Jenson Button dominated the Turkish Grand Prix
Brawn GP's Jenson Button dominated the Turkish Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park Circuit today, taking the lead on the first lap and driving a superb race to bring his Brawn-Mercedes car home for his sixth victory of the 2009 Formula One season.
Jenson had a good start to maintain second position off the line and took the lead from Sebastian Vettel when the Red Bull driver ran wide at the chicane at turns nine and ten on the first lap. From there, Jenson drove a flawless two-stop race building up a twenty second lead before taking it easy for the final few laps to take the chequered flag ahead of the two Red Bulls.
Team-mate Rubens Barrichello had a more eventful race as he suffered the team's first retirement of the season. A poor start, caused by a problem with the clutch, dropped Rubens into the pack where he had several on-track battles fighting his way through the field. The team retired his car on lap 47 when damage caused to the gearbox at the start began to significantly deteriorate.
Heading into the team's home race, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Brawn GP lead the Constructors' Championship with 96 points whilst Jenson leads the Drivers' Championship on 61 points with Rubens in second place with 35 points.
Weather: Hot and sunny Temperatures Air: 31-32°C Track: 47-50°C
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P1 01:27.579
"I wish I could have had the whole team up there on the podium with me today This was definitely a victory for us all, everyone at the track, back at the factory in Brackley and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth. Today we really showed what this car and engine can do and to beat our closest competitors fair and square is a great feeling. I had a good start from the dirty side of the grid and it was really important to maintain second position into the first corner. I took my opportunity on the first lap when Sebastian went wide and from there we controlled the race. Once we knew that Sebastian was going for a three-stop strategy, we filled the car up at my first stop and I just tried to be as consistent as possible to keep him behind me. It's not nice to see a car catching you so quickly, even when you know he is on low fuel, but once he pitted I was able to push harder. I had a smile on my face for pretty much every lap today, the car felt that good, and I was able to back off in the last stint to conserve the engine. This is the first time that the car has been absolutely perfect for me and it means so much to the team to see just how good this car is. To go to Silverstone for our home race leading the Championships is a wonderful feeling but we know that we have to keep pushing to maintain our advantage."
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 DNF
"It was a difficult and immensely frustrating day for me today. We had a problem with the clutch at the start which caused the car to go into anti-stall so I wasn't able to get off the line. That dropped me back into the pack and to complicate things further, I was hitting the limiter on the straights which meant that I couldn't overtake and had to take risks. So it was an eventful first half of the race as I tried to compensate for the problems and I had a couple of incidents with other cars. I was prepared to fight my way up the field but the damage caused to the gearbox by the problems at the start began to get worse so the team had to retire my car. It's difficult to have a day like this when you could see the pace of the car was fantastic but we will bounce back. Silverstone is one of my favourite circuits so I'll stay positive and look ahead to the British Grand Prix in two weeks time."
"I'm beginning to run out of superlatives to describe our season Jenson drove an outstanding race today and demonstrated the level of talent and composure that we have come to expect. Once again, the team here at the track, in Brackley and our close partners at Mercedes-Benz worked extremely hard this weekend to improve the car and achieve the perfect set-up that we had for the race today. My sincere thanks to them all for their commitment and enthusiasm. On Rubens' side, we had a problem with his clutch off the start line which was similar to that which we experienced at the opening race in Melbourne. In attempting to recover and get off the grid, the transmission was over-torqued. As his race progressed, it became increasingly evident that this had caused a serious problem with the gearbox and we retired the car whilst the damage was contained. It's extremely frustrating for all concerned when the car was balanced and working well for Rubens going into the race. We will look into the cause of the problem to ensure that this is rectified. We can now look ahead to Silverstone, just eight miles from our factory in Brackley, and take great pride to be leading the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships going into our home race."