a 'boost' button.

The KERS units - weighing approximately 30 kilos - can deliver an extra 82 brake horsepower for a maximum of 6.6 seconds per lap.

So far, only four teams have decided to run their KERS system during the grand prix. They are:

McLaren Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton
Heikki Kovalainen

Scuderia Ferrari
Felipe Massa
Kimi Raikkonen

Renault F1
Fernando Alonso
Nelson Piquet

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld

Only one BMW will run the KERS system in today's grand prix. Robert Kubica will not run the system following concerns surrounding weight distribution.

Kubica expects to have a difficult race

05:20 The pit lane will be open in ten minutes for the cars to make their way around to the grid.

05:24 Slick tyres make a welcome return to the sport in 2009. Once again, Bridgestone is providing four different rubber compounds during the year and is bringing a pair of tyre options to each race.

Here in Melbourne, the Medium and Super Soft compounds are available to the teams, with the latter marked by a green band on the sidewall.

05:30 The lights at the end of the pitlane flick to green, allowing the drivers to join the racetrack for the first time today.

They will now begin their reconnaissance laps to the grid.

05:31 Williams drivers Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg are among the first to leave the garage and take their lap around the circuit.

05:31 Lewis Hamilton leaves the McLaren garage and the champion joins the track, as does today's polesitter Jenson Button.

05:31 Sebastian Vettel is strapped aboard his Red Bull as he prepares to go to the grid. The young German starts from third today and is well-placed for a good result on his debut with the team.

05:33 Lewis Hamilton takes the opportunity of this lap to the grid to check that the new gearbox in his McLaren is working correctly.

05:34 Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica have made their way round to the grid, and are being pushed towards their grid slots by the machanics. Felipe Massa has also arrived on the grid and is making his way to the sixth position.

05:35 The pair of Ferraris are wheeled into place on the grid. Having qualified seventh and ninth, they will benefit from Toyota's demotion to the back of the field.

05:35 Adrian Sutil has run wide, off the track and into the gravel exiting Turn 14. The Force India driver escaped unscathed.

05:37 Mark Webber has arrived on the grid and he climbs out of the Red Bull Renault, while his mechanics rub their hands over the Bridgestone tyres to clean them up.

05:39 Jenson Button is out of his car, and chatting with his Brawn race engineer Andrew Shovelin.

05:40 McLaren CEO Ron Dennis chats with Force India boss Vijay Mallya on the grid.

Force India have a supply of Mercedes engines for this sesason.

05:42 The Australian Royal Air Force perform a flypast over the circuit as we move to within 20 minutes of the race start.

05:42 The Brawn GP mechanics are trying their best to shield the pole-sitting car from prying eyes on the grid. This is one of the rare opportunities for the teams to have a close look at their rivals' new machinery.

05:45 Michael Schumacher chats with German TV crews as he makes an appearance on the grid.

05:45 Brawn GP boss Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher share a brief word on the grid. They looked pretty pleased and wished eachother well for the race.

05:45 The pitlane is now closed, fifteen minutes ahead of the start.

05:49 The grid begins to clear, with the drivers getting ready to climb aboard their cars.

05:50 The spectators rise at Albert Park as 'Advance Australia Fair' rings out on the public address system.

05:51 On the grid, Fernando Alonso looks agitated, and making a point to Renault race engineer Alan Permane, as team boss Flavio Briatore wanders round to join the conversation.

05:53 A Qantas 747 makes a slow fly-past above the grid.

05:54 The drivers now begin to put their helmets back on, and move towards their cars. Soon the stage will clear, leaving the stars of the show to battle out victory in front of a worldwide audience.

05:55 The are just five minutes to go until the formation lap for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.

05:57 As a reminder, the Toyota drivers, Trulli and Glock, have chosen to start from the pitlane after they were removed from their original grid slots due to flexible wings.

05:59 The engines begin to fire up with a minute to go before the formation lap.

05:59 Kimi Raikkonen has the softer tyres on his Ferrari for the start.

05:59 The pair of Brawn GP cars will lead off the grid on the harder tyre.

06:00 The 18 cars that remain on the grid, move away and begin the formation lap. All 18 leave without problem.

06:01 Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa are also using the softer tyres.

06:01 Jenson Button leads the field round the 5.303 km Albert Park circuit for their final sighting lap before the start of the race.

It is a wonderful sight as the cars run through the leaves on the track.

06:02 The Brawns lead the field round the back of the circuit as the formation lap continues.

06:03 Polesitter Jenson Button rounds Turn 16 and leads his competitors down to the grid.

The two Brawn GP machines stop on the front row and the field begins to form up behind them.

We await the start ...

Lap 1: The red lights are out and F1 2009 is go in Australia!

Lap 1: Jenson Button hits the gas and leads the field into Turn 1 with a huge lead but Rubens Barrichello almost stalls.

Lap 1: Out of Turn 4 it is Button from Vettel, Rosberg and Massa.

Lap 1: Lewis Hamilton has made good progress on this first lap and he is up to 14th position.

Lap 2: Massa is up to third as Rosberg got crowded out in Turn 3. Behind them, Kubica and Raikkonen are battling over fourth.

Lap 2: Rubens Barrichello failed to get first gear and dropped a lot of ground as the field streamed past. He has recovered to seventh place.

Lap 2: Jenson Button leads by an incredible 3.9 seconds after the first lap.

Lap 2: Vettel is second, followed by Massa, Kubica, Raikkonen and Rosberg.

Lap 3: Nick Heidfeld is entering pitlane with a right rear tyre deflation. Adrian Sutil and Mark Webber are also into the pits at the end of the first lap.

Lap 3: Heikki Kovalainen is touring slowly in the McLaren and looks to be out of the race.

Lap 3: Lewis Hamilton is involved in a huge battle with Sebastien Bourdais as they fight over 12th place. After passing and going in too deep, allowing Bourdais to intially repass, Hamilton is finally through at Turn 14 and takes over that 12th position.

Lap 5: Jenson Button continues to lead with a gap of 4.4s, but second-place man Vettel is now matching the leader's pace.

Lap 5: Nick Heidfeld Adrian Sutil and Mark Webber have all rejoined the race after problems on the opening lap. They run in 16th, 17th and 18th positions well behind the rest of the field.

Lap 5: Lewis Hamilton overtakes the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi for 11th place. It is a good move round the outside of Turn 3, and the Briton is already after Nelson Piquet, who is 10th.

Lap 6: The Ferraris used their softer tyres to good effect off the start, with Massa up to third and Raikkonen fifth, however they may now struggle to keep up the pace as the fragile soft rubber degrades rapidly.

Lap 6: Lewis instantly makes a move on Piquet, but the Brazilian Renault driver is forceful and maintains his line into Turn 9. Hamilton has to back out of the move at the last moment, but the battle continues.

Lap 6: Jenson Button sets the fastest lap of 1:28.787, but Vettel is within a tenth of that pace.

Lap 7: The gaps are beginning to open up between the front runners, with the best of the action further down the field.

Lap 8: Lewis Hamilton now makes the move on Nelson Piquet and he's up the inside at Turn 13. Hamilton is through, up to ninth place. Kazuki Nakajima is just over six seconds up the road in eighth position.

Lap 8: Sebastian Vettel takes the fastest lap, yet he only closed slightly on the leading Brawn GP car of Button.

Lap 9: Jenson Button leads by four seconds over Sebastian Vettel, who is slightly quicker at this stage. Felipe Massa is third in the Ferrari and falling away from the leaders on the softer tyres.

Robert Kubica is fourth in the BMW and is pulling a gap on Kimi Raikkonen, who has Rosberg and Barrichello right on his tail.

Kazuki Nakajima runs eighth in the Williams.

Lap 10: Behind Nakajima, Lewis Hamilton is ninth and closing down the Japanese driver. Nelson Piquet is 10th with Buemi 11th, Fisichella 12th, Trulli up to 13th from the pits, Alonso 14th, Glock 15th and Sebastien Bourdais in 16th.

Behind that are the three drivers who suffered incidents on the first lap - Heidfeld, Sutil and Webber.

Lap 10: Nico Rosberg is right on the tail of Raikkoen's Ferrari and the young German sends a brilliant move up the inside at Turn 1 to take fifth.

Lap 11: Sebastien Bourdais comes into the pits from 15th place in the Toro Rosso. His total pitlane time is 22.3 seconds and the Frenchman rejoins the fray.

Lap 11: Raikkonen is slowed by Rosberg's move and Rubens Barrichello takes advantage into Turn 3. The pair collide, damaging the front wing of the Brawn, with Barrichello coming out ahead of the Ferrari.

Lap 11: Raikkonen pits his Ferrari after that collision.

Lap 11: The stop for Raikkonen promotes Kazuki Nakajima to seventh, and Lewis Hamilton is now into the points, in eighth.

Lap 12: Massa's Ferrari is now under massive pressure from Kubica in the BMW and Rosberg's Williams.

The Ferrari drivers are clearly struggling to hold on to the pace, having started on the softer tyre.

Lap 12: Jarno Trulli has pitted from 15th place in the Toyota. He rejoins after a total pitlane time of just 19.3 seconds.

Lap 12: Rosberg and Kubica now battle in some sensational racing at Albert Park. Rubens Barrichello is now on the tail of this group as Massa stops to get rid of those soft tyres.

Lap 13: After the early stops, Button leads by 4.8 seconds from Vettel. Behind them, Kubica, Rosberg and Heidfeld are involved in a sensational scrap over third.

Lap 13: Lewis Hamilton is no sooner in the points, than out of them. The McLaren driver brings his car into the pits to ditch the super-soft tyres, and get onto the preferred harder rubber.

Lap 13: Robert Kubica pits the BMW, taking the harder tyre and rejoining behind Massa in 12th.

Lap 14: The super soft rubber is clearly a challenge at this stage. The cars that have not yet used a set of that compound will have to do so at the end of the race, although track conditions may be more suitable at that point.

Lap 15: Jenson Button continues to lead from Vettel with a comfortable and stable gap of 4.3 seconds.

Lap 16: Behind the Brawn GP cars, Williams FW31s and Sebastian Vettel, Nelson Piquet is sixth in the first of the Renaults.

Sebastien Buemi - on his debut, is in seventh place so far and on course to possibly score some points. Fisichella is eighth and has Fernando Alonso and Timo Glock close behind him.

Lap 16: Nico Rosberg is up to third, but is almost half a minute behind the leader.

Lap 17: Vettel pits his Red Bull. He takes more of the harder tyres. Nico Rosberg also pits the Williams from third.

Lap 17: The battle shaping up between Fisichela, Alonso and Glock for eighth place is the closest on the circuit at this time. Currently, this is the fight for the final point-scoring position.

Lap 18: Rosberg's stop was slow with a left front wheel fumble. He resumes 12th, just ahead of Raikkonen, who takes the place in to Turn 3.

Lap 18: It's another fastest lap for Jenson Button as he approaches the first stop.

Lap 18: Way down the field, Nick Heidfeld in 17th has been caught by Adrian Sutil in the Force India. Both had problems early in the race, but Sutil is the faster of the two at the moment.

The gap between them is just 0.5 seconds.

Lap 19: Nakajima has crashed the Williams at Turn 4.

Lap 19: The front wing has been ripped off after contact with the Turn 4 wall. There is debris scattered over the racetrack.

Lap 20: Button pits his Brawn GP from the lead.

Lap 20: The safety car has been deployed.

Lap 20: Several cars take the opportunity to make their first stops. The pits are no longer closed under safety car.

Lap 20: The deployment of the safety car was a long time coming, as race control spent some time monitoring the Turn 4 recovery.

Giancarlo Fisichella has missed his pitbox, turning into the Force India mechanics too late, and nudging into the waiting tyres.

Lap 21: The pack is being shuffled to allow Jenson Button to form up behind the big Mercedes.

Lap 21: Vettel will be second, Massa third, Kubica fourth and Raikkonen fifth at the restart.

Lap 21: The incident is being cleared following Nakajima's crash. Replays showed that the Japanese driver came through Turn 4 and ran up, over the exit kerb. As the Williams bumped back onto the track from the kerb, Kazuki lost control of the rear of the car, and was sent spinning across the track, into the wall.

Lap 22: Nick Heidfeld has pitted for a second time from 16th place, which allows Adrian Sutil through into that position.

Lap 22: Lapped cars can now pass the safety car.

Lap 22: Sebastien Bourdais comes into the pits for the second time this afternoon, and rejoins after a total pitlane time of 22.8 seconds.

Lap 22: Behind Raikkonen in fifth, Nico Rosberg is sixth, Piquet seventh, Trulli eighth, Buemi ninth and Rubens Barrichello rounds out the top ten.

Lap 23: The cars go round for another lap behind the safety car.

Lap 23: Timo Glock will restart from 11th, and he will have Lewis Hamilton (12th) on his tail, and Fernando Alonso right behind Hamilton.

Lap 23: Lewis Hamilton tells his team on the radio that he is having huge trouble keeping any kind of temperature in his tyres.

Lap 24: The safety car will pit at the end of this lap.

Lap 24: With cold, hard tyres and a closely bunched field, there could be a lot of action after this restart.

Lap 24: The interest on this restart will be if Vettel and Massa can stay with Jenson Button, but further down the field we are ready for fireworks between Glock, Hamilton and Alonso as they will be disputing 11th place.

Lap 25: The safety car comes into the pitlane and we are racing once again.

Lap 25: Button holds on to the lead from Vettel, Massa, Kubica and Raikkonen.

Lap 25: Piquet tries to make a move on Nico Rosberg for sixth going into Turn 1, but the pair make slight contact and Piquet skates off into the gravel. The Brazilian is out.

Lap 26: Button as a lead of over a second as they race past the recovery of Piquet's Renault down in Turn 1.

Lap 26: Timo Glock has not been able to hold off Hamilton and Alonso. The pair of them attack Glock hard on the first lap of this restart and they forcefully makes their way into 10th and 11th places respectively.

Lap 27: The leaders begin to string out again, with the best battle at the front shaping up to be between Raikkonen, Trulli and Barrichello for fifth.

Lap 29: Behind Barrichello, Sebastien Buemi is doing well in eighth. He is facing the attention of Nico Rosberg but hanging on. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are catching these two slowly, with Glock (12th) having recovered and coming back to Alonso's Renault.

Lap 30: Jenson Button leads by 2.4 seconds from Vettel and is continuing to pull away from the Red Bull.

Button does however have the worry of being forced to used the fragile super soft tyre for his final stint.

Lap 30: The next battle behind Timo Glock, is the Force India fight. Adrian Sutil has been quicker than his team-mate Fisichella for several laps, and the German passes Giancarlo as the pair exit Turn 3. Sutil 13th, Fisichella 14th.

Lap 31: Rosberg and Buemi continue to scrap over eighth, with Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren slowly catching the battle.

Lap 31: Lewis Hamilton is beginning to find just a little more speed. He remains in 10th, but has just moved into the 1:29s, and is leaving Fernando Alonso behind. Hamilton is just over one second behind Nico Rosberg.

Lap 32: Felipe Massa pits his Ferrari for an early second stop.

Lap 32: The field stream past the Ferrari, and Felipe rejoins the race in a lowly 14th place.

Lap 34: Felipe is told on his radio that he needs to deliver the maximum possible speed, with engineer Rob Smedley thinking that Kubica and Raikkonen are a threat due to running much longer on fuel in this middle stint.

Lap 34: Jarno Trulli makes his second stop, having first visited the pits on lap ten.

Lap 34: The closest battle on circuit at the moment is at the very back of the field.

Sebastien Bourdais is 15th. He has Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber pressing hard to pass him.

Lap 35: Robert Kubica sets the fastest lap in 1:27.989 as he closes in on second-place man Vettel.

Lap 35: Adrian Sutil pits from 12th position in the Force India. This is his final stop and he rejoins after a total pitlane time of 23.3 seconds. The German is now 17th and last.

Lap 36: Jenson Button continues to lead, now by 5.3 seconds over Vettel.

Lap 37: Robert Kubica continues to set the pace with another fastest lap. Having used the super soft rubber already, the Pole could be on for a great result if the lead pair struggle with the softer rubber.

Lap 37: Timo Glock (10th) sets his fastest lap of the race and in doing so he is closing in on Fernando Alonso. The battle for ninth continues, with Hamilton two seconds up the road in eighth.

Hamilton has not been able to make any further progress, and is three seconds behind Nico Rosberg (seventh).

Lap 38: Rosberg continues to tail Buemi for sixth, but the Swiss rookie is still holding on to his place.

Lap 38: Lewis Hamilton sets his personal fastest lap of the race and pulls in four-tenths of a second on Nico Rosberg. The gap between them is 2.6 seconds.

Lap 39: Hamilton's next lap is another personal best and the gap to Rosberg in seventh is 2.0 seconds.

Lap 39: Kubica pits the BMW for his final stop.

Lap 40: Raikkonen also pits the Ferrari.

Lap 40: Both rejoin with the favourable harder tyre, having completed a stint on the softer compound at the start.

Lap 41: Button continues to lead by 4.7 seconds over Vettel. Both need to pit for the softer tyres to complete the race.

Lap 42: Robert Kubica rejoined in seventh place, and is close to Lewis Hamilton, who has been promoted to sixth following this latest rash of stops.

Lap 42: Lewis Hamilton is up to fifth in the McLaren after a long middle stint, but he is yet to make a final stop.

Lap 43: Lewis is finding some pace at this point, closing quickly on the Williams of Rosberg.

Lap 43: Sebastien Buemi pitted from a remarkable fourth place. The debutant in the Toro Rosso rejoins the fight in 13th place.

Lap 44: Hamilton pits the McLaren, sneaking past Massa's Ferrari on the way out of the pits.

Lap 44: Kimi Raikkonen has also made a stop - his third of the day.

Lap 45: Hamilton and Massa are 10th and 11th. Right behind them is the recovering Sebastien Buemi, who made his final stop a couple of laps ago.

Lap 45: Nico Rosberg pits for his final stop.

Lap 46: Sebastian Vettel pits from second. He will have 13 laps to the flag on the softer rubber.

Lap 46: Vettel comes out in a direct scrap with Barrichello's Brawn.

Lap 47: The reason for Kimi Raikkonen's third pitstop now reveals itself. Coming out of Turn 13 the Finn lost the rear end of the Ferrari and looped the car round, gently nudging the front wing into the wall.

Kimi recovered, and pitted at the end of that lap. He is now running in 16th place following that stop.

Lap 47: Vettel holds on to his place and is pulling away from Barrichello.

Lap 47: Felipe Massa has a problem with his Ferrari ...

Lap 47: Felipe Massa has been off the road, on the grass exiting the Turns 8-9 chicane. He has recovered to the track but is touring slowly.

Lap 48: Button pits the Brawn ... and it is a slow stop! The fuel hose was not connected very quickly.

Lap 48: Massa pits the Ferrari. The mechanics wheel the car into the garage. It is all over for the 2008 championship runner-up.

Lap 48: Button resumes ahead of Vettel, despite that fumble on the fuel hose.

He has 11 laps to the flag on the softer tyre.

Lap 49: Lewis Hamilton meanwhile, can smell a point. He is currently tenth, and closing in on Jarno Trulli in ninth, and Giancarlo Fisichella in eighth.

Lap 49: Button leads with ten laps to go in Australia from Vettel, Barrichello, Kubica, Alonso and Glock.

Lap 50: The gaps are close at the front, with 4.4 seconds covering Button in the lead to Kubica in fourth. The BMW is all over the tail of Barrichello.

Lap 51: Kubica is setting the pace as he enjoys the advantage of being on the harder tyre.

Lap 51: Giancarlo Fisichella pits from eighth place, killing his chance for any points this afternoon. The stop promotes Jarno Trulli to eighth and Lewis Hamilton is right on his tail.

Lap 52: Glock pits the Toyota from sixth for a splash of fuel and the shortest possible run on the softer rubber.

Lap 52: Barrichello pits from third, releasing Kubica to chase after Vettel and Button.

Lap 52: Glock rejoins in ninth and is immediately embroiled in a fight for position with Sebastien Buemi. Timo holds on for that place, as Fernando Alonso pits from seventh.

Lap 52: Barrichello comes out fifth, behind Rosberg's Williams.

Lap 53: With six to go in Melbourne, the lead trio are all in sight on the pit straight. Can Button hold on as his soft tyres continue to degrade?

Lap 54: Fernando Alonso rejoined from his final stop in eighth, but he has just been overtaken in a sensational move by Timo Glock round the outside of Turn 3.

Glock up into the final points-paying position (eighth), Alonso now ninth.

Lap 54: Kubica continues to close on Vettel for second, but the gap is still over two seconds.

Lap 55: Kubica closes down to 1.3 seconds behind Vettel's Red Bull, with Button pulling away slightly in the lead on that last lap.

Lap 55: Jarno Trulli makes a neat move stick on Nico Rosberg. The Williams is falling back on his set of soft tyres and Nico loses fifth to the Toyota.

Lewis Hamilton is consistently running in the 1:29s and closing down on Trulli.

Lap 56: Jenson Button pulls out the lead to four seconds.

Lap 56: Lewis Hamilton and Timo Glock have now also past the ailing Rosberg, whose car is almost undriveable on those soft tyres. His last two laps were 1:34 and 1:36.161.

Lap 56: Vettel gets it all wrong, Kubica tries to take advantage at Turn 3 and they collide.

Lap 57: The pair's damaged cars are littered around the circuit.

Lap 57: The safety car has been deployed.

Lap 57: Jenson Button will line up first behind the safety car and is two laps away from a sensational win.

Lap 57: Both Vettel and Kubica's cars are heavily damaged and there is wreckage strewn over the track at Turn 5.

Lap 57: Rubens Barrichello is promoted to second and Brawn GP are on for an amazing one-two finish.

Lap 57: Lewis Hamilton is past the Toyota of Trulli and will finish on the podium, having started at the back.

Lap 57: Barrichello is being urged by the team to slow down under the safety car.

Lap 58: The incident started when Robert Kubica sent a move round the outside of Vettel at Turn 3. The pair bumped front wings and both cars with damaged.

They both continued round with damaged front ends to their cars, but Kubica pressed on at speed. The Pole lost all front downforce entering Turn 5 and smashed into the outside wall, spinning round and littering the track with pieces of BMW.

Vettel meanwhile, tried to continue with a damaged front left corner of the Red Bull, but has since pulled off the track.

Lap 58: It is the final lap in Melbourne.

Lap 58: The safety car will pit at the end of this lap.

Lap 58: As the safety car pits, the field will come round the final corner to cross the line, with no overtaking allowed.

Lap 58: Jenson Button screams across the line to win sensationally for Brawn GP on the team's debut!

Rubens Barrichello follows his team-mate across the line for a historic one-two.

07:39 Jarno Trulli ended up third, from Hamilton fourth. Timo Glock was fifth and Alonso sixth.

07:40 Nico Rosberg scored points for Williams with a seventh place finish, but what a story behind him ... Sebastien Buemi scores a point for himself and Toro Rosso on his debut in Formula 1.

07:40 Ross Brawn congratulates his driver on the Radio. It is Button's second career win, the first since his maiden triumph in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.

07:41 There are so many talking points after a dramatic first race of the season. Stick with AUTOSPORT for all the reaction and analysis from Melbourne.

07:43 Bourdais was ninth, Sutil tenth, Heidfeld 11th, Fisichella 12th, Webber 13th, Vettel damaged at the side of the track in 14th and Kubica who crashed heavily in 15th.

Both Ferraris retired near the end of the race. Nelson Piquet lost all control of his Renault at Turn 1. Kazuki Nakajim brought out the safety car after crashing one-third of the way through the race, and Heikki Kovalainen was the first retirement, after an incident on the first lap.

07:43 Button pulls in to parc ferme as the sensational winner of the Australian Grand Prix.

With a one-two finish, it is an incredible story for Brawn GP.

07:45 In the cool-down room, Jarno Trulli congratulates the Brawn GP trio of Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Ross Brawn, telling them 'I'm really happy for you guys!'

07:46 God Save the Queen rings out over Albert Park for Jenson Button and Brawn GP, winners of the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.

07:46 Jenson Button takes the winner's trophy with great delight.

07:47 Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn gratefully receives the Constructors' trophy, as Rubens Barrichello is handed his award for a fine second place.

07:47 Jarno Trulli gets his reward for third place - an incredible feat from his pitlane start.

07:48 The champagne sprays on the podium and the party can start for Brawn GP - an amazing result.

07:50 The top three drivers in today's race stand atop the podium and are photographed by the Formula 1 snappers below - shots that will make the back page of many worldwide newspapers tomorrow following this historic result.

07:55 Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Brawn GP have created history this afternoon. Button led away off the start and was challenged hard by Sebastian Vettel throughout the race.

Kazuki Nakajima brought out the safety car one-third of the way through the race, having crashed at Turn 4. The race resumed with Button in control, but under attack from Vettel and Kubica. Ultimately those two drivers took eachother out of the race, allowing Barrichello through to second, and filling the Brawn GP cup of joy to overflowing.

This was the 2009 ING Australian Grand Prix weekend on AUTOSPORT Live. We thank you for your company and comments throughout the weekend, and we will be back tomorrow as the circus quickly packs up and moves on to Malaysia next weekend.

  OVERVIEW AUSTRALIAN GP  
Race length: 58 laps
  CURRENT WEATHER
Clear skies High Temp: 25°C / 77°F
Track: Dry
  INFOBOX
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Monday 23 Mar Start GMT
 Australian Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 27 Mar
 Friday Practice 1 01:15
 Friday Practice 2 05:15
Saturday 28 Mar
 Saturday Practice 02:45
 Qualifying 05:45
Sunday 29 Mar
 Race day at Albert Park 04:30
  ABOUT
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are autosport.com's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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