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Jumat, 10 April 2009

What The Papers Say About Soggy Sepang


Fleet Street is once again this morning singing the praises of the 'unstoppable' Jenson Button and waxing rather lyrically about the Sepang sea-side resort...

'Forks of lightning lit up the dusk sky, flash bulbs sparkled like beacons in the stand, thunder rumbled, fans on the grass bank sought refuge under the palms and, finally, after drizzle, an ocean fell out of the sky.

'Through it all emerged Jenson Button, showing himself to be a man for all seasons. Two races into the campaign, two wins. One in bone-dry Australia, the other in soaking-wet Malaysia yesterday. He is currently unstoppable.' - Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Mail

'One of Formula One's most contentious starts to a season continued in memorable if soggy style yesterday as the scandal about Lewis Hamilton being told to lie to the stewards in Australia was briefly set aside for a Malaysian Grand Prix that turned into a washout.

'Not that it mattered to Britain's man of the moment, Jenson Button, who claimed his second consecutive win in the super-quick Brawn GP car, though he did so sitting on the grid along with everyone else as a tropical downpour, complete with thunder and lightning, turned the circuit at Sepang into a swimming pool.' - Edward Gorman, The Times

'Jenson Button always said that tyre management would be a key part of the Malaysian Grand Prix and he was right - but even he could not have foreseen the mayhem which forced yesterday's race to be stopped after 32 of the scheduled 56 laps. As the Briton extended his world championship lead with another victory for Brawn Mercedes, it was the management of tyre changes that proved crucial as torrential rain made the Sepang circuit slippier than a skating rink.' - David Tremayne, The Independent

'It was a surreal end to a surreal week. With thunder rumbling in the background, darkness descending all around him and the last remnants of a biblical downpour threatening to carry his Brawn GP car down Sepang's home straight, the pitlane cameras directed their gaze beneath a large umbrella and Jenson Button's bewildered face hoved into view.

'"Is that it?" he asked. Yes, that was it. The 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix had been abandoned with just over half the race completed, handing Button the third grand prix victory of his career and a second in succession.' - Tom Cary, The Telegraph

'Jenson Button is celebrating his - and the Brawn GP team's - second victory in as many rounds after winning the Malaysian grand prix at Sepang today, although it came in farcical conditions after a tropical thunderstorm flooded the circuit and brought the race to an early end.

'It raised questions about Bernie Ecclestone's decision to opt for a 5pm local start to suit television schedules in Europe, especially as weather forecasters had predicted that heavy rain would start falling about 30 minutes into the event. The move by the sport's commercial rights holder, who left immediately after the race and could not be contacted, seemed to ignore the fact that teatime thunderstorms in Kuala Lumpur are par for the course and the rapid onset of darkness meant that it became impossible to restart the race.

'Button was awarded half the regular championship victory points as the race had been stopped with 25 of its original 56 laps to run, meaning it had not reached the two-thirds cut-off point beyond which full points are given. His victory made Brawn GP the first new team to win their opening two races since Alfa Romeo won the first ever two grands prix in 1950.' - Alan Henry, The Guardian

'Sepang? It was more like the seaside as Kimi Raikkonen wandered around in shorts eating an ice lolly and holding a drink, while his rivals sat in racing cars which looked more like leaky rowing boats .

'Groups of spectators splashed around in the shallows while others dived in the mud as if it was Glastonbury.

'All of this to fill the time when we should have been watching cars race at 200mph, but as soon as they became powerboats - and plumes became wakes - the Malaysian Grand Prix gamble was over.' - Bob McKenzie, Daily Express

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