Jenson Button has revealed his concerns that if the heavens do open over the Sepang International Circuit during Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, then Brawn GP could find itself at a sudden disadvantage - as the team has yet to conduct any wet running with the car at all.

In soaring to the top spot in qualifying by just shy of a tenth of a second from Toyota rival Jarno Trulli, current Formula 1 World Championship leader Button secured the first back-to-back pole positions of his 156-race grand prix career, and he admitted afterwards that he had expected the competition to be tougher. Should it rain on race day, he may well find that it is.

"For sure I would rather it be dry tomorrow," he reflected, "but with the weather here you never know. We thought it was going to rain for qualifying, so we will wait and see. We've got to do a lot of thinking overnight to put a plan together if it is wet, because we obviously haven't run this car yet in the wet, so yeah, it's going to be interesting.

"I think when we work with the balance of this car we can get it to be as competitive in the wet as it is in the dry. I think that goes for any car on the grid, but when you don't have any practice with the car it's very difficult to know how it's going to react to the wet conditions [and] the slower pace in the corners.

"The biggest difficulty is trying to get the aero balance right; with last year's car we had to take ten turns of the front wing out of it to balance it in the wet compared to the dry, so it's going to be different and we don't know how different. It's going to be tough but we will make the best of it, I'm sure."

It is just that type of conviction that saw both Button and the ex-Honda F1 outfit not only survive an incredibly uncertain winter, but indeed prosper from it - and arrive Down Under in Melbourne just over a week ago and blow the opposition into the weeds. That dominance shows few signs of abating anytime soon, and if he confessed to having struggled in practice in Sepang, the 29-year-old was nonetheless full of praise for his team for having performed 'a big turnaround' in time for the all-important qualifying hour.

"Yesterday I was really struggling with the balance of the car," he related. "I had a lot of rear locking and instability, and that it is not my fort? really. I find it difficult to drive around, so we had to work on the car a lot overnight and it has improved really well and I feel very comfortable in it now. All the way through qualifying the car was working well.

"Looking at yesterday's times, the Ferrari to us seemed the quickest car. You're not going to believe me if I say that I didn't think we'd be here, but yesterday we were surprised at the pace of some of the cars, one being the Red Bull and one being the Ferrari. We didn't think we could do those times.

"We just turned it around I suppose; it is a big turnaround today, and I am obviously very happy with that. Tomorrow - as always here - is going to be hot race. It is not just the sun; it is the humidity, and you are just pouring with sweat. I have got a cool jacket which has been helping me; obviously I can't wear it in the race as it is too heavy, but I feel pretty good actually in the car. I don't feel like I am struggling too much in the heat. It makes it exciting for tomorrow."

Indeed it does, and more encouragingly still for the British star, Sepang was the scene of his very first podium finish in the top flight with BAR-Honda five years ago, and it is a circuit he clearly enjoys. Moreover, he was one of very few drivers to generate good lap times out of the harder Bridgestone 'prime' rubber in qualifying - which could be of considerable benefit when it comes to tyre management during the grand prix - and as he looks ahead now, he only hopes Brawn GP proves capable of maintaining its stellar start to the campaign.

"A lot can change throughout the season, especially with the new regulations," the Frome-born ace reasoned. "It's thrown everything up in the air and I'm sure a lot is going to change over the next few races, which is exciting for all of you but not so exciting for us because we want to be at the front all season!

"It's going to be a tough season for whoever's quick at the moment to stay there, because the Ferrari is not going to be slow for long - they are going to sort themselves out and they will be competitive. That is the team, I think, that will start challenging for the front after Toyota and Red Bull.

"I think this car backwards would be almost as good as last year's car forwards! This car is much nicer to drive; it's still not easy, don't get me wrong - it doesn't go rounds on rails. You still have the same moments with the rear end with the oversteer and the understeer.

"It's still never quite perfect, but the good thing is that it reacts to changes and that's something we didn't have with last year's car. When you have a bad Friday you can adjust the car and come out on Saturday with a competitive car. That's something we couldn't do last year because it didn't really react to what we did with it.

"I'm here not just to be the best British driver. We are all here to be the best in F1; we are all here to win the world championship. That is everyone's aim. At the moment I'm in a good position - I've had two pole positions and a win, but we're only one race down and two qualifiers down. My aim is to challenge all of these guys for the championship."


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