Jenson Button has admitted that he still cannot be sure that the Brawn GP car will be as good in the rain as it proved to be in the dry in Melbourne, despite being given a major wet workout in Malaysia on Sunday.
Although happy to have finally got some wet-weather miles under his belt with the BGP001, after the car's late launch avoided any such running in pre-season, the Briton admitted that the bizarre conditions at Sepang prevented him from drawing firm conclusions about the machine's potential as an all-rounder.
"I'm sure it is, but the conditions that we were running in today were a very unusual situation to have, with full wets - or the extremes as they were - in slightly greasy conditions," he explained after the Malaysian GP had been curtailed at 33 laps.
"We had to go for that option because we thought it was going to rain - there was no use taking a gamble being in the lead, so we took that tyre and, obviously, it felt pretty terrible. At high speed, you were slowing the car down to third gear because you just couldn't carry any speed because the rear was always trying to break away. I had massive oversteer on the first couple of laps and then the front started graining. When we put the intermediates on for one lap, the car felt reasonably good, and I had a good balance, because that was the correct conditions for that tyre - until it started raining hard and then, obviously, no
tyre was useable."
Winning in such conditions, however, and with the field providing more competition than it had in Melbourne, gave Button extra confidence in the entire Brawn team package.
"I think it's more amazing that we've done it in these conditions, because Australia wasn't easy with the safety cars and, here, with the changing weather conditions, it made it a lot more difficult," he noted at the post-race press conference, "These two here [Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock
] were not the guys that were fighting me at the start of the race, so the great thing is that we could see what was going on behind us and we could react to it - and react to it quickly. That's why we're sat here at the moment.
"I'm very happy and it would be nice going to Shanghai leading by a few points. Hopefully, we can have a straightforward race and we can see where we stand."
With only limited - and specified - testing allowed between races, another wet race in China in two weeks' time would provide as much of a challenge for Button and the team.
"The balance was definitely not right on the full wet - the circuit was reasonably dry, so it was difficult to get a balance," he admitted, "There is a lot of work we need to do to sort our pace and balance out but, as I said, it is just nice to get to the end of the race and end up on top after looking at what other people were doing on the different types of tyres."