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Tuesday, 23 August, 2011, 3:20 ( 1:20 GMT )
Formula 1: Jenson Button Wins in Hungary in 200th Race of Career
31/07/2011 16:58:00
Jenson Button kisses his trophy as he celebrates winning the Hungarian Grand Prix

British Formula 1 racing driver Jenson Button won a thrilling 25th Hungarian Grand Prix for McLaren on Sunday in wet/dry conditions after a strategic error cost team-mate Lewis Hamilton a very good shot at victory. His victory at the Hungroring, marked both the fifth anniversary of his first Formula One win in Hungary in 2006 and the occasion of his 200th grand prix.

It was a difficult race in changeable conditions in which the lead changed numerous times. It was also marked by another drive-through penalty for his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, while the world champion Sebastian Vettel maintained his lead in the drivers' standings with second place. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took third.

Button eventually led Sebastian Vettel over the line by 3.5s, who in turn had a lead of 16.2s over Fernando Alonso in third. But those gaps don't do justice to how close this race was, with Hamilton, who finished fourth, looking nailed on for victory until the third round of pit stops when he took on supersoft tyres instead of softs.

The race began in wet conditions after drizzle and then persistent rain just before the start, with teams opting for the inter, wet-weather tyres. Vettel made the first corner safely but was harried furiously for several laps by Hamilton, who eventually took the lead on lap five after the world champion went slightly wide on turn two.

Hamilton drove flawlessly from the front as Button tucked in behind Vettel in third and the race settled down as a dry line appeared and strategy between the teams remained similar, sticking to the quicker, option tyre.

The three front-runners traded fastest laps without changing positions but in the final third of the race it became clear that different strategies were emerging. Hamilton and Alonso opted for an aggressive strategy to keep running the option tyre, while Button, Vettel and Webber looked to use the harder prime tyre to take them to the end of the race.

Rain had returned at parts of the circuit when Hamilton spun taking a slippery kerb at the chicane. He gunned his car and pirouetted it to right the direction but in so doing forced Paul di Resta's Force India wide on to the grass.

The incident was investigated. The stewards did not look kindly on Hamilton's antics and slapped the McLaren driver with a drive-through penalty 10 laps later which put an end to his podium chances. However, he recovered enough and managed to fight back to take an impressive fourth nonetheless.

It left Button to run to the end on his tyres and manage his lead - his speed sufficient to hold off Vettel and Alonso, which he did with his usual consummate skill in these conditions, just as he had in similar circumstances in 2006.

Mark Webber had a tough race and also made some bad tyre decisions to finish fifth ahead of Felipe Massa's Ferrari in sixth. Di Resta came through to take the best finish of his career in seventh with Sebastien Buemi putting in a fine performance from 23rd on the grid to finish eighth.

Nico Rosberg recovered from a difficult race to finish ninth ahead Jaime Alguersuari in the final points position in tenth.

Vettel increased his championship lead again thanks to the second place, now holding 234 points from 11 of 19 races. His team-mate Webber in second place has 149, Hamilton 146, Alonso 145 and Button 134.




1. Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault )
3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
4. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)
5. Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault )
6. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 7
7. Paul di Resta (Force India-Mercedes)
8. Sebastien Buemi (STR-Ferrari) 69
9. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 69
10. Jaime Alguersuari (STR-Ferrari) 69
11. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber-Ferrari)
12. Vitaly Petrov (Renault )
13. Rubens Barrichello (Williams-Cosworth) 6
14. Adrian Sutil (Force India-Mercedes)
15. Sergio Perez (Sauber-Ferrari)
16. Pastor Maldonado (Williams-Cosworth)
17. Timo Glock (Virgin-Cosworth)
18. Daniel Ricciardo (HRT-Cosworth)
19. Jerome d'Ambrosio (Virgin-Cosworth)
20. 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT-Cosworth)
Retired
Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus-Renault )
Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)
Nick Heidfeld (Renault )
Jarno Trulli (Lotus-Renault)
 
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