F1 Winter Break
Jenson Button rises above rest to win tricky Hungarian Grand Prix
McLaren Honda
Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Jul 2011   |  2:56 pm GMT  |  161 comments

On his 200th Grand Prix start and the 5th anniversary of his maiden victory in Hungary, Jenson Button drove a perfectly judged race to take his 11th victory and his second of the season.

And it takes him to fourth place in the all time points scorers list behind Schumacher, Alonso and Prost.

As in the most recent victory in Canada, it was Sebastian Vettel who followed him home. Once again it was a great outcome for his championship challenge as he extended his lead to 85 points, the largest margin at any point this season.

Fernando Alonso finished third despite a series of mistakes by himself and strategy mistakes by the team. He was only 10 seconds behind at the end.

“It’s good to have a couple of weeks break because it could take me that long to get over tonight. My 200th race, I don’t know why I like these conditions so much.. a great call by the team not to go to the inter. We go into the break on a nice high,” said Button.

It was a tricky race – there were a record 88 pit stops and a day for not making mistakes. Button once again showed his cool head to rise above it. He also had an amazing wheel to wheel battle with his team mate Lewis Hamilton.

The race started in unexpectedly drizzly conditions, which made the track slippery and further brief rain shower later in the race, which caused some strategy mistakes. As all the running up to race day had been dry, the first few laps were all about the drivers finding the grip level and braking points on a damp track with intermediate tyres.

At the start Vettel got away well from pole as Button attacked Hamilton for second place. THe two Mercedes cars made great starts with Rosberg up to fourth and Schumacher following him.

Massa was tentative into Turn 1 and Alonso got bogged down behind him, as the Mercedes cars sailed past.

Alonso passed Schumacher on the second lap, and then Rosberg as the leaders were slithering around on a surface that looked as grippy as ice, particularly in Turn 2 where Vettel, Alonso and Massa all had moments.

Hamilton put huge pressure on Vettel on lap 4 and at that point the FIA said that the DRS wing was enabled.

Alonso made a mistake allowing Rosberg back past him. Another mistake allowed Massa to pass. Alonso repassed him soon after.

With the lap times over 20 seconds slower than in qualifying, the McLaren was clearly faster than the Red Bull in the treacherous conditions. On lap 6 Hamilton forced Vettel to run wide and he swept past into the lead. he immediately began pulling away at three seconds a lap.

Webber and Massa were the first drivers to come in lap 11 for slick tyres. The number two drivers effectively for both teams, were used to gain information on the dry tyres for their more competitive team mates.

Meanwhile Alonso pumped in fastest laps to that point and got the gap down to Hamilton and Vettel to 10 seconds by the time they all stopped on lap 13.

Schumacher stayed out and this put him into the lead for the first time since he made his comeback. He pitted straight after.

Button had a great pitstop and a very fast out lap and this set him up for an attack on Vettel on lap 14, which he converted into a pass.

Webber passed Alonso at the same time, as the Ferrari struggled on the dry tyre on a still slightly damp track, its weakness at not warming up the tyres – even the supersoft – very evident.

On Lap 26 Heidfeld’s Renault caught fire and exploded after a pit stop, there was no safety car, but Webber, Alonso and Massa pitted, with Hamilton pitting a lap later, his tyres clearly shot.

This was what Jenson Button wanted to see, his tyres were in better shape and he continued, as did Alonso, another driver whose tyres were looking good at the end of the stint.

Button pitted on lap 28 while Vettel decided to stay out, but he lost five seconds in the process, bringing him back towards Webber.

But Vettel simply drove away from his team mate, who came under pressure from Alonso on lap 34.

Kobayashi, the only front runner to take the soft tyres rather than supersofts, had made one less stop than the cars around him and was 6th at the mid race phase, but Massa went past him on lap 35 and the Japanese driver dived into the pits straight away.

Alonso, unable to pass Webber, pitted a third time on lap 37 trying the undercut on Webber. He managed it as he was hugely faster on his new tyres.

Webber reacted, Red Bull putting him onto the soft tyres, which he would take to the finish. Vettel went for the same strategy, as did Button.

Button got the tyres up to speed straight away and was faster than Hamilton who was on the supersofts.

On Lap 47 Hamilton spun and Button passed him as rain began falling again at the back of the circuit only. The McLarens stayed out, Alonso pitted for softs, having realised the mistake they’d made at their third stop.

The rain began to make life difficult for the drivers on lap 50 with lap times 6 seconds slower than the lap before. As Rosberg and Webber pitted for internediates, McLaren’s drivers passed and repassed each other, but it was Hamilton in front at the crucial moment when it was time to pit for intermediates.

He decided to go for them, which proved for a mistake.

Rather than queue behind him, Button had to do another lap, but as he did so, it became clear that he didn’t need to stop again. This was the decisive moment. The move to inters was the wrong one and it cost Hamilton and Webber dear.

Hamilton also got a drive through penalty for almost hitting Di Resta after a spin and he came out behind Massa and Webber in 6th place.

On lap 58 Webber passed Massa for 5th, and Hamilton attacked and passed too on the same lap to move up to 5th.

He passed Webber for 4th on lap 63 as the pair negotiated traffic. Kobayashi got in their way on very worn tyres and Webber lost out. Kobayashi pitted at the end of that lap.

There were strong performances from Di Resta in seventh place, Buemi 8th and Alguersuari 10th again for Toro Rosso. Daniel Ricciardo had a strong day in the HRT beating Liuzzi and D’Ambrosio. Both Lotus cars retired again.

HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX, Hungaroring, 70 Laps
1. Button McLaren 1h43:42.337
2. Vettel Red Bull + 3.588
3. Alonso Ferrari + 19.819
4. Hamilton McLaren + 48.338
5. Webber Red Bull + 49.742
6. Massa Ferrari + 1:17.176
7. Di Resta Force India + 1 lap
8. Buemi Toro Rosso + 1 lap
9. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
10. Alguersuari Toro Rosso + 1 lap
11. Kobayashi Sauber + 1 lap
12. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
13. Barrichello Williams + 2 laps
14. Sutil Force India + 2 laps
15. Perez Sauber + 2 laps
16. Maldonado Williams + 2 laps
17. Glock Virgin + 4 laps
18. Ricciardo HRT + 4 laps
19. D’Ambrosio Virgin + 5 laps
20. Liuzzi HRT + 5 laps

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It occurs to me that there are some things all fans need to accept about current F1 drivers. Bias and blind allegiance (which isn't a terrible thing in sport) usually prevents it but........

1)Button is better than I and many others have given him credit for. He does not win through luck in these situations but through fierce and calmly applied intelligence.

2)Button is no match for Hamiltion in normal, dry conditions, tyre wear or no tyre wear.

3)Vetell cannot mix it up and 'race' other drivers as we say again in Budapest. You know when Hamilton or Alonso come up behind him it is only a matter of time. Whereas the reverse is definitely not true.

4)Vetell can outperform the car in qualy, I think we saw this for the first time this weekend.

5) More often than not Hamilton comes unstuck id dodgy conditions thorugh strategy. It is as though all he wants to do is drive the car fast and have other people worry about all that strategy stuff. Given this set of circumstances and the right car he will usually out 'race' anyone in modern F1.

6) Both Alonso and Hamilton can win a GP in a car which is not the fastest and without luck. Vetell cannot. Alonso and Hamilton are the true stars of this generation, in Vetell's case the car is the star!

7) You'd still feel safest betting your child's trust fund on Alonso all things being equal across an entire season.


Agree with ALL points made. Button is the thinking man's pilot. Surprisingly the current master off the wet, not through say ability, but by keeping his mind engaged. NOT easy!


3)"You know when Hamilton or Alonso come up behind him it is only a matter of time."

Didn't you see Spain and Monaco?

6)"Both Alonso and Hamilton can win a GP in a car which is not the fastest and without luck. Vetell cannot. Alonso and Hamilton are the true stars of this generation, in Vetell’s case the car is the star!"

Toro Rosso was best car at Monza 2008?


Well, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Alonso and Hamilton are not good, both are very very good (both are going to be one of the best ever).

But for example both had best car 2007 and didn't win! Alonso losing to a rookie in the best car on the grid?

Hamilton won in 2008 on last corner by 1 point in a car that has been faster then Ferrari most of the season.

And yes Vettel outperformed his car at Toro Rosso hole season not just at Monza in 2008.

This season Red Bull has not been that much faster that everybody claims, I think that Vettel has been extraodinary. Look at Webber leading just by 3 points over the rest.


Come on mate, Monza 2008 again? It's a Vetell fan's answer to everything on a day when the big boys got it wrong in the rain. Wasn't it another win from thr front as well? Notice how as soon as Ferrari and McLaren got a car as fast as Vetell's he stopped wining...? NOT faster, mind, just as fast as.....

So he defended in Spain and Monaco, so what? A Williams could keep a Ferrari behind it around those tracks.

The issue is whenever this comes up about Vetell (whihc is all the time now - even the mainstream commentary teams), Vetell's fans have to fall back on the same FEW examples of where defended or 'mixed it up', literally the same couple of races are brought up again and again. With the likes of Alonso and Hamilton, there is no need for such specific examples because there are literally so many of them.

Vetell had the fastest car last year as well and he just about squeaked the wdc against a much older team-mate and a field of slower cars.


disagree with no.3. Vettel hasn't proven himself as a top-level overtaker but he can certainly defend very effectively, calmly and intelligently, as he showed in Barcelona and Monaco.


Thing is 69bhp, when Alonso or Hamilton come up behind Vetell I always believe they will get past sooner rather than later. If I was a Vetell fan I would 'fear' for my driver in that position.

However, if Vetell comes up behind Alonso or Hamilton I always believe he will not pass. I would have no fear as a HAmilton or Alosno fan.

You just can't get away from the suposition that Vetell needs the fastest car on the track to win (generally speaking) - of course there is going to be the odd exception - whereas Hamilton and Alonso do not.


Vettel overtaked Alonso during the race, didn´t he!! He was 4th at some point and ended up 2nd only losing points to the less "dangerous opponent".

I don´t know if James as a soft spot for Vettel but you seem to be bias against Vettel.


You should probably also add to 2 "Vettel gets results."


You do have a soft spot for Vetell don;t you James 😉



8) Given a clear track and a good car, Vetell consistently delivers absolutely flawless lights to flag runs.


Some also said that going to McLaren was a mistake. Those people are pretty quiet now too...


I like this very much!



Ultimately this was a very unsatisfying race. While Hamilton threw it away with the spin, I thought he probably deserved to win more than any other driver today. The opening laps of the race, with Hamilton pressuring Vettel, was some of the finest racing I have seen, wet or dry. I really don't know how Hamilton managed to avoid running into the back of Vettel on so many occasions. Those few laps will have a place in his career highlights. And it showed why Hamilton is a cut above Vettel.

McLaren also did a poor job today on Hamilton's pit strategy, something his engineer acknowledged in a radio transmission at the end of the race. While I congratulate Button for the win, this one feels just a tiny bit lucky. And of course, same for Vettel's 2nd.

All in all, I thought Hamilton drove a race today just as brilliant as Germany. It's a pity 4th was the best he could do. Still, even with a drive through and an extra stop for inters, it speaks to the tenacity of his drive that he got 4th. Of course, he still fought to the end with Webber to secure it.

Sometimes the hardest working driver doesn't get the win. Today was one of those times.


Totally agree.


Not sure how it showed Hamilton a cut above Vettel... Hamilton has been in 4 wrecks this year and Vettel ZERO. Vettel went off and Hamilton went through... I saw Alonso go off about 4 times today and I saw Hamilton completely spin the car while leading by 8 seconds with no pressure. I also think it is clear the McLaren is the fastest car in F1 right now... Can't quite get poles, but race pace is brilliant


He wasnt leading by 8 seconds with no pressure, it was 5 seconds with Button catching him at half a second per lap.


Alonso also spun the car with no pressure


I thought all of the top drivers had a good race to be honest. Lewis was great at the start, but Vettel also drove very well to hold him back for so long. It was excellent driving on both parts.

Jenson has a knack in these conditions and deserved the victory for me. Good to see Alonso up on the podium too. He pushed when his car allowed it and didn't get too reckless when the race was falling away from him.


Lucky? What rubbish.


I thought the race was very satisfactory...because the guy who didn't make anu mistakes won the race.

Hamilton is fast, but he's got no race-craft, hence your argument that he's a cut above Vettel is incorrect.

Hamilton spun (Button did not), he then made a rash, dangerous turn in front of approaching traffic which could have taken him and a bunch of other cars out of the race.

Also, he destroys his tyres by driving too fast, too soon.

Finally, he makes poor tactical decisions, or leaves them up to the team - whereas Jenson pretty much gets it right every time.

Hamilton's first season was his most impressive-in my opinion he's going backwards.


Webber was the highest ranked driver to not make a driving mistake, pitting for inters, not sure if that was his call.... Jenson had a deseved win though.


Made a rash, dangerous turn? Exactly what separates Hamilton from other drivers in that regard? Which drivers do you know who would wait patiently in that situation? Every driver who I have ever seen in that situation did what Hamilton did, which is to get pointed in the right direction as quickly as possible. Hamilton said he didn’t see Di Resta.

As far as Hamilton making poor tactical decisions and Button making the right calls, Button himself said that HIS race engineer made the right calls today. No where did I see Button laying claim to making any brilliant tactical decisions. On the other hand, per Hamilton his radio didn’t seem to be working and the team couldn’t hear him.

It’s rather incredible that when Hamilton does well, as he did last week, it’s the Team that made the right calls, and when thing go awry as they did today, it’s Hamilton who can’t make the right tactical calls. Equally amazing it seems to work the opposite for Button. When the strategy goes bad it’s the team screwing up Button. When it goes well, it’s Button’s masterly making the right calls.

Is that the way it really goes? Some how I doubt that.


If you ask Button why he did not stack up behind Lewis for Inters as he was instructed to do, he will say it was the team's decision!! Button has never said "I decided, it was MY call". For him it is ALWAYS "the team". That's why they LOVE him.


maybe you should come to terms that mclaren has a car advantage in the wets and it was very evident when Hamilton was pulling way with a 3 sec a lap advantage over Vettel after Vettel went wide. No heroics from Hamilton hence. And btw, Hamilton made a mistake and drove dangerously, inviting a penalty. Thank you very much!


Yes he made a dogs breakfast of the race but I think you're being overly harsh. DiResta was still around the corner when he began the correction. It was just an awkward spot!


First of all, I have seen loads of drivers wait for traffic to pass before spinning their car the right way round. I have very seldom seen a driver do it with cars in close proximity. It was a dangerous move. Deal with it.

Secondly, if Hamilton didn't see Di Resta then he shouldn't be in F1...the guy was facing him and getting approached at +\- 100 miles per hour.

Finally, re: the tyres, Button clearly said 'our' decision in the post-race interview. He makes a lot of his own calls regarding tyre choices in inclement weather conditions, while Hamilton relies on his team.

I don't mind Hamilton receiving acclaim when he deserves it, but today he made a mess of it...he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by making a number of errors. And it seems to be a trait that is increasing rather than dissapating.

Button, today, was a much better driver and deserved his win.


Hamilton had the fastest car in Hungary and it was himself who spun, caused a very risky situation (what about respecting the rules, is it just for the fools?) and misjudged the track for the intermediates, which as Pedro de la Rosa put it today, is basically a decision of the driver. When he wins he is the best, when he ruins a race he is also the best?


I don't think he broke the rule intentionally. He just didn't see DiResta coming around the corner!

Also....even the best make monumental cock ups, it's part of being the best!


Thats funny to me because when Vettel puts tire on the paint and gets sideways long enough to lose the lead he is somehow slated as being sub par, less than world class, and cracking under pressure. I'd hate to see him commit a "monumental c**k up" as you put it.

On a normal day coming home second when the car wasn't fast enough to challenge for the win and extending your lead over 3/4 of you competition would be a job well done, apparently of I am tobelieve most English speaking discussion boards that acually is a really bad. I wish my bad days unfolded like that.


Jenson lucky? I heard this comment from James as well, and feel this is very harsh on Button. He drove a great race. Looked after his tyres whilst Hamilton went marching off ruining them, then jenson caught him up everytime.

If you watched the F1 forum, Jenson ignored the call to queue up behind lewis in the pits for Inters. This isn't lucky this is called using your briain.

If it stayed dry, there was no way Lewis was getting nearly 30 laps out of the super softs so would've had to pit again.

I feel a bit for lewis as he is a brilliant racer. But the better man won on the day. No "Luck" involved..


Ted immediately corrected himself after he said it. He didn't mean Jenson won the race because he is lucky. It was said during a stage where everyone thought the reason why Button didn't pit for inters. was because Button was behind Hamilton so Hamilton get to pit first and Button got an extra lap to feel the track.


and surely it was lucky for jenson that the team put him on primes and lewis on options, which meant lewis would have had to do an extra pitstop...


A champion gets to be a champion through talent AND temperament. I think temperament has been the one thing holding Hamilton back this season. He needs a little less Senna and a little more Prost. If and when he gets that under control, everyone else will be racing for second.

gavin finlayson

Absolutely spot on..no surprise that Button's hero was Prost.


When did I say JB was lucky? He judged it well.


Always 1999 in Tom's house 😉


Sorry James, I think I go you mixed up with Ted. My Apologies.


Think he got you confused with Ted Kravitz in the pitlane for BBC coverage during the race.


How can you say he was lucky? How many times does he have to win a race before people stop saying this? Button took better care of his tyres and didnt make the mistakes that Hamilton or a lot of the others did. Even if he hadnt stopped for inters he still had super softs on and would probably have had to stop again, or be very slow at the end.


Perhaps you missed when Button went off around lap 50, allowing Hamilton to pass him to retake the lead. This was after Button had passed Hamilton to take the lead and Hamilton fought back.


I meant +1 to Jon commentary. 😉


Well, he could start by taking a win in the dry - even better, do it in the dry without Lewis's strategists shafting him. Then he'll get some recognition...


Formula 1 law #1: Rain is the great equalizer.

Hence winning in the wet rates (much) higher than winning in the dry.


Rain or mixed conditions is what separates the men from the boys . Anyone can win in the dry but only the skillful few can master the wet

Conrad M. Sathirweth

F1Fan: Are you kidding? Button has done some of the best overtakes this season, he also has done a lot of overtakes this season.

As for you 'point' regarding Button and Vettel today at the start of the race has it not occured to you that Vettel was just faster than Button in that point of the race? Hence why he was pulling away and thus rather hard to overtake.


He would also get more recognition from me if he showed a greater ability to overtake. Immediately after Hamilton passed Vettel after went off, though it was likely Hamilton would have passed Vettel even if Vettel didn't go off, Button was right behind Vettel. And yet, the gap to Vettel opened up.

Some will say that was part of Button's brilliance to not contest the position but to save is tires. But that's rather stretching it. Given that you don't know what will unfold as the race progresses, you need to make passes when you can. Even his engineer tried to encourage Button to pass Vettel, as he always does. And as in more times than not, Button was unable to do when he had a good opportunity.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

He would of won in Monza if Mclaren had not messed up his pitstop. He could of won in Monaco this year if he had not been screwed over by SCs as well.

Even if it had not rained again today Button still would of beaten Hamilton because he was faster than him today.

Anthony Baylis

A 'Great' result for his 200th ... Jenson continues to improve !!!


Good race! Good win by Jenson too. I think the penalty on Lewis was a bit harsh but... rules are rules. If anyone remembers the GP2 Turkey race where Lewis spun on the first lap and came back to win from almost last, the spin he made was a lot more dangerous than this but of course in F1, stewards seem to get paid by the number of penalties they dish out.

That said, I think the race was lost when Lewis pitted for S-Soft tyres for the last time. I wonder why McLaren with all their tyre data would want him to do and extra stint, and the next lap, Jenson comes in for the Soft tyres.

On the radio, the race Engineer comes on to say that they got in wrong on the strategy. Not to sould paranoid here but it seems like McLaren wanted Jenson to win this over Lewis seeing that this was his 200th GP.

The McLaren pit wall has all the information around them and they allow Lewis stop for intermediates? That was just a big joke.

I am sick and tired of the incomprehensible decisions that happen on the McLaren pit wall anytime Uncle Ron is not there. This is not to say that Whitmarsh is not delivering the goods, but it is obvious that he would prefer to see Jenson win every weekend than to see Lewis win.

Just go through the McLaren pit wall commentary and you''ll see what I mean. They tell Jenson that only sector 1 is wet and then ask Lewis if he feels that it is wet enough for inters....

A fish stinks in McLaren.


+ 1 I was fan of McLaren since i started watching f1 no matter which drivers they had.Now im only hamilton fan,they did this to many times to Lewis.He dominated from the start,had 7 sec. advantage when he pitted for those s-softs.Weird weird decision from mcl.


U r too pessimistic for the team want JB to win. Both of them got each of their race engineer.

Yes, it is the worng call to put opt tyre for 3rd stop, but that time is 30 more laps which is almost half the race to go, Lewis drive quite consume his tyre so the team are not sure that Soft will last long enough for Lewis and also they could think that the other will put the S Soft too because it too long for Soft

JB engineer team might think that JB is softer on tyre so they try to take the risk with JB to hold the Soft tyre for that long.

If Lewis didn't do the mistake for his spin, he will have the gap and put Soft later, he might put harder at the later stage when JB and Vettel will probably suffer on the tyre.

when Lewis have to make 2 more pit, Vettel settle for 2nd, JB and Vettel didn't need to put the lap hard, so their tyre is last to the end.

In general this time the prime is not Medium, it just the Soft one which shouldn't last for 30 laps at 3rd pit stop. if there is no fire for Heidfield, Lewis might strech hsi tyre for 4-5 more laps and make the last stop for Soft.

I worse call for Lewis is for Inter that change all his game, if the rain fall that will be the right call, so they lost the gamble.

if there is more rain in the last 20 lap Lewis would win anyway, and you wouldn't say that the team is favour JB.

So Lewis loss when he put inter and then there is no more rain, that it.

I'm Lewis fan too, but I don't think the Team just let JB won over Lewis. it was JB engineer team who try to do different strategy to jump Lewis, if they do the same JB have no chance to be ahead of Lewis.


At that last stop arround lap 30, Lewis and Fernando were in their backfoot because they choose to go supersoft again and the soft choice that Vettel and Button took was probably the best choice but we will never know how would that come to an end.


the Last Stop for Vettel and Button, is several lap after Lewis and Alonso

Vettel and Button disn't make their last pit stop at the same time as Lewis

So they spend a few less lap on the soft.


Remember that it is two DIFFERENT people doing the talking so it is normal for the drivers to be told different things in different ways. Also, the drivers' teams (as opposed to the Team) will filter information according to how the race is going for "their" driver. Drivers often do not need the same info during a race.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

Really Mclaren apologised to Hamilton? Because on the radio Hamilton apologised to Mclaren for getting it wrong.

Also Mclaren told Button it is wet only in sector 1 after Button told Mclaren he did want to pit for inters after Mclaren asked if he wanted to. Mclaren asked both Hamilton and Button if they wanted inters, Hamilton said yes, Button said no.


You're misreading the pit wall feed, it's the engineer speaking to Hamilton not the other way round. Hamilton's radio wasn't working for the whole race, so he couldn't give much input.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

Actually it is true I was watching the Mclaren radio feed.



I think like me, Conrad followed the race on the Mclaren Website along with the TV coverage.


Lewis didn't win at Turkey,2006.

Andreas Zuber won it.

And absolutely that terrible spinning back deserved a really harsh penalty.

Lewis always drives like he is the only driver on the track.

GP2 never penalises drivers,you know.

That's why GP2 races are all incidents,crashes and so on.


Sounded to me more like Button using his veto power to avoid a questionable call or two from the McLaren pits. The guy behind the wheel usually knows best. That's the one thing Hamilton is still struggling to master.


Button certainly is the wiser of the pair. Hamilton relies on the team a whole bunch more which is why it looks like the team makes mistakes for him more frequently.


What about last two DNFs by Button?


Yes, it's been noticeable for some time, but the press aren't picking up on it. I think they know Lewis is heading elsewhere..


Perfectly judged? Holy cow. The Button hyperbole is machine is out of control.


I'm a Lewis fan (though also a Jenson and DiResta fan, or a fan of any other Brit in F1). It seems to me, however, that Lewis was already looking at a best finish position of third before he and/or his team made the bad call to switch to inters.

Sebastian and Jenson were good for tyres until the end of the race, while Lewis had to stop again to get rid of the supersofts, which were definitely not going to last until the end. This means that he was effectively about 10-15 seconds behind Vettel when you adjusted for the extra stop.

Unless there had been a significant downpour, Jenson already had the race in the bag before Lewis pitted for the inters. Perfectly judged does seem to be an accurate description of his race.

I also love the fact that Lewis and Jenson are allowed to race, and seem to be able to do it without taking each other out. What a pity Red Bull can't operate this way.


Very controlled race from Jenson. Would of interesting to see if Ham could of made the soft tyres last, he'd been superb upto that point.

Very tough call for Mclaren without having any radio input from the driver.


Lewis was managing 12 laps on the supersoft until he had a sudden drop in performance. At the point in the race where Button was on Softs and Lewis on Supers he'd already done that and would have had another 25 to go. No way he'd have done it. So Inters or not, Button had a pitstop over Lewis at that point.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

Button was also faster on the prime than Hamilton was on the options.


What a great race entertaining from start to finish. Jenson as always was supreme, likewise the commentary. How sad that we won't get to see this race next year live on the BBC. Highlights just won't cut it. Absolutely won't get sky, can't bring myself to put more money into the pocket of that low life criminal Murdoch. Hope Mclaren can beat the Bulls in the remaining races after the break, making the final full season on terrestrial tv brilliant.


You won't see Turkey anywhere, not just the BBC.

It's off the calendar fo 2012.


A break from the one-sided BBC is a good thing.


Congratulations to Jenson specially for coming back from the hospital after that serious accident to win the race 😉

More seriously also congrats to McLaren for really letting their drivers race, it's a whole pleasure to see.

I guess the best hungarian race?


Congratulations Jenson! Superb race. You kept your cool and it payed of!

A question - I thought that if you start a race on wets or inters you needn't use both copmpunds of dry tyres in race. Can someone clarify this for me? Thanks...

Oh, by the way, mr. Horner, did you happen catch the racing betwen Lewis and Jenson? 😀


Correct - the choice between softs and supersofts were purely down to tactics and / or what tyres were left (remember only 3 sets of each tyre are available from Quali onwards).

I second the comment about Jenson and Lewis' on track battle. Absolute magic.



If the race start on Wet, there is no need to use both dry compound in the race.


Well done JB. Great drive! Bad luck to Webber who lead the way on strategy today. First to go to slicks. First to go to the prime but unfortunately, also the fist to go to inters again, which surely cost him third. Enjoyable race though, all things considered and a fitting 200th for Jensen.


Congratulations to Jenson for he is indeed the king of changeable conditions. His scrap with Lewis was great moments of the race.

It is Vettel who has the last laugh, he is edging closer to his second WDC.


If Vettel wins one more race and Lewis was to win the rest, Vettel would still only need an average of 9 points per race to take the title.

Taking 6 points more then Lewis today wasn't too bad. A win with Lewis in second would have only gained him an extra point over his rival, so Vettel really got away with this one. This could have easily been a DNF for Vettel if he'd lost his cool being passed by Lewis or decided to chase Button down at the end.

Well played Vettel.


Great drive from both McLaren drivers.

To be honest I don't think Lewis's race was done in by the inters, although they undoubtedly were the final nail along with the drive through. It was sticking with the super soft when everyone else switched to soft that was what did for him, there was no way back for him at that point.


with Lewis Driving style, Supersoft can last for only 12-13 laps

at 3rd pit, who can be so sure that Soft can last for 30 laps, JB can use soft because he came to the pit a few lap later and his driving is softer than Lewis that JB think he can drive soft tyre last to the end

if Lewis can delay 3rd pit stop for 4-5 more laps, he probably can use the soft till the end.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

Alonso did the same thing and still got 3rd.


And if it wasn't for Lewis' extra change to the inters, Alonso would have been fourth to Lewis' third.


3rd for Lewis wouldn't have been a great deal better; anything other than a McLaren 1-2 would have been an underachievement. The root cause of that failure was not switching to the primes.


BUt he didnt get a bogus drive through...


Which is also not a win!

I don't dispute that the inters made it worse, but to my mind there was no way he could win after not going for softs in the penultimate stint.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

True, I think his only way of winning after switching to the options was to pull out a big enough lead. He would of needed a lead of about 18 secs, after the pitstops he had a lead of about 7 seconds and the options were meant to be 8 tenths quicker than the prime, so he would of needed to of pushed for about 13 laps. However he did not really get even a chance of this because he span. I also do not think he would of had much chance of achieving it even if he had not span because for some reason Button was going quicker than him and he was of course on the primes. If he had not of span and had not of went in for the inters then he probably could of got second but really there were just too many mistakes from all areas.


Hi James,

can you please find out if it was webbers decision to go on inters? Or was it the teams so they can find out for vettels race? I think webber had a shot for 3rd today!



He has said himself that he made the call


Looks like Lewis is getting some payback for all the times he has spoken badly of the team. It was HIS race all the way!




Just taking a look at the points; in case anyone's interested;

Vettel 234

Webber 149

Hamilton 146

Alonso 145

Button 134

Right now there are 200 points to play so it's still very open. It's not possible for Vettel to wrap things up by Monza either. The earliest possibility is Singapore (race 14, 5 races left, 125 to play for). Do note that in all of my calculations I put him up has having clinched the title by 1 point at least; and I don't take into account countback as there are more races left than Vettel has already won this season.

In order for Vettel to wrap things up by the Singapore race chequered flag; he has to, over the next 3 races, outscore:

Webber by 41 points (13.67 average)

Hamilton by 38 points (12.67 average)

Alonso by 37 points (12.33 average)

Button by 26 points (8.66 average)

For him to do so by the Suzuka chequered, he has to outscore (over the next 4 races):

Webber by 16 points (4 average)

Hamilton by 13 points (3.25 average)

Alonso by 12 points (3 average)

Button by 1 point (0.25 average)

By Korea, it changes the picture dramatically, as Vettel just needs to "not lose" points rather than "gain points."

Webber can catch him by 9 points (1.8 average)

Hamilton can catch him by 12 points (2.4 average)

Alonso can catch him by 13 points (2.6 average)

Button can catch him by 24 points (4.8 average)

By India:

Webber can catch him by 34 points (5.67 average)

Hamilton can catch him by 37 points (6.17 average)

Alonso can catch him by 38 points (6.33 average)

Button can catch him by 49 points (8.17 average)

By Abu Dhabi:

Webber can catch him by 59 points (8.43 average)

Hamilton can catch him by 62 points (8.86 average)

Alonso can catch him by 63 points (9 average)

Button can catch him by 74 points (10.57 average)

By Brazil:

Webber can catch him by 84 points (10.5 average)

Hamilton can catch him by 87 points (10.875 average)

Alonso can catch him by 88 points (11 average)

Button can catch him by 99 points (12.375 average)

Now I hope I haven't scared anyone off here; and that you all understand the numbers. Cya in 4 weeks guys


So I see something like Korea or India to win the WDC, probably Korea.


You never know what's going to happen: It's far from outside the bounds of possibility that Vettel won't finish the next couple of races (be it for mechanical reasons, an error by Vettel or being hit by another car), and, if, say, Hamilton won both those next two races, then all of a sudden, he's 38 points behind with 5 races to go, and it really would be game on for the championship.

Yes, the above is maybe an extreme case, but it shows how quickly things COULD turn around


Realistically, that's only going to happen if Vettel breaks a leg on a mountain bike, or in the next race. (And nobody wants that - irrespective of allegences!)



So Vettel will win the championship one way or the other.


Congrats to Jense; superb, calculated race. Contrary to Hamilton who race his car on the limit, no matter what's happening on he track and behind him, Button made full use of his wits and took home the car without making any mistakes.

The rest of the contenders lose control of the car at some point or him/the team made wrong calls. At the end of the day, the best racer won.


People seem to be missing quite a lot. In a recent article by James regarding Jenson's 200th race, he quoted Gil De Ferran who was gushing over Buttons ability to take it 'up' to the limit rather than going beyond it and having to come back. That is why everyone else spins while Button can race on slicks in near inter conditions.

Also, I watched the live timing on Formula1.com while watching the race and like clockwork at about lap 11 or 12 of a stint on super softs Lewis's pace dropped of dramatically and Button started to catch him.

Because of all the drama surrounding Lewis's spin, change to inters and subsequent drive through, it went unnoticed that Button was faster on the softs than Lewis was on the super softs and with 25 laps to go, Lewis already having done 13 laps on a set of super softs and Jenson on the softs they were racing for position. Jenson had the tyres to finish the race and thus had at least one pitstop over Lewis who would undoubtedly have had to make another stop, maybe even two.

Lewis entertained thereafter with great passing moves on Massa and Webber, but Jenson really did drive very well and virtually mistake free compared to Alonso, Lewis and Vettel, all of whom had race position losing spins.


I don't think many people are arguing that the inters call cost Hamilton the win, the race was already lost by the time he pitted if the conditions forced Button in for inters then Hamilton would of right back in contention.

The gamble was probably worth taking as pitting for slicks would of left him in a probable fight for 3rd/4th.

Bizarre situation with the softs being faster than the super-softs it will be intriguing if James can point to a reason why when he does the race analysis.


Wasn't unnoticed if you were following my Twitter feed..

Conrad M. Sathirweth

And Button was not on the limit? Is that why he was faster than Hamilton?


S Soft can be fast for a few lap then it drop a lot, JB Soft is faster because at that moment S soft on Lewis is almost dead.

2nd and 3rd stint on Super soft, JB never been faster than Lewis. but JB tyre management is better than Lewis.

on pure pace, I hardly see JB matching Lewis.


The softs were faster than the super-softs at the point of the race. Up until that point Hamilton had been faster.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

Have you got any evidence that it was the tyres that was faster and not just the driver? I can't think of any explanation for the prime being faster than the option at that point in the race. If you have one I would be interested in knowing what it was.

Also Hamilton was faster than Button and the entire field during the first stint but after that Button was generally quicker than Hamilton.


Great race and well done on Jenson for winning in his 200th Race.

I was worried he may be disqualified because I did not see him attach his steering wheel after getting out of the car- he was so keen to run to his team and family.

Hope he does not get a penalty.


It starts to be something really amazing (for me) how Button has an edge above the others in these conditions, it is statistically significant, is it intelligence? Intuition? He drove a great race undoubtedly and was fast enough when it was needed.

As for the championship, it is over but on the other hand we are watching great races so I won't complain!

James, one bit of info: it was said in Asturian TV that Alonso's third set of tyres was defective, it seems he told on the radio but I'm not sure it was broadcast


He did seem to burn that set out incredibly quickly.


I'm pretty sure he didnt have edge over Lewis.


I'm pretty sure he did.

The race was in the bag as soon as Lewis took on his third set of supersofts.


I'm surprised that this matter of the softs being faster than the supersofts hasn't got more comment. First of all it caught Martin and David by surprise as they were wondering why (was it Shumacher) went to the softs when he didn't have to as it was a wet race. At least I think so as I didn't get it all as TSN shows commercials on a split screen. Then you have Jenson catching (notorious tire burner) Hamilton before the rain. Prior to that, (can't pass to save his own life) Vettel catches and rapidly passes Alonso who was on not very old super softs. Weren't the softs supposed to be ~1 second slower?

On another note, Vettel gets a lot of criticism for being Actually Not Very Good. In a race like today he really shows his true Prostian discipline, going fast enough to get it done but with enough margin to not make mistakes. There's all sorts of comment on less informed boards than JAF1 about how so-and-so should have one but didn't because of whatever excuse. Vettel's just there, every time.

On a third note, the BBC/Sky thing is an obvious disaster. I just hope TSN in Canada can get both feeds and that the current team keeps calling the races. I've recently taken to get up at 5am to watch the races live, and if it goes away, this family is giving up cable.


You are forgetting that Vettel again went off the road when put under pressure by Hamilton.


Dave read what Frosty said he went wide on his initial slippery opening stint but despite all the critisim Vettel is still very young compared to the others and does get the results he can't be doing too much wrong I know it is hard for you guys to take him not being english but he will in my opion get even better with more experience


Agree about Vettel.

Jenson deserves the headlines, but Vettel was almost Jenson-like in the getting your head down and putting in consistent laps after his initial slippery opening stint.


All the drivers gave us a great race today. Congratulations.

Has anyone actually added up how many overtakes there were -- particularly by Jenson and Lewis on each other? I'm sure some records must have been broken.

I hope the others teams note the trust and respect Jenson and Lewis have for each other which means they can race each other with great sportsmanship and no fear there'll be any intentional coming together. This is something we used to see a lot in F1 before the days when Michael Schumacher made intimidation acceptable.

I also like the way Lewis said on camera afterwards, "the best man won today". Great stuff!


Completely agree.

Whoever would have won this race would have thoroughly deserved it. Great driving by most in really tricky conditions.

Well done to JB!


Well done Jenson, I don't think he made any mistakes today, whereas most of the others did. He deserved to win. Not really a big Button fan, nothing against him either, just don't rate him as highly as some of the other drivers.

But have to give it to him, in these conditions he seems to make the right calls on tires, strategy and doesn't make many mistakes. Can't really put it down to luck given the number of wins he's now taken in changeable conditions.


oh how the turn around in f1. ferrari left hoping that the faster turns of spa helps there car. unthinkable 2 months ago. mclaren now the king of the slow stuff. after the way vettel was reeling lewis in the brooklands complex at silverstone in the race it just shows how much mclaren are getting from the off throttle blowing now there quicker on a slower track.


Commiserations to Lewis - it didn't fall his way today, especially with 5 pits stops and a drive through. Mind you, remember the last time that happened to a McLaren driver (in Canada) he still won!


No matter what anybody said, McLaren put Button on the better strategy than Lewis and I have no idea why, maybe because it was his 200th GP and they wanted him to win, I don't know. Hamilton had been superb, especially at the start, he was unlucky to spin as he had no idea it would be wet, due to the sudden downpour. Jenson profited due to everyone elses loss. He is good in them conditions but he isn't superb like everyone claims. In Hungary '06 he won due to Alonso retiring. In Australia '10 he won due to Vettel retiring. In China '10 it was once again strategy (not skill) that won him the race. In Canada '11 he won due to his dry pace. Hamilton is the best in the wet as he proved in the opening laps.

Oh well, a win is a win.


McLaren didn't put the better strategy for Button, it was Button who manage their tyre better than Lewis

each set of Super Soft , JB can run longer than Lewis, so at 3rd pit JB can use soft to the end while Lewis can't. That why Lewis need at least one more pit.


Incorrect - in 06 button was infront of alonso when fernando span out.


No, what Thomas says its absolutely correct, Fernando had like 35 seconds advantatge when he lost that famous nut.


Fernando had like 35 seconds advatatge over jenson when he lost the famous nut.


Great race, wish I could have watched it!

Congrats to Jenson!!!

What are the thoughts on the blown up Renault of Heidfeld???


It was a great way to cap his 200th race with a win for Button...it was a great drive by Lewis, to me he was the best racing driver of the day! I'm sure luck wud better serve in later races...great racing btw the McLaren teammates!

James do u think that McLaren are getting the act together and have the best overall car in the field now?

Bring on SPA!


Strong showing from Riccardo and both Toro Rosso boys.

Red Bull are going to have a bit of a headache deciding who gets the seat next year.


Well done mclaren for letting your drivers race wheel to wheel! ferrari should be ashamed of themselves, its so obvious Massa has been told to let alonso through no matter what! it was disgusting to watch that fixed move! if alonso was so good he wouldnt need massa's help!


Listening to Martin Brundle's propaganda speech again. Alonso overtook him in the DRS zone, and pulled out 1.7 seconds on the same lap, 2.4 seconds on the next lap.

Brundle should be ashamed of himself, making up lies whenever Alonso passes Massa.

Alonso passed Hamilton easier, on the outside without using DRS, compared to Massa.


I sense Brundle dislike Alonso despite his praises for him being the best overall driver.

Another unfair speech from Brundle, shucks.


From McLaren Pitwall (http://www.mclaren.com/formula1?expand=1):

Pit » BUT: "It's your call on tyres, Jenson."

Button: "I'm staying out."

Brilliant stuff!


And that explains everything.


If you follow the radio conversation, you´ll notice, that Jenson was guiding the team in the tyre decision, as Lewis was asking for team guidance.


And how was Hamilton asking for guidance when his radio wasn't working?



Off topic, but everytime I've been onto your site over the last couple of days my anti-virus software pops up telling me it's blocked an attack from this site. Are you aware of any problems?

I don't think it's just me - seen a couple of forum posters on other sites saying they have the same issue.

Cheers, Natalie


It may well be one of the scripts, there are five running on this page. If you use Firefox then install NoScript and it will let you enable scripts on each page individually.


We've had some issues with that but our tech staff say they should be resolved now. Thanks


I cant belive some are questioning Jenson again after this win!

If it hadn't rained Hamilton would have needed to stop again as he was on the super-softs that would not have lasted Jenson was on the prime and didnt need to stop again so Jenson would have won anyway, the rain did not help Button at all.


As I have said before, I find it strange that people just can't see Jenson's quality and insist that he is just lucky. Lewis may be faster over a single lap, but not by all that much and Jenson is great in the races.

It is odd to me that many F1 fans idolise Senna for his wet weather wins and deride Button for his. I'm not suggesting that he has Senna's talent, but equally you have to rate anyone who has won 11 races, a WDC and is the 4th highest points scorer of all time.

He has won in the wet, the dry and in changeable conditions. He was won from the front and dominated and he has won coming through the field. He has won races where he has had to overtake and he has punished others for their mistakes.

For anyone who thinks that his dry wins were purely based on the dominance of the BGP01 I urge you to consider Monza 2010. He came very close to winning against the Ferraris, and might have done but for the damage to the rear of his car after Alonso shunted him at turn 1.


A great win to Jenson! Well done.

I still do nay understand why the SC wasn't deployed following the Renault fire. There were people on and near the (damp) track and pitlane exit. There was even a tow-truck in the pitlane 'off-ramp'. Strange decision me thinks.

Vettel really believed he was in the hunt for a win somehow (post-race interviews). I personally couldn't see it. He really doesn't like coming 2nd does he.

All in all, very enjoyable and a fair result all round.


Does anyone else think that this was a really poor showing from Alonso this weekend? The end result was pretty good but just the amount of mistakes cost him dearly.


@ James Allen,

We know Mark is in talks with Red Bull about his contract for 2012, but this time round he seems more relaxed and he it seems he is taking his time to sign it.

Do you know if he is quietly working on any other possible links ..... Scuderia ???



I think he'll stay put at RBR


People seems to forget Lewis wasn't going to win the race regardless of the brief shower and the penalty. Hamilton had to make another pitstop for tyres, Button didn't need to make another stop.

Mark in Australia

A great drive JB. Well done!!!

Surely a disappointing day for the the rest, particularly Mercedes GP in particular with both cars well placed early in the super slippery conditions. How fantastic was it to see all the drivers on the absolute limit. Vision that took me back to watching the Grand Prix of old with cars sliding a fighting for grip in all aspects, braking, cornering and on the power.

A shout out to Daniel Ricciardo too. Great drive to be right amongst the fighters in the "best if rest" battle, eventually comfortably heading home Liuzzi. Watch out Jaime and Seb B in the Torro Rossos... This young Aussie is fighting hard for your seats in 2012!!!


Off track.

Nick Heidfield must be starting to wonder if he is driving for Colin Chapman.


A bit of drizzle was what he's looked forward to at Hungary. And Jenson got his wish and his win, fair and square. Hamilton fans must be fuming.

Good lord, Vettel needs only another 4 to 5 points! and he'll be the world's youngest back to back double world champion in F1 history.

Can he start from position 24 at Spa, LOL!

I'll be taking the last 8 races as another championship between Alonso, Webber, Hamilton and Button to keep the spirit up.


ooops, wrong calculations, sorry.


The real reason why Lewis lost this race was because of his McLaren team putting him at a disadvantage yet again. There are about 30 laps to go and most of the leading drivers are pitting. Lewis is 7 seconds in the lead on supersofts. So what do u do? Bring him in 1st or wait to see what everyone else does and cover them off?

Well clearly McLaren thought it a good idea to bring him in first, put him on worn supersofts and then the very next lap put Jenson on softs (meanwhile I think Alonso and Weber put on softs). So Lewis go's round once and his radio comes on.. Lewis this is the situation, [u basically have to find 19 seconds now for a pitstop because everyone else is going to the end and there is no way used supersofts will do 30 laps].

So Lewis was driving the wheels off his car to make up the time - it started raining and he made a mistake and spun. From that point the win was defintely out of reach so he made a gamble on the weather and went for inters - obviously had the penalty as well.

In my view people are missing the real reason why he lost - it wasn't his spin or the inters - or the penalty because of his spin. It was the very decision to put him on worn supersofts when everyone else was going onto the softs to drive to the end of the race.

Why have the so called expert pundits missed this?

I obviously watched the race and as soon as Lewis pittied for the supersofts and he had 30/31 laps left I knew the team had made yet another poor poor decision and given Lewis's win away and the 1-2 for McLaren which frankly they deserved.

What a shame.


I watched the race live and i think that Alonso made too many mistakes. First of all, it could have been better on Saturday where he had a chance to be on the front row. In the race, he made too many mistakes and definitely could have finished second....

I think that Ferrari is really struggling in cold and wet conditions and as soon as we are going to move to higher temperatus, it is going to change and they might be the var to beat.

By the way, I think it is now very clear and official...Red Bull is not the fastest car anynore...sadly Vettel has ot way too many points, otherwise we could have experience a supee climax of the season.


Dear all,

I think the exciting thing is that Button is showing signs of improved quali pace. His consistency of lap time would be lethal from pole.

Rather than arguing over who is number 2 driver we should all be proud to have a team with 2 Brits who's blending of contrasting skills make them a force to be reckoned with.

We should thank them both for bringing a challenge to the front door of Red Bull and bringing the season alive again.

At least these TWO world champions are giving us a season to remember in this great sport before SKY takes this all away and locks it in a vending machine.

Thanks Jens and Lewis...miss u next year.

(Just to add...I am NOT a Lewis fan. Go Jens!)


Renault states the fire was not a big issue: just some external carbon fibre body work burning after the enigine overheated. But surely that does not account for the explosion we saw? Must have been a more serious issue.



IMO, you don't highlight enough the importance of Hamiltons strategy going wrong when he was pitted for super-softs a third time, when at that point, it was already clear (although Brundle and Coulthard didn't get it at this point) that some would attempt to go prime-tyre and take them to the end.

This ment, that Hamilton would definately need to pit again, where as all those on the prime tyre would probably not. At this point, Hamilton still had a 'healthy' 7 seconds lead over Button who was on the prime-tyre.

The rain potentially could have saved Lewis's race had the rain been strong enough to force all front runners to pit another time. The spun didn't help, but it wasn't what cost him the race. The extra pit to inters was a risky gamble that could have payed off if all others had pitted for inters as well. It didn't - and as a result he lost 40 seconds in total for the pit to inters and back to the prime tyre. The drive-through only cost him another 15 seconds, putting him 55 seconds behind Button at that stage.

To sum it up - Lewis's had already lost 1st place to Button when he went onto supersofts instead of softs.

I'm amazed no one really picked this up on the BBC broadcast and decided to focus on the stop on inters and his drive-through instead. One has to ask, with a team as big as McLaren - what made them pit Lewis for super-softs instead of softs at that stage? At that stage, the only reason to do that was to cover Alonso who was on super-softs and he was how many seconds off the lead?


Alonso finished 19 seconds behind Button, not 10 as James stated.

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