Jenson Button came through to win the Chinese Grand Prix
today and take his second win of the F1 2010 season after another bold call on tyres gave him the edge at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Button eventually came home just 1.5 seconds ahead of his McLaren
team-mate, Lewis Hamilton
after a dramatic race, with the weather spicing up proceedings just like it had done in Australia - and to a lesser extent in Malaysia two weeks ago, when of course qualifying was disrupted by precipitation.
The rain arrived just before the start, but was only heavy enough to make teams think about switching to intermediate tyres.
At the off Fernando Alonso
moved up from third to pass both the Red Bull's and seize the early lead, but only after jumping the start. He was later handed a drive-through by the stewards. Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel
also lost out to Mark Webber
and so found himself in third at the end of the opening lap.
There was drama further down the order however, and Vitantonio Liuzzi
got it wrong at turn 6 spinning out and collecting Sebastien Buemi
and Kamui Kobayashi. All three retired on the spot. That incident brought out the first safety car and a number of runners opted to pit to switch to intermediates, including Alonso and the Red Bulls.
Button, however, was among the few to opt to remain on slicks, along with Nico Rosberg
and the Renault's of Robert Kubica
and Vitaly Petrov.
In the early stages Rosberg led Button by around 2-4 seconds, but after running wide at turn 11 on lap 19, when the rain returned, Nico lost the initiative and JB seized P1.
Further down the order, those that had switched to inters, found that the decision was wrong and were soon back in to change back to slicks. As a result Vettel, Webber and Hamilton and co all found they were along way back, and by the time Button went into the lead were 50 seconds or so adrift.
With a second rain shower hitting the track intermediates were required proper for the first time however, and having built up a good lead, Button had enough of a lead to stop and still re-join at the front.
No sooner had he done so though and the safety car was deployed for a second time after Jaime Alguersuari
lost his front nose, a result of contact with Adrian Sutil
a few laps before.