Button Gains Second Win Of Season After Torrential Downpour In Malaysia

Talvir SinghCorrespondent IApril 6, 2009

Torrential downpour, and thunderous storms gave Jenson Button his second win of the season, pushing his tally up to three, after the Malaysian Grand Prix was red flagged after 31 laps.

Button, 29, gave Brawn GP its second career win in its first season of Formula One, finishing ahead of BMW's Nick Heidfeld and Toyota's Timo Glock.

Button, who won the first race of the season in Australia with ease, had a tougher time this weekend with the unpredictable weather, and also with other drivers who were appearing to be giving him a serious run for his money.

These drivers included Nico Rosberg, Jarno Trulli, and Timo Glock, who all pushed the Briton to the very end.

The start of the race provided much drama, with Button getting off to a bad start, giving Trulli, who looked quick all through Saturday qualifying, the chance to get ahead and into the lead.

However, I don't think the Toyota driver was planning on a Williams to pull up along side him and take the lead, as Rosberg, from fourth, got off to a stunning start and pipped both the Toyota and Brawn before the first corner.

Fernando Alonso, in a Renault that is performing below par, made a staggering start, moving himself from ninth to fourth. This put himself in front of Rubens Barrichello who started one place above him, but also made a good start to put himself into fifth.

Barrichello soon dispatched Alonso by the fourth corner, but the Spaniard remained stubborn and held off Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari for nine laps, clearly demonstrating a champion's craftsmanship behind the wheel. His car was also fuelled much heavier than Raikkonen's, again showing Alonso's skill as a Formula One driver.

Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica were the first to suffer on the first two laps of the Grand Prix, with Kovalainen spinning after running wide around turn five. This placed him on the dirty side of the track and he lost grip, throwing his Mclaren into the gravel, and out of the race.

Kubica's bad luck from the end of Australia carried through to this race, as the Polish driver suffered from an engine problem on the second lap. No points for him this time around.

From then on the race entered into a usual process of drivers getting into their groove and putting in solid laps, with the Brawn GP drivers lapping faster than everyone else, with Button getting a 1:37.5 secs.

However, it was Rosberg who was the star of the show in the opening stages, developing a lead of 2.8 secs over Trulli, with Button respectively being another second behind him.

The Williams driver was looking untouchable, definitely showing the Brawn GP team that they aren't the only quick team in the field, but this all changed in the pit stops.

Vettel was the first to come in after 11 laps, as it was clear that he was fuelled lightly after starting in 13th. Rosberg was second to pit and it was from here that his perfect race would come to an end.

His stop was smooth, and he came out in fourth behind Barrichello, but after Trulli and Button pitted, he ended being a long way behind the Brawn GP car of Button.

Glock and Webber also pitted, and after Glock applied tons of pressure onto Webber, he was able to get out in front of the Aussie. This must have made the German happy as he started in third but ended up down in eighth at the beginning.

From here however, it was all about Button, as he was able to establish a dominating lead over the rest of the pack.

After about 20 laps of racing, it seemed certain that the Briton would cruise home with another win under his belt, until the weather gods decided to intervene.

Malaysia is known for its sudden change in weather, especially since the race is held in the middle of monsoon season, which means that when it rains, it pours, and it won't stop.

This is exactly what happened, and this led to all the teams having to re-think their strategies. Ferrari had already done this and put Raikkonen on full wets about 5 laps before, anticipating the rain to come earlier. This was a critical mistake by the team as the Finn began to lap more than 20 secs off the pace.

Every team brought in their drivers to put on the full wets, rather than the intermediates, except for Glock.

Toyota decided to give him the intermediate tyre instead, and this plan worked out perfectly, as he lapped quicker than everyone else, getting in the 1:30's, as opposed to the others who were lapping in the 1:40's.

Mark Webber was another driver who looked very quick for a short while, also having a good exciting battle with Lewis Hamilton for a few laps, who managed to get himself up to sixth. The Mclaren driver did everything he could to keep the obviously quicker Red Bull at bay, and he did so as they traded places, and the young Briton getting sixth place back by demonstrating the extra power the KERS engines give the drivers.

Hamilton soon conceded the place to Webber as his car was struggling to keep the Red Bull behind, giving the Aussie sixth place.

However, Toyota's decision to put Glock on intermediates started off a trend that saw all the other teams put their drivers on the same tyre compound, including Button. This allowed Glock to close the gap dramatically, which set up a last minute dash to the end of the race between the two.

There were further retirements at this later stage of the race, with Sebastian Vettel and Sebastian Buemi both spinning off on lap 30.

One lap later, the red flag was waved and the race was brought to a stop, with the drivers parking their cars on the grid to await what Charlie Whiting was to decide.

After nearly an hour of waiting, it was decided that the race would not proceed, giving Button his second win of the season, and his third in his career.

Nick Heidfeld, who probably had the quietest race out of everyone, finished second, with Timo Glock coming in third.

Trulli, Barrichello, Webber, Hamilton, and Rosberg rounded out the rest of the points finishers, with Button getting the fastest lap of 1:36.641.

And there we have it, another brilliant race, and another victory for Brawn GP and Jenson Button. One question still remains however. With the "Brawn Supremacy," Button has had no challenge from anyone, securing pole position in both races and winning from there. But, can Button win from behind the front row of the grid? He did in 2006 round Hungary, let's see if he can do it again.