F1 »

Button's win can't prevent Vettel clinching title

In winning the Japanese GP, Jenson Button did all he could to take the world championship on another week - but Sebastian Vettel kept calm in third to clinch his second title.
Jenson Button overcame a choppy start to his Japanese Grand Prix and withstood late pressure from a hard-charging Fernando Alonso to win at Suzuka - but it still wasn't enough to hold off the inevitable second world championship title from going to Sebastian Vettel.

Button and Vettel nearly ended their races at the green flag when Sebastian Vettel responded to a flying start from Button by veering across Button's path, forcing the McLaren to put a tyre on the grass going down into turn 1. Button had to back off and lost second place to Lewis Hamilton who was sweeping around the outside line from third on the grid.

That seemed to put Button well and truly on the backfoot, but if there's any driver who is able to take a calm long-term view of proceedings it's Jenson, and he duly collected himself and waited for the race to unfold. He was soon rewarded by finding Hamilton slowing up in front of him on lap 9, as Lewis reported a slow puncture and had to come in for an even earlier pit stop than McLaren had been intending.

Pit stops soon followed for the rest of the leaders as well. Vettel had already stretched out a big lead by this point, so much so that even an unusually casual stop from Red Bull did no harm to Vettel's comfortable cushion at the front. Jenson Button came in next with Fernando Alonso right behind, and McLaren had no such luxury of an easy stop if they wanted to prevent Ferrari jumping Button for position.

Felipa Massa was the last of the leaders to pit on lap 12, handing back to the lead to Vettel. Button and Alonso followed in second and third, with Massa dropping back into line behind Hamilton but still ahead of Mark Webber who was struggling to do anything more than hold position in sixth place.

All the teams were worried with the tyre wear at this point, with Michael Schumacher informed by the Mercedes pit crew that his front tyres had been very badly blistered in that first run. Lewis Hamilton soon wore out his new set of tyres and after recovering from his early slow puncture with a series of overtaking moves he soon started to struggle to maintain his fifth position from Massa was who was bearing down on his old enemy.

But the surprise loser in the game of rubber roulette turned out to be the race leader, Sebastian Vettel, who never looked comfortable on this set of tyres and who saw his lead being eaten into at an alarming rate by Button. Vettel ended up pitting again on lap 20, with Mark Webber coming in behind him just seconds later in a risky but well-executed double-stop strategy for the Red Bull pit crew.

Button responded next time around - and exited pit lane right ahead of Vettel, who had lost out badly to the Briton in the sequence of in- and out-laps. Vettel looked like he almost had the momentum to sweep round Button through the first turn, but Button held on and claimed the position. Almost at once Button started to pull out a lead over Vettel, who certainly wasn't letting him go without a fight as he locked up his brakes in pursuit before having to concede that the lead was gone. Button was soon falling over back markers such as Daniel Ricciardo which allowed Vettel to close back up again, but Button coped with the crisis and soon started to pull away again.

Button's team mate Lewis Hamilton was having a less successful time of things, coming under increasing pressure from Massa to the point where the two clashed after running nearly side-by-side into the chicane on lap 22. Hamilton escaped the contact without any visible damage, but Massa's front wing got relieved of an end plate that flew off.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.10.2011- Saturday Practice, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
12.10.2014- Fabiana Flosi (BRA)
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
12.10.2014- Max Chilton (GBR), Marussia F1 Team MR03 and all the Marussia F1 Team show a panel for Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
12.10.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


scampsuzi - Unregistered

October 09, 2011 12:20 PM

Button cannot have won that race, everyone that knows anything about F1 knows he cannot win races in the dry! Put simply he is the master of tyre conservation which is very much a part of being a class act in F1, so to all you knockers, credit where credit is due, Button is really very good indeed and certainly the equal of his team mate.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.