His Brawn team took a one-two finish in the weekend's Spanish GP
Brawn GP’s Jenson Button drove a perfect two-stop race to take his fourth victory in five races in Sunday afternoon’s Spanish Grand Prix, leading home early leader and three-stopping partner Rubens Barrichello by 13 seconds.
It was a resounding success for Brawn, but Barrichello had Mark Webber right on his tail at the finish as the Australian headed a Red Bull 3-4. His team mate Sebastian Vettel had been trapped behind Felipe Massa’s fast-starting Ferrari from the outset, but finally slipped ahead in the closing stages as the Brazilian was ordered to back off to conserve fuel. On the final lap the red car fell victim to Fernando Alonso’s Renault, as poor Massa was obliged to slow down even further.
The result gives Button 41 points to Barrichello’s 27, Vettel’s 23 and Webber’s 15.5. In the constructors’ stakes, Brawn have 68 to Red Bull’s 38.5.
Nick Heidfeld drove a tough and defensive race to net two points for BMW Sauber with seventh place, and Nico Rosberg completed the points scorers with eighth for Williams.
An accident at the first corner influenced the race. Rosberg eased slow-starting Jarno Trulli off in the second, left-handed corner, and as the Italian’s Toyota spun out of the gravel and back on to the track it collected Adrian Sutil, who had just short-cut the corner over on the left-hand side. In the confusion the two Toro Rosso’s collided, resulting in retirement for all four and a five-lap safety car period.
Barrichello resumed the lead he had taken from Button off the grid when the racing restarted on lap six, but later fell behind his team mate as his three-stop strategy proved inferior.
Lewis Hamilton had a frustrating afternoon for McLaren, finishing ninth ahead of Toyota’s Timo Glock, who ran well initially but fell back with an early refuelling stop. BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica led Renault’s Nelson Piquet home for 11th, with Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima and Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella rounding out the finishers.
The other retirements were Kimi Raikkonen, whose Ferrari ground to a halt with suspected electrical problems on lap 18, and fellow Finn Heikki Kovalainen who fell victim to gearbox gremlins on his McLaren.