Brawn GP’s Jenson Button continued his perfect start to the 2009 Formula One season as he took his second successive Grand Prix victory today when the Malaysian Grand Prix was stopped after 31 laps following a torrential downpour. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello also had a strong race to bring his Brawn-Mercedes car home in fifth position.
Jenson had a good start from pole but was unable to prevent the cars on the other side of the grid overtaking down into the first corner and was running third by the end of lap one. He took full advantage of his heavier fuel load to put in some quick laps when the cars ahead pitted and took the lead on emerging from his first pit stop on lap 19. Rubens had a good start from eighth on the grid, battling through to make up six places and to be running in second position by his first stop on lap 20.
The race became increasingly hectic as rain threatened and the field dived into the pits. Jenson and Rubens pitted on lap 22 for wet tyres but the downpour was less than expected and they came back in for intermediates on lap 28 for Rubens and lap 29 for Jenson.
When the rain did arrive, it was so torrential that the wet weather tyres which the drivers fitted on lap 31 were not enough to allow the race to safely continue. After a lengthy delay on the grid, the race was declared over and half-points awarded.
After two rounds, Brawn GP lead the Constructors’ Championship with 25 points and Jenson leads the Drivers’ Championship with 15 points with Rubens in second position with 10 points.
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P1 01:36.641
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 P5 01:37.484
Weather Dry start with heavy rain halfway through the race
Temperatures Air: 24-30°C Track: 27-37°C
“What a crazy race! It was really exciting out there and I’m delighted that we came out on top today. I didn’t have the best of starts and was surprised at the lack of grip on my side of the grid. I went in deep at turn one and got a big snap of oversteer which dropped me to fourth but I was able to get past Alonso at the end of lap one and overtake Trulli and Rosberg at the first pit stops. I was happy with the car and our pace was good but the weather really threw the race wide open. Choosing the tyres was difficult but we made the right calls at the right time, particularly when it started raining so hard and so quickly. I have to say a massive thank you to my engineer Andrew Shovlin who was on the podium with me today and the whole team for their work on the strategy and in the pits. Last weekend we said that we had a fairytale start to the season and I am so proud that has continued here.”
“It was a great race today and I was really happy with how the car was performing in the dry in the first stint of the race. After a good start, I felt that I had the pace to catch up with the front-runners and score some good points. Unfortunately once the conditions started to deteriorate, we lost a little too much time on my side of the garage with the pit stops which cost me a few places. However the important thing is that the car is going great and we have proved that it is competitive at different types of track. Congratulations to Jenson and the team for maintaining our fantastic start to the season and I look forward to continuing the challenge in Shanghai.”
“A fantastic team performance today and a thoroughly deserved second victory of the season for Jenson and the team. It was an eventful race to say the least and I am pleased with how quickly we were able to react to the changing conditions to maintain the lead that Jenson had achieved in the first stint of the race. However it was not perfect as we could have had both cars in the top three if we had been a little bolder in bringing the drivers in for their third stops for intermediate tyres. We are delighted to have had such a successful start to the season with two pole positions and two victories in the opening races. You can’t ask for more than that and it is a credit to the talent, attitude and dedication of our team that we have been able to achieve such results.”