Button wins chaotic Canadian GP

2011-06-12 23:09

Montreal, Canada - Jenson Button seized his first win of the season and the finest of his career on Sunday when he passed defending champion Sebastian Vettel on the final lap of a dramatic, rain-hit Canadian Grand Prix.

The 31-year-old Englishman, driving his McLaren car with great courage, speed and judgement after surviving an early collision with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, emerged triumphant at the conclusion of an utterly unpredictable race.


It was a drive that included two collisions - with Hamilton and also with two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari - six pit-stops and a drive-through penalty.

It was also a race that took more than four hours to run and included a two-hour suspension due to a red flag because of torrential rain and five Safety Car interventions.

In the final lap, Vettel made a mistake when he ran wide and fractionally off the dry line with only a few corners remaining.

He locked up his rear wheels and in doing so gave the confident, charging Button his chance to surge through and triumph.

The 23-year-old German Red Bull driver had looked sure to win after leading from pole position both before and after the two-hour suspension, but he buckled under pressure from Button on the final lap and finished second.

This left Red Bull still without a win in Canada.


It also enabled Button to come home in an overall winning time of four hours, four minutes and 37.037 seconds, though the running time was one hour, 23 minutes and 50.995 seconds.

It was the 10th win of his career for the champion of 2009.

"I really don't know what to say, it's been a very emotional three hours or whatever it's been since the start," said a tearful Button afterwards. "The incident with Lewis (Hamilton) - I couldn't see anything and I've apologised to him.

"It was really a fight from then on, but I kept on pushing and I managed to get past Seb at the end. Another great win for me and possibly my best."

Vettel managed to hang on and finish second after being defeated for only the second time this year in seven races and his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber came home third, after battling through in the closing laps.


"I was pushing and I think it would have been enough until the end, but obviously it was not because I made a mistake," said Vettel.

"It's clearly down to me. I locked up the rear a little bit. What you have to do then is open up the car going a bit straighter and when there's only one line, I ended up in the wet. It was quite easy then for him to pass."

Luckless seven-times champion Michael Schumacher finished fourth for Mercedes after looking poised to take a podium place.

Vitaly Petrov of Renault was fifth, Felipe Massa came home sixth for Ferrari, who lost Alonso through an accident, with Japanese Kamui Kobayashi seventh for Sauber. Massa passed the Sauber by a few metres as they crossed the line.

Jaime Alguersuari finished eighth for Toro Rosso ahead of Rubens Barrichello of Williams and Sebastien Buemi in the second Toro Rosso.

Button's triumph lifted him to second behind Vettel in the drivers' championship.

Vettel now has 161 points to Button on 101 with Webber third on 94 and Hamilton fourth on 85. In the constructors championship, Red Bull have 255 and McLaren have 186. Ferrari are third on 101.

McLaren team chief Martin Whitmarsh said: "We knew he had to put pressure on Sebastian - and Sebastian made a mistake. From Jenson, that's the stuff of champions, that's the stuff of dreams."

Button later added: "I got a drive-through for speeding behind the Safety Car so I had to find way through three times. On the last lap, I was chasing down Seb and he ran wide on the wet part of the circuit and I took the opportunity.

"It was a fantastic race, even if I hadn't won I would have enjoyed it... an amazing win and possibly my best. It is definitely one of those Grands Prix where you are nowhere and then somewhere.


"The last lap is the important one to be leading and I was leading half of it."

Button said he felt confident he would not be penalised for his part in either of his accidents.

"I'm not concerned at all because I don't feel I have done anything wrong, but you never know what the outcome will be," he said.

"It felt like I spent more time in the pits than on track. The guys did a great job of calling the strategy. At some points, we definitely lucked out with strategy.

"We called it very well going to slicks and the car was working really well in these tricky conditions. I enjoyed it very much coming through the field, fighting your way through the field is almost as good as winning the race.

"To be on the podium is a pretty exceptional result and to fight my way through from last position... It is definitely my best race."

Results from the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix on Sunday:

1 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren-Mercedes 4hrs04mins39.537
2 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull-Renault at +2.709
3 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull-Renault +13.828
4 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes +14.219
5 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus-Renault +20.395
6 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari +33.225
7 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber-Ferrari +33.270
8 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Toro Rosso-Ferrari +35.964
9 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams-Cosworth +45.117
10 Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Toro Rosso-Ferrari +47.056
11 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes +50.454
12 Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
13 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Hispania-Cosworth +1 lap
14 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) Hispania-Cosworth +1 lap
15 Jerome d'Ambrosio (BEL) Virgin-Cosworth +1 lap
16 Timo Glock (GER) Virgin-Cosworth +1 lap
17 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus +1 lap
18 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India-Mercedes +3 laps


Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren-Mercedes: spin 8th lap,
Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus: gearbox 29th lap;
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari: accident 37th lap,
Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India: mechanical problem 50th lap,
Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus-Renault: accident 56th lap,
Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1: mechanical problem 62th lap


  • Vidos007 - 2011-06-13 02:02

    Button deserved the win. Congrats to him

      Whistleblower - 2011-06-13 10:29

      Thinking about it I feel Button was lucky to escape a penalty for taking out Alonso. Personally I thought it was an unavoidable collision and if I put my cynical hat on I would say there was very little difference between Hamilton taking Massa out in Monaco compared to Button taking out Alonso in Canada.

      F|aw|eSs - 2011-06-13 12:05

      please can someone tell me what is DRS in laments terms? thank you

      Jaco - 2011-06-13 13:01

      Button would not have won the race if the safety car had not slowed the leaders on several occasions to allow him to get close. Poor Vettel - every time he pulled out a lead the bloody safety car cancelled it again - but that is racing and Button did well to change his misfortunes into a victory.

      Linus - 2011-06-13 13:26

      DRS is Drag Reduction System; when DRS is on the flaps open on the rear wing and the car is able to achieve a much higher speed which then enables the overtaking abilities that have not been happening for ages.

  • Justme - 2011-06-13 02:27

    This was the best race I've seen for a long time.

  • Whistleblower - 2011-06-13 06:39

    I nearly had to eat humble pie last night, TOP driving Michael Schumacher that was brilliant! Still no podium though … Which means that’s now 26 consecutive races without a podium finish, however, a very impressive drive non the less and now MS is tied with Rosberg on points!! Bravo MS

      Jay - 2011-06-13 07:42

      I'm with you on that one WB, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him showing some of the professionalism and race talent that he used to be able to and that all his minions...I mean fans say he still has, I would have LOVED to see a Vettel vs Schumacher dice for the last few laps, but I cannot say that I was disappointed with seeing Webber and Button, say Michael...who? as the flew past him in those last few laps. Very well done Michael, a well deserved fourth place.

      Jaco - 2011-06-13 13:56

      Jay, you must admit that the Mercedes was extremely slow on the slicks - not so the case with the wets and intermediates - very strange. I'm a big MS fan, but wished that he didn't make a comeback - I did however enjoy last night's race - definitely his best race since his comeback.

      Jay - 2011-06-14 14:13

      Jaco, I agree with you that they were definitely slower on the slicks, I also agree that they were a bit faster on the wets and the inters, I most certainly agree with you that he should never have come out of retirement (I think everyone at Wheels24/F1 know how I feel about that), and I too REALLY enjoyed the race, it really was a cracker... and while I cannot argue that this was MS's best result since coming back, I do sort of believe that it will be the best result he'll achieve in whatever his mission was in coming back. Unfortunately MS has definitely lost that skillful and precise agression that he used to show on track, and whether its age or being out for 3 years, who really knows, but I don't reckon he's got it in him to be a champ again, let alone make regular appearances on the podium. Great race though, and a very deserving result. Well done MS.

  • Marx - 2011-06-13 07:14

    The drive of the day was Schumi, passing is too easy with this new DRS. Very close to the podium, if he got past Vettel on that first lap after the restart, who knows..

      Whistleblower - 2011-06-13 10:35

      The aim of the DRS is to prevent slower cars from holding up quicker ones, making for more exciting racing at the front end of the field … I would say the DRS worked very nicely during the race yesterday.

      Jaco - 2011-06-13 14:01

      Whistleblower - I agree that DRS makes this season more exciting - the negative for me is that you are a sitting duck when a car of similar speed is behind you - so you can't defend yourself with skillfull driving, especially when there is a long straight. We should however not complain too much - the best season for a considerable number of years!

      Johan - 2011-06-13 15:16

      Believe that it was a very good race by the top 4, Vettel caught napping though... :-) But I must say it was the most enjoyable race for a very long time.... Even Massa was fast at the end.. Sad for Shummi though, he did not have the car on slicks, but nice to see him doing so well in the wet.

      Whistleblower - 2011-06-13 15:51

      @Johan The move MS pulled on Massa and Kobayashi was brilliant!

  • gees-hey - 2011-06-13 09:39

    the race was real good, maybe the best ive watch in a while. hamilton & alonso needs to compose themselves. i dont like Button but maybe the other 2 can learn from him. its not all done & dusted, just keep driving to the end. i do however believe Button should have been penalised for Hamilton's accident... FIA = TO MUCH DOUBLE STANDARDS

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