The Malaysia 2009 GP, When the rain came down

Any Formula one Historian looking back to the 2009 season will no doubt stop and pause when they see the scores that many of the drivers have. This is because some have half points why on earth should that be? The 2009 season is unusual already as it marks the one and only time a new team has won the Drivers and Constructors championship in their first (and subsequently only) year. This was Brawn GP a team that rose up from the ashes of the Honda racing team who dropped out. Jenson Button went from possibly being made redundant at the start of the year to World Champion by the end of it! One thing that will really jar is the fact that some of the drivers have half points attached to their scores and it is all due to one race on the calendar at Malaysia. The race was abandoned due to the fact that the volume equivalent of a lake decided to fall on the track. Most of the time this happens in Canada and an F1 Paddock Club Canada pass like those available from


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The Formula one car is capable of many things but a submarine or amphibious option has yet to be developed by the teams. It was going to be the only way any of the cars were going to get through the full allocation of laps that had been thought adequate for a standard race beforehand. It was the second race of the season with a 3 o’clock local time start to accommodate the European market. A night race was proposed but putting up all the lights that this would entail was deemed to be far too expensive.


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Practice and Qualifying remained dry with Jenson Button securing a successive pole for the Brawn with his team mate Rubins Barrachello in second. The start of the race was dry and the lead shifted with Button dropping to Fourth and Nico Rosberg’s Williams taking the lead. The race saw the usual changes during the pit stops but everyone was suddenly surprised to find Kimi Raikkonen coming out on Wets. The weather let him down and the rain did not come and his tyres began to degrade. By lap 19 the rain had started but not enough to justify the Wets which wore easily without the standing water. Timo Glock’s intermediates were perfect and he moved up to third place. All the other drivers dived in to get the intermediates on as well. By the time this was done monsoon conditions had cloaked the track and they all had to go back in again for Wets. Soon cars were spinning off all over the place that the TV cameras could barely keep up. As this was happening on full wets, and the drivers were on the pit radios basically saying they couldn’t see each other the race was red flagged on the 33rd lap.

The race was moved to a later time of year.