Button makes it three wins from four in Bahrain 26 Apr 2009
Jenson Button made it three wins out of four for Brawn GP in Bahrain on Sunday afternoon, with a finely judged performance that stretched his world championship score to 31 points.
Before the race the Englishman had suggested that Brawns domination was under threat. But when Red Bull dangerman Sebastian Vettel lost out at the start as McLarens Lewis Hamilton burst through to momentarily separate the Toyotas, Button was able to squeeze round the outside of the German in Turn One and was thereafter never threatened by him.
It was just a matter of waiting for the Toyota to make their stops (leader Glock on lap 11, polesitter Trulli on lap 12), and thereafter he only lost the lead after his own first stop on lap 15 (regaining it on lap 22 when Vettel and Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen stopped), and after his second stop on lap 37, when Vettel again moved ahead for three laps.
Far from challenging, the young German had his hands full looking after his tyres in traffic, and as Button sped away the Red Bull driver had to contend with a strong challenge to the end from Trulli. A day that started well for Toyota ultimately yielded a podium finish, but after both cars started from the front row that had to count as a disappointment. Trulli blamed a long middle stint on the prime Bridgestone tyre which let Vettel pass in the final stops.
Hamilton quickly faded after his KERS-assisted start, but nevertheless ran strongly to a good fourth place for the improving McLaren team.
Rubens Barrichello had an up and down afternoon in the second Brawn with three pit stops, and grabbed fifth ahead of Raikkonen, who thus scored Ferraris first points of the season, having led laps 20 and 21 after a long opening stint. The Finn actually fell behind Glock when the German made his second stop, but used his KERS to squirt past into a sixth place that the Toyota driver challenged to the flag. Fernando Alonso completed the points scorers in eighth for Renault, fending off Nico Rosberg after the latters final stop.
Felipe Massa had a terrible afternoon after an extra stop to check damage sustained in first-corner traffic at the start, and could only finish a lapped 14th. Ahead of him were Nelson Piquet who drove a strong race for Renault, Mark Webber who charged from the back of the grid for Red Bull, Heikki Kovalainen who never recovered from a terrible start for McLaren, and Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais.
Behind were Giancarlo Fisichella, who collided with the Ferrari briefly and then held up Button on the 51st lap, his Force India team mate Adrian Sutil, Sebastien Buemi in the second Toro Rosso, and the BMW Saubers of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld which had a simply dreadful time with an initial heavy fuel load. Williams Kazuki Nakajima was the sole retirement, after a clash with Kubica.
Button now has 31 points from Barrichello on 19, Vettel on 18, Trulli on 14.5 and Glock on 12. Brawn have 50 points, to Red Bulls 27.5 and Toyotas 26.5. Ferrari got their points tally off the ground, and have three.