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    05 April 2009

    Button Wins Again as Malaysian GP Cut Short by Rain

    British driver Jenson Button secured back-to-back victories for the first time in his career by winning the Malaysian Grand Prix after the race was cut short because of torrential rain.

    Button was leading Toyota’s Timo Glock on the 33rd of 56 laps when stewards at the Sepang International Circuit stopped the race just after 6 p.m. local time. BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld was awarded second place, with Glock dropping to third.

    Button handed Brawn GP a second straight win since Ross Brawn took over the former Honda team pre-season and as some of the sport’s marquee teams continued to struggle. Button will collect just five points this time as drivers get half points when less than 75 percent of a race is completed.

    Officials called the Grand Prix off amid fading light about an hour after the action was halted. The race had been pushed back to a late start at the request of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone to attract bigger television audiences in Europe.

    “What a crazy race,” Button said at a televised news conference.

    Button, who had won just once before this season, surrendered the lead on the first turn as he dropped to fourth place in dry conditions before pulling ahead again as drivers went into the pits for multiple stops as the rain arrived.

    Standings

    Button, on 15 points, leads teammate Rubens Barrichello by 5, with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli 1 1/2 points further behind. Glock is fourth, another 1/2 point back. Record champion Ferrari failed to gain a point for the second straight race, while world champion Lewis Hamilton finished in seventh place.

    Hamilton was reported in the Sunday Times to be considering his future at McLaren after being stripped of third place at last week’s Australian Grand Prix for lying to stewards under team instructions.

    The race demonstrated how many teams are grappling to adapt to new technical rules, with Button lapping at least two seconds faster than all but those placed in the top seven. The next race takes place April 19 in China.

    The sport’s ruling body is hearing an appeal in Paris this month over Brawn GP’s use of diffusers at the first two races, with other teams including Ferrari claiming they are illegal.

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