After an admittedly "disastrous" qualifying, Jenson Button moved another step closer to the world championship by finishing fifth in Singapore with fading brakes.

After an admittedly "disastrous" qualifying, Jenson Button moved another step closer to the world championship by finishing fifth in Singapore with fading brakes.

Sensing trouble for his Brawn teammate, Rubens Barrichello chased the ailing Briton hard in the closing laps but ultimately dropped another point behind Button with now just three races to run.

Barrichello's 15 point deficit means he needs to claw back more than 5 points to Button in each of the remaining rounds in Japan, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

"I'm very happy with the result and I go to Japan next week feeling positive," Button told British television BBC.

His good mood was also motivated by the struggles of his other title rival Sebastian Vettel, who at one point was pushing race winner Lewis Hamilton hard for the lead.

However, the Red Bull driver then served a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane, and carried to the flag damage not only to his floor after running awkwardly over a kerb, but a missing side mirror.

The German did finish ahead of Button in fourth place, but his points deficit to the Brawn was reduced only to 25 points, leaving him with the unlikely task of clawing back more than 8 points at every one of the last three races in 2009.

The championship challenge of Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber ended definitively under the Marina Bay lights, as he crashed out of the race after 46 laps with brake failure.

Timo Glock gave Toyota a solid result with second place, while the third podium resident Fernando Alonso dedicated his result to his manager and banned team boss Flavio Briatore.

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 61 1:56:06.337 1 10
2 10 Timo Glock Toyota 61 +9.6 secs 6 8
3 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 61 +16.6 secs 5 6
4 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 61 +20.2 secs 2 5
5 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 61 +30.0 secs 11 4
6 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 61 +31.8 secs 9 3
7 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 61 +36.1 secs 8 2
8 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 61 +55.0 secs 7 1
9 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 61 +56.0 secs 10  
10 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 61 +58.8 secs 12  
11 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 61 +59.7 secs 3  
12 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 61 +73.0 secs 14  
13 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 61 +79.8 secs 17  
14 21 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 61 +93.5 secs 19  
Ret 11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 47 Brakes 16  
Ret 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 47 Gearbox 13  
Ret 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 45 Brakes 4  
Ret 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 23 Accident damage 15  
Ret 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 19 Accident 20  
Ret 8 Romain Grosjean Renault 3 Brakes 18  

Be part of something big