Archive for the ‘Jenson Button’ Category

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Button Heads McLaren 1-2 in Rainy China

April 18, 2010

Jenson Button became the first driver to take a double win in 2010, making a tyre call early on that would see him in control of the race, leading home his McLaren teammate in a wet Chinese Grand Prix.

There was plenty of action once again this year, and before the lights even went out, Fernando Alonso was jumping the start. His over-eagerness enabled him to get around Sebastian Vettel, while Mark Webber made a quick move past his teammate, but ultimately lost out to Alonso’s jump-start as well.

A safety car was soon to follow after Vitantonio Liuzzi, Kamui Kobayashi and Sebastien Buemi crashed at turn three, and the front-runners, bar Nico Rosberg, Button, Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov who made the call to stay out on slicks, came in for intermediate tyres. Alonso was among those stopping, but he was soon handed a drive-through penalty for jumping the start. In the meantime, Rosberg led the way on the slick tyres, while teammate Michael Schumacher, who had been among those who pitted for intermediates earlier on, began struggling, and was forced to pit once more for a fresh set of slicks. Schumacher was the first of several drivers who had to pit again, proving Rosberg and Button had made the right tyre choice.

By lap 6, Hamilton and Vettel found themselves losing time on the intermediate tyres, and both drivers raced into the pitlane, nose to tail, for a fresh set of slicks. But it was on their release from their pitboxes that became the most talked about incident after the race. Both were released within a second of each other, and it was Hamilton who ended up side-by-side with Vettel. The two fought their way down the pitlane, with Vettel nudging Hamilton, who was on the inside, between the slow lane and the fast lane, towards the mechanics. Hamilton eventually backed off, and Vettel exited the pitlane ahead of the McLaren driver. Both drivers were later reprimanded for the incident, narrowly escaping a post-race penalty.

While Rosberg maintained his lead, Vettel and Hamilton were left fighting their way through the pack. On lap eight, both drivers made their move on Rubens Barrichello, and by lap ten, Hamilton passed Webber on the back straight. On lap 11 Vettel passed Heikki Kovalainen in the Lotus. The Finn had spent the last couple of laps going backwards, having previously got up to sixth by lap nine. Hamilton made his move on his former teammate into turns one and two on lap 12, and Webber soon followed. On lap 13, Vettel was busy making a pass on Adrian Sutil, when Hamilton saw a way through, diving up the inside at the hairpin of turn 14, taking both Vettel and Sutil. Vettel eventually made the move on Sutil stick, while Hamilton continued to make a move, chasing down seven-time champion, Schumacher.

By lap 17, after two laps of trying to pass Schumacher at the hairpin, Hamilton made another attempt to get past the Mercedes driver, and although Schumacher tried to defend for the third time, Hamilton was able to get past after the German ran wide. Vettel and Webber were next on the attack, both successfully managing to pass Schumacher, sending the seven-time champion backwards through the pack.

On lap 19, after Rosberg ran off the track, Button was able to make a move to take the lead of the race. Rain began to fall, and by lap 20 cars began pitting for intermediates. Hamilton and Vettel came in on lap 21, with race-leader Button in a lap later.

Following contact with Bruno Senna on lap 21, Jaime Alguersuari suffered a broken front wing on his way into the pits for intermediates. The Spanish driver’s wing was already suffering when he clipped the kerb causing the wing to disappear under the car. The on-track incident between Alguersuari and Senna saw left-over debris on the track, and the second safety car of the race was deployed.

The restart came a few laps later, and it was Button left in charge as the safety car dived back into the pits at the end of lap 25. Button slowed right down at the hairpin of turn 14, causing the pack to bunch up, sending Hamilton slightly wide. By the last corner, after passing the first safety car line, Hamilton had Vettel all over the back of his McLaren, and Hamilton ended up pushing Webber wide. Both the Red Bulls lost ground, while Button led the way from Rosberg, Hamilton was left to make yet another move on Schumacher, who having pitted earlier than the McLaren and the two Red Bull drivers, had managed to make ground. Hamilton saw the opportunity into turn eight, and dived up the inside passing the German for fifth. A lap later and he passed Petrov in the same way, and next in his sights was Kubica in third. He didn’t have to wait long, passing the Renault driver at the hairpin on lap 30.

Button continued to build a gap between himself and Rosberg in second, and was some five seconds ahead of the young German. Hamilton tried to pass Rosberg on lap 36, but failed to make his turn eight manoeuvre work, and he pitted for a fresh set of intermediates on lap 37. Button and Rosberg pitted from the front a lap later, and while Button maintained his lead, Rosberg lost out, exiting the pits behind Hamilton who had made his way up to second.

As the last 20 laps played out, both Hamilton and Button’s tyres began to wear out. Hamilton was the first to complain, and after Button locked both front wheels into the hairpin on lap 52, it was obvious he was struggling too. Both battled on, and Button’s lock-up meant Hamilton was able to pull the ten second gap down to just 2. 6 seconds in the closing laps.

Button eventually crossed the line 1.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton, and the win, his second of the second elevates him to the top of the drivers’ standings with 60 points. Rosberg’s third-place finish sees him second in the standings on 50 points, with Hamilton just behind on 49. Alonso gained the most from the two safety cars, and despite his jump-start and drive-through penalty, he managed to finish fourth, pulling him level in the championship standings with Hamilton on 49 points. Kubica finished yet another successful race for Renault in fifth, with Vettel sixth, and Petrov seventh after a pass on Schumacher in the closing laps of the race. Webber finished eighth, ahead of Massa in ninth. Schumacher rounded out the top ten points-scorers in tenth. For the rest of the pack, Sutil finished 11th, with Barrichello in 12th, Alguersuari 13th, Kovalainen 14th, Nico Hulkenberg 15th, and Senna and Karun Chandhok 16th and 17th. Jarno Trulli, Lucas di Grassi, Pedro de la Rosa, Buemi, Kobayashi and Liuzzi all failed to finish.

For the fourth race in a row this season, the pole sitter has failed to turn his pole into victory, and Vettel now sits fifth in the standings on 45, with Massa sixth on 41, Kubica seventh on 40, and Webber eighth on 28. Schumacher and Sutil both have ten points, with the seven-time champion having failed to take substantial points for the fourth race in a row. In the constructors standings, McLaren’s one-two has put them ahead on 109 points, with Ferrari on 90, Red Bull on 73, Mercedes on 60 and Renault on 46.

The European season begins in three weeks time with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on the 9th May.

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Button Wins Action-Packed Australian GP

March 28, 2010

Jenson Button took his first victory of the season this morning, letting his rivals know they have a fight on their hands if they want to steal his crown.

The reigning world champion took an early gamble, changing his intermediate tyres to slicks on lap six, and while everyone thought it was a bad move, he proved he was a worthy champion when, after the rest of the front-runners pitted, he found himself in second, behind pole sitter, Sebastian Vettel.

Button said of his early pitstop: “It was the right call and I am happy I made it.” Of his first win with Mclaren he said: “It is very special.”

Button’s race started poorly, when contact in the first corner with Fernando Alonso saw the champion lose ground. Alonso came out worse off, spinning 180 degrees, being forced into last place. Michael Schumacher got caught up in the spin, and a broken front wing saw him take an early pitstop, and he spent the majority of his race at the back of the pack caught up behind Jaime Alguersuari.

A broken front wing for Kamui Kobayashi saw him slide off the track at turn three, collecting Nico Hulkenberg and bringing out the safety car. Sebastian Vettel led the way behind the safety car, with Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg rounding out the top five.

On lap four the safety car came in, and Button, who by that point was down to sixth, was forced to defend himself against teammate Lewis Hamilton, up in seventh from 11th on the grid. Hamilton made a brave move on Button, making it stick, and it wasn’t long after that, that Button pitted for slicks.

His outlap was hit and miss, running off into the gravel in the first sector, but setting the fastest time in sectors two and three. Massa, Kubica, Rosberg and Hamilton then pitted for slicks, leaving Vettel leading Webber, with Button down in 19th.

By the time the Red Bulls pitted on the next two laps, they lost ground. Vettel, who pitted first, was eventually able to hold onto the lead, while Webber slipped through the pack, eventually ending up behind Massa. By the time the mid field, who momentarily had hold of the lead, pitted, Button was back in the mix, second behind Vettel, with Kubica, Rosberg and Massa in third, fourth and fifth.

Hamilton found himself behind Rubens Barrichello momentarily, after getting held up in the pitlane while other cars passed his pitbox, but after passing Rubens he soon had Webber and Massa in his sights. Webber made his move on Massa for fifth on lap 16 in the first corner, and Hamilton seized the opportunity, taking Massa as well to line up Webber in turn three. When Webber ran wide into turn three, nearly colliding with a dicey Hamilton, Massa saw a gap and passed both drivers to reclaim fifth.

Hamilton was then forced to stare at the back of Massa’s Ferrari until lap 22 when he got into Massa’s slipstream, passing him into turn one, while appearing to lose a bit of his front wing. Alonso, who had made his way up to seventh, passing Webber when he ran wide on lap 16, also fancied a look at his teammate, but Webber saw a way through and passed the unsuspecting Ferrari.

Hamilton then charged on, catching and passing Rosberg for fourth on lap 26. It soon became third when Vettel’s race came to an end on the same lap, suffering with brake failure.

Webber and Rosberg were the first to pit for the second time on laps 33 and 34, putting them both back behind Massa and Alonso, with a considerable gap of around 20 seconds.

Hamilton was then left to hunt down Kubica for second, and was all over the back of the Renault when he was pitted unexpectedly for a fresh set of tyres on  lap 35. Had it not been for the stop, Hamilton may have joined Button at the front, fighting for the first position Button had inherited from Vettel, but it wasn’t to be, and with a fresh set of tyres, Lewis, in fifth with Webber behind in sixth, began gaining a second or two a lap on the Kubica-Massa-Alonso train. A 20 second gap soon became no gap at all, but Hamilton, caught in Alonso’s dirty air had problems trying to pass, as his tyres started falling apart. On lap 56, Hamilton saw his chance, but while making a move on Alonso into turn three, Webber braked too late sending Hamilton into a spin, sending himself off the track. Hamilton recovered, but Rosberg was already through, having caught up with the pair. Webber was forced to pit for a third time for a new front wing, while Button was free to start his final lap on his way to victory.

Kubica kept it together to cross the line in second, just ahead of Massa, Alonso and Rosberg, with Hamilton down in sixth.

The McLaren driver said of his race: “I had probably one of the drives of my life. I am happy with the job that I did. I drove my heart out today” Of his unscheduled stop he said: “The strategy was not right.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi crossed the line seventh, ahead of Barrichello, Webber and Schumacher in tenth.

Schumacher’s main rival for the race, Alguersuari, narrowly missed out on some points, finishing in 11th, with De la Rosa in 12th, Heikki Kovalainen once again finishing for Lotus in 13th, and Karun Chandhok finishing his first race for HRT in 14th.

Button’s win elevates him to third in the championship standings with 31 points, with Massa just ahead on 33. Alonso retains the lead on 37 points, while Hamilton drops to fourth with 23 points. Ferrari extend their lead in the constructors’ championship with 70 points, with McLaren just behind on 54 points.

The next race is next weekend, with qualifying on Saturday 3rd April, and the race live on BBC1 at 9am on Sunday 4th.

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Button 2009 World Champion as Webber Wins in Brazil

October 18, 2009

Jenson Button drove like a champion in this afternoon’s Brazilian Grand Prix to be crowned Formula One World Champion 2009, with Mark Webber taking victory.

Button held it together, putting in some impressive overtaking manoeuvres to prove that he is the worthy champion of the season. While a first lap collision saw the end of Jarno Trulli, Adrian Sutil and Fernando Alonso’s races, Button held his nerve to take the championship with one race left to the season.

Button, who sang Queen’s We Are the Champions over the radio at the end of the race, said: “It is amazing. After the last few races I’ve had this one make up for it and I am world champion baby!” He added: “I never expected to be world champion in F1. We have done it today!”

An emotional Ross Brawn said of Button’s performance: “He had a great race. He knew what he had to do.” He said that it still had to sink in.

And when you look back to just weeks before the start of the season when Honda pulled out of F1 with it looking like Button and teammate Rubens Barrichello would not make the grid in Australia, it is amazing just what the Brawn team have achieved, taking both the drivers’ and the constructors’ title in the same weekend. But at the start of the race it didn’t look hopeful for Button, as with Barrichello on pole it seemed likely the title would go down to the last race in Abu Dhabi in two weeks time.

The Senna ‘S’ on the first lap normally always claims its victims, but everyone got round in one piece, with the hairiest moment being Heikki Kovalainen tripping up and very nearly collecting Giancarlo Fisichella as he went into a spin. But the first lap carnage came after turn five, when Trulli and Sutil collided sending Trulli to the left, and Sutil over the grass to the right, collecting Fernando Alonso as he came back across the track.

Contact between Kimi Raikkonen and Sutil in the first few corners saw damage to Raikkonen’s front wing, and the Finn was soon being passed on track. As the safety car came out, Lewis Hamilton, who had started 17th, pitted, with McLaren switching him to a one-stop strategy. But it was Kovalainen’s stop that caused havoc in the pitlane, as he drove away with his fuel hose attached, spilling fuel, which ignited in Raikkonen’s face as he drove out of his pitbox and down the pitlane behind Heikki. Fortunately, both were able to make a getaway, with the Brawn mechanics releasing Kovalainen’s hose.

At the restart the champion came alive in Button, and while it was Barrichello who had the lead, it was Button making the moves, passing Romain Grosjean on the first lap after the restart, and Kazuki Nakajima on the second. It took him longer to pass rookie Kamui Kobayashi, who stands in for Timo Glock at Toyota after his crash in Suzuka two weeks ago, but after pulling an impressive move into the first corner a bit later in the race, it was all about holding his nerve and bringing it home.

After the first round of pitstops, it was clear Barrichello had lost out, with both second and third placed Webber and Robert Kubica leapfrogging him. With Hamilton one stopping, Barrichello needed to stay in third for six world championship points, with Button no higher than eighth to keep his title hopes alive. But after Barrichello’s second stop, Hamilton soon caught the Brawn driver and passed him for third. Contact between the two resulted in a right rear puncture for Rubens and he had to pit for a third time, and he could manage no higher than eighth and one world championship point.

Going into the race, Sebastian Vettel had been a contender for the title, and having started 15th, just behind Button, Red Bull were hoping for a clean getaway, through the first few corners, but with a safety car to shake things up a bit. That was what they got, and while Webber stormed to victory with a solid performance, Vettel put in a solid drive to finish fourth, to take second in the drivers’ standings with one race to go.

While the champagne is set to flow for Button and Brawn after taking the title, Mark Webber deserves praise for his impressive victory, his second of the season. The Australian driver was able to leapfrog Barrichello in the first round of  pitstops, and after pitting later than his rivals, he was able to maintain the lead as he exited the pits following his first stop. He produced a faultless drive, finishing ahead of Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton. Vettel came through in fourth ahead of the new champion Button in fifth. Despite his first lap woes, Raikkonen came through in sixth ahead of Sebastien Buemi in seventh, and Barrichello in eighth.

Less lucky, Nick Heidfeld ran out of fuel on the track shortly after his first stop, where his fuel rig failed to put fuel into the car, Nico Rosberg retired with gearbox failure, and Kazuki Nakajima went flying off the track at turn four after contact with Kobayashi.

While Button cannot be toppled from the top spot in the championship, second is left to decide, with Vettel now just ahead of Barrichello. Hamilton now sits in fifth behind Webber, having taken a point out of Raikkonen. In the constructors’ championship, while Brawn and Red Bull have secured first and second, McLaren have now snatched third from Ferrari. But with the last round in Abu Dhabi being somewhat of an unknown, anything could happen before the season draws to a close.

 

The next race is in two weeks, with qualifying on Saturday 31st October and the race live on BBC One at 1pm on Sunday 1st November.

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Unstoppable Button Takes Victory in Turkey

June 7, 2009

In the four year history of the Turkish Grand Prix, the winner has always started from pole. Kimi Raikkonen turned pole position into victory in 2005, and Felipe Massa made a hat-trick of poles and wins in 2006, 07 and 08. But as the lights went out at the Istanbul Park circuit for the seventh race of the 2009 championship, Jenson Button accelerated away on a mission to prove you could still win from P2. As he took the chequered flag 58 laps later, he had a clear message for his rivals: that he is unstoppable. 

Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel didn’t have an answer for Button. After running wide in turn nine on the first lap he gifted the lead to the Brawn, and despite chasing him down in the second stint, the Red Bull struggled to overtake in its dirty air. 

After losing the lead to Button early on, Vettel, who was on a three stop strategy, had a lighter car than the Brawn and was able to close the gap on Jenson by less than a second. However, with his teammate Mark Webber two stopping, Vettel could not make up enough time to catch him after his final pit stop, and the German finished in third behind Webber.

Button’s teammate Rubens Barrichello was less fortunate, and despite starting on the clean side of the grid, problems with the clutch off the start line saw him slip back through the pack behind Heikki Kovalainen who had started in 14th. The pair spent the first few laps of the race jostling for 11th position, with Barrichello overtaking Kovalainen into the final corner of lap 6, only for the Finn to hit his KERS button and claim the position back on the start/ finish straight. Contact between the pair a lap later put Barrichello in a spin, and he soon found himself trading Heikki’s McLaren for that of Lewis Hamilton who had been running in 17th. Barrichello’s bad luck didn’t end there and the Brazilian retired on lap 49 after having spent most of the race without seventh gear. His retirement is the first for Brawn since making their F1 debut in the 2009 championship.

For Massa and Raikkonen they finished 6th and 9th respectively, with the McLarens of Hamilton and Kovalainen finishing 13th and 14th. After failing to score points in the last three races, fans of the Woking-based team are calling for an updated car to be introduced following a bad showing so far this season. The car appears to be difficult to drive, with Hamilton lacking significant pace through turn eight, and losing track position to several of the slower cars on numerous occasions. The reigning world champ appears to have admitted defeat in recent races, and a new, mature approach spells that the Brit is focusing on enjoying the drive for this year, and getting competitive again for next year.

Whilst last year’s champion struggles in his McLaren, Button is proving race-on-race to be unstoppable. With 61 championship points and an advantage of 26 over his closest rival, teammate Barrichello, Button appears to be in the zone, in a league of his own. Despite having more fuel onboard at the start of the race to Vettel’s Red Bull, he managed to pull out a significant lead over the German early on. With the championship just short of the half way stage, it looks like Jenson could well be on his way to championship glory in 2009.

 

But will Button be making it seven out of eight races at Silverstone in two weeks time? The British Grand Prix will be making its final appearance at the Northampton circuit in a fortnight, with qualifying on Saturday and the race at 1pm on Sunday 21st on BBC One.

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Button Produces Faultless Win at Monaco

May 24, 2009

The Monaco Grand Prix is the showcase of the Formula One season, where narrow streets and slow-speed corners wind their way past the casino, through the tunnel, and alongside the glamourous harbour. Qualifying means all or nothing to your race: put it on pole and you’re halfway to victory, but drop it in the barrier in quali one and you may as well watch the race from onboard Flavio Briatore’s lavish yacht.

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton proved just that this afternoon. After placing his Brawn on the front row of the grid in qualifying yesterday, Jenson made a storming start to turn his pole into victory and edge his way even further into the lead of the championship. After breaking late into Mirabeau in quali one yesterday, and incurring a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox, Lewis started 19th and could only manage 12th in a drawn-out race at the Monte Carlo circuit.

Flashback to this time last year and Lewis Hamilton won the race in spectacular style, despite a puncture to one of his tyres after an early collision with a barrier. Then it was raining, today it was hot. Then he was driving a fast car, today he was driving an injured car. Then he won in car 22, today it was Button’s turn to win in car 22.

Button’s drive couldn’t have been more faultless, in fact the only error he made all afternoon was where he parked his car at the end of it. Unlike the other races on the calendar where park ferme is in the pit lane, Monaco sees the top three cars line up on the grid in front of the podium. But in the true fashion that comes with a driver who has rarely been at the top- and never won the Monaco Grand Prix- Button parked his Brawn in the pits, meaning he had to run back to the grid for the podium ceremony. Still, considering some of the errors that are frequently made at this narrow street circuit, this was only a minor blunder, and somewhat amusing at that.

Button’s getaway was quick, but it was teammate Rubens Barrichello who made the fastest move off the grid from third to second, passing Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen before he could even think about hitting his KERS button.

Button lead for the majority of the race, gifting the lead to Rosberg on lap 16 at his first pitstop, only to re-claim the lead a lap later, and again to Raikkonen at the second pitstop for two laps.

Raikkonen’s teammate Felipe Massa showed that Ferrari are on the move again after a slow start to the 2009 season. Raikkonen finished alongside the Brawn drivers on the podium, with Massa following closely behind. Mark Webber was the sole Red Bull to pass the chequered flag after Sebastian Vettel clipped the barrier on the exit of turn one early on in the race.

Despite running third before his first pitstop, Hamilton’s teammate Heikki Kovalainen lost control of his McLaren going past the swimming pool in the last third of the race, and became one of five retirees.

After six races of the 2009 season, and with Button claiming victory at all but one, it appears Lewis Hamilton needs to get a move on if he wants to defend his title. His fellow Brit has set the pace for the remainder of the season, and with his 16 point lead over teammate Barrichello, and 42 over Hamilton, it is clear that Lewis and indeed the rest of the pack have some catching up to do. After Hamilton’s second pitstop, his lack of pace in the first half of the race became apparent to be his front wing which was broken early on. The defending champion soon picked up the pace in his final stint, proving the McLaren is more than capable to match the pace of the Brawn. Towards the end of the race Hamilton made a charge and managed to improve on his race-long second-to-last position. However the champion has some catching up to do in the coming races if he wants to retain his title at Abu Dhabi in eleven races time.

As for Button, he can leave for the next race in Turkey knowing that he is somewhat unstoppable. He went into the race saying he was taking each race as it came and would only worry about the championship come the final race in November, but surely if anyone is going to catch him, they’re going to have to pull something out of the bag, and sooner rather than later…

 

The next race is in Turkey in a fortnights time, with qualifying at 12pm on 6th June, and the race live on BBC One at 1pm on the 7th.

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Jenson Makes it 4 Out of 5 For Brawn

May 10, 2009

Jenson Button has made it four out of five at the Spanish Grand Prix, and edged his way ever further into the lead of the driver’s world championship, in a race where Ferrari failed to fuel their sole remaining driver long enough to get him comfortably to the finish, and McLaren struggled for grip throughout.

Button started the race from pole, but soon found himself staring at the back of teammate Barrichello, as the Brazilian claimed two places into the first corner. Felipe Massa made a quick getaway from fourth making up one place to position himself in front of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. Further down the field, contact between Nico Rosberg and Jarno Trulli ended up putting the latter out of the race, taking the Force India of Adrian Sutil and the two Toro Rossos with him.

The safety car was quickly deployed after the carnage that was turn two, and at the restart, Barrichello led Button away from Massa and Vettel.

Heikki Kovalainen saw his third retirement of the season shortly after the restart due to gearbox failure, and Kimi Raikkonen ground to a hault on lap 18 with suspected electrical problems, after having spent the previous laps since the restart hunting down the BMW of Nick Heidfeld.

Barrichello led Button through the first round of pitstops, however, a stategy change by Button’s engineers from three-stopping to two, saw the Brazilian fall back behind Jenson after his second stop, despite his second-per-lap advantage over his teammate in the second stint. An early stop and a switch to the hard tyres by Massa and Vettel allowed Barrichello to make up time on his softer tyres and he came out of the pits for the third time ahead of the fighting Ferrari and Red Bull. Despite losing out to Button by three-stopping, the soft tyres proved to be the best compound and brought Barrichello home in second to make it a Brawn one-two.

Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber also three-stopped, pitting for the final time behind Rubens, and he too leap-frogged Massa and Vettel to get his second podium this season.

Lewis Hamilton had a less-lucky race, being forced to run onto the grass at the start, after getting caught up behind the Toyota of Trulli, and narrowly escaping the crash in turn two as he made his way round at the back of the pack. Hamilton said: “I drove my heart out as I always do” adding, he just didn’t have the grip to get into the points-scoring positions, narrowly missing out in 9th.

In the closing laps of the race, it soon became apparent that Massa didn’t have enough fuel on board to push to the end of the race, and subsequently he had to allow Vettel through, and later Fernando Alonso, to at least ensure he finished the race. After crossing the finish line in 6th, he parked his F60 on the circuit, having finally run out of fuel.

For Brawn, they have dominated the Circuit de Catalunya all weekend, with Barrichello pushing Button all the way, at one point looking set to take his first victory since 2004. However, it was Jenson Button who proved that you certainly have to be on the front row of the grid to win in Barcelona, and having made it four wins out of five, he seems to be in a league of his own.

 

The next race will be in Monaco in two weeks time.

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Button Takes Pole as F1 Heads to Europe

May 9, 2009

Jenson Button has recorded his third pole of the season in sunny Spain today, as Formula One heads north for the Spanish Grand Prix, with the European leg of the season hopefully leaving behind the heavy monsoon rains and heated temperatures that were the opening four races. 

It wasn’t just Jenson leading the way in qualifying, in fact the Brit was pretty quiet up until the final lap in quali three when he recorded a lap of 1:20.527 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Button started his flying lap with two seconds left on the clock, and ended up pushing Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and teammate Rubens Barrichello, who had both been hot on the pace the whole session, back down to P2 and P3 respectively.

Ferrari couldn’t have had more of a mixed bag of results if they tried, with Felipe Massa leading the way in quali one, and securing P4 in quali three, and Kimi Raikkonen being ousted out in the first round thanks to his engineers making a blundering error by assuming he was safe and through to round two – did they not learn from that mistake with Massa in Malaysia? Still, at least it would have given the Finn the possibility for another choc ice if needs be.

For McLaren, Heikki Kovalainen was another of the usual front-runners failing to make it into quali two, a trend that is increasing this season as the mid-field and back-markers bunch up the grid. He will start tomorrow’s race in 18th. Lewis Hamilton failed to make it into quali three, placing himself 14th on the grid.

Button will be hoping to make it four wins out of five when the race starts tomorrow, and considering the Spanish Grand Prix has always seen a front-row sitter take victory, (bar Michael Schumacher’s victory from third), it is looking ever more likely it will happen. At least, if previous victories are anything to go by, we will still only have two winners so far this season. However, when the lights go green tomorrow, watch out for the Brazilian in the red Ferrari on the second row. With a long run down to turn one, Massa will be hoping to make it a victory from fourth, getting his championship campaign off to a start after a somewhat testing start to the season.

With many saying it will be the new start to the 2009 championship, with new aerodynamic upgrades coming from most of the teams, it is set to open the competition up once again.