Button races to victory through Shanghai showers

Posted on April 18, 2010

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Jenson Button made the right call on the rain again to win his second race of the season in Shanghai and storm to the top of the driver’s championship.

The 2009 World Champion stayed on his slick tyres in the first phase of the race to take control, comfortably holding off Rosberg before beating McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton to the chequered flag after a second safety car. It was another great race from Lewis who stormed through the field after dropping to 17th but he will be wary of a potential penalty for Spain after an incident with Sebastian Vettel in the pitlane.

Jenson will be delighted to be beating Hamilton. His much-discussed smooth driving style is emphasised ever more under the 2010 regulations. He’s better at managing his tyres than the younger man and his decade of experience in the sport showed again today with another great call on tyre strategy echoing his first victory of the year in Australia.

Pole sitter Vettel had a disappointing race as both he and Mark Webber went backwards, coming home 6th and 8th respectively. It’s another poor return for the Red Bull squad which just can’t get its race strategy right despite complete dominance in qualifying. Any number of things went wrong today with bad strategy and pitlane issues ruining the weekend.

Fernando Alonso had a great race to 4th for Ferrari despite jumping the start and taking five tours through the pitlane in all. He made a cheeky move to overtake Felipe Massa on the pitlane entry, something which I’m sure will irritate the Brazilian – but he needs to start making passes on the track. Massa rarely goes well in the wet and he was anonymous today.

Mercedes had another conflicting day. Nico Rosberg was as solid and uninspiring as ever, moving up from fourth to take a deserved podium. Michael Schumacher showed flashes of his old self, especially in a brief battle with Lewis, but looked cautious and nervy in the rain. It’s not going well for the seven-time champion and Ross Brawn can’t be expected to develop the car in his direction with Rosberg making the best of it.

Further back, Renault had a decent day with battling drives from Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov, who seems to be quite the racer. Virgin Racing had a terrible weekend all round with technical issues culminating in leaving a car on the jacks on the grid. They need to step up – Hispania and Lotus especially are racing like proper outfits.

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Posted in: Formula One, Race