Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

How Button went from last to first in 30 laps

2011 Canadian GP analysis

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011
Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

From dead last on lap 40 Jenson Button climbed through the field to take the lead on the final lap of the race.

He was aided by the appearance of the safety car on the way.

But he was also able to lap much quicker on the super-soft tyres than his rivals.

Pit stops

Canadian Grand Prix pit stops
Canadian Grand Prix pit stops

Drivers generally started on wet and switched to intermediates and then super-softs as the track dried.

But some drivers tried to switch to intermediate tyres early, before the rain became so heavy the race was suspended.

Almost all of these had to pit again to switch back to wet weather tyres, though Adrian Sutil didn’t and only switched to wets once the race had been suspended.

Virgin made the mistake of switching D’Ambrosio to intermediate tyres before the safety car returned to the pits after the race suspension, earning him a drive-through penalty.

Tyre compounds

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4Stint 5Stint 6
Sebastian VettelWetWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Fernando AlonsoWetIntermediateWetIntermediate
Felipe MassaWetWetIntermediateSuper-softSuper-soft
Mark WebberWetWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Lewis HamiltonWet
Nico RosbergWetIntermediateWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Jenson ButtonWetIntermediateWetIntermediateIntermediateSuper-soft
Michael SchumacherWetIntermediateWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Nick HeidfeldWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Vitaly PetrovWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Paul di RestaWetIntermediateIntermediateIntermediateSuper-soft
Pastor MaldonadoWetIntermediateWetIntermediateSuper-softSuper-soft
Kamui KobayashiWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Adrian SutilWetIntermediateWetIntermediateIntermediate
Sebastien BuemiWetIntermediateWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Rubens BarrichelloWetIntermediateWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Pedro de la RosaWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Jaime AlguersuariWetWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Jarno TrulliWetWetIntermediateSuper-softSuper-soft
Heikki KovalainenWetWet
Vitantonio LiuzziWetWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Timo GlockWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Narain KarthikeyanWetIntermediateSuper-soft
Jerome d’AmbrosioWetIntermediateWetIntermediateSuper-soft

Race progress

This chart shows how far each driver was behind the leader (in seconds) on each lap.

Button was over 100 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel at one point, but the frequent safety cars meant that even when he was languishing in the bottom half of the pack he wasn’t that far behind in terms of time.

However he was catching Vettel at a faster rate before the final safety car period and it’s conceivable he still might have won the race without it.

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849505152535455565758596061626364656667686970
Sebastian Vettel00000000000000000002.6500000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000002.709
Fernando Alonso0.9940.7220.5910.1082.0544.244.7366.3120.6510.8110.8020.6492.5583.4494.1585.1420.90422.243.29939.80339.20416.8778.9349.3338.4079.1386.9797.3166.9496.4046.0726.0954.2817.30726.208
Felipe Massa2.6311.941.7720.7082.4164.5095.3267.3081.1391.3421.6811.1373.2944.5645.2426.2567.2716.8698.361010.8481.5771.8071.5933.0972.862.1732.5032.0972.5341.7961.5111.9061.283.24918.76217.5291.9591.4861.3092.4763.494.1875.135.35.2086.6246.7417.0598.47212.87627.33949.00148.35947.09449.86457.23443.8310.5358.13214.99517.57119.15219.73121.76723.01426.75328.52132.45533.225
Mark Webber3.4932.8592.4711.42513.4418.39821.30125.5916.1528.4786.5595.3819.61312.72114.3517.318.71718.72123.26834.75332.94511.1236.6937.667.5428.0416.995.7775.9966.5985.4745.2685.1963.7866.24321.59420.7544.3134.1072.5374.6677.6649.41610.50710.67611.82713.6413.98315.93731.89439.0836.35219.09411.9889.08411.214.2787.7881.6831.3242.7553.5813.7285.0314.2564.6276.429.91513.14713.828
Lewis Hamilton4.2853.5233.561.7726.54611.63613.945
Nico Rosberg5.3274.9814.8522.5915.3438.31510.14712.9811.5144.2482.7572.8925.4827.79.28811.38427.05729.00155.56953.2249.9328.09613.08413.87210.20813.07812.51310.82311.0779.6148.8329.4298.9726.98310.53725.69922.6576.4396.2064.4959.15512.04914.26816.96818.56318.99120.29521.41122.19622.49224.96626.29929.83438.20139.24242.37351.35242.8289.357.32812.51615.23717.81119.50820.80922.95527.42131.11433.96850.454
Jenson Button5.815.4725.5653.1937.57810.72513.5129.5788.22210.6928.8766.62515.95819.27421.5920.41122.23123.90748.29842.52344.11421.39611.56111.75910.38211.58111.1389.649.7098.7917.898.0947.6235.5823.05127.093102.9675.93645.09612.13216.34419.19121.03821.35421.30921.53123.39825.65627.65927.89344.79247.59928.64519.69115.41313.31517.0269.6333.793.4513.0463.9444.0064.653.1691.6621.3341.1720.9110
Michael Schumacher6.8035.846.2054.1536.2659.68811.63614.2222.2494.4943.093.1026.3848.72610.45312.21413.64129.36643.14637.52951.9230.18214.52314.68511.61413.49313.28111.96411.4189.8769.25210.4859.25920.86321.0924.65421.0054.964.7872.6495.1256.7998.5399.7329.4279.85310.0279.67810.510.57711.66625.13918.60910.7078.7310.77313.6187.3290.5950.8242.2653.043.9293.8493.8584.2697.28211.39914.2314.219
Nick Heidfeld8.7137.987.8955.03410.7516.68418.98923.3734.5096.625.2444.3368.49911.60313.59516.65420.30923.21529.15921.69117.412.7083.2052.3084.7034.4963.4683.3763.1173.4842.6832.3952.8431.92918.79720.47316.2322.9022.5121.8383.7335.0217.9049.05810.2311.46812.70213.60115.14816.05117.74932.92225.19220.08620.43
Vitaly Petrov10.4559.7938.5425.63811.55118.09820.23224.4125.6477.3686.134.5478.60311.91315.75618.60720.59423.30433.74326.77224.1764.8274.8224.35.3916.4415.0734.4584.1224.5454.2963.3833.7172.8085.23522.16521.7745.8665.7723.345.9557.7889.67812.00211.80912.51314.05614.66116.17418.13419.7322.95826.06228.39827.66431.13739.47328.2326.0875.78110.05511.44615.17215.33915.02914.67216.14917.82320.10820.395
Paul di Resta11.13710.849.7275.9039.68118.7721.92326.0736.7839.2877.6355.71710.73613.52816.518.8221.79725.31334.67428.56327.1756.4065.5056.7235.5517.1586.1065.1355.2055.424.9294.054.4753.06719.93522.20217.7423.6653.142.1474.2075.20931.29233.95535.22537.86241.32243.57244.83853.82555.63157.44358.08273.60271.6481.49887.95877.70745.09313.91323.54427.04628.8230.51431.5932.20733.765
Pastor Maldonado12.38811.49310.2886.74211.99817.39221.89126.6687.39310.0718.0486.3111.94117.76522.75326.23844.16249.20277.25678.99581.72560.71739.24928.80417.57924.48725.94223.59221.48918.13316.9815.75517.5812.38629.6933.75426.8058.8229.2374.6617.88311.34213.91816.89219.21620.60821.85725.36229.09931.04949.70761.72844.2838.40740.80842.79952.14243.2079.6567.68563.583
Kamui Kobayashi13.82312.27811.1866.88210.88114.98516.11221.1143.1355.1164.0393.4936.939.36611.61713.00814.33715.81818.33911.4627.7130.921.0090.6791.6221.3721.1831.2831.2041.1111.0041.1950.781.2992.41618.6515.3361.3840.810.9641.5182.4443.7554.3184.6624.9835.5825.5516.2177.95913.51313.64817.83519.6820.26423.05632.42421.9275.0945.08712.02914.41616.97318.65319.83921.6525.01728.24832.20633.27
Adrian Sutil15.00513.06112.3057.58412.78719.40923.70328.4848.94711.76610.3767.55112.95918.36623.05742.49646.06948.30559.94856.1155.97835.22116.00417.22411.81214.50314.66313.5612.57910.8389.93611.00110.34421.44822.96227.64924.1847.2677.0033.6066.818.87212.14914.46522.40225.29327.35930.34756.963
Sebastien Buemi16.26614.32913.6768.27713.90422.48426.29131.19310.75413.8412.3449.11715.05620.48525.10630.60649.73851.13662.40277.1174.54655.29832.18526.51615.86922.00824.07421.95319.61816.62515.44515.30515.86126.82830.30934.57129.10410.74610.9285.79510.14313.22416.01718.58522.33924.72726.83629.75833.8956.10668.99271.15957.99351.27752.30457.35766.11447.3516.69912.47421.32324.79128.64130.22731.69933.8436.25142.25644.54647.056
Rubens Barrichello17.4515.97115.5149.5514.4521.31324.81329.43510.06112.93811.4718.64413.91119.21338.58742.48243.49645.15168.37766.58569.10850.58128.61723.04314.78419.2421.16619.41317.68614.82813.57913.33313.85725.95129.51930.62125.7178.3398.6435.1588.83610.99413.34315.69617.93318.58219.99222.34724.73740.96149.55849.00732.8835.33134.30337.48545.61435.5367.336.2119.01421.82725.227.61929.22330.56733.1536.08639.49445.117
Pedro de la Rosa18.1916.66216.33111.13915.48222.89129.4734.07812.77815.7814.62212.02616.36320.87425.60730.45833.21134.7443.50641.78742.2619.3119.24710.1178.769.9310.2018.3048.8437.847.3127.2926.9116.83531.32737.04233.06114.24514.0757.21812.29115.27318.2132326.81128.65631.05433.635.88239.12842.22558.6854.5949.4453.66163.81271.42352.88418.04513.80628.24435.11942.81644.6846.67949.42453.30957.42462.38763.607
Jaime Alguersuari31.19725.65326.05416.46621.09925.95730.90537.30116.48118.81518.35413.92818.90524.52728.72431.73235.28838.22162.91961.71662.3142.54918.41117.88912.89716.44916.52815.53914.11611.89610.82711.62211.5728.22528.1234.26528.49410.0210.225.5119.55812.6515.04117.72619.97121.16622.52324.66628.33729.64847.67759.07643.99137.03238.90740.65849.18440.5028.2176.75114.40317.14518.91119.60221.7723.96127.70631.53634.6935.964
Jarno Trulli20.48918.95117.77812.10917.15223.45628.75832.75911.96815.36914.20310.87217.68224.81830.25734.63541.22246.034101.833100.726103.8987.54267.53450.10619.28630.70530.76926.50124.07619.76318.81217.56219.1713.74420.05243.33641.1817.95615.8688.44214.47120.36725.83230.9435.02340.07344.04148.16853.07757.98763.10982.93583.34385.024157.929183.764191.445170.935136.992113.047121.582128.019133.008136.378140.282144.048148.444153.464161.924
Heikki Kovalainen22.0720.09918.78112.55217.74524.10329.86735.7214.05816.67116.18612.47118.38825.26530.8335.19639.9844.22792.9287.97993.34377.88858.531.41418.36527.22527.19324.789
Vitantonio Liuzzi23.47620.86120.73712.86819.11425.82332.13439.37334.5823.04721.88117.07824.6431.82737.00942.35748.79756.5668.6370.4673.50353.96231.42325.61815.33920.7422.69320.81618.83815.76514.60514.16815.04220.79560.4967.46663.89732.15518.4329.73317.19524.24329.9536.72341.25646.74953.44959.72267.16379.61592.013125.403132.685129.758133.345158.225159.699141.693130.372101.769106.262112.091115.203118.045121.877127.116134.481143.946152.75
Timo Glock25.23322.01321.59613.77118.66324.33430.27336.44715.91217.52217.2413.21219.7825.67731.56136.68442.35449.50464.36965.77367.7849.26227.01921.92414.11717.56119.12917.67415.67412.97211.89512.47712.69324.86830.99836.24631.99713.3213.5157.02213.27818.85724.31130.01433.80137.37542.73447.66352.56357.65981.00597.96885.56985.35194.489112.078122.812129.207124.32592.443101.043107.206113.576118.315130.43138.338145.861153.071161.594
Narain Karthikeyan27.80123.03522.71715.21621.15628.56735.79341.23717.89319.65219.54615.28925.10832.46637.96244.49650.90258.04672.72378.24479.61459.62937.67128.36716.90623.87125.36922.94820.70517.59116.50615.36316.92213.06919.5227.17846.3518.59416.769.38316.11822.92329.38435.57840.17247.71754.160.21868.39979.16107.537130.449129.826130.342136.031159.425160.729142.353133.312109.225119.767126.501130.947133.78137.666141.308146.637152.608160.31
Jerome dAmbrosio29.3924.58424.65216.17723.52430.05136.04342.7319.27821.81920.85516.13725.232.73339.22745.73166.61673.1284.93986.72592.44977.2979.52756.90721.62433.18532.2728.80824.95121.54320.37719.37536.20114.78720.36735.23430.42212.16412.4526.55411.90518.80126.74333.10337.60242.69147.92352.04357.24962.58170.03799.17995.59391.31495.764114.24124.308130.625125.536103.838113.943124.241129.675133.898138.393142.188147.506152.621161.264

Lap chart

After the race Button’s race engineer joked he must have occupied every position in the field at some point in the race – and he’s not far wrong.

Button fell as low as 22nd at one point, though he never crossed the line in that position nor any lower.

The other places he never occupied at the end of a lap were 13th, 16th, 17th and 19th. He only led for one lap – the final lap.

This chart shows the drivers’ positions on each lap.

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

012345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849505152535455565758596061626364656667686970
Sebastian Vettel11111111111111111111211111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111112
Fernando Alonso22222222222222222859988888888888888610
Felipe Massa3333333333333333322213333333333333233433333333333333612121211111111119999887776
Mark Webber444441412119999999885447777777777777775566666766666661188433333333324443333
Lewis Hamilton55555677
Nico Rosberg6666644444444444411101212111111111011111111111111111179999101212111199988775810109999977777788811
Jenson Button7777776614121212121514111110811111010101011101010101010101091511212121212018151412121212108109754444444443222221
Michael Schumacher888885555555555553118812121212121212121212121212181387777765544444424322222222232334444
Nick Heidfeld99999999777777777665444444444444444843444444455555557566
Vitaly Petrov1010101010111110888888899776555555555555555468888887777777663677666665555555555
Paul di Resta11111111118131310101010101010101099766666666666666610755555521191817161615141411151515141414141412121212111111
Pastor Maldonado1212121212121012111111111111111212181820202020202020202020202020202013181512121211101110101010101112101314111111101010101014
Kamui Kobayashi13131313131088666666666433322222222222223222222222222222242245555556666666667
Adrian Sutil14141414141314141213131313121213211917131313131313131313131313131313191413101010999881414141418
Sebastien Buemi1515151515151616151515151514151414212014181818181818181818181818181822191714141414141413131313131313151615141413121212121211111111121212111110
Rubens Barrichello161616161616151513141414141313222017151716161616161616161616161616162117141111111211109988899131210988777771010101010101010109
Pedro de la Rosa17171717171717181717171717161615131212101099999999999991021201717171716151415151515151412912131314131313131313131313131313121212
Jaime Alguersuari1824242424222221202020202019171615131315141414141414141414141414141412161613131313131312121111111011911131099888888888999998
Jarno Trulli19181818181818171616161616171817161516232323232222222222222121212121151121181818181819171717181818171715161616201919191919191818181818181717
Heikki Kovalainen2019191919191919181818181818191817141422222222212121212121
Vitantonio Liuzzi21202020202121222123232323212120192021181717171717171717171717171717172222202020202121202121202020202019192019181717171716161515141414141313
Timo Glock22212121212020201919191919202019181619161515151515151515151515151515202019161616161717161616161717161618171717161515151515151414151515151616
Narain Karthikeyan2322222222232323222121212122222122222219191919191919191919191919191914912191919191920192020212121211920201920191818181818181717161616161414
Jerome dAmbrosio24232323232424242322222222232323232323212121212323232323232222222222161218151515151516181819191919191817181818171616161617171616171717171515

Fastest laps

Button set the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate tour as he chased down Vettel.

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’16.95669
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’17.2170.26169
3Vitaly PetrovRenault1’19.0542.09868
4Michael SchumacherMercedes1’19.1382.18270
5Felipe MassaFerrari1’19.1482.19268
6Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’19.3952.43967
7Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’19.5072.55169
8Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’19.5722.61665
9Nico RosbergMercedes1’20.0713.11569
10Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’20.2133.25770
11Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’20.3163.36068
12Pedro de la RosaSauber-Ferrari1’20.3693.41370
13Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’20.3713.41569
14Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’22.2335.27767
15Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’22.4955.53968
16Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’23.1166.16066
17Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’23.4196.46363
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’24.2657.30953
19Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’24.5907.63468
20Nick HeidfeldRenault1’25.1358.17955
21Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’30.17113.21547
22Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’34.22317.26714
23Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’37.76120.8057
24Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’38.46021.50416

All lap times

Lapping in traffic often disguised Button’s pace, but once he’d switched to the super-soft tyres he really showed his hand, as you can see if you compare his lap times with the like of Vettel’s in the chart below.

McLaren were running more wing at Canada than their rivals, which probably helped Button generate heat in his tyres more quickly in the cool, wet conditions.

Once Button got past Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher at the end of the race, Vettel reacted, suddenly lapping one-and-a-half seconds faster.

Why did he not do this sooner? In all likelihood he was using a more aggressive engine setting for more power. Not to mention pushing the car harder which, ultimately, was his undoing.

The chart below shows the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) on every lap, apart from during the race suspension.

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849505152535455565758596061626364656667686970
Sebastian Vettel138.174126.919125.303125.71596.17594.82795.452101.724133.172128.183127.373121.93892.88893.33294.27394.09494.27594.63698.313119.585106.537128.207131.282136.761140.547127.452123.983122.236122.993121.708122.295122.034121.84792.42291.444109.685130.783125.563124.59990.84790.31189.87489.63289.5288.84888.10587.92487.20287.01186.43187.354101.71392.86584.79182.31996.098113.953126.105120.64381.15280.4580.30780.79780.34779.47477.83777.3877.21781.858
Fernando Alonso139.168126.647125.172125.23298.12197.01395.948103.3127.511128.343127.364121.78594.79794.22394.98295.076110.03995.932119.412113.439108.588105.88123.339137.16141.27126.322122.962122.573122.626121.163121.963122.057120.03395.448110.345
Felipe Massa140.805126.228125.135124.65197.88396.9296.269103.706127.003128.386127.712121.39495.04594.60294.95195.10895.2994.23499.805108.574120.035118.936131.512136.547140.31126.765124.313121.83123.43120.97122.01122.429121.22194.391106.957108.452115.213125.09124.42292.01491.32590.57190.57589.6988.75689.52188.04187.5288.42490.835101.817123.37592.22383.52685.089103.468100.54992.81118.2488.01583.02681.88881.37682.38380.72181.57679.14881.15179.919
Mark Webber141.667126.285124.915124.669108.1999.78598.355106.014113.733130.509125.454120.7697.1296.4495.90297.04495.69294.64102.86128.42107.379106.385126.852137.728141.046126.401122.77122.455123.595120.584122.089121.962120.43794.879106.795108.845114.342125.357123.02992.97793.30891.62690.72389.68989.99989.91888.26789.156102.96893.61784.62684.45585.75981.88784.43599.176107.463120120.28482.58381.27680.45482.179.57279.84579.6380.87580.44979.83
Lewis Hamilton142.459126.157125.34123.927100.94999.91797.761
Nico Rosberg143.501126.573125.174123.45498.92797.79997.284104.558121.705130.917125.882122.07395.47895.5595.86196.19109.94896.58124.881114.586105.897106.373116.27137.549143.417126.887122.293122.49121.53120.926122.892121.577119.85895.976106.606106.643114.565125.33122.88895.50793.20592.09392.33291.11589.27689.40989.0487.98787.30788.90588.687105.248101.23285.83285.45105.077105.42992.627118.62186.3483.17182.88182.49481.64881.6282.30381.07380.07195.635
Jenson Button143.984126.581125.396123.343100.5697.97498.237117.792111.816130.653125.557119.687102.22196.64896.58992.91596.09596.312122.704111.16110.778105.489121.447136.959141.746127.009122.485122.305122.075120.807122.499121.563119.804109.89395.486185.552103.75994.72391.63595.05993.15891.72189.94889.47589.0789.97290.18289.20587.245103.3390.16182.75983.91180.51380.22199.809106.56120.262120.30480.74781.34880.36981.44178.86677.96777.50977.21876.95678.238
Michael Schumacher144.977125.956125.668123.66398.28798.2597.4104.31121.199130.428125.969121.9596.1795.6749695.85595.702110.361112.093111.318123.578106.469115.623136.923142.426127.24122.666121.69121.451121.084123.528120.808133.45192.64995.008106.036114.738125.39122.46193.32391.98591.61490.82589.21589.27488.27987.57588.02487.08887.52100.82795.18384.96382.81484.36298.943107.664119.371120.87282.59381.22581.19680.71780.35679.88580.8581.49780.04879.138
Nick Heidfeld146.887126.186125.218122.854101.891100.76197.757106.108114.308130.294125.997121.0397.05196.43696.26597.15397.9397.542104.257109.467104.906113.505131.779135.864140.34126.424123.891121.977123.36120.907122.007122.482120.933109.2993.12105.444117.453125.173123.92592.74291.59992.75790.78690.69290.08689.33988.82388.74987.91488.129102.52793.98387.75985.135
Vitaly Petrov148.629126.257124.052122.811102.088101.37497.586105.904114.407129.904126.135120.35596.94496.64298.11696.94596.26297.346108.752109.964106.591108.858131.277136.239141.597126.084123.368121.9123.416121.459121.382122.368120.93894.849108.374109.294114.875125.469122.16793.46292.14491.76491.95689.32789.55289.64888.52988.71588.97188.02790.582104.81795.20184.05785.792104.434102.712103.96120.33785.42681.84184.03380.96480.03779.11779.31479.05479.50279.436
Paul di Resta149.311126.622124.19121.89199.953103.91698.605105.874113.882130.687125.721120.0297.90796.12497.24596.41497.25298.152107.674110.824107.799107.438130.381137.979142.154126.4123.012122.306123.208121.217121.416122.459120.439109.2993.711105.225116.706125.038123.60692.90791.313115.95792.29590.7991.48591.56590.17488.46895.99888.23789.166102.352108.38582.82992.177102.558103.70293.49189.46390.78383.95282.08182.49181.42380.09179.395
Pastor Maldonado150.562126.024124.098122.169101.431100.22199.951106.501113.897130.861125.35120.298.51999.15699.26197.579112.19999.676126.367118.674111.917107.199109.814126.316147.455128.907121.633120.133119.637120.555121.07123.859116.653109.72695.508102.736112.8125.978120.02394.06993.7792.4592.60691.84490.2489.35491.42990.93988.961105.08999.37584.26586.99287.19284.31105.441105.01892.554118.672137.05
Kamui Kobayashi151.997125.374124.211121.411100.17498.93196.579106.726115.193130.164126.296121.39296.32595.76896.52495.48595.60496.117100.834110.058105.438121.414131.371136.431140.297127.263124.083122.157122.9121.601122.486121.619122.36693.539107.678106.371116.831124.989124.75391.40191.23791.18590.19589.86489.16988.70487.89387.86888.75391.98587.489105.994.7185.37585.111105.466103.456109.272120.63688.09482.83782.86482.47781.53381.28581.20480.61181.17580.213
Adrian Sutil153.179124.975124.547120.994101.378101.44999.746106.505113.635131.002125.983119.11398.29698.73998.964113.53397.84896.872109.956113.097109.055107.45112.065137.981143.238127.612122.88121.255121.252120.806123.36121.377132.95193.93696.131106.22113.866125.299121.20294.05192.37393.15191.94897.45791.73990.17190.912113.818
Sebastien Buemi154.44124.982124.65120.316101.802103.40799.259106.626112.733131.269125.877118.71198.82798.76198.89499.594113.40796.034109.579131.643106.623108.959108.169131.092146.686129.518121.862119.901120120.528122.155122.59132.81495.90395.706104.218112.425125.745119.46695.19593.39292.66792.293.27491.23690.21490.84691.334109.22799.31789.52188.54786.14985.81887.372104.85595.18995.454116.41890.00183.91884.15782.38381.81981.61580.24883.38579.50781.659
Rubens Barrichello155.624125.44124.846119.751101.075101.6998.952106.346113.798131.06125.906119.11198.15598.634113.64797.98995.28996.291121.539115.143111.71109.68109.318131.187145.003129.378122.23120.509120.135120.459122.049122.558133.94195.9992.546104.781113.405125.867121.11494.52592.46992.22391.98591.75789.49789.51590.27989.592103.23595.02886.80385.58695.31683.76385.501104.227103.87597.899119.52393.95683.26383.6883.21681.95180.81880.4280.31680.62584.772
Pedro de la Rosa156.364125.391124.972120.523100.518102.236102.031106.332111.872131.185126.215119.34297.22597.84399.00698.94597.02896.165107.079115.216109.66105.258121.218137.631141.717127.723122.086122.775121.99121.18122.275121.653121.771116.91497.159105.704111.967125.393117.74295.9293.29392.81494.41993.33190.69390.50390.4789.48490.25789.528103.80997.62387.71589.01292.47103.70995.41491.266116.40495.5987.32588.00482.66182.34682.21981.72281.49582.1880.369
Jaime Alguersuari169.371121.375125.704116.127100.80899.685100.4108.12112.352130.517126.912117.51297.86598.95498.4797.10297.83197.569123.011115.732109.781108.446107.144136.239144.099127.531122.994120.813120.773120.639123.09121.984118.5112.31797.589103.914112.309125.763119.8994.89493.40392.26592.31791.76590.04389.46290.06790.87388.322104.4698.75386.62885.90686.66684.07104.624105.27193.82119.17788.80483.19282.07381.48882.51581.66581.58281.2180.37180.423
Jarno Trulli158.663125.381124.13120.046101.218101.131100.754105.725112.381131.584126.207118.60799.698100.46899.71298.472100.86299.448154.112115.828112.351111.859111.274119.333151.966127.516119.715119.811118.68120.757121.045123.642116.42198.73114.728107.529107.559123.475117.17396.87696.20795.33994.7493.60393.89892.07392.05192.11191.92191.553107.18102.12194.546157.696108.154103.77993.44392.16296.69889.68786.88785.29684.16784.25183.2482.23382.485.677
Heikki Kovalainen160.244124.948123.985119.486101.368101.185101.216107.577111.51130.796126.888118.22398.805100.20999.83898.4699.05998.883147.006111.994114.551112.752111.894109.675149.407127.42121.579
Vitantonio Liuzzi161.65124.304125.179117.846102.421101.536101.763108.963128.379116.65126.207117.135100.45100.51999.45599.442100.715102.399110.383118.765112.23108.666108.743130.956145.948129.405122.106120.258119.92120.548121.858122.908127.6132.11798.42106.11699.041111.84115.998.30997.35995.58196.40594.05394.34194.80594.19794.64399.46398.829120.744108.99589.93888.378107.19997.57295.947114.78492.0485.64586.27983.41983.63984.17984.71385.20286.84586.021
Timo Glock163.407123.699124.886117.89101.067100.498101.391107.898112.637129.793127.091117.9199.45699.229100.15799.21799.945101.786113.178118.339111.194109.689109.039131.666143.991129.02122.528120.236120.291120.631122.877122.25134.02298.55296.692105.436112.106125.758118.10697.10395.8995.32895.33593.30792.42293.46492.85392.10292.107109.777104.31789.31492.64793.92999.908106.832120.348121.22388.76189.75286.61386.67785.53692.46287.38285.3684.5985.74
Narain Karthikeyan165.975122.153124.985118.214102.115102.238102.678107.168109.828129.942127.267117.681102.707100.6999.769100.628100.681101.78112.99122.456110.557108.222109.324127.457147.512128.95121.562119.993119.879120.623121.152123.593117.99498.87399.102128.857103.027123.729117.22297.58297.11696.33595.82694.11496.39394.48894.04295.38397.772114.808110.266101.0993.38190.48105.71397.40295.577117.06496.55691.69487.18484.75383.6384.23383.11683.16683.35184.919
Jerome dAmbrosio167.564122.113125.371117.24103.522101.354101.444108.411109.72130.724126.409117.22101.951100.865100.767100.598115.16101.14110.132118.721114.911113.048133.519114.141152.108126.537120.521118.379119.585120.542121.293138.86100.43398.002106.311104.873112.525125.851118.70196.19897.20797.81695.99294.01993.93793.33792.04492.40892.34393.887116.49698.12788.58689.241100.795106.166120.27121.01698.94591.25790.74885.74185.0284.84283.26983.15582.49585.86

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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90 comments on “How Button went from last to first in 30 laps”

  1. His car was setup for it, I think in the end that – and being a great driver – is the story.

    1. I thibk that advantage was essentially nullified during the red flag stoppage, when teams were allowed to change practically anything on the car.

      1. they’re not. this was a question posed to one of the teams in the bbc feed. they can change parts on a like-for-like basis. so components that adjust say ride height (iirc) etc cannot be changed.

        i think new wing settings can be dialled in, but you can’t for instance change the nose-cone that was set up for dry racing to one that is set for wet racing.

        1. The are allow to change the basic set-up just not parts that aren’t like for like. The two things aren’t exclusive.

        2. Yet in Korea last year Mercedes changed Rosberg’s car to have a wet set-up.

        3. I think it was Sam Michael confirming this was the message fro Whiting, no changes of parts for better wet running.
          At the same time he said Williams were seeking clarification of the matter as they were not completely sure that was right.

          1. It was Sam Michael they were talking to about that, yes. And he confirmed that while they were allowed to work on the car, they were not allowed to put parts of different spec on it. Barichello had asked for a softer anti-roll bar and apparently that one weighs less (or more) than the stiffer one on the car when the race started and that’s why that was disallowed.

            I’m not sure how much clarification Ross Brawn asked for when he changed the setup on the Mercedes car last year in Korea. From Sam Michael’s explanation, it sounds like there seems to be a bit of inconsistency between the applications of the rules in both races. (btw Icthyes, I think that was Schumacher’s car they changed, as Rosberg had been taken out by Webber’s slide quite early on?).

    2. I think why he was so fast is his delicate and accurate driving line. As the Hulk did Brazil last year.

  2. A good bit of humble pie for the armchair critics yesterday slamming McLarens setup decision.

    Internet warrior, or multi-million dollar engineering company – I know which one I’d choose.

    1. The odd thing is that McLaren were only fastest on the dry track. Button could barely keep his car on track when it was wet.

      1. Hamilton looked very quick in the wet though.

  3. I find it confusing that you can do anything to the car during a red flag and yet when pitting under the safety car from a race suspension, you can’t change tyres. And then it is perfectly legitimate if you do it under normal SC periods like those who dived in before the leader got picked up.

    1. The race was officially called wet for the restart and all competitors had to start on full rain tires. Pitting and changing to intermediates before the cars were released by the safety car violated that requirement, hence the penalty.

  4. People often call Fernando Alonso “the most complete driver on the grid”, but after last night’s performance, I’m not seeing it. Jenson Button had to recover from a collision with his team-mate, a drive-through penalty and a puncture to win; as Martin Brundle pointed out, there was a time when he wasn’t sure if Button could catch the Hispanias before the race re-start, and he went on to win. In the process, he simply reaffirmed what Ayrton Senna demonstrated at Donington in 1993: it doesn’t matter how many pits stops you make, if you’re on the right tyre at the right time, pretty much anything is possible. And this isn’t the first time that Button has made strategic calls on his own that may have seemed strange at times, but paid off in his favour – Australia and China 2010 spring to mind, as does Hungary 2010 when he was looking at the tyres of the six cars in front of them and working out how to respond to them with his pit strategies. When has Alonso done anything like that? From what I saw of him last night, he moved to the intermediates too soon, then got himself pushed off the circuit on cold tyres off the racing line. And then what did he do? He gave up. As the commentators pointed out, he could have rejoined the race with a push from the trackside marshalls. There was no visible damage to his car, and no way to tell unless he drove it, but just after we saw the first replays of the incident, we got a shot of an empty and vacant Ferrari. I expected tumbleweeds. And it’s not the first time Alonso has done this – he spun at Spa last year, again in the wet, and just gave up.

    1. 1) even complete driver can’t know incredible shower is incoming. Do you really think it’s possible? It’s so incredible that it called SC immediately. and Do you remember Button also pitted that time?

      2) then Button have ever returned from gravel?

      3) last year Spa? no visible damage? are you kidding? after spin, his front suspension of the car was visibly broken.

      Button did great job yesterday but you cannot slam Alonso in such circumstance.

      1. That still doesn’t explain why Alonso just gave up in the middle of the Canadian Grand Prix.

        Based on their performances, Button is certainly the more-compelte driver on the grid. Alonso giving up was just unprofessional. Even the Hispania drivers give their all.

        1. I don’t think there’s need to explain why. Because it’s logical choice though I wouldn’t say it’s professional.

          actually I don’t like “the most complete driver” expression even though I’m a Alonso fan but also I don’t think Button is the most complete…what a long. I just think he did the most complete job yesterday but it doesn’t make him the most whatever even if including 2010 China and Aus. but I have to admit I’m starting to think he could be better than Hamiltom. but he still need to prove pure performance in normal circumstance.

        2. That still doesn’t explain why Alonso just gave up in the middle of the Canadian Grand Prix.

          After Lewis Hamilton was lifted onto the circuit in the German Grand Prix 2007, the rules were changed. Cars can no longer be pushed back into the race if beached. After spinning the wheels, he didn’t give up, he just had no other option.

          And Hungary 2010 isn’t the race to begin talking about how good Button is at strategy, considering that he was mediocre throughout that weekend, squabbling with De La Rosa.

          1. Oh I didn’t know thr rule was changed. I remember triggered from Hamilton, everyone stuck in gravel called crane and marshals.

        3. He didn’t give up. A marshall tried to push him onto the track but he couldn’t because the bib splitter was beached on the Kerb and the front wheels were off the ground. Watch the footage again, you’ll see.

          Still, Jenson made them all look a bit amateurish yesterday which he tends to do in those conditions.

          Great race.

          1. Mark Hitchcock
            13th June 2011, 12:47

            Yeah, you can see the marshall try to push Alonso back on the track then give a signal meaning “nah, you’re not carrying on”.
            He could have seen some rear wing damage as well for all we know.

            I’m not an Alonso fan, and I actually cheered when he crashed. But to say he gave up is just stupid. Why would he do that? He’s a professional racing driver, results are everything. And he’s clearly passionate. Plenty of people hate the fact that he pesters his team to let him past Massa, or when he’s moaning over the radio about other drivers doing something wrong. But he does that because he’s desperate to win at any cost.
            That doesn’t fit well with the sort of character PM is trying to describe.

        4. alonso blew i he could off carried on may be he wasnt up for it

    2. I don’t think that he “just gave up”. The car was beached: the fronts were well off the track and the rears had dug into the gravel trap. Plus it has been suggested that the rear of the car bounced off the tyre wall, damaging the suspension.

      Clearly Alonso was stranded in a less than ideal place, so the track marshals were not going to risk pushing him out, even if they could.

      And even if they had, would that not have been outside assistance? Rule 30.4 forbids this:

      If a car stops on the track it shall be the duty of the marshals to remove it as quickly as possible so that its presence does not constitute a danger or hinder other competitors. If any mechanical assistance received during the race results in the car rejoining the stewards may exclude him from the race

    3. I nominate Prisoner Monkeys post for the most flawed logic of the century.

      1. i think adolf hitler and chairman mao would probably beat PM to be fair

        1. Have you seen them this century? I could have sworn they both died last century.

      2. I second that!

    4. Ah yes I’ll bear in mind that when a drivers’ car is damaged or beached that means he gave up because “mind over matter” clearly works when it comes to basic knowledge of how a car can or cannot function…

    5. as Martin Brundle pointed out, there was a time when he wasn’t sure if Button could catch the Hispanias before the race re-start, and he went on to win

      Are you and Brundle trying to imply that it was an amazing feat of driving that got Button to catch up with the Hispania’s?
      Button’s drive was amazing, but lets not forget the safety car shaved off his, almost a lap, deficit to the leading cars.

      1. And let’s not forget how Vettel pitted twice under the safety car and still managed to come back out in P1.

        You can’t get more fortunate than that.

        1. But Vettel himself built up the lead to be able to do that.

    6. #Prisoner Monkeys:

      Button is great, but please don’t tell that Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber, etc. ‘for no reason’ give/gave up now and then – all of them love to win, to race, to push hard, etc. (it is a matter of rules, incoming calls, risky decisions for others your team and yourself have to decide in seconds – for instance, Ham was criticized live (RTL, Germany) because he gave up yesterday too late, provoking the SC). It makes your argument in favor of Button more dubious, although it is reasonable (I do not agree, but who cares)

    7. I think I’ve heard it all when someone calls Button the most complete driver on the grid. I guess you’re still hungover from Button’s win yesterday, but I couldn’t believe some of the ridiculous stuff you typed in your post.

      And this isn’t the first time that Button has made strategic calls on his own that may have seemed strange at times, but paid off in his favour – Australia and China 2010 spring to mind

      Its amazing how you ask whether Alonso has made decisions like that. He made a decision to go on inters yesterday, and unfortunately it began to rain again. The exact same thing could have happened Button in Australia or China last year when he took a call on switching to a different tyre compound. I do not know how the roll of a die could determine the difference between a good call and a bad call.

      From what I saw of him last night, he moved to the intermediates too soon, then got himself pushed off the circuit on cold tyres off the racing line

      Button spun off after his pitstop in Australia last year as well.. but I guess that went unnoticed by you.

      And then what did he do? He gave up. As the commentators pointed out, he could have rejoined the race with a push from the trackside marshalls. There was no visible damage to his car, and no way to tell unless he drove it, but just after we saw the first replays of the incident, we got a shot of an empty and vacant Ferrari

      He didn’t have a choice. We all saw him trying to get out, but track marshalls aren’t allowed to get a car back on track anymore. And I think you should take a better look at last year’s Spa incident to make a better educated statement on it.

      Button the most complete driver on the grid?!? Don’t make me laugh dude, in his 11 season long career this is the only really strong performance he has ever had. In Hungary 2006, he was lucky with all the retirements around him. His wins in the 1st 6 out of 7 races were all about the early season dominance of the Brawn car. And his wins in Australia and China last year were gambles that paid off, or flukes, as we would call it. I think he did drive brilliantly yesterday, but its high time he put in a performance like that after racing in nearly 200 GPs. 1 strong race doesn’t make you the most complete driver on the grid.

      1. And your suggestion for most complete driver on the grid is ?

        1. Why, Alonso of course.

          Alonso has a long history of repeatedly doing all the things that qualify you for “most complete driver”.

          Yesterday was a fluke for Button based his entire career as well as a fluke for Alonso based on his.

          1. By reading all of comments by Alonso fans praising his performances I start to think that he is the most overrated driver on the grid.

            Be fair: OK, he has 2x WDC but he could as well has none of them if not the 2005 tyres & McLaren problems and 2006 Schumi’s engine blow. Then look how similar his carrer is to Button’s at some point. Both of them joined McLaren in their WDC defend season.

            The difference is that when Alonso realised that he won’t be threatened like a number 1 star (like he was in Renault for both stints and now is in Ferrari), he gave up and started to whine. Hence Button focused on doing what he is doing best and as U all can see it’s Hamilton who’s losing his nerves.

            Even having his winning streak with Ferrari last year all of U Alonso fans have to remember that he was the one and only driver supported by Fezza while there were rivalries in both RBR and McLaren and yet he still failed to make a strategy call in Abu Dhabi and stood behind rookie Petrov to lose his WDC.

            Now please, PLEASE. I’m not arguing with Alonso’s talent or skills. I’m not pretending Button to be better driver than him (both have strenghts and weaknesses). I even won’t as by what criteria his fans are placing him alongside ones like Senna or Schumacher. But show me his single peformance as remarkable as Button’s Canada.

          2. @ lecho – You can hardly rag on Alonso for losing the title on a call that wasn’t his. He came 2nd in an F10 car that was inferior to at least the Red Bull, if not the Mclarens too.

            At the end of 2007, even with all the contempt, Alonso had matched Hamilton on 109 points and 4 wins, only losing on countback. Button did not match Lewis last year, and we have 12 races more to see if the same won’t happen this year.

            And Alonso has produced many a special drive, like Hungary 2003 and 2006, Suzuka 2005.

          3. @ David A – I think that when we’re talking about a driver that many people see among the greatest in the sport’s history then making important decisions regarding his race strategy in the defining moments is something You have to expect from him. Unless he’s not that great people consider him to be.

          4. I never actually said he was as great as Senna or Schumacher (you did), and i’m not sure who actually did. Plus while driving for my favourite team, he’s not actually my fave driver.

        2. Alonso.. Hamilton.. Vettel (is almost there), Kubica.

          How can you call a driver like Button a complete driver? Sure he had one awesome race after over 160 average ones.. but you got to be joking if you think he is a strong qualifier and an aggressive driver. (Which are essential elements for a complete package)

          1. (Which are essential elements for a complete package)

            Oh, are they?

      2. In Hungary 2006, he was lucky with all the retirements around him.

        While you’re saying Jenson was lucky in Hungary 2006, wasn’t Fernando lucky throughout 2005, when Kimi had numerous reliability problems?

        1. Of course he was lucky with some of his retirements, and that is why we do not give him credit for races where Kimi was leading, but Alonso finished 1st. But Button fans will give him a lot of credit for Hungary 2006, Australia 2010, China 2010, all races that were determined by good fortune or a strategic gamble that could have gone either ways.

          1. Please let’s not mention the luckiest of all performances, which was, of course, Brazil 2008.

    8. Don’t judge after a single performance. This was great, but one great race don’t make the driver. Look at last year, Button was frequently failing to get into Q2 because he couldn’t get heat into the tyres, spinning all over the place in Korea.
      He is good at making the strategic calls, but is it really going to win him the championship? You point out he did it on two occasions last year, but he was still out of the championship running by Brazil.
      Alonso might not be as good strategic, but the most complete driver don’t need to be the best in all fields. Button is probably the best driver in those conditions, but Alonso will with 95% certainty be better in normal conditions, like Lewis is better then Button over a season, but Button can just pull these from his sleeve once in a while. But to be a complete driver you need to be better then the others over a season, you don’t need to be the fastest, or the best strategist, you just need to get the most points in the bag at the end of the year because that is what wins you the championship.

    9. 1) Button also made the gamble on inters before the monsoon like Alonso, and it haven’t paid off. In fact it couldn’t. Even I saw on the radar that a period of rain is coming in the next ‘few’ minutes. So much for the good strategy calls. It was a mistake.

      2) As others said above me, you can’t get marshalls to push you back to the track according to the rules. Alonso was stuck, not ‘unprofessional’.

      Button drove a magnificent race, I admit that, I was especially stoked when I saw his constant purple sectors in the last few laps, in dry conditions (remember, McLaren went for a full wet setup). Relentless pressing, ultimate dedication, and it paid off. It was a unbelievably great performance.

      But that doesn’t mean Alonso is a lesser driver, especially in light of the two points above.

    10. Alonso’s was too damaged to continue in Spa last year, his suspension was clearly broken.

    11. In the process, he simply reaffirmed what Ayrton Senna demonstrated at Donington in 1993: it doesn’t matter how many pits stops you make, if you’re on the right tyre at the right time, pretty much anything is possible.

      Senna made four stops during the race, whereas Prost made seven stops. Senna stayed out on slicks during a passing shower, while Prost and Hill pitted for wets and shortly afterwards had to pit to switch back to slicks. It was Senna’s ability to maintain his pace on the wrong tyres which won him the race. He tried a similar tactic at Spa the previous year but it didn’t work.

      If anything, Prost was more often on the right tyres at the right time – the problem was that the “right tyres” changed so quickly from wet to dry he lost masses of time in the pits.

  5. According to the guys from Speed (who were actually doing the race on Fox) you can change the setup during a suspension and you can fix broken parts, but you can’t swap out parts. Apparently there are parts, particularly with respect to the suspension, that are different for wet setups. Those parts couldn’t be changed.

    You can change tires during a suspension (see Monaco), when the race starts under a safety car in wet conditions, the teams are required to start on full wets. The safety car is out because race officials have essentially said, “Sorry, boys, too dangerous to let you race for position”. Under those conditions full wet tires are a safety requirement. Once the safety car is back in, the safety situation is over and the teams can use their best judgement. Until then, you leave the full wets on. That’s what caught out Virgin. It makes sense to me.

    1. Actually, I suspect Virgin knew the rules and were trying to play them a little bit. Jerome d’Ambrosio was the last car in the queue at the end of the safety car period, so they pitted him as soon as the safety car left the circuit to try and get him on the intermediates as soon as possible. However, the stewards clearly didn’t like this. I’m guessing they decided that although the cars are allowed to race each other from the first safety car line, the caution period is not actually over until the last car crosses the start/finish line.

      1. The safety car was still out on track when d’Ambrosio pitted.

        1. Yup, Ace is correct, the safety car went round again while d’Ambrosio was changing tyres. About three cars followed the SC into the pits at the end of the following lap and changed tyres, which is legal.

      2. Mark Hitchcock
        13th June 2011, 12:50

        You need to go back and watch the race again and pay more attention by the looks of it PM.

        1. The most complete driver ever was SCM who has recently retired. He spent his career driving the wheels off anything from Morris Minors or Standard 10s (er that’s the 1950s guys) to the Merc 300SLR, a far hooter beast than the F1 car. But he was always watched and admired by people like you, young, passionate, admiring your heroes and sometimes slighting other great drivers despite anything that the money men do to the sport. What would be fascinating is a toll of team principals on Jenson’s drive but we are unlikely to be that lucky.

          1. Hooter? hooter, well the horn probably had more poer than some of them

  6. wasnt kimi the only other driver to do that? I mean from somewhere back of the field to victory on the last lap in suzuka 04, i think?
    It was 1.30am and i was gettin dizzy. and then the race got over at 2.30 and i could sleep anymore. I was too excited. First the button vet thing and then the massa kobayashi thing and then how awesome michael was driving. it was just too much!

    1. It was in Suzuka 2005 – but it wasn’t in variable conditions, and Raikkonen didn’t have to overcome a collision with his team-mate, a drive-through penalty and a mid-race puncture.

      1. Raikkonen also had the entire race to do it. Button had less than half of the race to pull it off. I’m not denying Raikkonen’s drive was fantastic, but the odds were stacked much higher against Button.

        1. He had less time, but Kimi didn’t have the safety car bunch the field up. Both still great drives though.

          1. Yeh but when the SC had bunched everyone up Button was still last. So PM is right, he did the same thing in half a race.

          2. @ichtyes. He might have been at the back of the pack, but he had lesser ground to make up on the leader. Additionally, Kimi didn’t gain any positions due to other people pitting after the safety car period.

          3. As Todfod said, the field spread isn’t as great after a SC bunches everyone up Icthyes.

      2. no no m not saying that race was better. this race was definitely better. this race was like a hollywood movie, really! :P

  7. Grace Receiver
    13th June 2011, 6:22

    Win TV in SW Western Australia went blank at 2.40am here so I missed the lot. But it is clear Buttons victory would not have been possible had the SC not been deployed many times. From all the stats, it would appear that an inferior car (Mercedes) was driven with great wisdom and skill by the oldest driver there who gets my vote for ‘most impressive drive’ Mansell, Schuey and a few other drivers have driven from last to first many times without safety car assistance to condense the time, making drivers look better than they actually are. Congrats to Button anyway.

  8. I’m sure Button set a purple lap chasing down the queue behind the safety car after replacing his tyres from the collision with Alonso. Surely that should have resulted in a drive-through penalty?

    1. I was watching that lap on the timing screen. He went purple in two of three sectors, but was slow in the third, however still resulted in fastest lap at the time.

      1. So why didn’t he get another drive-through? In fact, probably deserved a stop-go for repeat safety infringement.

        Perhaps the stewards were too busy penalising Force India drivers for damaging their own cars.

  9. The irony of this race was that, Vettel had been lucky with the safety car all through the race, as he could pit, while leading and still come out ahead, despite the face the safety car brought all the cars closer together.
    Button also benefited as his numerous pit stops and drive through, meant he was always in touch with the cars ahead.
    The last safety car was where Vettel’s luck ran out.

    1. No, it wasn’t. As he said himself in the driver’s briefing, after the last safety car he got complacent and failed to make out a big enough gap to the cars behind. He only sped up when he saw Button released from the battle for 2nd, and it was too late then.

    2. No because the gap down to second place was always big enough for him to pit when the safety car came out, so it gave the others a chance to catch up.
      Vettel wasn’t lucky, Red Bull just knew a safety car was likely and they made the best of it, but that is not the same.

      1. What he is referring to is the fact that the Safety Car didn’t pick up Vettel straight away, so he could make a stop without being held up on his in-lap.

        1. True but as i said, they got the best out of situation with the safety car, but the safety car didn’t help them, they just minimized the damage it made.

          1. If the safety car had picked up Vettel first, there was no way he could pit and remain in the lead.

    3. Mark Hitchcock
      13th June 2011, 12:56

      Just goes to show that when he was “getting lucky” all those other times in recent races it was also his supreme skill that made the most of the luck.

      This time his skill ran out some what and he made a mistake. Every other time he has blasted away and dominated the race.
      Next time people rush to say he got lucky because of this or that, they need to look back at Canada and see what would happen more often if he wasn’t such a good driver.

  10. Button performed excellent and survived in all circumstances and weather conditions and this makes his win a fair and fantastic one. Wet, inter, dry. We new the car had a wer set up compared to his rivals. But Especially on the last period when he was catching up vetel like hell on dry although RB are very strong he had the best race pace to get pass everyone, swallow weber and catch vetel putting pressure on him and forcing him to the mistake on the last lap. Amazing car balance, fantastic driving, character and fair play. That’s button. Amazing sport! That’s F 1!! (I’m a ham fun but this is the truth. Well done)

  11. Look at those fastest laps! Button and Vettel two seconds quicker than anyone else at the end. Schumacher was charging too but in the dry conditions his car was just outclassed.

    Man Button was strong towards the end of that race,I would love to have seen Vettel’s face, or heard his radio as he realised Button was catching him so quickly. Superb driving by Button, I still can’t fathom why he was so quick after being 7th in qualifying.

    Hamilton must be ruing the contact because Button has shown in the last two races the Mclaren can take the fight to Red Bull over a race distance.

  12. I’m a Button fan but all things been equal Alonso and Hamilton are the best drivers on the grid with Button and Vettel close behind.

  13. In the end, Schumacher wasn’t on the podium, neither were Massa and Kobayashi, but the show entertainment was purely awesome.

    1. That move he pulled on Massa round the first corner into the second was fantastic. He knew he was going to lose it but would get it back easily enough. That was as good as a podium for me.

  14. If you think about it, virgin actually gained time by pitting d’ambrosio behind the safety car. a drive through is quicker than a pitstop, so he pits for new tires, then catches up with the snake before the end of the lap, then does a drive through and he has managed to get a change of tires without the extra 4 seconds necessary for the change. one to think of in future perhaps.

  15. This thread is almost as entertaining as yesterdays race with everybodies ludicrous attempts to belittle Buttons P21 to P1 race win in very difficult conditions and then go on to say how mediocre his career has been.

    I guess it’s just luck that he’s driving one of the most coveted cars on the PLANET AND being paid to do so and your just sat there typing into a little box.

  16. MacademiaNut
    13th June 2011, 17:49

    HAM will be hitting himself on the head. This is a fine result that shows that the race is 70 laps and it helps to be patient at times. Hopefully, HAM will keep his cool in the coming races.

  17. Those of us around at the time rate Fangio’s German GP, Moss’s Mille Miglia and Argentine GP and Monaco GP, some of Senna’s races. Jim Clarke’s perfection. Brave old Mansell, Damon Hill reviving Williams after Sennas death, so many others and now our grandchildren have Jenson’s Canadian Grand Prix. In every one of the races quoted there have been other great drivers who have known that it is not their day.

  18. sid_prasher (@)
    13th June 2011, 19:47

    Wow it takes only 1 super drive to qualify for the most complete driver ever?…and this was his 10th win in how many starts?

    What are the parameters to judge this on?

    1. Being fast in changeable conditions is at least one.

      I don’t think he’s the most complete driver ever. But he is an intelligent driver with a great deal of skill a title and the respect of those who know what talent is, the team principles. Dave Richards heaped praise on Button when bringing him to BAR, Brawn compared him very favourably to Schumacher and he has the complete support and respect of one of the best and one of longest standing F1 teams currently on the grid.

      Ha, but what do they know, they’ve probably never even been on a forum to learn the real truth about the drivers they pay millions to drive cars worth millions. It’s all a big lucky dip for them.

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        13th June 2011, 20:13

        Of course…and I am sure none of the teams are interested in who the most “Complete” driver is…

  19. Button .261s faster than Vettel? That’s worth 25 points in itself!

    He just seemed to get in tune with the tyres at the right time and at precisely the right time.

  20. I can’t leave this article without showing my appreciation for Button’s time in the pit-lane. 6 times including the puncture and penalty? Outstanding stuff. To get it right every time is some accomplishment!

  21. This drive have to be rated as just much as Kimi’s drive in Japan 05.Probably one of the greatest race & drive of all time in the history of 847 F1 races ever raced since 1950.

  22. This was the the Grand Prix that secured my love for Formula 1. What a race, was there every moment of it, even during the rain

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