Button halts Red Bull charge with victory in Istanbul 07 Jun 2009
Jenson Button made it six from seven as he ran away and hid from the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in Turkey on Sunday afternoon. It was a perfect riposte for Brawn after their defeat in China at the hands of the Australian/German duo.
Vettel led from pole but as team mate Rubens Barrichello made a terrible start from the clean side of the grid, Button held on to second place. When Vettel ran wide exiting Turn 10 the championship leader pounced mercilessly and thereafter did not relent in his punishment.
Vettel was on a three-stop strategy, and that error was the last thing he wanted. In the end his strategy failed to work for him, and he had to settle for third place behind Webber, who ran a very strong race on a two-stop plan but was almost 20s behind Button until the latter eased off in the closing stages. The Brawn driver eventually finished 6.7s ahead, as Vettel hitched on to Webbers bumper to finish 0.7s adrift.
The race was all about the three of them.
Toyotas Jarno Trulli and Williams Nico Rosberg had a race long battle for fourth which went the Italians way, while Felipe Massas hopes of a fourth straight victory here in the Ferrari were clearly unrealistic and he had to be satisfied with a distant sixth place ahead of the battling BMW Saubers Robert Kubica and Toyotas Timo Glock.
Kimi Raikkonen was one of many stars to have an unrewarding afternoon. He brought his Ferrari home ninth ahead of Fernando Alonsos Renault, the Spaniard separated from McLarens Lewis Hamilton by BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld and Williams Kazuki Nakajima. Hamilton avoided being lapped only because Button backed off.
In a poor day for McLaren Heikki Kovalainen was 14th, a lap down, and led home Toro Rossos Sebastien Buemi, Renaults Nelson Piquet, Force Indias Adrian Sutil and Sebastien Bourdais in the second Toro Rosso.
Barrichello had a miserable afternoon which included a spin after a brush with Kovalainen and nose damage after a collision with Sutil, and retired after 47 laps. Force Indias Giancarlo Fisichella went out earlier than that with mechanical gremlins, after four laps.
Button now has 61 points over Barrichello on 35, Vettel on 29 and Webber on 27.5. Brawn have 96 points to Red Bulls 56.5.