Jenson Button, Brawn, Istanbul, 2009

Vettel’s mistake lets Button in for another win

2009 Turkish Grand Prix reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Vettel leads Button at the start - it didn't last long
Vettel leads Button at the start - it didn't last long

Jenson Button added Istanbul Park to the growing roster of circuits he has conquered this year.

Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel could offer no more than token resistance to the Brawn steamroller, and he also lost out to team mate Mark Webber.

It all goes wrong for Vettel

As was widely expected, Vettel held onto his lead at the first corner with little difficulty. But it only lasted as far as turn nine – where the Red Bull driver slewed off the track, letting Button past.

Making matters worse, Red Bull compounded Vettel’s mistake by failing to deviate from his high-risk three-stop strategy. That allowed his team mate Mark Webber into third.

Vettel’s drama was the highlight of a hectic first lap which packed in more action than the rest of the race combined.

Barrichello loses out at start

Rubens Barrichello bogged down badly, slumping to 13th on the first lap. Jarno Trulli scorched by into third place, but lost that to Webber after running wide at turn seven.

Behind them was Felipe Massa, who had forced Kimi Raikkonen to swerve out of his path on the run to the first corner.

Raikkonen briefly held seventh behind Nico Rosberg, before Fernando Alonso squeezed past the Ferrari. Raikkonen clipped the Renault, damaging the F60’s front wing.

Barrichello now tried to make amends for his poor start by getting stuck into Kovalainen’s McLaren. But he discovered the frustration of battling a car equipped with KERS – whenever he got close enough to pass, Kovalainen jabbed his power boost button and quickly pulled away.

Barrichello was also hamstrung by the lack of a sixth gear – a legacy of his start line drama. Frustration eventually got the better of him and Barrichello launched his car into the side of the McLaren at turn nine. Kovalainen escaped unscathed – Barrichello, spun, lost more time and resumed 17th behind the other McLaren of Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton’s McLaren had 31kg more fuel on board than Kovalainen’s and Barrichello was able to make it past on lap eight. One lap later he took Nelson Piquet Jnr. But his next passing attempt – on Adrian Sutil at the final turn – went all wrong, and Barrichello had to limp back to the pits for a new front wing.

While Barrichello supplied the entertainment very little else was happening. Button had a 4.6s lead over Vettel by lap 11, who in turn was 4.9 ahead of Webber.

Button keeps Vettel at bay

Alonso was the first to pit for a scheduled stop on lap 13, having been the only driver to use the unfavourable soft tyre for the first stint. Two laps later Vettel was for a short stop as he stuck with the three-stop plan, mirroring Lewis Hamilton’s efforts at the same track last year.

But while Hamilton had been able to pass then-leader Felipe Massa on the track, Vettel could not do the same to Button. Whether it’s a trait of the RB5 in turbulent air, or just in Vettel’s nature, he hasn’t been able to pull off passes when he’s needed to this year.

Button never looked like cracking under the pressure, except for a brief moment when he ran wide at the final corner. The pair flashed across the line separated by 0.2s. But even then Vettel stayed his hand, not even so much as feigning an attempt at passing the leader, who would surely have been at pains to avoid a collision had Vettel risked a move.

That not only decided the contest for the lead, but also second place. Unable to clear Button, Vettel had no chance to extend his lead over Webber, and after the final round of stops found himself behind his team mate.

Despite rapidly catching Webber, Vettel was soon instructed by his team not to overtake. Whether he would have been able to is another matter, of course.

First points for Kubica

Trulli lost fourth place to Rosberg at the first round of pit stops – but re-passed the Williams at the second round. Felipe Massa’s run of consecutive Istanbul victories came an end, the Brazilian finishing sixth.

This time a year ago Robert Kubica had just won his first Grand Prix and taken the lead in the drivers’ championship. At Istanbul he finally broke his points duck for 2009, finishing seventh.

Timo Glock rounded off the points finishers having been soundly beaten by Trulli who, at one point, yielded position to his team mate as they ran conflicting strategies.

Raikkonen was ninth after his troubles and Alonso’s gamble of a short first stint on the soft tyre yielded no rewards.

Pit stop ruins Nakajima’s race

Nick Heidfeld was 11th ahead of Kazuki Nakajima, whohad been on course for seventh place before a problem changing the front-left wheel at his final pit stop.

The highest-placed McLaren was Hamilton in 13th, just barely finishing on the lead lap, able to watch the victorious Button crossing the finish line in his mirrors. Hamilton had successfully completed a 26-lap second stint on the soft tyres which allowed him to pass his two-stopping team mate.

Kovalainen was 14th, leading in Sebastien Buemi, Nelson Piquet Jnr, Adrian Sutil and Sebastien Bourdais.

Giancarlo Fisichella at least made it around the first corner without hitting anyone – but he scarcely made it any further, his Force India failing soon afterwards.

Barrichello’s car packed in ten laps from home, the first time a Brawn has failed to go the distant. Afterwards the unhappy Brazilian compared his start-line problems to those he had suffered in Australia, and voiced concerns that such problems don’t seem to happen on the other side of the garage.

Such problems are exactly what he and Vettel need if they are to make any impression on Button’s runaway title lead. Barrichello now trails him by 26 points, and Button will be favourite to win again on home ground in two weeks’ time.

Driver of the day

Who else to pick for driver of the day other than Jenson Button? He pounced on Vettel’s mistake, he didn’t flinch under pressure, and he was relentlessly fast.

Here’s your picks for driver of the day via Twitter:

MarkF1 – My driver of the day is Button again for keeping Vettel behind him when he needed to.
Gazza999RT – Hamilton,best impression of a mobile Chicane seen in years
picknicking – I have to say Nico Rosberg and Jarno trulli!
alboreto – Honourable mention to Piquet for nice driving!
alboreto – has to be Button really doesn’t it. Superb.
KarolMcD – Button, total control.
hannaherika – driver of the day for me would be vettel #F1
f2point4 – You don’t really want to ask me that. ;-) I’m sure Felipe drove as well as he did the years before. It’s the car. :-(
MartinB1884 – JB for me. Composure personified but webber and trulli get honourable mentions.
garethdjones – I think you have to say Jenson Button, but Mark Webber drove a superb race to finish 2nd
Tim_Meakins – Webber close 2nd, but have to say Jenson Button!
recinthecity – Jenson Button!
kayels – Jenson Button :-) and Webber
cardiffblogger – Nobody really stood out for me. Piquet wins the slalom award though with those crazy maneuvers every time camera cut to him
PaulNUK – Button by a mile

Who is your pick for driver of the day? Leave a comment below.

74 comments on “Vettel’s mistake lets Button in for another win”

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  1. I’m getting more bored of Rubens than the racing.

    He stalled it at the start and runied his gearbox.. end of. It doesn’t “happen on the other side of the garage” because Button doesn’t let it.

    Why can’t he just realise he’s too old for F1 these days and bow out gracefully, instead of driving into people (just like Melbourne again) and making a fool of himself.

    1. I guess you are not paying attention to reality. Is not uncommon for one driver to get “old parts” that are more prone to break. I do recall Alonso complaining about the same. You would not say Alonso was too old to drive F1 would you?

  2. racingtier
    8th June 2009, 1:45

    I dont like the headline. Reads like Vettels error was the reason for Buttons win. Button drove with his Brawn GP on his own league. Flawless and classy. Vettel never has had a chance. As the other readeers mentioned the error was inconsequential.

    1. well one thing with Button winning so many at the start of the season…Bernies winner takes all concept may now be hidden away and never seen again..

      All the fears of what… if a driver wraps up winner takes all system early then what is the point of the rest of the season.

      Well done to Button nice win, Vettel should have turned down his revs more at the end after he exited pits behind his team mate as he is running out of his motor stocks.
      He also should have been more aggressive behind Button…I am sure Button would have been more cautious going into T1 after 1st round of pitstops when vettel caught him had Vettel had a big lunge at him. Might have made that bit of time to stay ahead of MW or even pulled away from Button??…we will never know.

      Well done to webber also, true rock this year.

      Brawn seem to have taken an extra step in performance and RedBull have also pulled away from the becomes interesting to see if RB can make a gain and either draw along side again or even jump a little bit further.

      1. well one thing with Button winning so many at the start of the season…Bernies winner takes all concept may now be hidden away and never seen again..

        Yeah, I can see I am going to have to eat my hat, as I was giving quite a few posters on this forum a hard time about them using, as an argument, the unlikely scenario of somebody winning all the first races.

        The proof is in the pudding so to speak :-)

  3. i think a test weekend should be set up to allow teams to correct there problems for the sake of the spectator .
    the race had its moments just not 58 laps worth .

  4. Ok, Ok, Thanks to Mosleys’ perpetual rule changes we are now back to Schumacher days when winning was the preserve of one and only Schumacher(now Burton). F1 needs stable rules, the only change needed in F1 is for Mosley and co. be shown the door.

    1. You would get stable rules under a low budget cap. Is that what you are rooting for then?

      It’s the big budgets that makes the cars go so much faster every year and then necessitate new rules to slow them down again.

  5. From 1994 i missed only two races but this is by far the most boring season so far. I think that there will be no more f1 this year except if button falls out in Q1 or mabe Q2

  6. webber and button for driver’s of the day. no mistakes by either driver.

  7. Jenson was great and he diserves all he has achieved. I was gutted for Rubens and Kazuki. Ross is a magician. I was surprised at Adrian as he seemed to be doing so well but then just disappeared to the back of the pack. I was confused by the STR’s performance as they have been fairing much better in general of late, and I hope it is a temporary glitch. Other than being chuffed for Webber and pained for Vettel, the Williams of Nico was great to see up in the points and I hope this is the boost they need. The Toyota’s, BMW’s, McLarens and Ferrari still have much work to do, and watching events unfold should prove interesting. It’s great to see the grid turned on its head…

  8. awfully boring to watch. Even as a schumacher fan, i got bored of watching him win race in race out without any challenge in the 2003-2004 seasons. what more now when i’m not a button fan. i think button is not that great a driver, he is just a disciplined driver, and can work well under pressure. If even rubens the old man can take 3 2nds out of 7 races, it is clear that it is the car doing the winning and not button. I would picture anyone winning races like that with that car. F1 should have a more consistent set of rules, otherwise it would just be like playing a guessing game. Whoever guesses correctly wins all the races. And really, in cases like that you only need 1 race and not 1 season. And please, get those in season testing back on for better improvements on car performances. At the rate this is going, F1 is becoming painful to watch. And no offence to Britons, but i’m getting really tired of listening to the British National Anthem week in week out. Can we hear another country?? Can be any country!!

    1. Even as a schumacher fan, i got bored of watching him win race in race out without any challenge in the 2003-2004 seasons

      I’m sure you meant 2002 not 2003 since 2003 had 8 winners, even more than 2008.

    2. Better than sitting through two national anthems week in week out…

      I agree there should be testing, maybe limited to a handful of events during the season, all the teams present, and spectator access to paddock and pit lane (during breaks). Maybe a race for all the drivers, not necessarily in F1 cars.

  9. For those of you miserable about Jenson’s dominance, remember how Alonso won 6 races in the first half of 2006, then just 1 race in the second half of the season.

    Alonso had a 25 point lead after 6 wins but the title still went to the final round of the season.

    1. That was because Renault’s mass dampers were banned midway through the season.

      1. Yes, traditionally something illegal suddenly turns up on a dominant car ;)
        Maybe not this year, though, as Max may hope he can persuade Brawn away from FOTA

    2. There was testing back then.
      Without testing, this championship is over.

      1. plus there was tyre war.

    3. So much for positivity, eh? :(

  10. Yes, sorry it was a typo error. i meant 2002 n 2004.

    Thanks for pointing that out David A.

  11. MrRossBrawn
    8th June 2009, 13:02

    Did anybody else notice from the TV images available, only Button didn’t need to use the right hand side of his cockpit as a head rest through Turn 8 throughout the entire race ?

  12. Driver of the day has to be Button again.

    I understand why some people are saying Button winning all the time is making this season a bit boring, especially after the last few seasons. But personally I think it was worse during the Schumacher/Ferrari era, as they didn’t just dominate one season.

    It seems that Toyota are back on the pace after Monaco and that BMW’s upgrades seem to be working.

    When I saw the fuel loads and saw that Hamilton was on a one stopper I thought there was no way he could manage it with his tyre history at the Turkish Grand Prix, but he seemed to make it work, although he didn’t exactly make up a lot of places.

  13. How can anyone say it was a boring race? It wasn’t as dull as Monaco, there was overtaking all the way around the circuit, the only annoying thing is that there should have been more up front.
    Its strange how the Ferraris rather gave up half way through, and I was surprised the Red Bulls didn’t have enough power to catch Button – apart from the dirty air problem…..

  14. First things first. I’m a diehard Ferrari fan and an Indian. Yet, am enjoying watching a driver (potentially, well you guys are all arguing whether Button’s that damn good) at his peak. Well, no question, Brawn built Button a “monster of a car”, as Jense himself said. However, no one can take anything away from what he’s accomplished. Last year, McLaren were quite dominant, yet Hamilton didn’t win as many races as he should have had. He won the championship with a BIG DOLLOP of luck, at the last corner of the last GP. A year before, he lost the championship which was already his. Yet we had many proclaiming him to be the greatest thing that happened to grand prix racing. Now, here we have someone who won 6 out of 7 races. No doubt you need a good car, but the driver must be able to deliver with it just as well. What i’m trying to say is that Button IS THAT DAMN GOOD, WORLD CHAMPION MATERIAL, that is. He has earned his rank, doing the toil in dog of a car for years. We are part of something truly magnificient. This guy didn’t have a confirmed drive at the beginning of the year. Now here he is, b1tc#$!app1ng everyone on the track. Bow down people, you’re watching a man do what he does best, at his best. RESPECT!!!

    As a postscript, i must mention that i find it incredulously hilarious, that most of you swoon about fellas from the past who dominated in their respective eras. Yet, when you have the opportunity to watch some of the truly greats LIVE at work, you spit venom. I pity you!

    1. nuff said. i agree 100%. you wrote exactly what i think.

      1. As a postscript, i must mention that i find it incredulously hilarious, that most of you swoon about fellas from the past who dominated in their respective eras. Yet, when you have the opportunity to watch some of the truly greats LIVE at work, you spit venom. I pity you!

        That just has to be requoted! Spot on, cheers.

        While I feel the same about Jenson’s performance. I think it worth mentioning Lewis was in his rookie season matching and beating his World Champ team mate etc.

  15. Come to think of it… the broadcast, it doesn’t show much of the leading cars as much as i’d like to see.

  16. THE reason for the Brawn dominance……….the man himself, please step forward Mr Ross Brawn. If he quit now, and went to work for BMW, i bet they would win hands down next year. Driver of the day, er…’s a hard one, who won? oh that will be Jenson, who got fastest lap? oh, Jenson again, and lastly, weights taken into account, who was the fastest qualifier? its that man Jenson again, think he deserves driver of the day. Did anyone else notice how he opened the gap back to Webber, when Vettel pitted from 11 seconds to 18 in a very short space of time, very Schumacher like.

  17. Sri June 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm
    Come to think of it… the broadcast, it doesn’t show much of the leading cars as much as i’d like to see

    there’s not a great deal going on at the front anyway – the only advantage would be if it were n on-board camera…

    I think that overall the race was good, I know that the sport is largely about winning…. okay its all about winning, but still, there is plenty of action and good racing to be seen in the rest of the pack. For instance I would have liked to have seen a lot more of Trulli and Rosberg near the end of the Grand Prix. Also Barrichello and Kovalinen had a great battle near the beginning and it would have been good, if the gearbox didn’t break on his car, to have seen Barrichello battle his way up from the back. In some respects the regulations do help this and I have found this season interesting because of the new regulations. They would have worked much better if Brawn had had the same amount of time as everyone else rather than developing the car for like the whole of last season.

    My driver of the day would probably be Rosberg – I think I read that it was his best result of the season, in a car that frankly isn’t fantastic, which meant he got past the two ferraris and alonso… but we either didn’t see this or it was strategy.

    1. Don’t get me wrong mate. I’m a huge Williams fan, more so for the man who gave the team his name, brought it to life. However, i would want to see the guy who’s doing the winning a tad more than i get to. No disrespect to the other guys, they work equally hard and in some case harder than the leading driver. However, it’s something about the winning car/driver combination, which is superlative and you want to want watch it, to absorb details. YES, i want more on-board action as well…

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