Home > 2009 Season > Button wins again in rain-shortened Malaysia

Button wins again in rain-shortened Malaysia

April 5th, 2009

Jenson Button, Malaysia, 2009Jenson Button has won his second Grand Prix in a row for Brawn GP in a race that was halted due to rain.  Despite having to replace his front wing because the team left it out overnight in the rain, Jenson’s car once again proved its worth on a new circuit in difficult conditions.  Nico Rosberg got the better of Button off the starting line but Jenson regained the lead a couple of laps before his first pit stop and was still leading on lap 32 when the red flags came out.  The final positions were taken from the leader’s last full lap (31) which meant that  Nick Heidfeld took second place and Timo Glock was third.

Like Australia, the Malaysian Grand Prix had a late starting time of 5pm, to give it a better timeslot on the European TV schedules, but drivers had warned that visibility could be a problem, especially if it rained.  Sure enough, although the race started in dry conditions, the Sepang circuit was hit by a torrential downpour.  I am actually in Singapore at the moment and it seems we got the weather here first.  Around lunchtime we were hit by a thunderstorm of biblical proportions and anyone who was caught in that could tell you that there was no way racing could continue in those conditions. Lewis Hamilton said they were the worst he had ever driven in:

When the rain came down, it was impossible to drive. I was aquaplaning everywhere – these were the most dangerous conditions I’ve ever raced in.

In the end it was all about being on the right tyres at the right time.  Kimi Raikkonen took a gamble on full wets but was a couple of laps too early and destroyed his tyres.  Timo Glock, on the other hand, timed the switch to intermediates just right.

In hindsight it seems like it was a mistake to run the race so late and I suspect it will return to its normal time next year but at least the few laps we had were entertaining.  The Red Bulls were fast and there was a great battle between Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton.  In the end it was a bit of an anticlimax to what was shaping up to be a fantastic race and because it was red flagged on lap 32 only half-points were awarded.

Unfortunately, the politics are not over.  The FIA haven’t ruled out further action against McLaren and Hamilton and BMW at last managed to get their diffuser protest in on time so they can join in the fun at the FIA Court of Appeal on April 14.

2009 Malaysian Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Pos Time Points
1 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1 1:10:59.092 5
2 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 10 1:11:21.814 4
3 Timo Glock Toyota 3 1:11:22.605 3
4 Jarno Trulli Toyota 2 1:11:45.265 2.5
5 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 8 1:11:46.452 2
6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 5 1:11:51.392 1.5
7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 12 1:11:59.825 1
8 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 4 1:12:10.668 0.5
9 Felipe Massa Ferraris 16 1:12:16.024 0
10 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 15 1:12:41.256 0
11 Fernando Alonso Renault 9 1:12:48.514 0
12 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 11 1:12:55.222 0
13 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 17 1:12:55.805 0
14 Kimi Raikkonnen Ferrari 7 1:13:21.933 0
RET Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 13 retired, 30 laps 0
RET Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 20 retired, 30 laps 0
17 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 19 lapped 0
RET Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 18 retired, 29 laps 0
RET Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 6 retired, 1 lap 0
RET Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 14 retired, 0 laps 0
Categories: 2009 Season Tags: ,
  1. Andrzej
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:54 | #1

    Does the fact that race finished early and only half of the points were awarded mean that in the prediction game we’re also going to be awarded half of the points?

    Also, is this diffuser problem described somewhere in more depth? The commenters in Polish TV were saying that actually Brawn warned all other teams about the possible hole in rules before starting work on this diffuser a year ago, so that FIA ruling against it now seems unlikely. Any more information on that?

  2. Andrew Hill
    April 6th, 2009 at 14:12 | #2

    Andrzej, there’s some information about what Ross Brawn did in terms of advising the other teams about the diffuser area and the rules as head of the FOTA Technical Working Group here.

  3. April 6th, 2009 at 20:51 | #3

    Andrzej :
    Does the fact that race finished early and only half of the points were awarded mean that in the prediction game we’re also going to be awarded half of the points?

    Um, that’s a good question. I was going to stick with full points but if people think it would be more fair to award half points then we can go with that. Any thoughts?

  4. April 6th, 2009 at 21:00 | #4

    @Andrew Hill
    Damn all this travelling, I’m missing some good articles!

    I love this comment:

    Look we need to change the rules here because we are going to be miles ahead next year.

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