The honeymoon shows no signs of ending just yet for Formula 1 'new' boys Brawn GP, with Jenson Button allaying all fears about the performance of the BGP 001 in wet conditions with a masterful drive to triumph in the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.
Starting from his second pole position of 2009, the Frome-born star made a poor getaway and ran wide in the first corner, leaving him down in fourth place – but he soon showed that he was in no mood for messing about. A superb move on the Renault of Fernando Alonso released him to chase after early leaders Nico Rosberg and Jarno Trulli, and after the pair ahead of him had pitted for the first time, he was able to unleash the Brawn GP's raw speed at last to set a series of scintillating laps that enabled him to emerge from his own pit visit comfortably ahead.
Though his supremacy would come under threat later on from the intermediate-shod Toyota of an inspired Timo Glock, as well as the uncertain elements that sent a number of drivers scattering off the circuit, Button maintained his cool and his pace and reacted to the conditions perfectly, with his deft touch in the wet paying dividends – just as it did in the Hungarian Grand Prix back in 2006, his maiden F1 victory.
The race may have been stopped early on safety grounds and only half points been awarded, but that mattered little to Britain's newest sporting hero – his unblemished start to the season remained just that, and the odds on a Jenson Button world championship title are shortening by the minute...
“What a crazy race!” remarked the 29-year-old, whose fastest lap was more than eighth tenths of a second quicker than anyone else could muster, team-mate Rubens Barrichello included. “It was really exciting out there and I'm delighted that we came out on top today.
“I didn't have the best of starts, and was surprised at the lack of grip on my side of the grid. I went in deep at turn one and got a big snap of oversteer which dropped me to fourth, but I was able to get past Alonso at the end of lap one and overtake Trulli and Rosberg at the first pit-stops.
“I was happy with the car and our pace was good, but the weather really threw the race wide open. Choosing the tyres was difficult, but we made the right calls at the right time, particularly when it started raining so hard and so quickly.
“I have to say a massive thank you to my engineer Andrew Shovlin who was on the podium with me today, and to the whole team for their work on the strategy and in the pits. Last weekend we said that we had a fairytale start to the season, and I am so proud that has continued here.”
Button may have basked in the glory of a second consecutive success – one that has extended his lead in the drivers' standings to five points over Barrichello, and Brawn GP's to nine over Toyota in the constructors' chase – but the torrential conditions and unpredictabilities in Kuala Lumpur did not favour the experienced Brazilian quite so much, and despite energetically battling his way past Trulli on a couple of occasions, the 36-year-old was ultimately forced to settle for just fifth.