Jenson Button and Vodafone McLaren score maiden victory in Hungary

Budapest / Abu Dhabi / Cairo -

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes continued its winning series, when Jenson Button celebrated his 200th Grand Prix by winning the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix in style, after an incident rich Hungarian race witnessed Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton take turns leading early on before the 2009 champion exploited all contributing factors to win the race.

German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel led the first four laps after successfully utilizing his start from pole position on a track made super-slippery by drizzle, but was helpless to the both persistant and forceful attacks of 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton who pushed ahead on the fifth lap as the German ran wide in Turn Two.
The second Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button jumped Sebastian Vettel when they both switched to slicks on Laps 11 and 12. For the next 29 laps, everything looked like a secure second victory in a row for Lewis Hamilton with his team mate Jenson Button keeping German Red bull driver Sebastian Vettel under control.

Everything went according to plan, but when Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton pitted on Lap 40, he decided to opt for another set of super-soft tires, whereas his team mate Jenson Button, and the Red Bull drivers (Mark Webber on Lap 39, Sebastian Vettel on 41), selected the more durable softs to maximize their chances better of finishing the race without another pit stop, which proved later on to be one of the crucial factors denying Lewis Hamilton the second race win in a row.

Suddenly, it began to rain a little again, and out of the blue Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button was first after Lewis Hamilton half spun in a chicane on the 47th lap and lost what had been a comfortable 5.6s lead. Then the sequence of miss fortune continued, as he spun himself back into second place in full throttle without minding the other Formula 1 cars in the race, thus forcing Paul di Resta to take avoiding action which badly delayed the Scot’s Force India, who was in strong contention for a top-seven finish.

As Jenson Button’s race suddenly came alive, his team mate Lewis Hamilton’s fell to pieces. He regained the lead from Button on Lap 51, then pitted at the end of Lap 52 after he and Button had passed and repassed one in a very clean but breath-taking duel. Now, however, like Australian Red bull driver Mark Webber on Lap 51, McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton opted for intermediate tyres, which proved to be a fatal mistake later on, as it started to dry again. Both had to stop yet again for soft tyres, on lap 54, and Lewis had to serve a drive-through penalty on Lap 56 for the incident with Paul Di Resta.

Jenson Button, meanwhile enjoyed the lead to the fullest, delighted with the call to switch to the soft tires and his determination to resist a pit call to stop for intermediates and commit the race determining mistake his team mate Lewis Hamilton did. As German Red bull driver Sebastian Vettel experienced minor brake problems in the closing stages of the race, Jenson Button was thus able to score a brilliant 11th triumph that was in many ways reminiscent of his first, in similar conditions, here back in 2006.

Scuderia Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso recovered from having to chase the fast-starting Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher at the start, then getting trapped for a while behind Mark Webber’s Red Bull, as a four-stop strategy helped him to finish in third place.

Behind the Spanish Ferrari driver, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton overtook Australian Red bull driver Mark Webber on the 63rd lap, thus desperately trying to make-up something from an ultimately disappointing race, leading the Australian home by just under a second and a half.

Brazilian Scuderia Ferrari Felipe Massa was a lonely sixth after an early spin, where he face-lifted his rear wing while combating 7 times World champion Michael Schumacher , with Paul Di Resta taking an excellent seventh a comfortable distance ahead of the remaining pack of cars battling for eighth.
This eventually fell to Sebastien Buemi, who had started his Toro Rosso from 23rd due to his penalty earned from the German GP, where he forced Nick Heidfeld off the race track. The Swiss Toro Rosso driver also fended off Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg to the finish line, whose promising rocket start at the beginning of the race could not be coined into an impressive race result due to a ill-selected pit-stop strategy.

Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari had been in this scrap too, together with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, and the lapped Force India of Adrian Sutil and Sauber’s Sergio Perez, but half spun trying to pass Kobayashi in Turn One shortly before the Japanese driver stopped for fresh rubber. The Spaniard quickly recovered for 10th place, making it a good day for Franz Tost’s team, with Kobayashi taking 11th ahead of Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, Rubens Barrichello’s Williams, Sutil and Perez, and Williams’ Pastor Maldonado.

Neither Lotus finished, while Nick Heidfeld’s Renault came to a fiery halt just after a pit stop when an exhaust caught fire. The German was unharmed and escaped a minor explosion, which caused a lot of carbonfiber confetti on the race track at the pit lane exit.
Michael Schumacher also failed to finish, spinning on the exit to Turn Two after tagging Scuderia Ferrari driver Felipe Massa as they fought over sixth, due to a gearbox problem.

That left Timo Glock to bring his Virgin home 17th ahead of Daniel Riccardo’s HRT, Jerome D’Ambrosio who was apparently trying to do a doughnut with his Virgin in the pit lane, and Tonio Liuzzi who lost a whole load of time on the opening lap that he could never thereafter make up for HRT.

Sebatian Vettel extends his world championship points lead to 234, while Mark Webber remains second on 149, with Lewis Hamilton third on 146, Fernando Alonso fourth on 145 and Jenson Button closing in again with 134 after not scoring any points in the previous two races. Red Bull’s lock on the constructors’ championship with 383 points is not threatened by chasing Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on 280 and Scuderia Ferrari’s 215.


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