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04 Apr 2009 13:59
Brawn GP’s Jenson Button took pole position on Saturday for Sunday’s Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix, making it back-to-back poles for the English driver.
Button, winner of last week’s season-opening Australian GP, set a time of one minute, 35,181 seconds on Saturday to finish almost a 10th
of a second ahead of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was third but receives a 10-place grid penalty for an incident in the previous race at Melbourne. Rubens Barrichello was fourth quickest but gets a five-place penalty for changing a gearbox.
“We improved the car overnight and its improved a lot.
I feel very comfortable in the car, to that’s exciting for tomorrow,” Button said.
“I expected the competition to be pretty tough here, but qualifying was okay.”
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who earned pole here last year, was eliminated in the first session of qualifying and will start from 16th.
The penalties for Vettel and Barrichello promotes Toyota’s Timo Glock to third on the grid—his best ever starting position for a grand prix—with Williams’ Nico Rosberg up to fourth.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber will begin in fifth spot, sharing the third row with BMW’s Robert Kubica.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who won here last year, will begin from seventh, ahead of Renault’s Fernando Alonso.
Trulli was the last man on a flying lap and looked a chance of taking only the third pole position in Toyota’s time in F1, but could not quite manage it.
“I didn’t expect to be here today because yesterday I was struggling,” the Italian said.
Vettel was pleased by the car’s performance, even if it was slightly wasted due to the grid penalty which will drop him to 13th.
“Its a shame to have plus-10 [penalty] tomorrow so it will be a very tough day for me,” he said.
“I personally hope for some rain, because anything is possible.”—Sapa-AP
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