SHANGHAI (AP) — Jenson Button gambled on tire strategy to win the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, beating teammate Lewis Hamilton for a 1-2 finish for McLaren.
Button, the reigning world champion, vaulted to the top of the Formula One standings by employing some cool-headed decision making amid the chaos of changing weather conditions which forced most drivers to pit at least four times. Button, by contrast, made only two stops.
Rain began to fall just before the race started, yet all the cars started on dry-weather tires. A dampening track soon forced a critical decision. Many of the leaders elected to change to wet-weather tires after a couple of laps, while Button, and third-place finisher Nico Rosberg chose to stay out on dry-weather tires.
Drivers who had changed to wet-weather ones soon found the treaded tires were wearing quickly and after three or four more laps, returned to the pits to change back. That allowed Button, Rosberg and Renault's Robert Kubica to dash to the front.
"It was my best race victory," Button said. "This one was pretty special because it was very tough conditions.
"It was a tricky race out there and again we called it right," Button said. "It was not just about being quick, it's about reading the conditions.
"Sometimes you have to take those risks. That is what won us the race — being on the right tire and the right time made all the difference."
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
We're proving that we have a very good car indeed, says Vettel.
Sebastian Vettel claims his third pole position of the year - and Red Bull's fourth in a row in China as the Milton-Keynes-based outfit locks-out the front row of the grid.
Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel produced a 'phenomenal' lap to secure pole for the Chinese Grand Prix today and after struggling in practice he was delighted to get the better of his team-mate, Mark Webber.
Vettel took the top spot in the end by some margin, posting a 1 minute 34.558 second lap, which was 0.248 seconds up on the sister car. It was another great result for the German, who won last time out in Malaysia and who has started from pole in three of the four first races.
Speaking after he paid tribute to his mechanics who had worked flat-out between final practice and qualifying to adjust the set-up on his Renault-powered RB6 to try and make it more to his liking.
"It was tough today. I was not happy yesterday and this morning, as Mark was quite a bit quicker than me," Vettel conceded. "We made some changes to the car in Mark's direction [after FP3], but it was still extremely difficult.
"I was struggling in the first sector, but then I got a purple (fastest) time in sector one on my last lap, so I think we made a good step forward! I found a better line that worked, remembering things from last year.
"I lost my way a little bit in free practice this morning, but I had two very good runs in Q3. I think the first would have already been a good time, but I was too wide in the last corner. The second run was better – it was a fantastic lap.
"We got a fourth consecutive pole position for Red Bull now. We're proving that we have a very good car, no matter what the circuit. I'm very pleased with today. Thanks to the mechanics, as they had zero lunch due to all the changes that were required between free practice and qualifying."
Red Bull Racing team boss, Christian Horner meanwhile was delighted to see his two drivers lock-out the front-row, something they had also managed to do in Australia.
He also took the opportunity on the team radio to send a message to RBR's rivals - who had previously maintained the outfit had some sort of special suspension system - by declaring: "Who needs ride height-control?"
"I have no idea where Sebastian produced that last lap from, it was quite phenomenal," Horner added. "Mark was in great shape throughout qualifying today too and got pipped right at the end there. So, both cars at the front of the grid again for another Red Bull Racing one two. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race."
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Sebastian Vettel heads home team-mate Mark Webber for a Red Bull 1-2 with Nico Rosberg third for Mercedes.
Sebastian Vettel took victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of team-mate Mark Webber as Red Bull Racing finally realised the potential it had shown in the opening two races.
Vettel took the lead from team-mate Mark Webber at the start and then headed the pack pretty much throughout. It was a welcome - and some might say crucial - result for the Milton Keynes-based outfit after reliability woes cost the team victories in Bahrain and Australia.
Nico Rosberg took the final spot on the podium for Mercedes followed by Robert Kubica's Renault and Adrian Sutil, who held off Lewis Hamilton, to take sixth for Force India.
Felipe Massa was seventh for Ferrari with Jenson Button eighth and Jaime Alguersuari ninth in his Toro Rosso. Nico Hulkenberg took the final point in tenth.
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 56 laps 1hr 33m 48.412s
2. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +04.8s
3. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +13.5s
4. Robert Kubica Poland Renault-Renault +18.5s
5. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes +21.0s
6. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes +23.4s
7. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari +27.0s
8. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +37.9s
9. Jaime Alguersuari Spain Toro Rosso-Ferrari +70.6s
10. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Williams-Cosworth +73.3s
11. Sebastien Buemi Switzerland Toro Rosso-Ferrari +78.9s
12. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Williams-Cosworth +1 lap
13. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +2 laps
14. Lucas di Grassi Brazil Virgin-Cosworth +3 laps
15. Karun Chandhok India HRT-Cosworth +3 laps
16. Bruno Senna Brazil HRT-Cosworth +4 laps
17. Jarno Trulli Italy Lotus-Cosworth +5 laps
Rtd. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Lotus-Cosworth 46 laps completed
Rtd. Vitaly Petrov Russia Renault-Renault 32 laps completed
Rtd. Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Force India-Mercedes 12 laps completed
Rtd. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 9 laps completed (mechanical)
Rtd. Kamui Kobayashi Japan BMW Sauber-Ferrari 8 laps completed (mechanical)
Rtd. Timo Glock Germany Virgin-Cosworth 2 laps completed (accident)
Dns. Pedro de la Rosa Spain BMW Sauber-Ferrari 0 laps completed (engine)