Jenson Button Wins: "Monaco Baby, Yeah!"

Paul EnglishCorrespondent IMay 24, 2009

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 24:  Jenson Button of Great Britain and Brawn GP celebrates winning the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 24, 2009 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Monaco is a special race.  Nowhere else do you have to commit your mind and body so much. Jenson Button committed, controlled and took possibly his best win of the year so far against an amazing backdrop of the lit up ocean, and the buildings and glamourous people of Monaco.

He claims he wants to win the British Grand Prix the most, but this is the one any driver would be most satisfied with and you could see his delight as he ran and jumped in front of the fans after parking his car in the wrong place at the end of the race.

Button controlled this race perfectly, effectively wrapping it up after only 20 laps. A perfect start, coupled with Kimi Raikkonen falling back from the front row to third behind Rubens Barrichello, helped set him on his way. 

But it was the way he dealt with the super soft tyres at the beginning of the race. Most started on the soft tyres which were more durable and left the supersofts until the end, but the Brawn team got the strategy right again using them for a shorter first stint.

As Sebastien Vettel (also on the supersofts) and Barrichello held up everyone and Kimi respectively, Button managed to conserve his tyres and by the end of the first pit stops it was all done and dusted and from there Button controlled the gap perfectly.

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The race from here could have got quite boring but for me I loved it. Pretty much nothing happened for the last 58 laps, but oh, it was beautiful to watch. 

The enclosed environment of Monaco, the claustrophobia of the cars trapped between the metal barriers as the drivers skim the tyres against the surfaces for lap after relentless lap, the cars shining in the sun as they flick their behinds up the kerbs.

Between the first and second pit stops, it was hypnotic to watch. If Button hadn't been so awesome at the start, we would have had the first five drivers lapping within a tenth of each other, covered by only a few seconds.

In fact at times the whole field was lapping within a second of each other, such is the closeness of competition in Formula One at the moment.

However, it was still amazing to see the intense concentration and consistency as Barrichello, Kimi and Felipe Massa kept chipping away at the lead, each leading the other to go faster and faster.  Button would sometimes respond, but then they'd all come back at him, again and again. 

It would have been a joy to see Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton joining in the battle, both Monaco specialists, but today was not theirs, Alonso was just not fast enough, and Lewis race was over in qualifying.

It was also great watching the Ferrari's back near the front, especially with them circling so close around the streets. The helicopter shots overhead on television were great, reminding you sometimes that even if it isn't the most exciting race to watch, there is still so much to enjoy.

These cars are spectacular to watch this year, and nowhere has it been more apparent than at Monaco, a race which was just a pleasure to watch, and it was also another step for Jenson Button to confirm he's going all out to win everything this year. 

As the season moves forward it is significant that Ferrari look like they could replace Red Bull as the main challengers and with Massa’s favourite track in Turkey next on the schedule, Jenson could find it tough going.

But that is for another time, right now he’ll be savoring this perfect victory; perhaps nowhere else will give him more satisfaction. Jenson Button: "Winning here is exceptional...a special moment." It was special to watch too.


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