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Canada analysis - Button, against all odds 13 Jun 2011

(L to R): Jessica Michibata (JPN), Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrate.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7 and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02 battle.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari retires form the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C30 runs wide.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 11 June 2011 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW33 retires.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) HRTF1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia Virgin Racing VR-02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) HRTF1 and Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011

Six pit stops, two accidents and a drive-through penalty. Despite all that - and a commanding performance from world champion Sebastian Vettel, who led all bar the final lap for Red Bull - McLaren’s Jenson Button won Sunday’s Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2011. With rain suspending proceedings for over two hours, a total race time of more than four hours and an average winning speed of just 74.864 km/h, it was a somewhat surreal afternoon in Montreal. We take a team-by-team look at how the extraordinary 70 laps unfolded…

McLaren
Jenson Button, P1
Lewis Hamilton, retired lap 8, accident

By the eighth lap McLaren’s race had reached calamitous proportion, with Button inadvertently taking off Hamilton on the pit straight when he didn’t see him in the spray around his mirrors, and an investigation being held into the speed of both cars behind the initial safety car. Button lost ground serving a drive-through, then having to change back from intermediates to wets again, and was only 10th by the time the race was suspended on lap 24. Thereafter a brilliant drive, allied to some superb strategy by McLaren, helped him to recover, but then there was a front wing and left front tyre-damaging brush with Alonso on the 37th lap which dropped him to last place. After that a charging performance enabled him to make maximum advantage of slicks and DRS to pass Webber and Schumacher towards the end and set himself up for the pursuit of Vettel that prompted the German to make a mistake on the final lap. Truly it was a magnificent job by driver and team to pull the fat from the fire.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P2
Mark Webber, P3

Red Bull seemed to have yet another Vettel victory in the bag as their man worked all of the safety car restarts to perfection, spent every lap but the last one in the lead, and seemed set to prevail. But Button’s scintillating pace late in the race surprised them, and Vettel’s minor mistake as he put a wheel in the wet on the last lap cost him the win. Webber lost a lot of ground when Hamilton tapped him into a spin in Turn Two on the first racing lap. He made them all up, and was later the first to switch to slicks in a charging drive hampered by a baulky downshift and intermittent KERS operation. He passed Schumacher for second towards the end but had to give it back after cutting the final chicane, and that helped Button to leapfrog both of them. In the circumstances, third counted as a super result, and helped the team move further ahead in the constructors’ championship.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, P4
Nico Rosberg, P11

Mercedes made a very strong start to run fourth and fifth, but lost out having to switch back to wets from intermediates before the lap 24 suspension. Schumacher nevertheless had the best race of his comeback as he battled as high as second in the later stages until Webber and Button were able to overwhelm him and deprive him of what would have been a deserved podium finish. Rosberg was in the wars, with incidents with Di Resta, Sutil and Maldonado, but it was the one with Kobayashi which damaged his front wing that dropped him out of the points towards the end.

Renault
Vitaly Petrov, P5
Nick Heidfeld, retired lap 56, accident

Petrov drove an unobtrusive but strong race for fifth, but Heidfeld’s chances were damned when he hit the back of Kobayashi as the Sauber driver suddenly slowed exiting Turn Two on lap 56. That damaged the Renault’s front wing, which then folded back under the front wheels, launching the car into spectacular retirement down the next escape road.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, retired lap 37, contact/spin
Felipe Massa, P6

Alonso complained that everything went wrong from the moment he got up and saw it was raining. He tried very hard to unseat Vettel at the first and second starts, but failed. Like Button, he’d switched to intermediates as the track dried initially, only to lose out having to go back to wets. That put him back down the field, and while trying to go round Button in the second chicane on lap 37 the pair made contact and the Spaniard rotated and got stuck on a kerb. Massa looked very strong all through and a likely contender for the podium, possibly even the win, until he came across Karthikeyan going slowly on the dry line on lap 53. The Brazilian half spun when he was obliged to go on to the wet to overtake the HRT as it suddenly speeded up, and the subsequent pit stop for a new nose cost him dear. He was able to recover to sixth, but was very angry with the Indian.

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, P7
Pedro de la Rosa, P12

Kobayashi drove a storming race and was second, one of the few not to have pitted, when it was suspended on lap 24. That gave him a free pit stop effectively, and he stayed in the thick of it, fighting hard against Massa, until the C30 began to lose pace as the track dried. He was lucky to survive the skirmish with Heidfeld, but said he was disappointed not to be able to finish better than seventh after his early run. De la Rosa’s first Grand Prix of the season brought him a reasonable 12th after a delay early on when a touch with Button sent him pitward for a new front wing. That ruined his race, and getting stuck momentarily in first gear further hurt his chances, once rosy, of scoring points.

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari, P8
Sebastien Buemi, P10

Both drivers had adventurous races. Alguersuari started at the back after Toro Rosso modified his car in parc ferme overnight, but fought all the way up to eighth as the team took advantage of every opportunity that came their way. Buemi regretted changing early to slicks and felt he might have done better to wait a little longer. The team’s double scoring finish moved it up to seventh place in the constructors’ championship, ahead of Force India.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, P9
Pastor Maldonado, retired lap 62, spin

Barrichello fought hard all afternoon for ninth and two more points. One of the cars he battled was team mate Maldonado’s, until the Venezuelan pitted after wing-damaging contact with Rosberg. Later he spun out in Turn Two.

HRT
Vitantonio Liuzzi, P13
Narain Karthikeyan, P17

Liuzzi drove a very strong race and was delighted to head the ‘new’ teams home in 13th. Karthikeyan was initially placed 14th but was penalised down to 17th after cutting a chicane as he battled with Glock.

Virgin
Jerome d'Ambrosio, P14
Timo Glock, P15

Virgin looked likely contenders to win the new teams section as they had qualified with a wet set-up, but putting D’Ambrosio on to intermediates while the field was still running behind the safety car at the restart earned the Belgian a drive-through. Glock damaged his front tyres late in the race with a big lock-up, then got pushed off by Karthikeyan in a chicane, which enabled D’Ambrosio to pass him.

Force India
Paul di Resta, P15
Adrian Sutil, retired lap 41, accident

Di Resta ran very strongly early on, but later got a drive-through after contact as he tried to pass Heidfeld in the final chicane, and damaged his front wing as he did on Alguersuari in Monaco. He was chasing Barrichello for the final point when he clipped a wall and punctured a tyre, forcing him to stop on lap 68. Sutil worked his way forwards until an incident with Rosberg behind the safety car earned him a drive-through, and later hit a wall and damaged his left rear suspension.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli, P16
Heikki Kovalainen, retired lap 21, driveshaft

The Lotuses ran well initially, but lost a lot of ground when both pitted at the same time early on when the heavy rain started. That compromised their races, and Trulli’s was further upset when he ran for a long time when conditions were at their worst with glazed front brakes. Later he had to make an extra stop when the front suspension inerter worked loose in the cockpit. Kovalainen retired soon after the restart when a driveshaft broke.

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