F1 News, Views and Reviews

Malaysian Grand Prix 2009: Jenson Button Wins Abaondoned GP

Jenson Button has taken top spot for the second race running in a Malaysian Grand Prix which was abaondoned due to adverse weather conditions with some 24 laps to go.  This means that only half points will be awarded.

Nick Heidfeld takes second, and Glock 3rd.

Race Review

The weather dominated race build up after the heavy rain that fell during the GP2 race which preceeded the F1.  Being at this time of the evening, everyone knew there was a high chance of rain.

The race began, and Button got a poor start.  Trulli got a decent start but this was nothing compared to Nico Rosberg of Williams who rocketed away from his grid box and made the early pace.

Kimi Raikkonen also made good progress, pulling a few positions up to 4th at one point but got a little pinned on the outside of turn 1 which didn’t help his charge in what would be another catastrophic Grand Prix for Ferrari.

Despite a heavy fuel load Fernando Alonso found himself ahead of pole sitter Button, but the Brit swiftly dealt with the Spaniard in the superior Brawn BGP001.

The rain hadn’t arrived, but the dark clouds were over the Sepang Circuit.  Scuderia Ferrari pulled Kimi Raikkonen into the pits, and made a catastrophic error.  They put the Finn onto extreme wet tyres.  When the track was bone dry.  Kimi, the 2007 World Champion, was crusing around the circuit losing positions and doing laps well over the 2 minute mark.

About 5 laps later, some rain began to fall but by this point Kimi’s tyres were shredded, as he so beautifully put it on the radio “The tyres are screwed, they’re completely shot, thanks a lot”.

When this rain began, everyone pitted for wets except Timo Glock who put intermediates on. This was a fantastic choice, as he overtook many cars and was fighting for the lead with Jenson Button.

Cars were spinning off the track all over the place as the monsoon fell, Vettel spun out, Heidfeld nearly stalled the car stuck on the astro-turf, Lewis Hamilton went off a few times, and Fernando Alonso crawled back down a back road used for service vehicles behind a massive gravel trap.  Fisichella flew into the gravel on the way into the pitlane, a disappointing end to the Italian’s charge.

The downpour was pretty intense by this point and the safety car was called, before the red flag was shown.

The cars sat on the grid in farcical conditions for an hour, while the FIA decided the race could not continue.

It was a disapointing end for fans all over the world, and as 75% race distance was not completed only half points will be awarded.

RACE RESULTS

Classified:

The Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix 2009;

Sepang Circuit, Kuala Lumpur;

56 Laps [Race Distance Not Completed];

Cloudy then wet;

Pos Driver Team Time
1 J. Button Brawn Mercedes 55.30.622
2 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +22.722
3 T. Glock Toyota +23.513
4 J. Trulli Toyota +46.173
5 R. Barrichello Brawn Mercedes +47.360
6 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +52.333
7 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +60.733
8 N. Rosberg Williams Toyota +71.576
9 F. Massa Ferrari +76.932
10 S. Bourdais Toro Rosso Ferrari +102.164
11 F. Alonso Renault +109.422
12 K. Nakajima Williams Toyota +116.130
13 N. Piquet Renault +116.731
14 K. Raikkonen Ferrari +142.841
15 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +1 lap
16 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
17 A. Sutil Force India Merc +1 lap
18 G. Fisichella Force India Merc +2 laps

Fastest Lap: J. Button, Brawn – 1.36.641

Retirements

Driver Team Laps Reason
R. Kubica BMW Sauber 2 Engine
H. Kovalainen McLaren Mercedes 0 Accident

INTERVIEWS/COMMENT

Jenson Button (Brawn) 1st – “What a crazy race!”

Nick Heidfeld (BMW) 2nd – “It was a very difficult choice in these conditions.  We didn’t do perfect tyre choice – I went straight to extremes as normally it’s heavy rainfall here.  I just tried to stay on the circuit.”

Timo Glock (Toyota) 3rd – “It was a tricky race, I have to say, but at the end one of the best races I could ever do.”

Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 7th – “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.”

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 9th – “I think we need to get together and we need to improve. We were not great before and stupid now. For sure the car is not strong enough. We need to work on that, and we did some mistakes on the strategy and this kind of thing.  It is always a problem when you don’t score points. So, for sure in this kind of race our aim is to score points, but it was not possible. Anyway, it is a bad result.”

Adrian Sutil (Force India) 17th – “When the rain started it was very difficult and just about impossible to drive. We were in second or first gear at 20kph and even then we were sliding around the circuit. It was unbelievable, so it was a good decision to stop the race.”

PHOTOS

Turn 1
Kubica's engine blow
Kimi Alonso
Fisichella
Clouds
Pit - In time
Rosberg in the Rain
Button fending off Glock
Buemi takes a spin
Red Flag
Button WINS!

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