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SHANGHAI - Jenson Button will be favourite 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 favour.
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 channelled through the controversial diffusers at the back of their car.
With the governing FIA having declared the structure legal on Wednesday, their rivals now face a scramble to copy the design but it will almost 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, have 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 has shaken up world champion Lewis Hamilton's McLaren team and that of last year's constructors champions Ferrari.
McLaren will race under the cloud of the impending FIA hearing into their misleading of the stewards in the season opener in Australia.
Despite having his third place in Melbourne stripped from him over the incident, Hamilton has been doing his best with a poor car, but teammate Heikki Kovalainen has yet to complete a lap.
Ferrari have rung the changes since a calamitous qualifying session and poor tyre selection in Kuala Lumpur left them with their worst start in 17 years, rock bottom of the championship standings without a point in two races.
Team manager Luca Baldisserri has been left back in Italy to work on improvements to the car.
Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finn Kimi Raikkonen will be hoping to wring every little bit of advantage out of their new KERS energy recovery system, which should help with overtaking at the end of the long Shanghai straights. - Reuters