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2011 Formula 1 : Button wins wet Hungarian Grand Prix

Written By Nathen Bridgwater on Sunday, July 31, 2011 | 9:49 AM


2011 Hungarian GP winner : Jenson Button - McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26

BUDAPEST : July 31, 2011 - Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes) made the right tyre choices in changeable conditions to lead in the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.


The 2009 world champion won his first grand prix at this track and made his 200th Formula One start in this race. It was McLaren's fourth victory of the year with two wins apiece to Lewis Hamilton and Button.

As the rain came and went, race leader Hamilton was wrong-footed in his tyre choice and lost the lead. A drive-through penalty dropped him down to sixth but he recovered to fourth. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) was third with team mate Mark Webber fifth and Felipe Massa sixth.

Vettel retains the drivers' championship lead with 234 points, followed by team mate Webber on 149, Hamilton on 146 and Alonso one point behind. Red Bull continues to lead the constructors' championship on 383 with McLaren closing up slightly on 280. Ferrari has 215.

At the start, pole man Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) got to the first corner marginally ahead of Hamilton and Button who drew alongside his team mate and challenged for third place at Turns 2 and 3, but Hamilton hung on.

Nico Rosberg and Mercedes team mate Michael Schumacher both got ahead of the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard got alongside Schumacher but couldn't find a way past as both cars fishtailed in the slippery conditions.


The 26th Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring got under way under grey skies and a light drizzle. The air temperature was 17°C and the track just one degree warmer and the drivers had elected to start on intermediate tread patterns.

SĂ©bastien Buemi (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) was carrying a five-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Nick Heidfeld (Renault) in the German Grand Prix last Sunday and started at the back of the field.

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) ran off the track on the parade lap, showing that there was not much grip to be had on cold tyres.

Alonso drove around the outside of Schumacher and got past on the third lap.

Hamilton continued to challenge Vettel at every corner, drawing alongside but not finding enough grip to get past. Alonso got past the second Mercedes of Rosberg but he ran wide of f the track and allowed Rosberg to reclaim fourth place.

On lap four, the relentless pressure from behind by Hamilton paid off, and Vettel made a mistake, running wide and allowing the 2007 world champion past. With a clear track ahead of him, Hamilton quickly opened up a 5-second lead over the next couple of laps.


Button was just 1.7 sec behind Vettel and closing.

Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault) was the first to make a pit stop for fresh tyres, choosing to return to the race on slicks, but he was battling for traction on the cold tyres. Button and di Resta were next to stop. A dry line had started to form on the racing line and Button was very careful to stay on it.

Race leader Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 11, also going out on slicks.

After all the leading drivers had pitted and their tyres were up to temperature, Button closed right up on second-placed Vettel and drove around him between Turns 1 and 2, taking second place and setting up a McLaren 1-2. Further back, Webber got past Alonso into fifth. He ran wide off the track in Turn 1 and very nearly lost the place back to Alonso, but survived.

On lap 16, Hamilton set a new fastest lap of the race - 1'28.893 - as he opened his lead over Button to 6.9 sec, with Vettel just 0.8 sec behind Button and within the DRS activation zone. Fifth-placed Alonso was close behind Webber and set a 1'28.814 before Hamilton replied with a 1'28.264 on lap 18.

As the weather data predicted another shower in ten minutes, Massa was close behind Schumacher and hoping to get past into eighth as Jarno Trulli (Lotus-Renault) retired.

As tyre temperatures increased and the track continued to dry, lap times were improved on every lap.

As the Pirellis tyres wore down rapidly, Hamilton's lap times dropped and Button moved closer.

On lap 24, Heidfeld pitted and as he left his pit, his Renault caught fire. He continued down the pit lane but pulled off before joining the track and fled the burning car. A similar thing happened to him at Barcelona earlier this year.


On lap 26, race leader Hamilton pitted, dropping to third place behind Button and Vettel. Button pitted on the next lap as did Vettel and Hamilton resumed the lead. 18th-placed Schumacher spun his Mercedes but continued, and the retired half a lap later.

Massa got past Kobayashi on lap 34, the Japanese having only made one pit stop so far. Alonso was all over the gearbox of Webber's Red Bull unable even to get past on the straight using DRS and KERS.

Alonso was the first of the front-runners to make a third stop, fitting another set of super-softs. After two laps his tyres came up to temperature and he began to lap three second a lap faster than the leading McLarens, 34 seconds ahead.

Webber responded to the threat and pitted on lap 39 followed on the next lap by race leader Hamilton who went out again on super-softs.

Vettel had not yet pitted and was battling serious understeer before he pitted on lap 41, electing to go for the harder compound.

Button pitted for the harder option tyres on lap 42, following Red Bull's strategy and he set a new fastest lap of 1'24.549 on lap 44.

Race leader Hamilton and third-placed Alonso were on the super-softs and would have to pit one more time. Second-placed Button and Vettel and Webber in fourth and fifth were all on the harder option tyres and would probably not have to pit again with 25 laps remaining.

Button was 5.6 sec behind Hamilton and closing on him by 0.7 sec a lap.

Then, dramatically, it began to rain and Hamilton spun coming out of the chicane and recovered behind Button who took the lead on lap 47. Alonso pitted for harder option tyres, leaving Hamilton the only one out there on super-softs and 21 laps left.

With 20 laps to go, Button was leading from Hamilton +1.4, Vettel +2.8, Webber +14.1, Alonso +27.3 and Rosberg +53.6.

As the tyres started to lose temperature on the wet track, Button's lap times dropped and Hamilton began to try and find a way past, which he did on lap 51.

As conditions worsened and the harder slick tyres began to lose adhesion, cars began running off the track all over the place. Hamilton made another small error and Button got past into the lead once more, only to lose it a couple of corners later as Webber pitted for intermediate treaded tyres.


On lap 52, Hamilton also pitted for inters and rejoined in third place. Webber returned to the pits to get rid of his inters as the stewards ruled that Hamilton had impeded another car with his spin and was given a drive-through penalty. He pitted first to drop off his inters and a lap later served his drive-through penalty, dropping to sixth place, close behind the Massa/Webber scrap for fifth place.

Button was then leading by 5.5 sec from Vettel with Alonso in third, 18.3 sec behind.

Webber came out from behind Massa as they started down the main straight and he got past, bringing Hamilton closer and he got past the Ferrari two corners later.

There were no problems though for Hamilton's McLaren team mate. He set a new fastest lap of 1'23.937 and opened up his lead over Vettel to 6.4 sec on lap 59.

Hamilton set a new fastest lap of 1'23.876 as he closed up on Webber a second ahead.

There was a six-way battle for ninth place and Webber and Hamilton arrived on the traffic to find cars all over the track. Webber got wrong-footed and Hamilton dived past the Australian into fourth place, 32 sec behind Alonso with five laps remaining.

On the last lap, Hamilton closed up on the Di Resta / Buemi / Rosberg battle for seventh place with Webber just 0,8 sec behind him, but Hamilton retained the place as his team mate Button took the chequered flag.


Jenson Button celebrates his 200th Grand Prix

2011 Formula 1 : Hungarian Gran Prix - Race Result

Pos
No
Driver
Team
Laps
Time/Retired
Grid
Pts
1
4
Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
70
Winner
3
25
2
1
Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault
70
+3.5 secs
1
18
3
5
Fernando Alonso Ferrari
70
+19.8 secs
5
15
4
3
Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
70
+48.3 secs
2
12
5
2
Mark Webber RBR-Renault
70
+49.7 secs
6
10
6
6
Felipe Massa Ferrari
70
+83.1 secs
4
8
7
15
Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
69
+1 Lap
11
6
8
18
Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
69
+1 Lap
23
4
9
8
Nico Rosberg Mercedes
69
+1 Lap
7
2
10
19
Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
69
+1 Lap
16
1
11
16
Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari
69
+1 Lap
13
12
10
Vitaly Petrov Renault
69
+1 Lap
12
13
11
Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
68
+2 Laps
15
14
14
Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
68
+2 Laps
8
15
17
Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari
68
+2 Laps
10
16
12
Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth
68
+2 Laps
17
17
24
Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth
66
+4 Laps
20
18
22
Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth
66
+4 Laps
22
19
25
Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth
65
+5 Laps
24
20
23
Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth
65
+5 Laps
21
Ret
20
Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault
55
+15 Laps
18
Ret
7
Michael Schumacher Mercedes
26
+44 Laps
9
Ret
9
Nick Heidfeld Renault
23
+47 Laps
14
Ret
21
Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault
17
+53 Laps
19

2011 Formula 1 : Drivers' Championship Standing

Pos
Driver
Nationality
Team
Points
1
Sebastian Vettel German RBR-Renault
234
2
Mark Webber Australian RBR-Renault
149
3
Lewis Hamilton British McLaren-Mercedes
146
4
Fernando Alonso Spanish Ferrari
145
5
Jenson Button British McLaren-Mercedes
134
6
Felipe Massa Brazilian Ferrari
70
7
Nico Rosberg German Mercedes
48
8
Nick Heidfeld German Renault
34
9
Vitaly Petrov Russian Renault
32
10
Michael Schumacher German Mercedes
32
11
Kamui Kobayashi Japanese Sauber-Ferrari
27
12
Adrian Sutil German Force India-Mercedes
18
13
Sebastien Buemi Swiss STR-Ferrari
12
14
Jaime Alguersuari Spanish STR-Ferrari
10
15
Sergio Perez Mexican Sauber-Ferrari
8
16
Paul di Resta British Force India-Mercedes
8
17
Rubens Barrichello Brazilian Williams-Cosworth
4
18
Pedro de la Rosa Spanish Sauber-Ferrari
0
19
Jarno Trulli Italian Lotus-Renault
0
20
Vitantonio Liuzzi Italian HRT-Cosworth
0
21
Pastor Maldonado Venezuelan Williams-Cosworth
0
22
Jerome d'Ambrosio Belgian Virgin-Cosworth
0
23
Heikki Kovalainen Finnish Lotus-Renault
0
24
Timo Glock German Virgin-Cosworth
0
25
Narain Karthikeyan Indian HRT-Cosworth
0
26
Daniel Ricciardo Australian HRT-Cosworth
0
27
Karun Chandhok Indian Lotus-Renault
0

2011 Formula 1 : Teams' Championship Standing

Pos
Team
Points
1
RBR-Renault
383
2
McLaren-Mercedes
280
3
Ferrari
215
4
Mercedes
80
5
Renault
66
6
Sauber-Ferrari
35
7
Force India-Mercedes
26
8
STR-Ferrari
22
9
Williams-Cosworth
4
10
Lotus-Renault
0
11
HRT-Cosworth
0
12
Virgin-Cosworth
0

[Source : F1-Official, McLAREN, SUPERSPORT.ZA, CRASH.NET]
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