Button leads McLaren to one-two in wet race

2010 Chinese Grand Prix review

Button celebrates his win with the McLaren team

Button celebrates his win with the McLaren team

Jenson Button scored his second win of 2010 in a rain-hit Chinese Grand Prix.

Button hit the front after wisely choosing not to make an early switch to intermediate tyres – a decision which cost several of his rivals dearly.

Despite making an early change to intermediate tyres Lewis Hamilton fought back to finish second and was closing in on Button at the chequered flag.

Nico Rosberg finished third having led in the early stages before being passed by Button. Hamilton later passed him via the pits, but Fernando Alonso was unable to overhaul the Mercedes driver in the closing stages and finished fourth.

Alonso might have finished higher however, had he not been handed a drive-through penalty for jumping the start. His early getaway initially put him in the lead ahead of the Red Bulls.

Robert Kubica took fifth place for Renault ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel was passed by Mark Webber at the start and both lost ground by making the early change to intermediate tyres which, like several other drivers, they then had to correct with another stop to change back to slicks.

He made quick progress through the field aided, like the other drivers who pitted early, by a safety car period to recover debris from Jaime Alguersuari’s car.

Vettel was briefly delayed by Adrian Sutil which allowed the recovering Hamilton past. Hamilton and Vettel had already had an encounter in the pit lane.

Vitaly Petrov scored his first F1 points with seventh despite a spin. The Renault driver took care of his tyres at the end of the race and passed Michael Schumacher in the closing stages, plus Webber who was struggling for grip at the end.

Felipe Massa also got past Schumacher to finish ninth, while the Mercedes driver ended the race in tenth.

Sutil might have got by Schumacher for the final point had the race gone on for another lap, but the Force India driver ended the day without a point.

Rubens Barrichello took 12th ahead of Alguersuari, who lost several places towards the end of the race.

Heikki Kovalainen became the first driver for a new team to beat a driver from the established teams. It helped that he made only two pits stops while Nico H???lkenberg came in six times.

Behind them were the two HRTs of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok, the latter suffering a spin in the wet conditions.

It was another double-DNF for Virgin and Sauber. The latter lost Kamui Kobayashi in a first-lap collision which, for the second time this year, also involved Sebastien Buemi. The pair were hit by Vitantonio Liuzzi’s out-of-control Force India.

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119 comments on Button leads McLaren to one-two in wet race

  1. Vishy said on 18th April 2010, 11:41

    McLaren is looking like the team in 2007, really good! When the car is very good you notice the teammates’s times get very close. You notice this in McLaren and Red Bull.

    I think the championship will be a fight between McLarens Red bulls and Alonso.

  2. MetalHead said on 18th April 2010, 11:46

    “The 2008 world champion made four pit stops throughout the grand prix in comparison Button’s two, but still managed to fight back and pick up a vital 18 points.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8627907.stm

    DID EVERYONE FORGET ALONSO JUMPED THE START?

    AND OVERTOOK MASSA RIGHT BEFORE THE START OF THE PIT LANE??

    • steph said on 18th April 2010, 11:48

      “BEFORE THE START OF THE PIT LANE” before the start- not in the pit lane. Nothing wrong with it in my view. He was …not so clever at the start :P

    • Sorry Metalhead – but who cares that Alonso *supposedly* jumped the start? He got pinged for it, so move on.

      And the move at pitlane was after Hamilton had done the exact same thing to Vettel. So if Hamilton gets away with it, then so too should Alonso.

    • David A said on 18th April 2010, 19:07

      1. He got penalised appropriately
      2. The pass was legit

      /discussion

  3. James_mc said on 18th April 2010, 11:52

    I doubt Alonso jumped the start deliberately as he had nothing to gain as you can’t get away with it.

    Did anyone else see what happened to Algusuari just after the second round of pit stops (early pitters returning to slicks), because he was running high, in the top 6 somewhere and then disappeared off the timing sheets for about two laps and turned up waay down in about 14th

  4. Toncho said on 18th April 2010, 11:53

    The second SC was a joke. Totally ruinned KUB’s race and saved ALO’s.
    Brilliant drives by BUT and ROS. I also liked PET today.
    At this rate, we would need a marshal’s team to deal with HAM’s issues. He should calm down.
    BTW another ferrari engine broken today (PDLR), MCL might win this one based on realibility.

  5. Kosmit said on 18th April 2010, 11:56

    This was a great race, but two things spoiled the fun for me. First, the second safety car period. I’m not to judge if it was pointless or not (maybe the debris in the pitlane required cleaning or something), but it definately lasted fot too long. I mean, come on, 4 laps to remove the scraps of a single front wing?
    The second thing was Hamilton’s driving. He doesn’t deserve today’s podium because of his behaviour on track. Don’t get me wrong, he is a brilliant racing driver, but he also goes overboard more often than not. I counted 4(!) situations in which he potentially deserved a penalty, yet he didn’t get a single one. Let’s see:
    1)He crossed the pitlane entrance line on one of his first pitstops
    2)He crossed the pitlane entrance line again while racing Vettel (incidentally Alonso did the same thing with Massa)
    3)The whole racing thing with Vettel on the pitlane
    4)He pushed Webber off track (although this is debatable)
    I do understand drivers not getting a penalty because the show could be ruined, but come on, this is just ridiculous…

    • disjunto said on 18th April 2010, 12:03

      1/2) I thought there was only an issue crossing the line on the exit?
      3) We’ll see what happens
      4) He was pushed into Webber by Vettel, not much he could do there

      Maybe 1 potential penalty that he may still be penalised for. I’m not even a fan of Hamilton and I’m defending him today :|

    • MetalHead said on 18th April 2010, 12:16

      1) and 2) is not illegal

      3) they got the wrists slapped yet you can’t be racing at a limited speed…

      4) he had nowhere else to go (Vettel was on the right and there were cars behind him)

      every time Webber is in a situation, you can’t blame those around him

      • 1) They all did, I watched the race again later, I thought it was just one or two drivers but they all did it.

        2) its not illegal

        3) agree with Metalhead

        4) again, agree with Metalhead

  6. Scribe said on 18th April 2010, 12:13

    What a race!
    Spent a good portion of it catching less of the action than hoped, my internet went insane just as it was my turn to mod on the live blog, completley panicked, explorer went into full on not responding mode after I got my connection back and it took ages to calm down, very sorry guys, really hope i’ll be able to mod again after that fiasco, an I apologise again for the mess my first attempt at modding was.

    Anyway, on a much happier note, Mclaren 1-2. Woooooooooooooooo, yeah! an a good one two at that, I think you’d have to say McLaren have the best wet weather car at the moment, thank god McLaren finally have a proper driving pair, the different racing styles are working out a treat. We might be in with a chance at the constructors this year as well, an I hope we can improve for Spain.

    That said, while Lewis is probably still the faster on outright pace, Button is proving he’s a more complete racer, better able to make tyre calls in wet conditions an know when he’ll be able to find grip, Hamilton is probably more talented but Button is using his talent much more effectivley.

    Bad luck Renault, possibly unnessasary saftey car ruined their race but good points for Petrov, passing Webber an Schumacher.

    I hope F1 stays this good all season, an I hope for some decent dry races as well Malaysia wasn’t bad an we’ve got a few awful tacks comming up so for F1 to really prove itself its got to prove it can put on a show in the dry as well as in the wet.

    • steph said on 18th April 2010, 12:38

      “That said, while Lewis is probably still the faster on outright pace, Button is proving he’s a more complete racer, better able to make tyre calls in wet conditions an know when he’ll be able to find grip, Hamilton is probably more talented but Button is using his talent much more effectivley.”
      Put perfectly.

      • Scribe said on 18th April 2010, 12:55

        thanks Steph!

        We have a 1-2 to match you now, our teams are back where they should be, topping the championships.

        Hope for good fights in europe.

        • steph said on 18th April 2010, 13:00

          Hope so. I think both our teams have some way to go mainly with quali to match RBR and Mclaren seem slightly further behind but have taken full advantage of the circumstances they have been presented with which will count for a lot. It’ll be interesting to watch how the development race plays out too.
          I think Mclaren and Ferrari have the strongest line ups and maybe Mclaren have the edge now on that front. I never expected to say that about Button but he’s shown his speed plus (as you said beautifully) that decisiveness and cunning when it comes to strategy with the tyres which is so important now.
          I remember pre-season there was an interview with Fernando and he said that what will be crucial is the ability to be smart but flexible and Button has that in spades.

          • Scribe said on 18th April 2010, 16:03

            The great thing about the McLaren line up at the moment is that Hamilton, partly because he learned from the Alonso fiasco, an partly because he seems to have learnt that talent isn’t everything, seems to have sensed that Button is older an wiser an therfore a huge bank of knowledge, hopefully Hamilton can really learn from him.

            With Ferrari I think Massa has run up against a wall which maybe one or two others could climb, I really do rate the man as a top driver but I don’t think he’s quite fast enough or canny enough to top Alonso. I think it’s possible that between them Smedley an Massa, out thought an politic’d Raikkonen, who was never built for Ferrari, I still think of Raikkonen as a better driver, I don’t think Massa could have won in the F60. But with Alonso, maybe Massa will be faster next year he coped last time but I have the suspicion the F11 will be designed to the Spaniards needs. An Alonso is at the top of his powers, hunger honed from that barren spell at Renault while Massa is probably still working himself in after that acident. However, Massa suprised everyone before an we haven’t been to a few of his favourites yet, I suspect he has some confidence left to regain. If he’d only drive like he does when Alonso’s behind him all the time there wouldn’t be a problem.

      • kbdavies said on 18th April 2010, 21:12

        Agree totally with the way Steph put it; but we all forget that its Lewis 4th year in F1 whilst its Button’s 10th year; so effectively, he should be better at applying his talent due to the virtue of experience.
        In terms of the mistakes he makes, and his driving abilities, Lewis is always compared, and judged using the same criteria to guys much longer in the game than he has been. This is the hallmark of a very good driver, and is surely a testament to his phenomenal abilities.
        Vettel is another driver that this happens to as well.
        If i were the other drivers, with regards to the future, i would be very worried about Lewis and Vettel. They are the ones to watch.

  7. MetalHead said on 18th April 2010, 12:19

    Button is a more complete driver :) Lewis is a just a young racer with lots of potential yet he needs to chillax sometimes and not let the nerves ruin his races and lose points consequently… Great drive from Renault (Petrov overtook Webber and Schuma!) And Alonso needs to rethink his strategy – he may not be as much friends with Massa after what he did to him today… Wouldn’t be surprised if there are more tensions going on between the two (never trusted that Spaniard, no matter how much I tried)

    • kbdavies said on 18th April 2010, 21:05

      Agree totally with the way Steph put it; but we all forget that its Lewis 4th year in F1 whilst its Button’s 10th year; so effectively, he should be better at applying his talent due to the virtue of experience.
      It is a testament to Lewis’s pehnomenal talent that he is always compared (using the same criteria)to guys much longer in the game than he has been.Same with Vettel. These two are the main future of F1.

  8. I will especially remember performance of 3 drivers in this GP:

    – Nico Rosberg – he is now the real star in Mercedes team. His performance and quality of driving is just admirable.

    – Michael Schumacher – a drama of a hardly beaten star. He was loudly asking for rain for this race, expressing hopes to gain some places, but when his wish came true the former king of rain failed miserably. After a good start his pit stop decisions gave him a mixed results at best, and he didn’t impress at all in wet conditions. It was very symbolic that he was passed by rookie Vitaly Petrov driving potentially slower Renault.

    – Vitaly Petrov, he accomplished just his first full race in F1, but what a style. For me he was a king of rain today. Drinign potantially slower renault he was the quickest of all drivers in many the final laps (i was seeing that in live timings), and easily overtook Mark Webber in red bull and former king of rain Michael Schumacher. It was epic.

    • wasiF1 said on 20th April 2010, 7:20

      I wasn’t happy about Schumi’s performance as he was always at the wrong place with the wrong tyre.He still lacks that one second pace on track.

  9. Derek said on 18th April 2010, 12:47

    A great race, well done to Jenson like I said before he knows he’ll not beat Lewis in a strait fight but he is the better strategist.
    Alonso and Hamilton seem to have similar aggressive driving styles; Hamilton being a chip of the old block may explain why they just could not get on in 2007. They are the most entertaining drivers this season.

  10. Baron said on 18th April 2010, 12:54

    Shoulda Coulda Woulda blah blah blah. Lots of experts on here today. Great race from EVERY driver in nightmare conditions. Hamilton is a racer of Schumacher’s stature and he will be champion again. The operative word being “racer”, Button is a poacher, bless him, and will never go hungry.

    Red Bull? Hmmm. I think there’s a lot of political infighting in that team which is a shame for Vettel and Webber. Fantastic to see Rosberg up there – another future champion following in his dads exciting footsteps.

    Definitely a 10 despite the negatives from some of the “experts”.

  11. Paul Jackson said on 18th April 2010, 13:39

    For all that Schumacher hasn’t done (yet), seeing him give all the drivers a lesson in defensive driving was pure class. He’s worth having back so that he can bully them all.

    What a race 10/10, well I am British.

    • Patrickl said on 18th April 2010, 13:42

      I saw him defend only against Hamilton. Later he put in some token effort against Massa too, but that was hardly a lesson. He completely botched that one up.

      Everyone else he just seemed to let steam by.

    • DaveW said on 18th April 2010, 17:34

      I was never a Schumacher fan but now I feel bad for him for the damage he is doing to his legacy, which he has heretofore richly deserved. He was desperately slow, and this defense against Massa, rather, running Massa on the grass to prolong the inevitable, made him only more pitiable.

      How much time does he get? The season is 20 percent run, and it is clear that, among the top teams, or maybe all teams, that he has the weakest relative performance. Seeing what Nico can do, Mercedes made a horrible choice by evicting Barrichello, or not getting Kubica in that car.

      • Alistair said on 18th April 2010, 18:43

        I agree. I’m no Schumi fan, either; in fact, I supported Damon Hill and Senna before him! Nevertheless, I find it a bit sad that Schumi is doing so badly. He was a truly great driver and is a legend. He doesn’t deserve these demeaning results. I also don’t like how many people in the media, and especially Legard (sp?) on the BBC, continue to draw attention to it: it’s unnecessary.

        • HounslowBusGarage said on 18th April 2010, 20:55

          Hmmm. I wonder if his ‘neck problem’ will return soon. Who else would be available for Mercedes?

          • wasiF1 said on 20th April 2010, 7:24

            I don’t think so his ‘neck problem’ will appear soon.He is a fighter & will fight till the very end of the race.Yes his performance is not up to the mark,but hey this is a guy who did no racing for three years.
            I think if Mercedes bring good update in Barcelona then we may see him in a good position.

            One thing he needs to improve is his qualifying,because Overtaking is very hard on a dry track.

  12. wong chin kong said on 18th April 2010, 13:59

    When Button signed up to race with Mclaren, quite a number of writers said Button made the wrong decision because they see Button as no match for Hamilton. Button happened to be lucky with the double diffuser advantage when he was with the Brawns team last year.
    As 2009 champion he did not impress in Bahrain. In Australia, he proved the doom sayers wrong and now again in China-he won two races out of four and now leading the pack. His race strategy is beyond reproach especially in difficult rainy conditions.

    There is nothing to stop Button winning this year WDC back to back barring unforseen unreliability in Mclaren car.

    • Gwenouille said on 18th April 2010, 14:25

      Well, there won’t be rain everytime, nor SC.
      and I am still pretty sure (although I like him and wish him well) he is not really as good a racer as Ham. I mean, to me he is a carbon-copy of Alain Prost. Clever, calm, but not very flamboyant.
      I fell he achieved a lot so far, and while I refuse toinsult him and call him “lucky”, you must admit that everything turned up rather well for him. That will not always be the case.

    • Yp, racing is much more than quick lap times. Button has shown that he possess the ability to not just drive, but plan and use strategy throughout the race.
      He is less trigger happy than Lewis, and knows how to put his tires to a better use.
      In my opinion, if he wanted to he could pace Lewis, but is rather backing off the quick lap times and high speed takeovers, he treats his car, like a jockey treats a Thoroughbred, that is why he succeeds.

      • kbdavies said on 18th April 2010, 21:34

        @ Aleksander – “racing is much more than quick lap times”
        Every time i see this statement,i laugh out loud; because this is exactly what racing is, or should i say was. It was about who could race the car fastest around a lap,for the whole race, whilst keeping it on the road. This was obviously before different tyre compounds, refuelling and other team strategies were introduced into F1; so please let not redefine what racing is.
        Button is making better strategic calls than Lewis at the moment; and so he should, because he has more than double Lewis’s experience. 10 yrs at my last count. Remember, barring his single race win at Honda, its not like he’s been always known as a good “strategist” ala Schumacher, so Kudos to him that he can show this quality at this stage in hs career.
        It is also laughable to say he can “outpace” Lewis. Lewis clearly has more outright speed than Button. Lets give to Ceaser what is Ceaser’s, and to be blind to a drivers talents.
        As i’ve said before, you can learn strategy, but you cant learn outright pace. The team can even make up for a driver’s lack of strategic nous, but not pace.
        Overall,irrespective of wins or championship points, i think most people will agree that Lewis is a better driver (OVERALL being the main word here), and more exciting to watch, and he can only get better.
        He is the Schumacher of his era. This is not a slight on Button or disrespect to Micheal.

  13. Andrew said on 18th April 2010, 14:19

    One for the statisticians, when did we last (if ever) see three teams score 1-2 victories in a season?

  14. Gwenouille said on 18th April 2010, 14:38

    Does anyone know of a place on the net where I could wacth the Race again ? I missed the 2nd half…

  15. Calum said on 18th April 2010, 16:19

    Seems I’m regularly changing my laptop desktop background to pics of Button celebrating victories these days!

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