Damp Track Does Not Deter Button

Button does it again

Button does it again

RACE

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.

RESULTS

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

JENSON BUTTON
“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.”

RUBENS BARRICHELLO
“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.”

ROSS BRAWN
“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.”

Brawn GP Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

2009 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX – PREVIEW

Following a sensational debut race weekend in Australia where Jenson Button led Brawn GP to its first Grand Prix victory, the team headed straight to Malaysia for Round Two of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.

This weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 5 April at the Sepang International Circuit close to Kuala Lumpur. The 56-lap race is one of the toughest on the calendar due to the punishing heat and humidity coupled with the challenge of the circuit’s demanding corners, long straights and bumpy asphalt.

This year’s race will be the 11th to be held at the Herman Tilke designed track which was built on the site of a 260-hectare swamp. The 5.54km 3.44 mile circuit sees the cars average 210kph 130mph around its 15 turns.

Brawn GP will be hoping to build on its successful weekend in Melbourne which sees the team leading the Constructors’ Championship with 18 points and Jenson Button leading the Drivers’ Championship with 10 points.

ROSS BRAWN, TEAM PRINCIPAL

Q. A dream start to the season in Australia. Can you follow up that level of performance in Malaysia

“The Australian Grand Prix weekend was a fantastic experience for our team and the one-two result for Jenson and Rubens went beyond our hopes and expectations for our very first race. We know that our competitors will not stand still however and that the challenge will become ever more difficult from here. We can rise to that challenge and we have a very good and stable car which should go well around the Sepang circuit. As in Australia, we will need to maximise the practice running that we have on Friday to develop the set-up, and we will be faced with the usual reliability concerns caused by the high temperatures that we expect in Malaysia. As the race is later than usual in the calendar and will take place later in the day, we are expecting some rain showers which will make the strategy for the weekend very interesting.”

JENSON BUTTON

Q. With such an impressive opening weekend, what are your thoughts ahead of the second race of the season

“After the amazing weekend that we experienced in Melbourne, the whole team was keen to get to Malaysia and start racing again. However the Malaysian Grand Prix is always one of the toughest races of the season and it will be a real challenge for our new car with so little testing under our belts. Malaysia has a really hot and humid climate which really tests the car’s durability and coupled with the frequent torrential downpours can make for an unpredictable race weekend. It’s a tough place for the drivers as the heat in the cockpit can be unbearable and tests the limit of your fitness and concentration. You have to work hard to find a good balance for the car at Sepang and it can be challenging for the tyres to work well for the whole lap. Malaysia is a special circuit for me as I achieved my first podium here back in 2004 so I’m hoping that this weekend will provide some more happy memories”

RUBENS BARRICHELLO

Q. What are the particular challenges of the Malaysian Grand Prix

“The Malaysian Grand Prix is always a really tough race but if you can cope well with the heat and humidity, it is a track that the drivers enjoy. It’s a real engineering challenge to find the right balance and you need to have a car with good aerodynamics to find time around the lap. The intense heat puts pressure on the engine, brakes and the drivers as the temperature can rise above 50 degrees in the cockpit so you have to be well-prepared and ensure you are fully-hydrated. Our team had a really good race weekend in Australia and the car performed as we expected, however we anticipate that our competitors to be closer this time so we will be working extra hard to improve on our performance from last weekend.”

Sepang International Circuit Stats

Circuit Length: 5.543km

Race Distance: 310.408km

Number of Laps: 56

Full Throttle: 68

Brake Wear: Medium / Hard

Tyre Compounds: Soft / Hard

Downforce Level: High 8/10

Tyre Usage: Hard

Average Speed: 210kph 130mph

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