2009 Bahrain GP: 3/4 Wins For Jenson Button Under Searing Bahrain Heat
Jenson Button took top honours at the Bahrain Grand Prix, totalling his wins this season at three, with four overall in his Formula One career.
Button, 29, guided his BGP001 to a commanding victory over rivals Toyota and Red Bull. The Briton started fourth behind both the Toyotas and Sebastian Vettel, winner of the Chinese Grand Prix a week ago.
He got off to a fairly decent enough start, making the jump on the Vettel, but the KERS powered Mclaren driven by fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton, shot past him with ease, leaving Button to remain in fourth.
However, on the next lap, he got a good bit of slipstream down the main straight, and darted down the inside of the world champion to take third from him at turn one.
From then on it was a case of holding back and waiting for the Toyotas to pit. Timo Glock, who was leading the race after getting a better start than team-mate Jarno Trulli, pitted first after about nine laps.
Trulli soon pitted afterwards, and this allowed Button some clear air to get in some fast laps. So when he pitted, he was safely out in the lead in front of both Toyotas.
At that point, Button began to pull away from everyone else, thanks to Trulli holding up Vettel after the first pit stops, and Vettel doing the same to Trulli after the second round of stops.
After 56 laps, Button safely crossed the line over seven seconds ahead of second place man Vettel, with Trulli finishing third, marking his third victory our of the four races so far in the 2009 season.
Button's win was not the only thing that was impressive this race. There were other teams and drivers who showed much improvement since the beginning of the year, and others who were still falling into the dark abyss known as the back of the grid.
Toyota's qualifying performance showed some dominance over the other teams, but unfortunately didn't transfer that to race pace, with Trulli third, and Glock a disappointing seventh.
Mclaren again showed much improvement, with reigning world champion finishing fourth, his best finish of the season so far. After making a thunderous start to the race, which saw him nearly take second from Trulli, he settled for just outside of the podium.
His team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, put in another disappointing performance, finishing 12th after starting 11th.
Mark Webber's already unlucky weekend saw him finish 11th, after starting 18th. He made a fabulous getaway on lap one, making his way up the pack with superb skill. However, after last weeks performance at China, this was a thoroughly disappointing performance for the Australian.
Ferrari made some improvements, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing sixth, giving Ferrari their first points of the season. Felipe Massa however finished 14th, after starting eighth, and also got lapped, making his race go from bad to worst.
Nelson Piquet Jr was given a solid kick up the backside this weekend, with team boss Flavio Briatore telling him he's out of that seat if he does not perform this time. Piquet finished with a convincing 10th place, even holding off Rubens Barrichello in the middle stages of the race.
BMW suffered their worst weekend for a long time, with both their drivers finishing in the bottom two places. On a plus side, Nick Heidfeld still has the record for the most consecutive race finishes, with an ongoing tally of 32.
The final standings were: Button, Vettel, Trulli, Hamilton, Barrichello, Raikkonen, Glock, and Alonso.
Button now has 31 points going into the next race, 12 ahead of team-mate Barrichello, with Brawn GP's total points tally up to 50.
The Grand Prix of Bahrain provided a good and safe race, with only one retirement from Kazuki Nakajima, with an oil pressure problem. May the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks provide the same, and hopefully something extra.
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