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GP Week : Issue 146
It was Jenson Button’s race to lose, and lose it he did. While team-mate Lewis Hamilton took pole at the Malaysian Grand Prix, it was a front-row lock-out for McLaren and all eyes were on Button to repeat the win-from-P2 approach that served the British driver so well in Melbourne. Hamilton held onto his lead during the long drag into Turn 1, and stayed in front till the race was red-flagged on lap 9. But it was Button who took the advantage when the Safety Car left the track following the restart, letting his team- mate stay out on intermediates while he dove for the pits in what looked to be a tactically brilliant move onto the extreme wet tyre compound. And so it should have been, had the McLaren driver not collided with HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan on his out lap, ruining two afternoons in one fell swoop. “I was struggling to keep the tyres up temperature and [the collision with Karthikeyan] was totally my fault,” Button said after the race. “I hit the brakes, I lost the rear. I was struggling to get the car slowed down. I tried to get around the corner but I couldn't do anything but hit him really.” Despite setting purple laps in wet conditions down in P19, the McLaren driver admitted that there was little he could do to rescue his race. “A tough, tough afternoon, and then it just spiralled out of control,” Button acknowledged with typical good humour. “Everything that could go wrong, did. All I could do was laugh really. It was so bad today. Sorry for the guys, who obviously expected a lot more today. I couldn't deliver today. “But, chin up. I won't be looking at any of the footage from this race. I'll be moving for ward and looking for ward to China, because I really think it was one of those races that sometimes happen. We'll put that behind us and move on in China.” BUTTON THROWS AWAY AN EASY WIN 26 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> MALAYSIA