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Jenson Button wins chaotic rain-hit Canadian Grand Prix
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Jenson Button wins chaotic rain-hit Canadian Grand Prix
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Jun 2011   |  10:54 pm GMT  |  440 comments

Jenson Button won an astonishing Canadian Grand Prix with a last lap pass on Sebastian Vettel, who made a mistake when leading.

After two high pressure finishes in Spain and Monaco where he held on, Vettel made a mistake under pressure this time and you could tell that it hurt him.

He extended his championship lead to 60 points, with Button moving into second place in the table, but it was scant consolation; everything has been going right for Vettel so far this year, but today he came unstuck.

Against all odds Button came through to win (Red Bull photo)

It was Button’s 10th career victory and his first since China last year. He described it as the “best race” of his career, before going off to speak to the stewards about his part in collisions with his team mate and with Fernando Alonso.

Mark Webber finished third after battling with Michael Schumacher in the closing stages.

The seven times champion had his best race since his comeback, looking like he might get a podium at one point.

The race featured five safety car restarts and was stopped after 25 laps when Race Director Charlie Whiting listened to Vettel and other drivers who radioed in to say that the circuit was ‘undriveable’. The delay lasted two hours.

It also featured more controversy for Lewis Hamilton who again tried to force the issue in a furious opening five laps and ended up crashing out.

It had rained on and off all morning in Montreal. It wasn’t raining on the grid, a warm wind was blowing. The race started behind the safety car, a cautious decision, but one which reflected the lack of understanding the competitors had about the Pirelli wet tyres.

After being at the centre of things in Monaco, Lewis Hamilton was in the thick of it again here, once again the balance between aggressive and self destructive falling on the wrong side.

Very aggressive at the start, he connected with Mark Webber, “Lewis thought the chequered flag was in turn three,” said Webber ironically.

Then Hamilton had a battle with Michael Schumacher before smashing into the back of team mate Jenson Button. It ended his race and brought out the safety car.

Button moved over to the left, following the line most drivers were taking between the final corner and the kink at the start line. Not aware of how close Hamilton was he squeezed him into the wall.

“I felt that I was at least half-way alongside him,” said Hamilton. “Jenson made a mistake going into the final corner so I was able to get a better exit, and was coming down the outside of him. I don’t know if he could see me or not, but he just kept coming over and over.”

Meanwhile Button shouted down the radio, “What is he doing?” But straight after the race, he apologised to his team mate for the incident.

Button pitted for intermediate tyres at this point, on lap 9. He rejoined in the queue behind the safety car in 12th. But he was given a drive through penalty for speeding behind the safety car. This dropped him to the back of the field. From here he fought back to win the race.

At the restart, Vettel was able to pull away quite easily from Alonso in second place at around a second a lap, Massa was tucked in behind.

On lap 17 Button set a lap over a second faster than Vettel indicating that intermediate tyres were the ones to be on.

Ferrari reacted immediately, bringing Alonso in for intermediates and getting him out just ahead of Button.

It was a bad call as he was in a few laps later, along with Button, when the rain fell hard. Kamui Kobayashi stayed out and rose to second place as the safety came out again for the heavy rain.

Vettel described conditions on the main straight as “undriveable” and urged the Race Director via radio not to consider restarting the race because it would be too dangerous for the cars behind him.

Charlie Whiting agreed with him and stopped the race on lap 25 as the rain cannoned off the race track.

After a two hour wait, the safety car led the 23 remaining cars around in preparation for a restart.

The safety car stayed out a long time and by the time it came in the track was ready for intermediate tyres. Schumacher made up places by coming straight in, as did Di Resta and Heidfeld.

Most drivers followed suit. Alonso lost time in his stop and when he went out he was racing Button, who ran up the inside of him into a chicane and they collided, putting Alonso out of the race. Button got a puncture.

At the front, Vettel pulled away from Kobayashi, Felipe Massa,

On lap 41 Heidfeld and Di Resta collided at the final chicane damaging the front wing of the Force India car. Schumacher pounced for fifth place. Webber battled with Schumacher.

Schumacher was on a charge, passing Heidfeld for fourth and closing on Kobayashi and Massa. Massa’s engineer Rob Smedley urged his driver to try top pass Kobayashi.

By lap 49 a drying line started to appear and drivers started thinking about slicks. Webber was the first to jump – a worthwhile gamble as it brought him a and one which also gave Red Bull a chance to pick the perfect moment to pit Vettel.

Schumacher made up two places, moving up to second place, when Kobayashi made a mistake and Massa got boxed in.

The closing stages featured an exceptional battle between Schumacher, Webber and Button. Button got ahead of both and chased after Vettel in the closing laps.

“As we always say, its the last lap that counts,”said Button. “A great race. To fight my way through from last position. It’s definitely my best race.”

Vettel was down after the race, “It was a long race, with a long break. All in all I can be satisfied but at the moment the impression I’ve got is I’m disappointed. To make a mistake on the last lap is not very sweet. I have no problem to admit I went a bit wide, outside the dry line, I got away with second.

“I could tell Jenson was quicker than us. I should have pushed a bit hard to open up a gap after the safety car. I was too cautious.”

CANADIAN GRAND PRIX, Montreal, 70 laps

1. Button McLaren 1h23:50.995
2. Vettel Red Bull + 2.709
3. Webber Red Bull + 13.828
4. Schumacher Mercedes + 14.219
5. Petrov Renault + 20.395
6. Massa Ferrari + 33.225
7. Kobayashi Sauber + 33.270
8. Alguersuari Toro Rosso + 35.964
9. Barrichello Williams + 45.100
10. Buemi Toro Rosso + 47.000
11. Rosberg Mercedes + 50.400
12. de la Rosa Sauber + 1:03.600
13. Liuzzi HRT + 1 lap
14. Karthikeyan HRT + 1 lap
15. D’Ambrosio Virgin + 1 lap
16. Glock Virgin + 1 lap
17. Trulli Lotus + 1 lap
18. Di Resta Force India + 3 laps

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That was worth the wait.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Canadian Grand Prix is one of the best ones on the calendar.  And tops in my book for attending a GP weekend.

DRS, KERS and tires are all lovely in my view, but I'm starting to come around to that whole sprinkler idea. Water is the ultimate F1 action lubricant.


In my opinion this sprinkler idea is very wrong. One can even argue about rain racing.

Yes, the last 10 laps were very good to look at, at the same time 30 laps or something behind a safetycar and a 2+ hour wait are boooring.

Rain races become exciting because some top drivers get it wrong somehow, mostly because of bad luck. One example is the intermediate tyre change of some drivers just before the rain started falling really hard.

I don't like to see this. I like to see the best drivers in the best cars, all under ideal circumstances fighting out who is the best. Not a lotery.

Instead of sprinklers one could also suggest all drivers to pull a straw. The one with the shortest straw starts from pole.

Or make, on every F1-circuit, a one mile cross road to see which of the F1 cars handles best the off road exercise.


Yeah, We'll douse the track with water and then we can start behind the safety car until the track dries almost completely. Everyone can then come in for tyres, then we'll douse it again and send the safety car out.


Martin Whitmarsh said before the season started that DRS should not allow a driver to sail past another. That's exactly what happened to Schumacher twice. Yes Button and Webber were faster than he was, but just because you're faster it doesn't mean you have the automatic right to be in front (and believe me I am no fan of Schumacher!). We were robbed of a fight (especially since Vettel fluffed it instead of fighting).

Not to take anything away from Button - he won fair and square as the rules are today, and I congratulate him. But DRS is just plain wrong.

For those who disagree with me about DRS that's fine and I completely respect that, but would they still feel the same if driver X was winning and driver Y just sailed past him to win? Wouldn't we feel robbed? ....if so then what's the difference if it robs us of a fight for 20th position?


DRS really hinders drivers in slower cars who have put themselves in good positions through good driving and good strategy calls, like Schumacher in Canada. Without DRS he would most likely have finished second and it would have been well deserved. Also the Safety car that cancelled out the grand stand finish in Monaco seemed to manufacture one in Canada. Button would have been nowhere near the front without the safety cars. And Vettel had a considerable lead cancelled out 5 times through other people mistakes.


no point having sprinklers if you spend all the time behind the saftery car - think we were robbed of a start and about 10-15 laps in between - to have the saftey car out saying its too wet, only for people to change to inter's straight away was a joke. Would have loved another few laps to see a few more battles pan out...


No one says every race should be wet. All within reason - like DRS, you can't use it the whole lap.

So, 5 dry races opens a possibility of artificial wet race. Especially if a historically dry race is next up or soon on the schedule. Example - 5 races dry, then Abu Dabi is coming up - in go the sprinklers. BUT key is we know it may "rain", but we don't know when during the race.

As for volume of water, that could be controlled artificially so that we don't get into dangerous conditions where safety car has to control the field. I think it would be a unique experience - for one think about being there. You stay warm and enjoy your beverage while you're watching a wet race. Plus I bet F1 cars look great in the wet with bright sunlight. It would be a unique experience to be sure.


Also they could do a rain - then drying - then back to rain again then rain finished.

It would be important that it's a piece of software that's automated and sequence is launched with lights-out at start. That way it's not as if someone is there with a finger on the rain button. No human being can know what the rain sequence will be in the name of fairness. It has to be random and controlled by a "black box". Fully doable.


I agree. The wet tyre seems unnecessary. If the race gets too wet for the intermediate tyre, the safety car is sent out.


The safety car is often over-used and often very unfairly too, destroying a driver's hard-earned lead. Many more incidents could be dealt with under waved yellows and why does the paying spectator have to watch a parade for so many laps when he pays his money for a race?

Perhaps there's a lesson from MotoGP for the rule-writing wimps? Yesterday at Silverstone, in lashing rain, they ran three full length, full speed, uninterrupted Grand Prix and it's worth remembering that the riders don't have a single piece of carbon between them and any accident. Are motorcycle racers harder than F1 drivers?


Surely that goes down as the best recovery drive ever if not the best drive. To make all those passes having to go off the dry line with slicks was remarkable.



Wash your mouth out!!


What!! That is the most bizarre assessment I have read. Lewis is a great great driver, however he is trying to drive his car through a cloud of frustration in a slower car. Lewis will come back stronger from this experience as he has the skill and ability. Let's just remember how young he is and how much he has achieved...but most importantly what he will achieve.

McLaren are all about Lewis, history supports this and that to me is horrendously ill informed comment...almost sounds like Lewis himself speaking!!


Button finally got to do to Vettel what he threatened to do in Monaco. But what a way to do it!!!! The speed he was able to Marshall out of those Super soft's was just so much more than anybody else that the pressure just grew on Vettel to the point he cracked.


I'm not so sure about this 'make your own luck' lark.

Sebs had two and a half very lucky races so far - not of his own making. In 2 of them the cards fell for him but today - not quite, although very nearly.

He's undoubtedly fierce fast and today we saw him (rather than the car) make the difference at various points in the race. But I do get the feeling that while Red Bull still have a tech edge it's all but been eroded by a number of the teams, and they don't seem to be bouncing back as quickly any more.


that is a bit much... you don't think Vettel was undr pressure in Spain and Monaco? He did not crack in either race...

He made an error today... Button made a lot of mistakes today but when it counted he did great


He didn't crack in Monaco, because he was saved by the red flag. Two out of the three races he's been under pressure until the end he's not been able to hang on (China and Canadian)


how do you know he was saved? He held them off the previous 15 laps no problem. What makes you think with 6 to go he was going to blow it? Perilli said his tries would have been fine for 6 more laps


Button had incredible speed. Where did it come from? McLaren and Button were flying.


Yeah Lewis had speed too until JB shunted him into the wall. Compare Martin Whitmarsh's reaction to Jenson's win compared to his reaction to Lewis's win in China. You will see what's really going on in that team. Lewis is the outsider, he's fighting his team, himself and the Bulls, with very little real support from MW.


Even Lewis has now admitted it was his fault:


i have no problem with being a fan of someone but don't be blinkered into thinking they can do no wrong.


Grow up a bit. Jenson didnt see the guy and the visibility was poor.

If you think he did it deliberately you're mistaken.





There was no shunting involved; Hamilton merely tried to go into a gap that wasn't there.


Don't really see that Lewis is getting a raw deal. Every weekend he's there or thereabouts and usually quicker than JB, at least in terms of outright speed.

If he has a problem at all it seems to be the 'car magnets' that McLaren fit to his car on the grid resulting in impacts with any car within 10ft at all corners.

I'm not complaining, I wouldn't change a chargers style for the world, but it just doesn't seem to be serving him well at the moment.

And, the more it goes on the more desperate it begins to appear - unfortunately.


Oh come off it, it was clearly a racing incident.

If blame were to be apportioned then even as a Hamilton fan I would put the blame on Hamilton 70-30. He should have seen that just as he moved left to overtake, Button also started moving over too and pulled out. If you start making a move it doesn't mean you can't abort it.


Madness ragamuffin...see my response above under comment 1. But madness


So... You're actually saying that Button is doing a Senna to Hamilton which we'll compare to Prost here?

Lewis is probably not helping his cause by crashing with just about everybody at the moment.

Button seems more mature and more of a team player, both when things go well or go pear shaped. Lewis probably a little too critical at times when Jenson is able to contain his emotions.

Great day for Button and McLaren.. A thrilling grand prix despite the long interruption.


I think you are reading into Martin Whitmarsh's reaction what you want to hear, rather than what is actually happening. Whitmarsh was probably on a rush of adreenaline at the way the last few laps panned out, who could blame him for being exuberant about it?

Lewis and Jenson do appear to have parity within the team, but they have different driving styles which I think brings a strength to McLaren, and you would have to be daft to think that a multi million pound team would chuck that all away by marginalising one of their drivers.


I don't think Lewis is the outsider. I may be wrong but I saw it as Whitmarsh being (a) overly exuberant and (b) assuring a driver who day-in-day-out has been out-performed by his teammate.

At the same time Lewis is a bit hot and cold in regards to praising/blaming the team.


Harsh. JB perhaps should've seen LH and should've been looking for him. LH probably should've gone up the inside (outside?), knowing that the racing line would wedge him against the wall. Or he should've just held off and taken the long view. It was a good opening for LH, JB was much slower out of that corner, and 99% of the time LH will go for such an opportunity. But if he had just held back, maybe it would've been him on the top step at the end of today.

His last two weekends were like Monza and Singapore last year. If he would've just bided his time, he probably could've snagged at least third in Italy last year, and fourth in Singapore. That's 27 more points, and would've been the DWC for him. Instead he went for the knockout blow, believing that he had to win in Italy (a favourable track) before the Red Bull's would go to more favourable tracks.

Sometimes to be champion you just have to keep yourself in with a shout, and let the others fall away. LH needs to learn that pronto. He should already be a 3-time DWC champion, but he only has 1, and he almost blew that one as well!


would you blame them? He isnt exactly doing anything to win them over, criticizing them for any strategy mistake or loss, and them waltzing in the be the one man show "Im the only one who can beat Vettel" "These three drivers (not including my teamate) are my threats this year" I mean seriously, he even appears to be souring his relationship for his one champion in the team, Ron Dennis. Kid needs some serious growing up.


Whilst the race was interesting and somewhat exciting I feel like I've been robbed by DRS. It seems to be a tool that the big three teams can use to simply sail by their victims at the push of a button. Schumacher and Kobiyashi were robbed today and I think the FIA seriously need to rethink this piece of technology. I don't want to see cars sailing by each other on the straight, I want to see a battle. It's stopping the smaller teams from strategically positioning themselves in a race. Give us real overtaking and real battles, not this cheap alternative!

It's such a cosmetic feature.


Can't win either way really. I have mixed feelings about DRS I guess, but I prefer it to what we had before. Overtaking was so rare in the last few years, that I expect all we'd have seen was Schumacher/Webber/Button following eachother around for 15 laps.

I'd definitely call that being "robbed of a race", if someone who's 2 seconds faster is stuck behind. You could say that if they're good enough they should be able to overtake, but it rarely happened in the last few years.

The way I see it, they still have to be faster, otherwise the other driver is just going to be able to come back at them straight away anyway. I get the point that it makes overtaking less skill to a point though.

It's definitely been overkill in some places, and it may have pushed overtaking a bit too far, and it would be nice to have a more balanced system. That said, I prefer this to a complete lack of overtaking.


The problem with this race was two DRS zones with only one activation point. Allowing the passing driver to use the 2nd zone to open the gap artificially after making the pass.

David Hamilton

Oh dear. I knew the anti-DRS chant would start again. Did you actually watch the race?

Did you see Webber failing to get past Schumacher, because of the difficulty in stopping the car once you get off-line and have damp tyres? Obviously not?

Did you see the in-car shots with Heidfeld behind Kobayashi, where he was closing but had nowhere to go because the overtaking areas were wet. It proved that even with DRS you need to be right behind your competitor to be able to make it happen and get back to the dry line in time to stop. In Nick's case, he was so close that he was unable to react when Kamui failed to get drive out of the corner.

The problem with a track like Canada is that as it dries, the racing line that develops is very narrow - effectively a one-lane Scalextric track. It would have been a procession at the end without DRS.

Remember Canada 2000? Villeneuve slamming into Ralf Schumacher at the hairpin because "he was bored" being stuck behind all the traffic. And that was also in the wet...


Webber couldn't get past Schumacher because it was damp off line.

If it had been completely dry he wouldn't have had that problem and DRS would have made the passing way too easy.

I feel it's added nothing to F1. The season would have been no worse without it.


Yes, I agree that the DRS zone could have been shorter at Canada, but definitely think that the late stages of yesterday's race wouldn't have been nearly as good without it.


It's not so black and white, it's possible to be against DRS and also be against the aerodynamic designs that have hurt the excitement in F1. I think most 'DRS haters' want a change to the aerodynamic design laws but don't believe that DRS is the answer. To me it's patching over the cracks of F1, it's massaging the flaws. I don't think it's going to take long for others to start to doubt the qualities of DRS, I think it's going to be a short lived technology and hopefully it will be shelved in exchange for a real solution to the problem that has plagued F1 in recent years.


Definitely agree that DRS isn't a perfect solution - it is clearly an artificial creation.

The fundamental problem is F1 cars' dependency on aerodynamic downforce, and the fact that that disappears when following another car.

How to fix that is another problem entirely. Ground effect was banned on the grounds(!) that it was felt that cornering speeds had become unsafe. But I think that re-introducing some form of regulated ground effect is probably the way to go in the long term, as long as the cars don't take off if they are launched in some way.

(Also, it's worth noting that the new fins that Le Mans cars had this year, which seemed to help keep McNish's car on the ground, might help with this.)

However that will be a radical change for F1 for some point in the future. But, in the meantime DRS is a useful stopgap, and once they've figured out the right length of DRS zone to use for each track (which will take a season), I think it will provide good racing rather than a push-to-pass system .


I felt exactly the same way, Schumacher and Kobayashi could have been on for podiums.


totally agree with you AI. Drs should be banned.


I was almost warming up to the DRS. After this race that was put to bed. DRS needs to go, put an end to this Mario Kart racing. Soon there will be "Red Shells" launchers on the cars. Passing should be HARD!!! Button needs to keep this up, its not to late. James again, great site, thanks.


I would like to see it(DRS)changed if it has to stay. Maybe you could get 20 time per race, you could use it any place on track. It would open things up... do I use it now or wait and safe them for the end? It would let the truly great drivers get on with there jobs. Just wondering what anyone thinks.

Maxime Labelle

I don't agree.

DRS is part of the game, and without it, the Canadian Grand-Prix would not have ended as it did. That's a fact.

Vettel cracked because he knew that if Button closed

the gap to under one second it would be very hard to defend (theoritically, because there was only a single dry racing line, so maybe Vettel could have resisted).

In the end, the DRS did not technically allow Button to pass. Only the fact that it was possible for

Burton to use it made Vettel crack.


Well Said.

I was geeking OUT while watching Buttons deficit falling below the 1 sec mark. Even then he couldnt quite make the advantage stick - but Vettel was now leaking pee! It just tee'd it up beautifully.

And remember DRS only facilitates an overtaking manoeuvre, its no guarantee of pulling out a lead! Can you imagine a tit-for-tat battle between two world champions over 6/7/8/ laps!!! The best is yet to come from DRS.......


"In the end, the DRS did not technically allow Button to pass."

Not Vettel maybe, but Schumacher yes. Had that not happened he would not have won.


yeah, as a Schumi fan, I was gutted to watch his second place "Disappear Really Softly"

A shame cos I think he could have held Webbo and JB thru sheer bloody mindedness!


And as a non-Schumi fan I completely agree with you!!!


Yes, DRS is cosmetic.

But so is the alternative. The cars have become so aerodynamically efficient for the last so many years that overtaking became impossible. Did that not make racing cosmetic as well?

I'm glad for DRS and Pirelli. Otherwise this season for us fans would have been 90% of tv footage being Vettel plodding around the front by himself. I'd had enough of that sort of F1.

Ultimately it is that cosmetic DRS that let an incredibly fast Jenson jump Schumi/Mark so he'd be able to pressure Vettel into a mistake.

Sebee, absolutely agree. For being the unsung hero of racetracks, I think Canada truly becomes my favourite stop of the season. Cracking race.


JonC says:

"Yes, DRS is cosmetic.

But so is the alternative. The cars have become so aerodynamically efficient for the last so many years that overtaking became impossible. Did that not make racing cosmetic as well?"

When the following car loses downforce, it is pure physics, nothing cosmetic about it. Thats why drivers must work all weekend, qualification, get the start right etc , not to suffer from hole in the air(or lack of it) during the race.

This "1 second gap gives you DRS" rule is cosmetic, because it creates something like "alternative physiscs". Why do we really need that Mickey Mouse reality? Because some "fans" are not ready to watch racing as it is and need popcorn and coke alongside to make 2 hours of a race tolerable?


Why yes.

Yes I'd like some popcorn and coke after the last seasons' snooze-fests of watching the exhilarating run down to the first corner to watch the leader after that have a lovely Sunday drive up front followed by the promise of overwhelming excitement in a handful of pitstop overtakes later on.

I'm sorry wanting more makes me a "fan".

I'll point you to Carl Craven above me:

"You should feel cheated that aero design prevents the skill of your driving showing through by not allowing cars to get close enought to attack."

I won't argue DRS isn't cosmetic. I will argue aero-efficiency had made racing cosmetic.

I'm glad faster cars don't have to be locked up behind slower ones for daring to approach them.

David Hamilton

There is no concept of 'pure F1' - it has always been an artefact of the technology of the time together with the rules in force.

Hence the famous drafting races at Monza in the late 60s (much closer than anything today - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1969_Italian_Grand_Prix ), the ground effect cars of the early eighties, the turbo monsters of the mid-80s, the fuel economy runs of the late-80s are just a few of the different types of racing that F1 has produced over the years. All of which required different styles and approaches to succeed, but the names of the champions, by and large, remained the same.

In other words: F1 is what we chose it to be. Why not chose it to be entertaining?

David Hamilton

"Ultimately it is that cosmetic DRS that let an incredibly fast Jenson jump Schumi/Mark so he’d be able to pressure Vettel into a mistake."

So you think it is cosmetic for a much faster driver to be able to overtake?

I'm sorry - that makes no sense whatsoever.

Until this season, I've wondered why so many people follow modern F1 compared to GP2/F3/BTCC/DTM/Le Mans etc. The racing in F1 has, with rare exceptions, been mind-numbingly boring.

Some people (Bernie Ecclestone?) used to argue that people loved F! as a strategy game, and not the actual racing. I never believed it, but judging by some people's reaction to DRS, it's true!

Unfortunately, I grew up watching F1 with ground-effect, when overtaking happened on a regular basis, so I happen believe F1 is about racing, with cars overtaking as their comparative speed changes throughout the race phases.


I watch both F1, and endurance racing. Each for different reasons on the whole, but I love the strategy in both.

I think that if the FIA knew how much impact the Pirelli tires were going to have on race strategy they wouldn't have bothered with DRS. Hopefully they will correct this next season.


Thank you TM.

And can we not have both? Some of us love actual racing. We also love when strategy compliments actual racing.

Sport is great when you don't just win the physical battle but the mental one too.

David Hamilton

Yet all the F1 drivers have been highly successful in other categories of racing, and proved their race craft time and time again.

The aerodynamics in F1 make overtaking almost impossible (plus sequential shifts, which make it impossible to miss a gear change). Which is why the actual racing in modern F1 (until this season) has been deadly dull compared to almost every other form of circuit racing.

Why do you think F1 failed in the USA? Because they judged it on its entertainment value, not its perceived status as 'the pinnacle of motor sport'.


"So you think it is cosmetic for a much faster driver to be able to overtake?"

YES! It absolutely is if the faster driver does not have the race craft to overtake. This is a race, not a time trial.


Couldn't agree more. Usage of DRS undermining the skills of the drivers a bit too much. No doubt it was an exciting race, but DRS really robbed us from what could've been the most exciting race so far. Also FIA should do something about the restart rule. Can't think of any other race that allows drivers to change tyres or wings or fix the car when it's red flagged. Cars should not be touched under the red flag. It undos all the hard work everyone else does laps after laps. Button & Schumacher definitely the drivers of the day. Webber is not far behind. Hamilton deserves a grid place penalty for creating unnecessary chaos.


As someone on another forum pointed out, DRS aids overtaking. Cars can catch at 2 seconds per lap but still struggle to overtake.

If an overtake is due to genuine speed, then the car will pull away at 2 seconds per laps as Button did.

DRS only works when cars are 1 second apart. First you have to get close enough. If you are not faster than the car in front to pull away, then they will only do the same to you when the lap comes round.

You should feel cheated that aero design prevents the skill of your driving showing through by not allowing cars to get close enought to attack.


So are you saying that if you are able to go faster then you have an automatic right to be in front of the person ahead of you?

Before DRS was re-endabled, Webber, Button and Schumacher were having a cracking battle, with Button and Webber able to follow very closely to Schumacher, and attempt passing moves. When DRS was enabled they sailed past. In what way is that good? Schumacher was in front on merit and defending extremely well. Does he not have that right to defend?

Yes, Webber and Button had better pace in clear air, but they had not earned that track position, whereas Schumacher was in 2nd by earning it through driving and strategy. If pace in clear air is all that matters, then Formula 1 is no longer a race but a time trial.

I have no affection for Schumacher, no disaffection for Webber or Button, and of course Schumacher and all the dtivers use DRS as and when they can, so I have no problem with the fact that Button and Webber chose to use DRS as they were entitled to. My problem is that DRS is plain wrong.

If a football team is losing a match, even though they have had more shots on goal, should 3 of the team winning be taken away temporarily so the other team can catch up? Sounds ridiculous, no?


I'm not saying they have an automatic right to pass, but the aero design short braking distances and old tight tracks designed around slower cars make overtaking very difficult if not impossible.

As you saw, Webber tried twice to pass Schumacher and failed, so it is obviously not a given that DRS will give you the place.

IMO DRS goes someway to balancing out these problems.

I do however feel that with tyres and with KERS the DRS is a bit too much.

AND it you took the DRS away from Canada then probably Schumacher wouldn't have found himself in P2 either.


Well said Carl.


Preach it brother


Great post. Cut back the aero even more, and let's see who can drive on the very limits of adhesion!


I am gutted for Vettel who lead every lap.... However, all praise to Button for hanging in there today.... he had the craziest race I have seen in years


True enough. He kept his wits while those around him lost theirs.


If it rains in every race through out the year Button will probably win the wdc. He is a smart driver & makes great decisions in changing conditions.


Got to admit, Buttons decisions are sometimes inspired. They alone add another dimension to some races, and he's brave enough to follow his hunches.

Bit of a good racing brain in their I think.


Have to say - do agree with both of you there - a bit !

BUT - At least he's doing it. When he's in a hole he can usually see that before most of the others can evaluate their position, and then more often than not he takes a punt and does something about it. Which usually makes good viewing.

Maybe not the best that's ever been but certainly has the brain minerals.


Quite true, though I think the win in Canada wasn't really the result of any bold tactical choices. He was the first to switch to intermediates, which was one of those smart decisions, but the benefit from it was negated by the penalty and the clash with Alonso.

When the time came to switch to drys, he changed a lap behind Webber and a few others. I think Vettel may be ruing the decision to switch to drys 3 laps after his team-mate.


To be honest all, I do like Button but I think praising his strategic calls is a little shortsighted because most of his strategic calls are because 1) He is slower than his team-mate and can't adopt the same fastest theoretical strategy to beat him. 2) There is some sort of event or occurance that messes up his current strategy. He isn't Prost. He's nowhere close. I like his mentality, he's a nice guy, and he is strong in every area...but I believe he isn't great in every area.


SV choked true colors coming through...he is not the best drive he does have the best car


Tim, not sure that SV 'Choked' today, I'll allow him a couple of errors per year, nobodies perfect. At some points today it was obviously SV and not the car doing the business.


Something undoubtedly on his mind going in to the last 2 laps - this is a circuit with 4 or 5 overtaking opps per lap. Unlike some with zero opps and most with just 1 or 2. He knew for sure - once he'd seen JB's closing speed - that as soon as JB was with him he could attack, and he wouldn't be able to get away with just holding his line.


Not to mention, whereas he was saved by the SC in Monaco, he was screwed by it here, all the work he had done to open up a gap was repeatedly nullified by the Safety Car.

What the SC can giveth, the SC can take away.

If there were fewer safety cars, I think we would have seen another Red Bull podium lockout, with JB or Schu rounding out the top 3 (either splitting the bulls or not.)


What is this nonsense ? OK SV is not perfect, had a mistake under a car faster by 1 sec at least under the conditions and lost the perfect result. Still he is so close to perfect and so dominating , had such incredibly good luck, that no need to feel gutted (If he would have crashed the car thats something else) and certainly no need to underestimate him. I certainly am not his fan, but without a shade of a doubt he has been the BEST and QUICKEST driver of the season so far.


Not that I'm anti-Vettel but I would like to remind that from three races in which McLaren and Ferrari were able to put on the pressure on him Seb has lost two, and on the third occasion he was saved by race stoppage allowing him to change his tyres. He may be the fastest on a single lap and when the track is clear in front and behind him, but he still has to prove a lot as a racer. Otherwise people will continue thinking that his winnings are 95% Red Bull and Newey. And by the way, I would love to see how this race would go with Schumacher driving one of the Red Bulls 🙂


Seb is fast but he is not a racer.


True, he is a qualifier. Very fast but has trouble with the pass. I don't think he could have pulled a Button. I would love to see Hamilton in a Redbull, well if he started last in every race. That would be fun to watch.


And how can you not tell Lewis is picked on?

"Then Hamilton had a battle with Michael Schumacher before smashing into the back of team mate Jenson Button."

I think that is too much... Button did not pay attention and he smashed into Lewis Hamilton but obviously Lewis got blamed.

I went to the cinema yesterday to see Senna movie and I can't believe how much Lewis reminds me of Ayrton. He is just in a different league that all the rest, always sitting on a rear wing of a car in front and unfortunately they do whatever they can not to let him pass...


It's unfortunate that it's becoming impossible for Hamilton to receive an fair assessment. Even Lauda was claiming that Hamilton needed to be punished for the incident with Button, and this was before the race was complete.

Meanwhile, the stewards completely supported Hamilton's view of things:


"Button also escaped any sanctions for his clash with team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

The stewards said as the two drivers exited Turn 13 there was a legitimate overtaking opportunity for Hamilton as his speed was greater than Jenson Button's

At the moment that Hamilton moved to the left to pass, the stewards reckoned Button looked into his mirror.

The stewards said: "It appears from the position of Hamilton at that moment [and is confirmed by the drivers] that Button was unlikely to have seen Hamilton

"At the point of contact Button had not yet moved as far to the left of the track as he had on the previous lap, or that Schumacher had on that lap.

"The Stewards have concluded that it was reasonable for Hamilton to believe that Button would have seen him and that he could have made the passing manoeuvre. Further, the Stewards have concluded that it is reasonable to believe that Button was not aware of Hamilton's position to his left.

"Therefore, the Stewards decide that this was a 'racing incident' and have taken no further action."


No doubt Lewis is one of the most exciting drivers in modern f1. But I agree with James that he sometimes doesn't seem to understand the difference between aggression and attack. It's just a bit too much. Last year Vettel won the 'crash kid' award & this year Hamilton has managed to take it away from Vettel. It's naive to think that he is not at fault. I'm a born Schumacher fan, doesn't mean that I'll defend Schumi when he makes mistakes. Hamilton fans don't seem to accept it what so ever! Lewis deserves a grid place penalty for his actions.


One more thing

If you all say it's all Lewis' fault, why did I hear yesterday the words "Jenson apologised to Lewis"??????????????????????????????????????

(I think Martin Whitmarsh said that)


Because it's the gentlemanly thing to do.

JB did squeeze Lewis into the wall but he was following the racing line. I doubt that he could see that clearly in his mirrors through the spray and Lewis was going for a gap that was always only going to get smaller.

Saying sorry doesn't mean an admission of liability.

And anyway, Lewis's reaction as he watched Jenson cross the finish line was not that of someone who was bearing a grudge against his team-mate for putting him out of the race.


Hamilton is no Senna, it was a great to see some drivers come alive today, well done Button for showing his immature and 'run out of talent' team mate how it's done, grats to Schuey for also not just moving over for the overrated Hamilton and it's good to see a glimps of the old Michael, thanks Mark for not letting the Mclaren through at turn 1, a well gutsy drive, also a mention to Vettel for being unlucky and nice one Kobayashi for showing you truly stand out in an inferior car.

Also if it was Senna he would of fairly carved his way to the lead after the first lap like Donnington 93, Hamilton might try to act like him but he's no Senna, just not good enough, I like to remind you Jenson Button is AHEAD of Hamilton in the standing, tell you something this feels too good.


I think this is people putting past legends too far up on a pedestal. Senna could be ruthless at times, and it was in an era where you could totally close the door on someone and that was not frowned upon.

JB, while he did well today, is not the driver that LH is. Not even close. Case in point, letting Vettel sail past him easily, basically inviting him past, both in Australia, and in Spain.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

I am sorry but Hamilton is nothing like Senna, as much as Hamilton wants to be like Senna he just is not.


Senna was a man; who had convictions and beliefs.

As much as Hamilton would like to be Senna, I see nothing in him that reminds me of Ayrton besides wearing a yellow helmet.

In fact, it is Alonso that reminds me more of Senna. He has a greater focus on pure racing and winning (despite today's race).

Hamilton probably needs to stop trying to emulate his hero and eat some humble pie.

In 2007, he was just a marvel to watch. I was in Fuji that year and he just seemed on a different level back then. Let's hope we can see this Lewis again soon.


Not until he is painting 3 stars on his helmets.


Re: What league is Hamilton in? we'll know in 10 years. Until then we'll just sound like a bunch of kids during lunch in the playground explaining why our newest phone is better.

Re: Stewards picking on Hamilton. It isn't picking on him. He's one of the best of this generation, easily visible to just about everyone, if not everyone. He's trying to overcome shortfalls of the car too early in the race. His mind management is faltering. The McLarens have been blindingly quick during the race for the previous three or four races. They *know* that qualifying is where they're falling short. They've said it at least the last two Saturdays. Hamilton doesn't need to overcompensate. Button demonstrated that. It's just a hiccup for Hamilton. He'll get the message soon. I don't know if either he or Button can catch Vettel for the Driver's title, but they're on the verge of being favorites in the Constructors' if they can get qualifying sorted and Hamilton gets rid of his current bug. Maybe once off-throttle hot blown diffusers are regulated...


Well said mate. Love the comparison with the new phone. Lewis got away with just warnings too many times in last few years. Eventually it was gonna catch up to him anyway. Maybe now he'll start to become a complete driver than just a 'great potential'. If not, then he'll be in 'Kimi league'.


Going for an overtake when you are quicker than your team tame and your team mate just had a moment into the last chicane is mind management problem?

I don't think you exactly know what F1 is about...



There was near 30 feet on the *other* side of Button's car and more than 60 laps to run. Not Hamilton's first rain race. Going for an overtake of your teammate at the wrong time in the wrong place? All of what F1 is about. That's why one was standing on the top step of the podium and the other was getting hugs from a superfluous celebrity. Hamilton will be back. He has a long time remaining in F1 and I'm sure he's picking up knowledge constantly as anyone else of his caliber would do.


I agree that Lewis "smashing into the back of Jenson" is not exactly accurate.

How about Jenson driving into the side of Lewis?

I don't see much difference between Jenson nipping up inside of alonso and hamilton nipping up the inside of Maldonado at Monaco. Alonso turned in on him and Maldonado turned in on Lewis.

But I will be surprised if Jenson is penalised for causing an 'avoidable' accident the way Lewis was. But we will see.

Hamilton has been robbed of wins by after-the-event stewarding decisions, it's not unthinkable that the same might happen to JB, although I hope it doesn't.


Wrong. Look at the footage of Alonso and Button (button was absolutely parallel entering the apex). Where exactly was he going to go?

Lewis was never at any point level with Maldonado in Monaco. But it was a racing incident.


Oh there is a big difference in what you are saying.

In Monaco LH braked himself at the latest possible point not even halfway next to Maldonado. Yes he was on the inside but he was diving into a hole that wasn't there. How can you expect a driver in front to leave room in every single corner because of a possible attack from the man behind ?? If you are in front you take the racing line unless someone is completely next to you the moment you turn in.

JB was already next to FA the moment they started braking. Alonso, while on the racing line braked later. But there was no way to go for JB and it would have been wise from FA to leave some space.

I'm saying this as a Ferrari fan.


Couldn't agree more HansB

Alonso's move was totally valid, basically trying to 'balls it out' side by side through a corner.

But, JB had position.


Exactly. The Maldonado-Hamilton incident was quite similar to the Button-Alonso incident.


For all of you guys with the rose colored Lewie specs on the fact that Button's rear left hit Lou's right front sort of indicates how 'alongside' he was to Button. Similarly, Lewis locking up with his front left alongside M'donado's right rear doesn't exactly reek of controlled aggression - or even half a chance of getting through.

Not that I'd change anything, I'm all for the bonkers lunge from miles back - but not at Ste Devote where there's barely room for one car to get through, and not in the wet with high spray when it's likely that the guy in front won't see you, and anyway, you're trying to get through at a point where you know he's going to be sweeping to the left to take the usual line for the corner.

I love Lew and really want it to come good - but at the moment too many incidents too often.


Nobody smashed into anyone. It was a coming together that due to the conditions and the track design meant Lewis damaged his car badly enough to end his race - a racing incident. As was the Button and Alonso incident.

It happens when drivers are racing hard.


How can you say Button smashed into Hamilton when Hamilton smashed up the BACK of Buttons car?

I note you don't mention when Hamilton also smashed into Webber either...


Jenson showed his true class today. Stunning drive.


He showed he was a dirty driver shunting Lewis into a wall and Alonso off the track. No penalties awarded either. You have to wonder if Lewis had a point in Monaco - notice PdR also had a ridiculous penalty handed out today


At least one that thinks the same as me. What he did to Lewis could have deserved a black flag for him.


Not quite sure how you work that one out. If the stewards themselves deemed it to be a "racing incident" and not worthy of punishment, how could it actually be the most severe of punishments instead?

You're opinion should certainly be respected, but the facts have been stated, the record has been set and I would hope that sentiment and impartiality would not drive an honest assessment .


Not a Button fan, then?


I wouldn't call him dirty as much as untalented.


JB - One of the most naturally talented guys out there, and probably the best strategic thinker.


I am gutted Alonso was put out of the race but to call Button a dirty driver is going a bit too far!


Jenson? A dirty racer? What?


I'm with you!!!!! I'm not even a JB fan & I even know that JB & Webber are two of the fairest drivers on the grid!!!


Laughable. Jenson one of the fairest and most honest drivers on the grid. Lewis is an immense talent but just needs to develop his tactical awareness, no doubt he will be wdc again.

Silly comments that show a lack of understanding of our sport.


James, I think you have to agree that stating that Lewis drove into the back of Jenson is a bit unfair. If you look at the video from the front you can cleary see Jenson pulling left more than the normal line. I'm sure that it was not to drive Lewis into the wall, but he knew Lewis was there.


On a serious note James - what is really going on with Lewis? The level of irritation within the paddock from drivers, stewards, the British media etc just seems to have heightened this year! What has Lewis been upto that we are not being told? Is XIX misadvising him? Should he get back his dad as manager? Afterall Anthony seems to be doing a very good job with Paul.


It looks like we're back in the ITV F1 forum of 07!...

Great to see Hamilton fans are still as loyal as they once were but I'm not sure your website is the place for emotionally driven fans to voice that type of nonsensical posts.

Your blog is such a great read because of your impartiality and the objectiveness of those posting comments (despite being a fan of such or such driver).

More moderation might be required there methinks.


Dont feed the wildlife! I notice some of the comments are throw aways today, passionate folks, us f1 fans.


good choice for mclaren to go with the wet setup it certainly benefited button very well and the extremely long DRS zone meant they didnt really take a penalty for the added downforce


I think there´s no need to put the "Driver of the day" poll it it james?


I hope you are not thinking about Jenson. Michael Scumacher should win it by 75% advantage.


2 things...no 3 things to say about the race.

1. The way I have seen it, Button cause Hamilton smack into the wall and Button knocked out Alonso.

2. Hamilton should calm done and rethinking his approach to driving and the way he is going to carry on racing and developing his career

3. Vettel just proved everything people were saying about it all year long - he was never under pressure and for the first time he was pressurized by Button and he cracked.

Newey built a great car...and Vettel is a great qualifier. Under the pressure...he is not on the same level as Hamilton and Alonso.



I would hate to see Hamilton in a RB. He should do it but I think it would be horrible for F1.

That being said, I'm starting to believe that Lewis has to leave McLaren. I think he will end up like Mika Hakkinen - having spent 7+ years fighting with exploding Peugeots, underperforming Mercedes, and unreliable McLarens only to end up with only two World Championships.


Vettel was under immense pressure from Hamilton towards the end of the Spanish GP! Your comment is a bit unfair and I'm not even a Vettel fan!


Even with the huge DRS zone there was at Montmeló, overtaking was more difficult than it had been the previous races. He just needed to stay and don't commit errors and he would keep position. Monaco was a even more extreme example of that. Yesterday he could not keep position just staying on track, he had to risk, and he don't know how to do that without commiting an error half the times.


Not really Vettel's been under pressure for quite a few races this season but for once a damp patch caught him out, we are all humans just look at the catalogue of mistakes by Hamilton over the last few years, Vettel is the best but Button drove the race of his life today, no shame for any of the top 4 today, and also this race easily out done Moro gp.


I think it's a bit unfair to say that Vettel has never been under pressure. In Monaco he held on for quite a few laps on a circuit that you have to be 100% focussed or you end up in the barrier.

mohamed south africa

correct me if im wrong but a few years ago david coulthard who was driving the fastest car in the field could not get past 1 of the slowest cars in the field?


I thought we were talking about putting someone under pressure, to force a mistake. As Button did to Vettel.

You said Vettel has never been put under pressure. That's incorrect.


I would give Hamilton a bit of slack. But his history is quite checkered. In poker, I'd declare him on tilt - big time. He's loosing his cool, if he ever head it.

In my view he's loosing his franchise player status in Ron's eyes too. Ron had that super irritated look in the feed. Button winning doesn't help Lewis either.


Definitely on tilt. Well put.


I hope Hamilton learns that he needs to start playing the long game occasionally - especially in these kind of conditions. If he'd have kept it on the track he would have had a great chance of victory


It was Jensons fault. Lewis risked, but did right.


Clearly he didn't take the right risk since he ended up losing a wheel! I didn't say it was Lewis' fault, but you need to take the right risks or you won't get to the end (if you want to finish first, first you've got to finish...)


Torn on the Button-Hamilton incident, Button should of been expecting Hamilton to be right on the back of him but Hamilton was a little impetuous. I don't think he'd of tried to do that against some of the less skilled drivers on the grid.

The race was a success in spite of the stewards decisions. They should of started normally. Some needlessly long safety car deployments, their was virtually a dry line before they pulled in the penultimate safety car. I agreed with the precautionary safety car after the deluge.

The restarts in F1 need looking at they're nearly always disappointing with the leader having far too great an advantage. Was the first safety car line before the DRS check line?


What a thriller!

Absolute classic, even though my man Alonso retired.

Although, once again, FIA department of silly rules made me wanna punch my screen right through!

1. Why is safety car finding it so hard to pick up the leader, instead of coming out at random?

2. Why, after huge public outcry, rules still permit drivers to change their tires and all that stuff during red flag, without having to start from the pit or something like that? For example moving to the back of the grid, and being in front of only those who also worked on the car and were already behind them before the red flag.

I guess, I'm looking for a common sense in a wrong place (looking at you FIA)!


Exactly my thoughts when I saw the safety car popping out in front of Massa on lap 59 I think it was. That just adds laps behind the safety car for no reason.

Good suggestion regarding the tyre changes and anything being fixed on the car under a red flag.

James, it would be great if you'd be able to gauge some kind of response to the idea of parc ferme conditions on the grid with any cars breaking these conditions eligible for a drive through penalty.

I'm sure most fans will agree that changes for safety purposes should be allowed, if not be made compulsory.

However this advantage needs to be offset for the sake of a fair competiting.


I think the answer to your number 2 point is quite obvious...


Would just love to see Schumacher in a Red Bull


Fernando and Lewis should be there. That would be incredible.


I'd love to see Kobayashi in a Red Bull...


Funnily enough I was thinking just this a few minutes ago and would also love it. Webber won't be there much longer - I'd be surprised if he goes on past next season now he isn't getting younger and the season's are getting longer - but if Ricciardo does well WHEN he gets his seat in the TR that will probably be the route they will take.

But Kobayashi would be great to see, although half the fun of Kobayashi is that he isn't already in a great car and gets to scythe through the field in a decent but not outstanding car. If RB continue their dominance we may lose this spectacle with him up or near the front regularly. Perhaps in a decent Renault, or slightly better Mercedes.. that's where I think watching him would be fantastic.

Don't think it will ever happen though.


Yeah, 5 years of having the far superior car wasn't nearly enough.


Graham & KRB non sense.

Every top driver goes to top team and drive a top car for about one third of his career and that was no different.

"Very good for sure, but lets face it if you’re not setting records through your career with that set up there’s got to be something wrong."

Wrong, you cannot get that "set up" if you are not that good to start with. Look at his comeback, you got Ross Brawn blur blur why didnt he get that no 1 status. At the end of the day you gotta show that you can do a better job than anyone else to get a top car and number one status.I am tired of the whole no 1 driver myth. If the contract didnt allow Rubens to race,why didnt he beat him all the time and let him pass at the last race? MS was "contractually" no 2 driver in 99, even then you can tell who was the far better driver.

So get your facts right guys.


Far superior car, 2 x US$250 million test teams running alternate programs 7 days a week, 2 wind tunnels running 24/365 and a contract saying that only you get the upgrades first, and a clause saying that the other driver in the team cannot overtake you or 'win' if you have a chance to.

Still a great driver ?

Very good for sure, but lets face it if you're not setting records through your career with that set up there's got to be something wrong.

And I think his coming back in to F1 on a more equal footing to the others only gives credence to this. Pity really.

Andrew Woodruff

Great race - shame Schumacher couldn't have held on for a podium though. In pre DRS days he would have, but I guess that is the price we pay for more over taking generally - all other things equal, the cars should usually finished in order order of outright pace.

Great drive by Button. It's unfortunate for Vettel that he has given ammunition to those in the "Seb doesn't like it up 'im" camp, of which there are a number ho post on this site!

Finally, James, were those boos I heard on the podium for Vettel? I hope not - that would be utterly unfair and unwarranted.


Vettel isn't as popular as everyone makes it then.


They were from fellow Montrealers towards Mayor Tremblay who awarded the trophy. We don't like him very much. I wasn't at the podium, but that is what it was for I'd imagine.


Ah okay. I heard the booing too and was disappointed by it, thinking it was for Vettel. I thought the Canadian fans were really good when it was pouring with rain and with the passion they had displayed generally but then wondered if that incident soured it a bit. If it really was for Mayor Tremblay then at least it doesn't run the risk of coming across disrespectful on the sporting side - and on the political side I must admit I don't know enough about the mayor to know whether his lack of popularity is warranted or not!


Yeah... I heard those boos too and I can't think why....


I heard them too, and if so, unwarranted. Could be the Montreal tifosi ... big Italian-Canadian pop'n in Montreal. They'd be cheering him to the moon if he was wearing red overalls.


Tall poppy syndrome?


We Canadians always like an underdog and don't much care for front runners.


Prolific winners will always get booed! Look at Lance Armstrong and Steve Davis.


Firstly, what a great race- for a Button fan:-) but what I want to say is why are we so protective of the drivers- surely they should drive to the conditions- if they can only drive 60 mph then that is what they should do, it would still be a race. I am sure it would be great tv as well- racing is not all about pure speed- IMO



The fact that they all went for intermediates as soon as safety car came in after the restart, says it clearly that safety car outstayed it's welcome.


Whilst I understand and share your frustration, the cars ride just far too low for the standing water. When a car becomes a boat the driver has little to no control and that is unsafe - if he can't stop the car and goes straight into another car it's an accident that doesn't need to happen.

During the (BBC)commentary DC mentioned that the extra ride height with the wets is about +5mm. I wondered if a larger full wet wheel could be used to increase the ride height that would be used at the discretion of the Race Director and used by all competitors at all times until the RD deemed it appropriate to return to the standard range. I'm no engineer so have no idea how realistic this is regards practicality, aero, gear ratios etc etc.


The extreme wets have an even bigger diameter to help with the ride hight.


Both the wet weather tyres are 670mm diameter compared to the 660m dry tyres. They do need a return of the Monsoon tyres though, and at 680mm diameter it might be enough with another step in ride height, tread depth and softer suspension with the shift in polar moment.


WOW!! What a race!! Formula 1 at its best! Bring on Valencia! However, Montreal 2011 will be remembered forever!! Too bad Lewis wasn't there at the end...


If Vettel had won crashing into people like that he would have been crusified.

Button gets praised for the same thing and the stewards will let him off the hook for crashing Alonso out of the race while they gave Di Resta a penalty for a lesser mistake.

F1 has become such a joke, it is actually funny.

Great drive by Kobayashi and Schumacher, rest was all not impressive seeing what they actually did on track.


Thx God i'm finding people that yhinks like me. I thought i had seen a different race. Button crashed Lewis, Button crashed Fernando, Button crashed Pedro, Button wins and is a hero here. Hope people will see that before "driver of the day" post.


Vettel has the fastest car...last year and this year. If he won by crashing into people with the faster car, he should be crucified? Don't see the point.


People will compare these accidents to others... the difference is that Button had all 4 wheels inside the track during both of them.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

Hamilton drove into a narrowing gap and hit Button which was not the brightest thing to do.

Button was level with Alonso going into the corner and had the inside line and the apex, Alonso lost the corner but tried to force his way through still and they made contact.


there was more than plenty of room to fit a boat on the inside line of alonso. JB had some understeer and hit alonso, this collision could have been avoided. If this was ham/alo/web he would definitly have had a penalty


Both of Button's touches were racing incidents, quite normal in these conditions, and there were quite a few more in this race (f.e. Koba and Nick). Guess that's the price U have to pay when U want to watch exciting, wet races.

As for Lewis, for the past few races he well deserved his opinion of a reckless driver. What he needs to do is to take his overtaking animal on a shorter leash and focus on racing.


Rose coloured specs I think, others see it differently, look at the video again, see how far Button was infront of Alonso.... I don't exactly blame Alonso, moreover a racing incident, As was Hamilton, you can clearly see Button look in his left mirror, but if all you see is spray... and what would be the point of hitting either as you are just as likely to be put out the race yourself..


For sure. Seeing how Button got a puncture from the Alonso clash, and thought for awhile that he'd sustained damage with the Lewis clash, I can't see it being deliberate. To me that's Button's downfall ... he isn't ruthless enough to be a champion.

And it's not like it would yield a return on investment vis-a-vis Hamilton in future races (i.e. LH thinking "be careful passing JB"), 'cos LH will just attribute it to the conditions. LH will always try passing JB, as he's an easy lay.


I'd recommend a re-wach of Brazil '07. A pretty ruthless and fearsome drive from the World Champion that year. Granted he needs to be in a groove on any given day, but when he's in that groove he's as good as anyone, whether that's tactically or aggressively. And for me, on those days, simply a joy to watch.


He's already a champion - er World Champion


I'm not sure it's Mors wearing the rose tinted specs... and if you think Button didn't know Lewis was there, you are clearly very naive.


He might have known Hamilton was there but not how close he was. The alonso contact was about 2 world champions wanting the same bit of track button on hot tyres alonso on cold tyres. Just a racing incident. As the stewards said. Thats the bottom line cos emmo said so.


[mod] JB would never play foul. Both Lewis & Fernando see Jenson as someone who will giveway to avoid collisons. Its obvious he didnt see Lewis & as for Fernando, well he assumed the usual and got a shock. Absolutely stunning race!


Good work James, can't believe you've got your article up so fast after what must have been an exhausting day!

Is this what it would have been like at the end of the Monaco GP if the red flag hadn't come out? Very impressed with Button's speed at the end, where did that come from? Looking forward to your race strategy analysis on this one : ) fingers crossed the stewards don't do anything stupid, especially after Button said he apologised to Hamilton - hope he meant for not seeing him and not meaning it was his fault (which i don't think it was, you see him look in his mirror and away again a split second before Hamilton actually moves to fill them).

Think driver of the day is a clear one for this race but I hope Schumi gets praise too, by far his best drive since his return, was a pleasure to watch. Here's hoping for more dramatic finishes like today's. Just wish there had been a BBC Forum, today certainly needed it after such an eventful race.


I'm pretty sure I saw Jenson look into his RIGHT mirror while contact was on the LEFT. This tells me that Jenson was taking his normal line, as both Brundle and Coulthard agreed, and therefore had absolutely no idea Lewis was on his left.

Yeah, wonder how Monaco would have turned out...


What I saw on the replay was that Jenson looked in his left mirror before moving left towards the wall, to check that Lewis wasn't coming up the left - and at that point he wasn't, Lewis was directly behind Jenson. Lewis pulled out just as Jenson looked back ahead, so Jenson wouldn't have seen him.


On Jenson Button


What a great drive for a nice guy. Charging all the way to the win. Absolutely fantastic, I'm happy for him.

He is the best of the rest as well. He showed today one of Hamilton weaknesses : the brains.


He was the one that drove into Hamilton.


Wouldn't that then require a direction change from Button? Buttons line was straight, the gap was always going to disappear.


Couldnt agree more - Lowis is a racer, but lacks cerebral strength...especially early on, quick car in race trim and he often bangs it up...



Are you saying that Jenson used his "brains" to crash Hamilton and Alonso cars (2 championship winners)? I have to admit that it's pretty smart; he then won, not by a passing move, but by a mistake of the race leader... I think today, unfortunately, JB just knocked the only 2 players that can really represent some type of competition to Vettel.

That being said, I am wondering if the stewards would have come out with the same verdict and waited until the end of the race if Alonso, Massa or even Vettel had been in the same incidents within the race. A shame!


He certainly used them more than Hamilton who drove into a narrowing gap. I think your name suggests a slight lack of impartiality.


Loved the last lap, Button pressuring Vettel into a mistake and winning the race, and also Massa overtaking Kobayashi on the finish line, as they were battling for sixth (!!). A racer's race!


Couldn't agree more Carlos. The sort of race that makes you feel all is right with the world really.

And hey, thelegend, the reason they weren't there was their own stupid fault.


A racers race without the 2 biggest racers at the moment...


Absolutely amazing race. Delighted for JB but gutted for Schumi I was on the edge of my seat praying for a podium for him.

Hamilton again has himself to blame he should have backed out on the straight and lined JB up into turn one. Too many errors he had the pace to win this race.

DC and MB were brilliant in the commentary box I never flinched from my seat all evening.


That's why i think there's something up with Hamilton in general. He is usually very good at knowing the angles and finding lots of areas to pass on track, and this track has lots of overtaking potential. He really didn't need to go all or nothing there, especially in the wet.

I think it might have been a bit of momentary red mist after the collision with Webber quickly followed to being driven wide by Schumacher right before the Button incident.

He allowed Vettel his main rival to extend the already huge lead in the WDC by another 18 points. This was a race with the potential to close that gap.


Vettel has just gotten all up inside Hamilton's head and he isn't taking it well. Lewis has never been much of a strategist and it's the same thing that did him in monza last year, he had a brilliant start and then decided to try and overtake the entire field before the first corner, result scraped of his front wheel trying to stuff his mclaren where it didn't belong.

Probably saw the race slipping away and snapped after losing 2 places going after webber then another in his botched attempt on Schumi. Webber was right, Lewis was driving like the checkered flag was around the next corner, he put it all on the line when people were still trying to get a feel for the track. It's a lot like Vettel trying to force an overtake at the bus stop at Spa last year, he saw Webber and Lewis disappearing off the front and he got too aggressive trying to get around button. Hamilton sees this championship slipping away and he is trig to win it back in one race, I predict we will see more of this nonsense until the FIA drop a hammer on Lewis or until he is mathematically eliminated from the championship, then I imagine he will actually start to dominate.


" He really didn’t need to go all or nothing there, especially in the wet."

Totally agree, and adding to that you forgot to mention the worse lack of judgment of the WALL being there. I am a Hamilton fan, but that move was near suicidal and the incident could have turned out a lot worse....


What a race, so much happened in the longest race in F1 history its hard to know where to start.

Credit to Jenson for pushing all the way. We need a few more to chip away at Seb so that we have a proper drivers championship in the 2nd half of the season.

Shame for MSC but his best drive since his return, well done to all and thanks!

I'm not sure a race can be rated a 10 ever but that was close....


I agree with all the comments that it was a great race but starting under the safety car and the amount of laps lost under it annoyed me. You can't have a safety car because of wet weather only for drivers to come in for intermediates the minute the safety car goes in! Maybe I'm greedy.

I was hoping Schumacher could get a podium but it wasn't to be. Button showed Hamilton that the longbow beats the crossbow.

After 7 races I think DRS is a trinket we don't need. I've found myself really rooting for the driver ahead, hoping somehow he'll stay in front. The overtake itself looks plain ugly.


I just noticed that both Hispanias finished in 13th and 14th. Great result for them!


Excellent and pleased to see it. Would love Willis to be given some money


They overtake Virgin for 11th in WCC.


what a dog that merc is..schumi could have won this race but the minute the car was on slicks ha had no chance.great drive michael...!!can the haters now leave him alone?


I'm one of those that think he is not even a little part of what he was 5 years ago, but I will vote him for driver of the day. With a Ferrari, a Mclaren or a Red Bull would have won the race.


Granted. I must admit that I don't like Schumi, but credit were credit is due, he deserved the podium.

I am just sad Kobayashi lost out to Massa in the end for 6th place.



Fantastic race and an unbelievable drive from Jenson. How much of Jenson's win would you chalk up to the safety car bunching up the field following Heidfeld's accident and allowing Jenson to close the gap to the front as opposed to Jenson's blistering pace?



The safety car is part of racing..it did nothing for JB win .

He drove for it


Seeing as JB was hurt by the safety car in Monaco, I think it evened out today. That's racing, and esp. racing in the wet.


Vettel : already world champion


Sebastian Vettel is a disappointed man as I write but he is already world champion. He increased the gap to 60 points and the guy following him is not the most dangerous fellow.

2nd place with Hamilton and Alonso off is a great result for him.

As fans, most of us were happy that Vettel didn't win and were ecstatic the Finger kept shut down. But if bad days for Vettel always mean 2nd places, the others are in big trouble.


Totally. If in the end of season stats, Vettel has 13 or more poles, then it's a foregone conclusion that he will have won the DWC. While the McLaren has good pace in race trim, the Red Bull's acceleration out of corners is amazing, and should make it hard for the Mac to pass.

If LH kept winning, but SV was always second, it would take until the penultimate race for him to go ahead in the standings, and then only by 1 pt.

Vettel just needs to regularly and reliably score, and the DWC is his.


"Red Bull’s acceleration out of corners is amazing"

The banning of the overrun will reduce this hugely. This will damage all teams but should improve overtaking after slow corners.

We shall see who is affected the most.

Not just cars, but also drivers.

See James comments concerning Mark Webber v Seb Vettal last year.


How? Accelerating out of a corner should benon throttle and the diffuser should suck the car right down onto the track. Did you mean braking into a corner? There I could believe as off throttle the rear will go light and won't be able to brake as late.

Im gonna become a broken record though, and repeat that people are wearing some serious rose colored glasses if they think the RB7 will suddenly be a dog when its two leading competitors use a similar or identical exhaust layout, and actually mclaren was a complete dog before they copied the RB7 exhaust, lest we forget. I see the most that will happen is that everyone stays in the same order but slower, but more probably Redbull wil see themselves extend their gap.


Crazy race.

Hamilton needs to chill for a couple of races.


Hamilton must absolutely never, ever chill. All he needs is one or two good wins and all is forgotten. That's what Vettel did last year after crashing into Webber and Button (not to mention crashing into Kubica the year before). The best drivers are racers and they crash sometimes!


Hamilnator will never chill.


He absolutely will not stop....


Thank God he won't...


I'm not sure Jo compared to Monaco he seemed remarkedly chilled in the garage, loved the access to Mclaren and Red Bull during the break btw.

Of course the ideal solution for me is that he sticks it on pole when the red bull quali mode gets banned and then can do a Vettel and look falsely serene while driving at the front.


I somehow don't like DRS anymore


While I think that was an absolutely fantastic race and agree with everyone that Jenson had a fantastic day at the office, I have to say I was left rather disappointed by the end result when the top four positions were decided entirely by DRS, completely annuling the skill the drivers had shown during the rest of the race.

Three questions spring to mind:

Would Button have been able to get to Vettel had DRS not allowed him to sail (sorry, poor word choice - he didn't even have to move onto the wet stuff thanks to DRS) past Schumacher with no effort needed?

Would Schumacher have been on the podium were it not for DRS?

Why were the two DRS zones right after each other?

We saw a guaranteed flaw with that when Button had the option to open his DRS again on the start/finish straight AFTER overtaking Schumacher into the last chicane because he was still fractionally behind him (but on his way past) at the second DRS detection point whilst Schuey could not open his despite being the car behind going onto the start/finish straight.

It was a very exciting race but the skill was shown for 67/70 laps. The last three were all about the DRS, and while I like the concept, it was far too effective here and clearly the length of straight that it can be used for needs to be looked at.


"and while I like the concept, it was far too effective here and clearly the length of straight that it can be used for needs to be looked at."

Bang on and balanced - only a marginal adjustment in certain areas perhaps.


WHile Im in the fence as far as DRS goes, DRS did what its supposed to do. It let a faster car make a pass. If Button had only passed MSC because of DRS, he wouldnt have been able to pull away from MSC and close to SV. Also, I dont think JB was ever close enough in the back straight to SV for him to be able to use the DRS. Give credit where its due people, JB earned it.


Button had DRS behind Vettel on Lap 69.


I think you could go a bit further and ask if Kobayashi was denied some points due to DRS as well. Sure the drag to the finish line looked great, but thanks to DRS it was a one-sided drag race.

I fully agree with the other points. KERS and the new tires are fine. They provide more strategies without providing an asymmetric advantage, like DRS does. I for one, hope the days of DRS are numbered.

On the Button point, I would love to see how many laps he deployed the DRS to get an idea of how many seconds were gifted to his chase for Vettel.


After overtaking the pair of Schumacher and Webber, it was surprising how he quickly closed down onto Vettel - i think the German was caught napping. It took him quite a few laps to up his speed and start matching JB. In any case, JB was in the DRS zone for only one lap before overtaking Vettel when the German made the mistake in the next series of corners. I would say the DRS was more usefull to JB in the Schumacher/Webber scrap than with Vettel.


And to add to the point of Button opening his DRS on the start straight, I just watched the highlights and Webber did the same after he overtook Schuey as well.

DRS is supposed to be an overtaking aid. In this case Webber's second use of the DRS left Schuey unable to mount a challenge again. He actually caught him towards the end and only finished four tenths behind.


I believe the overtaken driver (Schumi) is allowed to use his DRS too for the second zone.


Nope. But they all knew there were two DRS zones, so them's the breaks.


No, only if he was less than one second behind the car in front when he went over the only DRS sensing line

Richard Foster

Not true there was just the one activation zone


amazing drive by Jenson to win and he wasnt to blame for either incident with Alonso or Hamilton.

Hamilton for the second race running made some over ambitious moves, he hit Webber and i beleive would have been hit with a drive through penalty if he had contiuned in the race, he was lucky not to hit Schumacher and to hit your own team mate is poor stuff.


I think the more relevant question to Lewis is now that he knows the stewards don't like him and other drivers will take advantage of that, what is he going to do about it?


Schumacher clearly moved more than once in the braking zone! He kept pushing out and out, after at first planting himself on the middle of the entry into the hairpin.


I noticed that too. At one point when Webber was chasing him he moved twice, but only small moves, enough to prevent Webber picking a side to attack but not enough to be an obvious penalty. Classic Schumacher, made me grin.


“What is he doing?”, Absolute classic, I need that as a ring tone or something. Good win for Button, could be on a roll as he was not far off a win in Monaco, well in the running anyway.


Let's be real here. Button had a good day, but he's not going to be challenging for the championship. He's not consistent enough ... still usually two to three tenths off of Hamilton in qualifying.


Re the three tenths, that does seem to be the gap over a single lap. However there are no points for qualifying, Sunday is where it matters and over race distance you'd have to say that time difference all but disappears.


- yea,

button usually has the gap down to 20-30 seconds

on race-day.


What a race! Exactly what was required after the 2 hour hiatus - thought it'd never start.

Button - what a drive. How did he do it? That high downforce setup that everyone was criticising after qualifying suddenly looks a bit more sensible

Hamilton - it's like he's lost all the maturity and experience from the last four or five years. The McLaren looks so quick on Sundays, there's no need to be so hot headed. That said, races are definitely more exciting when he's still in them...

Schumacher - was cheering him on for a while there for the first time ever

Vettel - should have worked harder to make a bigger gap after the last safety car. Good to see he's still human though.

F1 is the greatest sport in the world!


My feelings were exactly the same... LOL, even down to me cheering on Schumi... For the first time.


Best race ever, even with the "rain stops play" period.

Good to see Vettel bottling it on the last lap, it wil give the other drivers some comfort that he is human and can definitely be beaten.

As for the coming together between Jenson and Lewis.

If LH had used his brain he would have known that JB would not see him in his mirrors. JB did look but at that point LH was following him and then he had to position his car for the next bend. LH should've tried to take him on the other side, rather than go for a gap that he knew would be disappearing. It's not "cos your black" but because you keep making daft moves!

Great drive Jenson!


Isn't the idea to pass the guy when he's not expecting you to? isn't that the smart thing to do?


I'd agree, but not when you're relying on him to make room for you. In that case you better make sure he knows you're there. i.e be alongside before the gap disappears.


Bit unfair. If anyone, JB should have been more aware following his exit from the last corner.

Even then, racing incident is all it was.


What a race, it had everything. Rain, the SC, Vettel in his usual position at the front and a two hour wait, then it all kicked off. One thing's for sure Jenson is so not in Lewis's shadow, not that I ever thought he was, this race proved him to be equal if not better than his team mate to everyone! Only disappointment was not seeing Schumacher on the podium. Thought Monaco was great, but Montreal is showing F1 is getting better with every race, can't wait for Valencia!


JB is not equal to LH. Top three drivers right now are LH, SV, and FA, in whatever order you want. JB, MW, NR are a tier below, but still ahead of most in the pack. I am surprised by how poor Heidfeld has been this season.


You're right JB is not equal to LH he is superior in my mind. However I do think Alonso is best driver on the grid. But my heart belongs to JB. Vettel is good and in time will be brilliant as is Hamilton if in the right frame of mind, which alas at present he isn't. I also have a soft spot for MW and if Red Bull were behind him last year he would have been WDC!


wow. Epic. It had it all!


I am gutted for Michael's sake.

Kudos to everyone though, particularly Jens. He drove a storming race.


Quite simply one of the best races I've ever watched..!! And absolute vindication for Jenson to all those out there who question his speed / ability. He is a tremendous racer, while perhaps maybe not as quick as his team mate over a single lap all of the time, he has a fantastic temperament and ability to get the best out of the car when those around him are unable to. Let's just hope that with the ban on the off throtle exhausts coming for Silverstone, Mclaren can continue to reign in Red Bull and we can have a fight on our hands for the WDC yet..!!


Wow. JB well done! Although the two great moments of this entire race for me were watching these. I had to capture this as soon or it would have been gone, it felt like a bit of time travel.



What a race!!

Exhasted. :p


Honestly think schumacher could have made that podium if it wasn't for the double drs zone or drs all together. Overdid when it was in use!

Great race all the same! BUT!


One thing I noticed is, when the DRS was disabled we had awesome racing and attacking/defending positions. A bit slower cars like Kobayashi and Schumacher hanging on to their positions through SKILL.

Then DRS was enabled and cars was whizzing by some sitting ducks halfway the straight way before breaking zones... yawn. How anyone can call that real overtakes, or racing is beyond me.

The result probably would have been Vettel, Schumacher, Kobayashi without all these overtaking gimmicks and trickery. Imagine that.


Without the DRS in the dry, there would have been no passing. Don't you remember the old days of dry race processions, I am so glad they are gone, and can't belive I watched F1 all through the Noughties.


If the race was in the dry there would have been more overtakes thanks to DRS. The cars were passed on the straight and only because of the damp track did the move not always come off because the drivers locked their brakes.

DRS was too much this race.


Would have been a nice result.

I preferred this one though. Fastest cars finished where they should.


So the fastest cars must by default get position?

Why race then, let's just call he result without them racing, judging by their performance in qualifying?


Well now there wouldn't be any entertainment in that, would there?

I think faster cars or drivers shouldn't have to be held up behind slower ones because it's simply impossible to overtake.

That's what DRS is intended to do. Give faster cars a chance to go by.

Ergo at the end of the race, faster cars/drivers have got position. I'll point you to one Jenson Button.



Any chance you can dig in to the thing about Lewis and Jenson breaking the safety car time target? What, when, and was it purely coincidence that it was the two McLaren drivers and nobody else?



Yes I'm curious about this one too. It doesn't look like the FIA have released any documents with the details of those penalties yet.

Given that both Lewis and Jenson were under investigation I'm guessing that it must have been under the safety car at the start of the race, but the whole pack were bunched up so how did both McLarens manage to break the speed limit and no-one else?


Great drive by JB! All around thrilling race!


What a race! I'm not sure where I stand on the JB / LH incident. My first impression was that Button moved over to squeeze Hamilton and so it was his (Button's) fault. After the many replays, though, it looks less one-sided. Hamilton catches up quickly, as Button is moving to the left. Then, it seems that Hamilton tries to put his car into a gap that's too narrow for it, and Button continues to move left. Hamilton was no way half-way along side, as his front wheel bumps JB's rear wheel face on (which is probably why no damage to JB's car). Ham is then pushed over into the wall. so maybe a racing incident, that one.

It will be interesting to see opinion on the Alonso / Button incident in the commnents here. I didn't see enough of it to judge. Maybe I'll watch some video tomorrow.

An amazing drive by Button - what did they do to that McLaren to get it to go like that?

Hats off to Webber and Schumi too.


Agree Jason C! Button just took his normal racing line. Lewis was nowhere near halfway (he must be seeing things!).

Not sure about the Alonso one. Looked to me Button's left front touched Alonso's right rear tyre - which to me means Button could have backed off. Could be wrong on this.

I think Lewis is placing too much emphasis on putting on a show to impress, rather than driving like a pro.

Great race though. Happy for JB.


I agree with you on the JB/LH incident, there never looked like there was enough space to pass JB, he went to soon.


I would ask the question why Hamilton was trying to go into a gap that was too small and closing - Button would obviously follow the racing line rather than simply let Hamilton by, teammate or not - so why didn't Hamilton go by on the other side which would make more sense? Hamilton pushing too hard too soon is the way I see it, he needs to realise that races last more than the lap he is on. I thought he had added calmness to his driving last year and was so much better for it.

The Alonso incident was more 50/50.


You can't push a guy off track just because you want to keep the racing line - that said, I'm sure JB did not know LH was there, and would never expect anyone to stick their nose in there!


Quite simply the best individual performance this season. Jenson rocks, but seriously - how much overtaking did we actually miss? he went from 21st to 1st!


I'd be interested to know this too James?

Am sure some of the 20 cars ahead pitted or fell off the road, but Jenson must have passed a fair few. It was so hard to follow on the TV so i couldn't even guess.


Wow! The greatest race I have ever seen. Where did Button find that speed? And where has our old Schumacher been? Two stunning drives from two of the most wiley and crafty men in sport.


Me again, while I would agree that Lewis is faster than Button, I think he has lost the art of racing for a full grand prix ( for the monent:-)), he is so short term fixated. Maybe good for us racing fans which means he immediately trys to overtake in this race which was clearly going to have many opportunities. without crashing into Button he would have one I think.


I agree with you but at the time Lewis made the moves because all he could see was Vettel out front making a gap. Given Vettel's previous race form you could forgive Hamilton a little bit for believing he needed to move forward fast....

Unfortunately his moves were not clean enough...

The move on Webber was all Ham's fault, Webber gave him room but Ham had too much speed in the corner and oversteered into him. Such a shame as the margin was tiny.

With Button it was bad luck. As he came out of the final corner he had a great run on Button and quite rightly wanted to maximise the traction he had. Button was too far right initially so Ham went left, but the exact moment he went left Button started to move to the racing line and the gap disappeared. By then Ham was already committed. Button looked but didn't see him. If Ham had waited for one second longer he could have seen the gap open on the right, but he was closing so fast he had to make a split second decision and went the wrong way.....which was the only gap available when he moved....such a shame.


I agree that if Hamilton calmed down then he likely would have walked away with the race win. He has so much driving skill that only Alonso is close to him but he really needs to sit back and concentrate on the mental side of the racing. He is the best overtaker in the field and doesn't need to try and get it all done within the first ten laps.


A 2 hour wait in the middle, but what a race it finally became...maybe the best race I've ever seen. Great to see schumi fighting up the front. And what a worthy winner.....half a dozen trips through the pits, near race ending incidents, punctures, being last.... well done Jenson. Great win. Great race.


Great race but very frustrating use of the safety car! After the restart it clearly stayed out too long, so much so that the drivers pitted for intermediates straight after it came in. All in all though we were treated to a belter and it was fantastic to see Schumacher in the hunt, I hope it kick starts a good run of results for him! I felt that DRS really worked against him today, I think the second DRS zone should have had an activation point so the overtaken driver could fight back I hope they do something like that for Monza.


admittedly great racing. Kudos to MSC and Button.


An amazing race, just one question: Button's incident with Alonso was going to be investigated after the race, any chance he could get a penalty and lose the win?


Stewards decided no further action for either incident.


I am surprised that no-one went to slicks much earlier. I thought Button would repeat his Melbourne 2010 performance and move to slicks first, but everyone was slow to switch and Webber beat him to it.


James, could you please explain the speeding behind the safety car penalty. Both the McLarens were under investigation and Hamilton was only int he race for the SC start. So I assume the offences occurred during the first SC period. Can you please explain how it is possible to speed behind the safety car when all the cars are nose to tail in the snake.


I think this relates to cars catching up to the SC / snake. Drivers have a target time on their steering wheel displays that they should not beat, and I can only imagine that Button went faster than this target time when driving to catch up to the snake.


Hamilton was only ever in the pack under the first SC period . . . when the race started, first 4/5 laps. How can he speed when he is following the car in front ?

The second SC period was as a result of Hamilton stopping on track . .

I think this bears some further investigation . . . anyone know what lap Button was supposed to have sped under the SC ?


Double standards by Stewards. Jenson should have got a penalty. Had Lewis done the same mistake he would have definitely got one. Jenson's move was similar to that of Micheal over Ruben in hungary 2010.

Vettel cracked under pressure, but still a strong race.

Massa can't race anymore.


Incident was not similar to Schumi/ Barrichello.

Schumi left Barrichello enough room plus about 10mm.

Jason steered his opponent into the wall!!


'Vettel cracked under pressure'- a big exaggeration IMO.

All he did was run a bit wide, but importantly just as JB was getting very close to him.

Otherwise it would have been left to the DRS zones for an overtake oppotunity.

I think that the result would have been the same, as JB's speed over all the final laps were so much greater.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

I think you need to watch a replay, Button did not deviate from the racing line at all, Hamilton just drove straight into a shrinking gap.

Edward Valentine

I think Lewis was trying to squeeze into an ever narrowing gap that wasn't really big enough in the first place.


You must be a very hardcore Hamilton fan! There is no way you can compare Schumi and Barry to todays incident. Schumi knew exactly where Barry was and made a very big, deliberate move to push him towards the wall. Button followed the racing line in poor visibility and the TV pictures make it look like he checks his mirror as Hamilton is slipstreaming him and as Lewis then pulls out just as Jenson returns to looking ahead. Why was Hamilton going for am ever closing gap that was not going to be there instead of going the other side? Simply Hamilton being rash and not thinking properly.

Vettel didn't really have anything to do apart from back the field up then boot it so not a great race from him. Massa was having a good race till he got unlucky an aquaplaned.


To give Hamilton the benefit of the doubt - I think Button did stay right slightly longer than normal, precisely because he wanted to check his left mirror before moving towards the wall. And that drew Lewis into going for the pass on the left. Unfortunately they both started to move left at the same time; they were both heading for the accident at that point.


You're forgetting something... it was a wet race.

Basically MS closed the door knowing that RB was there. JB closed the door not knowing that LH was there. Have you looked through your rear view mirror on a rainy day? I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't a wet race, JB wouldn't close the door on LH.

So no.. I don't think it was a double standards.


"JB closed the door not knowing that LH was there" : really ? Lewis was all over Jenson for about a lap and then Jenson made a mistake and lost momentum and he didn't expect Lewis to take the opportunity ? common man, It was a deliberate attempt to stop Lewis. No wonder Jenson apologized to Lewis after race.


As James says here, Button was simply following the racing line that ALL other drivers were taking. If you compare this to Schumacher on Barichello, in that incident neither car was even close to the racing line.

To be generous to Lewis it was a racing incident. If I were to be a little more pragmatic I'd say Lewis took the wrong overtaking line.


Great race, wonderful drive by both Button and Schumacher. Schumi today punched way above Mercedes' weight.

I would like to disagree however with the argument made on the BBC that Button did not see Hamilton when they had their accident. You could see Button take a line slightly towards the center of the track compared to what Schumacher was doing in front of him. To me it seemed he was covering for Hamilton to the inside. Then when Hamilton came around the outside, you could see Button move slightly to the outside, using up his allowed one move. It was a small move but clearly visible, which means Button did see Hamilton coming.

And why would Hamilton choose to hit the wall and his team-mate instead of hitting the brakes is beyond me. He is too fast for his own good lately.


By the time he was alongside it was too late. If he braked, Button's left rear would've broke LH's front right, much like what happened to him in Monza last year.

Apparently the stewards looked at overlays from Button's previous laps, and he was further to the right (his right) on that lap, so it's not as though he was deviating from the previous line(s) he took on that section of track.

LH was just seriously PO'ed at Button getting past when he tangled with Schumacher, and wanted the place back right away. He has to stop thinking like that, and just let it come to him sometimes.


was a fun race but drs was once again way too effective.

watching schumacher be completely defenceless against button & webber when they used drs was a joke.

the amount of speed drs looked to be giving them was ridiculous, the non-drs car became a sitting duck and could no absolubely nothing to defend his position.

its a joke, a complete joke.


agree for me it ruined the race, i like watching a great defensive drive asmuch as a great attacking drive. the drs is a joke. was gutted seeing them steaming past michael at the end of the straights like he was in a gp2 car. no good at all.


How many seconds did Vettel lose to safety cars, he could easily have won by half a minute, but the 10 seconds lost by crash of Heidfeld really cost him. Still gained 18 points on the realistic title contenders on a weak circuit so not bad result overall.


Would you like to repeat that comment about the Monaco Grand prix? You win some, you lose some, and no-one can deny that Vettel was the biggest winner from the safety car in Monaco.


But what about Hamilton, who would have had to retire if it wasn't for the red flag in Monaco and instead he ended up with a 6th place. That was pretty lucky.


Monaco was different, vettel was in te lead and we can only speclate about tyre performance, no one even expected Vettel to have kept Alonso and Button behind for the 10 laps that he did. However in Canada, he lost some 10s in last safety car and the only reason he made the error is the unfair advantage the following car would have had in the DRS zone, we saw how easily cars sailed past, thus Vettel actually had to increase the gap to more than 1s. Still consistency is the key and he was the most consistent driver.


I have reviewed the lap times and estimate that Jason gained upto 180 seconds with the safety car. Ie. almost 2 laps.

Contrary to popular belief, Jason also gained time in Monaco due to the safety cars-- and lost only on strategy (You dont give up track position easily - least of all in Monaco.)

As i suggested here after Monaco, to even out the championship the FIA should impose the following restrictions on the championship leader:

1)championship leader must not use KERS on raceday.

2)championship leader must not use DRS on raceday.

3)championship leader must carry 45 laps more fuel that oppisition.

-- Now i believe they should add a forth one:

4)championship leader must give the opposition a 2 lap head start in wet conditions.

Please join my campaign for competitive F1.

Otherwise the title will be sown up by August!!


My take on it was the Vettel benefited hugely from the safety cars and the red flag.

A couple of times RB pulled Webber into the pits first, giving him a net advantage over Vettel.

Then there was an incident/ safety car which allowed Vettel to pit and re-enter still in P1, or cycle up to the safety car for P1, when everyone else was flagged through.

Vettel rode his luck today, and you have to watch closely to see it.

Incidently, I've replayed that marshall falling over a couple of times now, he just wasn't fit enough for the job, he didn't even slip over, just lost his balance (twice).


How many seconds did Button lose to safety cars, 2 stops more than Vettel, 1 DT?

Yes, the car behind should have more advantage when the SC comes, especially if they are on the same strategy. But after the last stop, Vettel should try to open a bigger lead when Button was stuck behind Schumacher.. instead he was playing it safe, thus putting himself under pressure which eventually lost him the race win.

Basically, a genuine mistake by Vettel that cost him the race, not the SC.


As a long time Button fan and knowing his faults limitations and skills it was an awesome result, but as he said himself, I was pleased just to see him perform with verve for a change in conditions in which undoubtedly thrives.


DRS killed Michael today. He would have been on the podium had it not been for the ridiculous gimmick that makes overtaking so artificial and devoid of skill.


Hi Allen,

It's true that Jenson had an amazing race, but ramming his team mate and closing the door for Alonso wasn't fair from him...he needs to be punished somehow; or loose time from this race or loose some grid placed in Spain next time!

I would prefer the first option as loosing grid places is nothing for Jenson, he won today after being last for a while! And then Schumacher would be 3rd which he deserves, he was amazing today, good performance from someone who won the title 7 times!

Eventhough Button is responsible for getting Alonso out of the race, still Ferrari needs to investigate if Domenicali really is the right person as team principal; all the world was talking about rain coming approx 20-25 minutes after start, still Ferrari chose to switch to intermediate tyres following another teams tactics - same story happened last year in the final race where Alonso lost amazing places and the title! Domenicalis only advantage is that he is Italian, but he is nothing compared to Christian Horner, Martin Whitmarsch or Ross Brawn who have indepedent tactics following a lot of scenarios!

In my oppinion big winners of todays race are Button, Schumacher and Mercedes (due to MSC they'll have huge publicity), losers are Hamilton, Alonso and Ferrari (tactics are horrible).

Btw, I'm a Ferrari fan...




good luck trying to write a strategy debrief on this race James, may have to wait until Wednesday 🙂


Indeed, I'm looking forward to this one!


That was an experience, well done the BBC for sticking with it. In doing so it became an event, those of us on Twitter had a great time keeping our spirits up during the red flag.

For me Jenson is driver of the day, but he is my fav driver so i would say that wouldn't i.

I think he drove a fantastic race, at the end he chased Seb of the track, not everyone would think him capable of doing such a thing.

As for the happening with LH, we can debate till the cows come home so instead i'll offer my own feelings as a fan of JB. If he did see Lewis and moved over to block him, knowing they might touch, i'm actually rather glad, it sends a signal - i'm not the push over you all think i am -

I know that may be wrong of me, but hey i want JB standing up and showing he's no No 2 driver in his nature, physiologically i think that was a little important moment for JB (what do you think James)

Would like to say more but its midnight and i need sleep, will check back in tomorrow.



how buttons doesnt get a penalty and di resta did is a total disgrace. a bottle job from the fia. imagine being a fernando fan and flying out spending your money going to canada and see him race only for him to be taken out and the guy who did it get no penalty. i thought hamilton was a total idiot with his comments after monaco but now i agree he is being picked on. if it was him done what button did it would of been a penalty for sure. dont feel right with button winning getting off with that when lewis gets hammered in monaco for doing the same yet he will get all the credit for his win, his drive takin away the alonso dunt was mega but i go away feeling sorry for lewis which is something i thought i would never feel in my lifetime. fia are cowards.




Hamilton spun off Webber and Button tagged Alonso and spun him off. Neither one got a penalty.

Sounds fair to me.


Di Riesta went into the back of someone at the start of the corner, although it did seem harsh at the time.

FIA view on the Button-Alonso collision



The pass Button put on Webber and Schumi at the same time, on the wet part of the track while on slicks was legend


What race were you watching? the only driver I can remeber passing two cars was Schumacher taking Massa and Kobayashi, Button passed Webber after he made a mistake at wall of champions, and then took schumacher a couple laps later


Great race, but sick to death of these stewards inquiries. It's getting ridiculous, this was a wet race and there will always be incidents in such conditions.


I don't see any problem with making enquiries, as long as the resulting decisions are correct.


Totally agree with stupid steward inquiries.

It's almost like a tag, inquiries.

A tyre punctual from a slight contact, inquiries.

A nudge resulting in a spin but nothing more, inquiries.

A crash but it was all part of racing anyway, nothing intentional, inquiries.



me again, I meant "Hi James"...sorry

And the race was great!!! :)))


Can't wait for the analysis, James. Jenson's plot will be amazing -- wasn't he 15 seconds behind the rest of the field at one point?

What a driver, what a race! Intelligent aggression from start to finish.

I bet Hammy learnt a lot today.


He was >100 seconds down after he hit alonso and punctured...

Had Vettel not pitted as the safety car came out... button would have been lapped

(Game over)


I bet you Hammy didn't.

Not that I have a problem with him, I like his style and racing. But he won't learn the Button way.


Great race, agree with most of the points and have some answers for you!

SC speed limit- drivers have a minimum lap time that they are allowed to acheive when the sc comes out -to stop them racing back to the pits before they get picked up. I assume they have a delta displayed on their dash so they can tell if they have to low down or not. Will only be a coincedence that it was both mclaren drivers.

Double DRS - apparantly, the system could not cope with 2 activation points (bizarre in the tech advanced world of f1) so did make it a bit unfair after the car had passed. Should learn for valencia, what about if they had combined the 2 zones so that the driver would have had to choose to keep it open and break earlier for last chicane to use it on the straight???

JB/FA - Lee mckenzie reporting that no action being taken, if they had, it could have been a 20 second penalty though


If it was Lewis who took 3 other drivers out and won the race he would have been penalized.


I only counted two, or do you suggest Vettel was "taken out" by Button ?


I concur.

Seems like whatever Hammy does, FIA dislikes.

Penalty handed to Hammy, FIA likes.

Next it'd be: Drive-through penalty for Car no. 3 racing against car no. 1

Utterly stupid FIA standards




More like crusified, haha.


Brilliant win by Jenson, 6 pit stop visits and still wins, fantastic, may have to watch the race again tomorrow. The only down side to the race was Sebs negative look on his face post finish, apart from the obvious, another reason only became clear until I read the banning exhaust gases post. Seb I guess wanted to have a big advantage before Silverstone as from that the blown diffuser will be banned. I think he thinks he might perform a Jenson 2009 and lose a lot of ground and performance on the matter and have to fight for his life the rest of the year. This is going to be brilliant!!!


This season is the gift that keeps giving.

So many great drives today. Well done to all the finishers but especially to Jamie Alg and Luizzi on great results today.


Fernando Alonso goes off makes a mistake in a Ferrari in the RAIN?!!? and this is "the man that ended schuey's career"?!! on the other hand schuey drover like a stealth fighter holding off MUCH faster cars WITH DRS!


That wasn't a mistake, it was a genuine incident while fighting for positions.

Tell me Schu didn't have the same incident happened to him before.


A great win for Button, quite possibly a career best drive and one where he was well out of his comfort zone. No amount of tidiness and elegance was going to win that race - it needed pure speed and big balls, and JB delivered.

There seems to be a lot of bickering going on about Button's penalties, or lack thereof. It's always going to be a judgement call, but I think there's a tendency for fans to look at these incidents in more simplistic terms than the stewards will.

The clash with Hamilton, I would give Jenson the benefit of the doubt. Visibility was bad, when he looked in his mirror Lewis was still tucked in behind him and Button simply isn't the kind of driver who'll shove someone into the wall deliberately. What I would have to ask is, where did Lewis think he was going? Jenson was moving back onto the normal racing line and Lewis had a great run on him, but why go for the gap that's shrinking? No driver is going to pull onto the wet line to defend the inside, that was where Lewis should've attacked. I just don't think he'd thought it through. Had Button seen him, I suspect he'd have left him room and then tried to win the braking contest.

The Alonso incident is more complex and I don't think any of the camera angles I've seen tell the whole story. We know from the chase camera that they get alongside and then Button fails to turn in. Alonso's rear camera shows that Button had a very strong run on him and got properly alongside him, wheel to wheel. The six million dollar question has to be, did Button fail to turn in on his own, or was there a light tap that unsettled the car and prevented him from doing so?

To my mind, it's not really possible to go two abreast through that chicane. Both drivers' lines are compromised and contact is inevitable on either entry or exit. I thought about what I would do in that situation. It seems to me that the two cars were so close that it was really a 50/50 corner. Fernando must've seen Button there and Button was committed to the move. Do you back out and concede the position, or do you hold your ground and take your chances in the contact? In my opinion and experience, racers do the latter and it could've gone any way. They could've banged wheels and carried on up the road, or Button could've spun or had his front wing knocked off. As it turned out, Fernando was unlucky and ended up beached in what looked like a pretty healthy Ferrari.