Low-key end to Button's rookie year

Jenson Button's stunning Formula One debut season ended in low-key fashion with his smoky exit from the Malaysian Grand Prix

Low-key end to Button's rookie year

The 20-year-old Williams-BMW driver was running tenth when his engine let go on lap 18.

"The engine was dying in the last few laps and then it finally went," said Button, who joins Benetton next season. "I don't know what happened. There was lots of smoke coming out of the back and then I was forced to put it into neutral."

Button had struggled to get the hang of the Sepang circuit and was off the pace all weekend. He qualified a lowly 16th, but made a good start then benefited from the first lap chaos to move into the top ten until his car expired.

"All in all, it has not been a good weekend, but I thought maybe it would change because I had a good start," he continued. "Our strategy was looking good also, but it wasn't to be. It is a great shame."

CART star Juan Montoya takes Button's place at Williams next season, but the Englishman is hoping to return from Benetton when his two-year contract with the Renault-owned team expires. Despite his disappointing time in Malaysia, Button said he was more than happy with his performance in his rookie season.

"It has been an excellent year. There have been lots of ups and down, the downs being today, but I am now looking forward to next year," he said.

With Heinz-Harald Frentzen retiring early, Button held onto his eighth position in the drivers' standings.

To see the final results of the Malaysian GP click HERE.

To see how the race unfolded with autosport.com's lap by lap report click HERE.

To see the final drivers' championship standings click HERE.

To see the final constructors' standings click HERE.

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