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Button seeks three in a row in China

JENSON Button will be favorite to clinch a third win in three races at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix after the row over the legality of his Brawn GP car's diffuser was settled in the team's favor.

In the first two races of the season, the Briton and his new team have left the rest of Formula One trailing in the air smoothly channeled through the controversial diffusers at the back of their car.

With the governing FIA having declared the structure legal yesterday, their rivals now face a scramble to copy the design but it will certainly be too little, too late to match the Brawns in Shanghai on Sunday.

Button, who won only half points for his victory in the washout in Malaysia two weeks ago and leads the standings with 15 points to teammate Rubens Barrichello's 10, is now in the unfamiliar position of having to warn against complacency.

Toyota, also running with the "double-decker" diffuser, has been the closest of those competitors so far, claiming third and fourth in Malaysia through Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli.

The success of the Brawns and Toyotas have contributed to what look like states of crisis at world champion Lewis Hamilton's McLaren team and that of last year's constructors' champion Ferrari.

McLaren will race under the cloud of the impending FIA hearing into its misleading of the stewards in the season opener in Australia.

Despite having his third place in Melbourne stripped from him over the incident, Hamilton, 24, has been doing his best with a poor car but his teammate Heikki Kovalainen has yet to complete a lap.

Ferrari has rung the changes since a calamitous qualifying session and poor tire selection in Kuala Lumpur left it with its worst start in 17 years, bottom of the table without a point.

"We need to start from zero," said Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, whose team has won three of the five grands prix in China. "We need to get together to understand point by point what is going wrong and try to improve everything."


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