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Page last updated at 14:14 GMT, Saturday, 4 April 2009 15:14 UK

Rapid Button beats Trulli to pole

Venue: Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur Dates: 3-6 April Coverage: Live coverage of Friday's practice sessions, Saturday's qualifying sessions and Sunday's race across BBC TV, radio and online. Find complete listings here

Jenson Button

Highlights - Malaysian GP qualifying

By Mark Ashenden

Brawn's debut season continued in fine style with Jenson Button grabbing pole for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix a week after winning in Australia.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli, almost a tenth of a second behind Button's one minute 35.181 seconds, will be ahead of team-mate Timo Glock on the grid.

Ferrari's miserable season continued with the shock early departure of Felipe Massa, who finished 16th.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton made it one stage further and will start 12th.


England's Button set a time of one minute 35.181 seconds to secure his second successive pole position and fifth in his career to finish almost a tenth of a second ahead of Italy's Trulli.

Glock recorded only the fifth best time in final qualifying with 1:34.907 but will be third on the grid in his Toyota as a result of penalties handed out to Sebastian Vettel and Rubens Barrichello.

Red Bull's Vettel was third quickest but was penalised 10 spots after his collision with BMW's Robert Kubica in Melbourne, while Barrichello clocked the fourth best time but will start ninth after changing his gearbox on Friday.

Williams driver Nico Rosberg, quickest in all practice sessions in Australia, clocked the fastest time in Saturday's final practice session and will begin Sunday's race in fourth ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber.

Jenson Button

Button pleased with 'special' pole lap

Kubica will start sixth with Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari in seventh and Renault's Fernando Alonso, struggling with an ear infection, in eighth.

Button claimed to be less than happy with his car after Friday's practice sessions but the 29-year-old was satisfied with adjustments made overnight.

"I was really struggling with the balance of the car. I had a lot of rear locking and instability, and when I have that it's not my forte really because I find it difficult to drive it around," he said.

"So we changed it around overnight and it's improved it a lot and I feel very comfortable in the car, so it makes it exciting for tomorrow.

"It's not easy to get one pole and now I've got two so it's unbelievable."

When the weights of the cars in qualifying were published, it emerged that Button was running with 3.5kg more fuel than Trulli - which means he was handicapped by extra weight that accounts for about 0.1secs per lap.

1 Button - lap 20
2 Trulli - lap 18
3 Glock - lap 18
4 Rosberg - lap 18
5 Webber - lap 18
6 Kubica - lap 21
7 Raikkonen - lap 21
8 Barrichello - lap 21
9 Alonso - lap 27
10 Heidfeld - lap 31
Stops calculated on weight of fuel in cars at 2.75kg per lap

It also means Button has at least a lap's worth extra fuel in his car for the first stint of the race.

That suggests the Brawn's superiority on pace is not as marked in Malaysia as it was in Australia a week ago.

Hamilton, with much on his mind after being stripped of a third place in Australia for misleading stewards in an inquiry, as well as being fined for breaching the pit lane speed limit on Friday, will start in 12th after failing to reach the final stage of qualifying.

Ferrari were confident of cruising through the early qualifying stages without using another set of soft tyres and opted for Massa to complete just four laps but the plan back-fired with several late quick times to leave the Brazilian in 16th spot in the first qualifying session.

Massa told BBC Sport: "I needed to do the perfect lap but I didn't do it. It was a big surprise not to make the top 15 - it was a bit of a mistake."

With the predicted rain not arriving, Button had done little to impress during Saturday's final practice and the first qualifying stage but showed the potential of Brawn's cars by clocking the fastest lap of 1:33.784 in the second stage.

Felipe Massa

We made a mistake in qualifying - Massa

Although he trailed team-mate Barrichello in the dramatic closing stages, he clocked another flying lap to pass the chequered flag to secure his pole position once again.

Trulli had a chance to overhaul Button in his Toyota but his closing lap was 0.092 seconds adrift of his Brawn rival.

Trulli said: "The car was spot on today - it was a shame to lose out on pole by such a small margin. We were struggling yesterday but we got it right today and I am really looking forward to the race."

Williams's Kazuki Nakajima recorded the 12th best time while the McLarens continued their struggles this season with Hamilton and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen in 13th and 14th respectively, followed by the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Bourdais.

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see also
Malaysian GP qualifying as it happened
04 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Raikkonen tops Malaysia practice
03 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Malaysian GP practice as it happened
03 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Malaysian GP practice photos
03 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton loses Aussie GP points
02 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Brawn 'should dominate Malaysia'
02 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Rivals will regroup, warns Button
31 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
More to come from Brawn - Button
30 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Button seals dream Australia win
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Rosberg fastest as F1 blasts off
27 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Brawn supremacy
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1

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