Monday, May 11, 2009

F1: Jenson Button Reigns In Spain; Webber Third

Brawn GP’s Jenson Button at Spain.

Brawn GP’s Jenson Button has extended his lead in the driver’s championship to 14 points after profiting from a strategy change to win the Spanish Grand Prix.

Button was jumped at the start by team mate Rubens Barrichello, who immediately created a gap, setting a stunning pace throughout his first stint and leaving the Brit seemingly in a battle for second place.

But a mid-race switch from a three-stop to two-stop strategy paid dividends, allowing Button to significantly reduce the margin and assume the lead once Barrichello pitted for a second time.


After establishing himself at the front of the race Button was never headed, displaying solid speed on the harder tyres to extend the gap to Barrichello and cross the line for his fourth win in five races.

Despite boasting a commanding lead atop the driver’s standings, Button doesn’t believe he will be a runaway winner of the title, citing the form of Red Bull as a future challenge.

“This was an important victory for me, for sure, first victory back in Europe, five races in and a reasonably good lead now,” he said.

“It’s a good feeling but I’m not getting comfortable. Rubens is very quick and he’s proved that this weekend, and also the Red Bulls, when they get it together they’ve got good pace and obviously Mark and Sebastian are doing a great job.”


Australia’s Mark Webber secured his second podium of the season with a third place finish, capitalising on superior strategy and a barnstorming second stint to skip ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and fellow Red Bull star Sebastian Vettel.

Starting fifth on the grid, Webber was unable to make any headway early, finding himself trapped behind the duelling Vettel and Massa in the initial stages of the race before getting caught in traffic after his first pit stop.

That hold-up behind McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and the BMW of Nick Heidfeld cost Webber nine seconds, but the 32 year-old was able to compensate with a massive 31-lap second stint, allowing him to leap into third place.