Tuesday, June 9, 2009

F1: Button Secures Commanding Turkish Victory, Webber Second


BRITISH STAR JENSON BUTTON has continued his march towards a maiden World Championship after securing a comfortable victory at the Turkish Grand Prix.

Button profited from a first lap error from challenger Sebastian Vettel to take command of the race to win a record-equalling sixth Grand Prix from seven starts this season.

The Brawn GP driver came under the pressure from Vettel during the middle stint of the race, when the lightly fuelled German, who was on a three-stop strategy, chased Button down.

But the two-time Grand Prix winner was unable to find a way past the dominant Brit, who masterfully defended his place at the head of the field, scuppering Vettel’s strategy and eventually consigning him to third place.

Australia’s Mark Webber continued his recent run of career-best form, capitalising on a long second stint to jump ahead of his team mate after the final round of stops to finish second, his third podium of the season.

During the closing stages of the race, Vettel closed in on Webber, threatening to turn the final few laps of the event into a thrilling battle for the second step on the podium only for the team to order him to back off and avoid a potential collision.


Vettel was disappointed with his performance, rueing the first lap mishap which may have ultimately cost him a chance of fighting for career win number three as well as the team’s decision not to swap him back to a two-stop strategy after he failed to establish a lead before the first round of stops.

“If you lose the lead already in the first lap it is not so good and you just see that someone has much quicker pace. It is not that nice to see and obviously then we lost because of the strategy the position to Mark, so in the end I was third,” he said.

“Of course, I wasn’t that happy with that and just kept pushing to the end.”

Webber, whose second place finish allows him to close the gap to his team mate to just 1.5 points, said Red Bull had little hope of matching the scorching pace set by Brawn, defying pre-race suggestions the Renault-powered car was better suited the Istanbul circuit.

“We are in position to challenge at most grands prix now and that is very rewarding for the whole team including Renault. Everyone is working incredibly hard. Obviously Brawn have had the jump from the off,” he said.

“There have been a few other venues where we have been a little bit closer here and there. We expected to be closer here but we weren’t and we need to work a lot harder now for Silverstone to try and make a little bit more pressure on them.”