Jenson Button won the Turkish Grand Prix today, by 6.7 seconds over the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and pole sitter Sebastian Vettel. It was Button’s sixth win from seven starts and sets him up now for the world championship and an emotional homecoming to Silverstone in two weeks time.
“You have built me a monster of a car,” he told the team over the radio afterwards. He later added, “The car felt the best it has felt all year.”
It was a dominant performance by Button, who started second on the grid, but passed Vettel on the opening lap when the German made a mistake and ran wide, letting Button through.
After that Red Bull tried to recover the situation by putting Vettel on a three stop strategy which called for him to attack Button who was heavier on a two stopper. Vettel caught him, but could not pass. After that he lost time with the result that Webber leapfrogged him at the second stops to take second place.
Vettel was pretty disgruntled about it, “I’m not happy, ” he said, adding that after his mistake on the opening lap he expected the team would switch him to a two stop strategy like Webber’s. This didn’t happen. He has lost ground not only to Button but also to team mate Webber, who is now just 2.5 points behind in the championship. The two had gone different routes on strategy, but it’s important to remember that Vettel and Webber set an almost identical lap time in qualifying, when fuel loads are taken into account.
Rubens Barrichello in the other Brawn car had a poor start which dropped him to P13, he later retired from the race, Brawn’s first retirement of the season.
The race saw a return to form for Toyota, with Jarno Trulli in fourth place after a dire time in Monaco and for Williams for whom Rosberg was 5th.
But the Ferraris disappointed. Massa finished 6th, half a minute behind the winner, with Raikkonen 9th.
BMW Sauber were back in the points, with Robert Kubica in seventh place thanks to a new double diffuser and other updates to their car.