Pressing the right “Button”

McLaren-Mercedes F1 driver Jenson Button has won Formula One’s chaotic 2010 Chinese Grand Prix with a stellar drive in wild changing conditions. The win is the second of the 2010 season for Button – Australian Grand Prix – and the 9th victory of his F1 career. The achievement also added to Button’s podium total which now stands at 26 in 175 Grand Prix.

For McLaren, it was the team’s second triumph of the 2010 F1 season, and the 166th in the team’s history. It was also the McLaren’s first one-two finish in 2010. It was Formula One’s third one-two finish by three differnt teams in the first four Grand Prix.

Button’s comments over his in-car radio to his McLaren pitwall regarding the wild conditions the drivers faced today, “Yeah what a victory! There really are no words! The tyres are completely gone! Sorry for the scare at the end!”

The talk of back-to-back Formula One titles has now begun for the 2009 World Champion. The Briton now leads the 2010 Formula 1 drivers points standings with 60 points – 10 points ahead of Nico Rosberg.

But it might now have been a win with the controversial debris safety car. Button shook his head regarding the situation saying, “I had me heart in my mouth, we had built up such a large gap, and then everyone caught up which made it really tricky.”

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For Lewis Hamilton it was his 29th podium in F1 career Grand Prix, and the first time that the new McLaren teammates had finished on the podium together in 2010.

“I had quite an eventful race,” said the 2008 F1 World Champion. “The weather was very, very tough and it wasn’t eary making the right call, and I think I chose very late, and clearly it wasn’t the right choice. I fought my way through, and this is a great result for the team.”

At the time of this publication, Hamilton’s position remains very unofficial after an early release by his McLaren team in Pitlane, and then Hamilton nearly lost control and smashed into the side of Sebastian Vettel. Thankfully, Hamilton saved the car, and kept the teams servicing cars on pit road out of harms way.

Hamilton defended the call by his team saying, “They waited a long time, and they released me when they thought it was the right time. I got quite a bit of wheel-spin exiting the box. And I noticed Sebastian (Vettel) was there pushing me a little to the right.”

Mercedes Nico Rosberg took the final step on the podium which could have been his first career Formula One win had the FIA officials not called for a NASCAR-style yellow for ‘debris’ with Rosberg in the lead by over 45 seconds. Over the years, Formula One cars have raced through much worse.

Rosberg and his Mercedes team made the critical decision to stay out in the early changing conditions, “It was so on the edge…If it rained a bit more should I come in, and then it would slow so I’d stay out. It was nice to be leading the race!! I’m very, very happy for the result!”

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso jumped the start, served a drive-through penalty, and pitted 5 times, but in the end he overcame all the adversity to take home a well earned fourth postion.

In the battle of the news teams it was a race for survival, but it was Lotus and Heikki Kovalainen that made the right calls to complete the Chinese Grand Prix in 14th place after starting 21st.

Next up for the Formula One community will be how to get back to Europe with the Iceland volcano keeping aircraft grounded all over Europe. Thankfully the racing gods have alloted an two-weekend break before the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

2010 Chinese GP: Formula One Race Results
Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 56 Winner 5 25
2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +1.5 secs 6 18
3 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 56 +9.4 secs 4 15
4 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 56 +11.8 secs 3 12
5 11 Robert Kubica Renault 56 +22.2 secs 8 10
6 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 56 +33.3 secs 1 8
7 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 56 +47.6 secs 14 6
8 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 56 +52.1 secs 2 4
9 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 56 +57.7 secs 7 2
10 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 56 +61.7 secs 9 1
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 56 +62.8 secs 10
12 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 56 +63.6 secs 11
13 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 56 +71.4 secs 12
14 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 55 1 LAP 21
15 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 55 1 LAP 16
16 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 54 2 LAPS 23
17 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 52 4 LAPS 24
Ret 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 26 +30 Laps 20
Ret 25 Lucas Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 8 + 8 LAPS 22
Ret 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 7 + 9 LAPS 17
Ret 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 0 + 6 LAPS 13
Ret 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 0 + 6 LAPS 15
Ret 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 0 + 6 LAPS 18
Ret 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 0 + 6 LAPS 19

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