How Button went from 14th to fourth (British Grand Prix analysis)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Silverstone 2010

It was an exercise in damage limitation for Jenson Button in the British Grand Prix as he rose from 14th on the grid to salvage fourth place – enough for him to hold on to second in the championship.

He managed it by gaining more places than anyone else at the start, delaying his pit stop and profiting from Robert Kubica and Fernando Alonso’s misfortunes.

Examine the pit stop, lap chart and interactive race data from the British Grand Prix below.

Lap 1

Lap 1 position change
Lap 1 position change (click to enlarge)

There’s no mistaking Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa’s disastrous starts on the graph above, both due to punctures caused by contact with other drivers – in Massa’s case, his team mate.

They were two of the six people Jenson Button passed on the first lap. The others were Adrian Sutil and Nico H???lkenberg, who he passed away from the line, and both Saubers.

He passed Pedro de la Rosa as they accelerated out of Beckets, de la Rosa being distracted by Vettel re-joining the track, and then took Kobayahi on the outside of Vale.

Pit stops

Pit stops
Pit stops (click to enlarge)

The pit stops kicked off after Vitantonio Liuzzi passed Jarno Trulli on lap ten. Mercedes were first to react by bringing Michael Schumacher in to ‘cover’ Liuzzi, triggering pit stops from their rivals.

Some drivers delayed their first stops, notably Nico Rosberg and Button. Rosberg set the fastest lap of the race after Robert Kubica had pitted, releasing the Mercedes driver.

Rosberg’s got him ahead of Kubica and Button’s allowed him to pass Rubens Barrichello.

Race progress

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View interactive chart full screen

Tick/untick drivers? names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom

The little-seen battle at the back of the grid was a closely-fought affair between the Lotuses and Virgins. Jarno Trulli beat his team mate home by just 0.251s.

Although the race classification shows Glock was a lap behind them, he had the T127s within sight, but was put an extra lap down by Mark Webber on the final tour.

Lap chart

Lap chart
Lap chart (click to enlarge)

Fernando Alonso briefly passed Vitantonio Liuzzi for 11th and would have needed just one more pass to take a point.

But the pair made contact and Alonso suffered a puncture, forcing him back into the pits for the third time.

Button, however, had to save fuel and was not able to attack Rosberg in the final laps.

2010 British Grand Prix

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