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Nic Ladds 9th May 2009 - 15:16

Button captures crucial pole position in Barcelona

In a dramatic Spanish qualification session which saw the top two teams battle it out, it was championship leader and favourite Jenson Button who stole Pole from the grasp of a Red Bull.

Dramatically beginning his final flying lap with only one second left to cross the line, the plucky Brit was able to push Ross Brawn's car to the limit and steal the show.

Red Bull's Vettel is showing great pace & Brawn team-mate Barrichello is up for the fight, so can Jenson hold off the challengers?

It was an amazing performance from the current leading driver who wasn't happy with his car all weekend.

"Jenson has been struggling with his balance this weekend a bit and I didn't think he was going to do it today but he really showed his class." said team boss Brawn in his post GP interview.

Eventually finding himself in third  for Sunday's race, Rubens Barrichello had been very much on the pace this race weekend and clearly fancied himself for the P1 spot on Sunday.

All seemed to be going to plan for the Brazilian as with a matter of moments to go in final Saturday session, Barrichello priced at 8/1 for the P1 spot, was the name at the head of the pack.

Red Bull's danger man Sebastian Vettel wasn't reading from the same song sheet though, and with a time of 1:20:660, managed to squeeze ahead of the Brawn no.2 driver, all while Jenson Button was pushing as hard as possible to get in one more flying lap before the qualification clock ran out.

The Red Bull celebrations were very much short lived as Brawn's Brit, who began his flying lap with less than a second to go in the final qualifiying session, managed to cross the line before the chequered flag dropped, and went on to complete the fastest lap of weekend thus far with a pole clinching time of 1:20:527, justifying his pre-qualification favouritism.

Button commented "It could have gone very wrong & might have been more luck than judgment" speaking about the margin of a second he gave himself for his stunning final lap.

Vettel has now managed to qualify in the top three in every race this season and looks a 'sure thing' for the following races of the season... one to watch.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa finally turned up to the 2009 F1 party as he claimed fourth on the grid for Sunday's race, and is priced at 12/1 in the betting.

Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen - now priced at 66/1 - however didn't have any luck and was well off the pace from the start. The Finn surprisingly didn't manage to make it past the first qualification session leaving fans to wonder just what is going on at Ferrari.

Ferrari boasted half-second gains on their McLaren rivals this week which the introduction of their developing splitter, but Kimi didn't seem to know much about this as he exited the qualification in 16th.

McLaren lined up for a miserable weekend knowing the Ferrari's pace would place the red cars ahead of the themselves and as Lewis Hamilton couldn't make it past the second session, the defending champion looked more downbeat than ever eventually managed to end the session in P14.

The Spanish home fans should ignore their hearts this weekend, as previous winner Fernando Alonso looks to have little chance of gaining anything more for his Renault team than a low end points finish, he'll start in eighth place on tomorrow's grid and is priced at 40/1 for the Spanish victory.

It was a case of the regular suspects at the back of the grid as Force India propped up the field in qualification.

So will Barcelona be the destination where favourite Jenson Button claims Brawn's fourth win of the season

David Coulthard fancies his good friend to get the win adding, " If Jenson can fend off all around him, he's a fantastic chance"

He's the 4/7 favourite in the betting ahead of Sebastien Vettel at 4/1 and Rubens priced at a huge 7/1, and as we've seen from previous races this season the P1 qualifier usually goes on to take the win. This is especially impotant in Spain where the drivers view P1 the place to be if they're to have any chance of claiming the race win.

That said, Rubens has had far too much pace this weekend not to be sniffing around the podium, a name to watch in our Podium Finish market.

The Spanish Grand Prix will take place on Sunday at the Circuit de Barcelona, with all the action covered by both the BBC, and William Hill's betlive team quoting the latest in-running prices throughout the race.

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