Bridgestone Motorsport Wrap for April 6th 2009
Tyre choice a lottery in Malaysia
Black clouds provided a backdrop to the start of the race, but it was Bridgestone's black rubber which provided the crucial difference during the weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix with Brawn GP's Jenson Button taking his second win on the trot.
Jensen Button celebates his 2nd consecutive F1 Win
The race got underway in dry but threatening conditions, with the majority of the field opting to start on Bridgestone's soft Potenza compound.
The early laps were full of overtaking moves as drivers fought for places and track position. Then, when the rain started to fall, the choice of tyres became crucial, with Toyota's decision to put Timo Glock on intermediate rubber an inspired choice.
"Once the rain started there was a window where the intermediate tyre was the best one to use, as shown by Timo Glock who was up to ten seconds faster than the other cars," said Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development.
"Choosing the correct tyre at the correct time is absolutely crucial and we saw many illustrations of how beneficial it is to make the right choice. Some drivers used the wet tyre too early, and suffered in the too dry conditions. However, once the rain became harder the wet tyre was the correct tyre for conditions."
The black clouds finally opened on lap 31, flooding the circuit with torrential rain and causing the race to be stopped with Button leading from BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Glock.
After waiting in vain for the weather to clear, stewards decided the conditions were too dangerous to re-start and declared the race over. So, for only the fifth time in Formula 1 history, the drivers were awarded half-points.
But no-one was complaining, particularly Jenson Button.
"It was really bad conditions and you could not actually see the circuit. I mean it was that bad," he said.
"We were behind the safety car and my team, who did a fantastic job, said all you have got to do is drive around and that was difficult enough. A few moments I was almost off the circuit."
Rubens Barrichello's fifth place made it another great race for Brawn, who now lead the constructors world championship on 25 points. But it was another disastrous race for Ferrari and McLaren.
Defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton could only manage one point for his seventh place following his disqualification from the opening race in Australia, while Ferrari are officially bottom of the constructors' table with no points for either Felipe Massa or Kimi Raikkonen.
The teams stay in Asia for the next round of the championship at Shanghai in China.
| 1.|| Jenson Button ||Brawn GP || 15 |
| 2.|| Rubens Barichello ||Brawn GP || 10|
| 3.|| Jarno Trulli||Toyota|| 8.5|
| 4.|| Timo Glock||Toyota|| 8|
| 5.|| Fernando Alonso||Renault|| 4|
| 6.|| Nick Heidfeld|| BMW Sauber|| 4|
| 7.|| Nico Rosberg||Williams || 3.5|
| 8.|| Sebastien Buemi ||Torro Rosso || 2|
| || || || |
| || || || |