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A storm brewing for Brawn GP?

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F1 Mole | 09:40 UK time, Thursday, 2 April 2009

Malaysia's infamous tropical weather announced its arrival at the Sepang International Circuit with impeccable timing on Thursday.

It was three o'clock in the afternoon and the steamy temperatures had climbed to 31C.

As the drivers sat down for the start of the media conference, the sky cracked and sheets of rain fell to the earth as swirling winds did their best to bend the trees in the same direction.

Jenson Button, winner of last week's opening Australian Grand Prix, nodded to his trainer, who was waiting in the wings, and pulled a grimace.


If the showers hold sway in Malaysia
, it will be the first time that Button and his team-mate Rubens Barrichello have driven the Brawn in the rain and tried running on the extreme wet tyres.

After rising from the ashes of the Honda team in early March, Brawn were only able to take part in testing in Barcelona and Jerez where the sun was out and conditions were dry.

Button is tipped to claim back-to-back victories in Malaysia but could the weather dampen his chances?

"It makes it more difficult and more challenging that's for sure," said the Englishman, who battled wet weather to win his first Grand Prix in Hungary in 2006.

"We'll take it in our stride. We haven't tested in the wet yet but it's a good car and we hope it works well.

"The only thing we've got to work out are the front-wing angles because in the past we have had to massively adjust the car for wet conditions.

"For the last two years, we've come to circuits hoping for rain so it would throw a bit of excitement into the race because we would normally be hanging around at the back.

"But here, when you've got a quick car, you obviously want it to be dry and you don't want any safety cars, you don't even want a breath of wind."

Heavy showers are predicted throughout the weekend at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia

The storm lasted for a full half an hour on Thursday afternoon; plenty of time to wreak havoc and turn the order upside down during a race.

Heavy rain is forecast for the next three days and on Sunday the race begins at 1700 local time.

There is growing concern that the 56-lap race could be cut short by poor visibility because of the combination of wet weather and dimming natural light.

"If it rains like this on Sunday we will need to organise a boat race," quipped Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Bourdais.

Nico Rosberg, who finished sixth in Australia in a competitive Williams car, predicted: "If it doesn't rain then Brawn GP will win - the only way to change that is if it does rain."

If Rosberg is right then the other teams will be determined to make hay while the sun isn't shining in Malaysia.

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