Bahrain GP - Sunday - Race Notes
Button blisters Bahrain GP
Jenson Button won the Bahrain Grand Prix in his Brawn-Mercedes - the British driver able to maximize the performance of his tyres over his rivals. Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull-Renault finished second, 7.1 seconds behind, followed by polesitter Jarno Trulli in his Toyota, 9.1 seconds behind the winner.
The victory is Button's third win of four races this season - his fourth career victory. Button now leads the Drivers Championship with 31 points, 12 points ahead of his team mate Rubens Barrichello, and 13 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Brawn GP now leads the Constructors Championship with 50 points - nearly double Red Bull with 27.5 points and Toyota with 26.5 points.
Lewis Hamilton (22.0s) finished in the McLaren-Mercedes in fourth place, Rubens Barrichello (37.7s) in the second Brawn-Mercedes was fifth, Kimi Raikkonen (42.0s) in the Ferrari was sixth (the first points of the season for the Italian team), Timo Glock (42.9s) in the second Toyota was seventh, and Fernando Alonso (52.7s) in the Renault finished in the final points paying position.
Before the start the weather at Bahrain were very hot (50 deg celsius) and windy, and the Toyotas headed the field having taken the first two positions in qualifying - most drivers starting on the softer tyre option.
At the start Glock took the lead ahead of polesitter Trulli, while Hamilton jumped from 5th to third with his KERS system. Contact in the mid-field with Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovalainen touching. At the second corner Hamilton attempts to pass Trulli for second, but goes wide and falls behind Trulli. On the second lap Button passes Hamilton into turn 1 - Raikkonen up four places to sixth - then Barrichello passes him for sixth.
On lap 3 Kubica and Kazuki Nakajima pit for new noses.
On lap 4 Felipe Massa pits for a nose replacement, as Nick Heidfeld pits as well in the BMW.
At lap 5 Glock led Trulli by x seconds, followed by Trulli 1.5 seconds, followed by Button (5.0s), Hamilton (8.3s), Vettel (9.3s), Barrichello (10.6s), Raikkonen (14.2s), Alonso (15.1s), Nico Rosberg (16.7s) and Nelson Piquet (21.9s) in tenth place - Mark Webber up seven places to 11th.
The first three positions remained stable, and Vettel and Barrichello start to pressure Hamilton for fourth place.
On lap 12 Glock pits from the lead, changing over to the harder compound tyre - coming out just behind Rosberg in ninth place. The next lap Trulli pits from the lead, taking on less fuel than his team mate - rejoining just ahead of Alonso in sixth place. Kovalainen pits as well.
On lap 14 Alonso makes a pass on Trulli around the outside to take seventh. Barrichello pitting from fourth, remaining on the soft tyre.
On lap 16 Button and Hamilton pits from first and third, both staying on the soft tyre, Vettel taking over the lead.
On lap 17 Alonso pits from fourth place, staying on softs. Piquet under a lot of pressure from Barrichello - Piquet using his KERS system to good effect to hold off the veteran. Barrichello finally passing him.
On lap 19 Sebastien Bourdais pits.
On lap 20 leader Vettel pits, staying on the soft tyre and rejoining in fourth place. Barrichello passing Glock for seventh place.
At lap 20 Raikkonen, yet to pit, leading Button by 3.8 seconds, followed by Trulli (9.4s), Vettel (9.9s), Rosberg (11.3s), Hamilton (19.2s), Barrichello (20.4s), Glock (20.4s), Piquet (23.7s) and Alonso (32.9s) in tenth.
On lap 22 Raikkonen and Rosberg both make their first stops, handing the lead back over to Button.
On lap 24 Piquet and Adrian Sutil are the final runners to make their first stops.
At lap 25 Button, leads Trulli by 9.8 seconds followed by Vettel (10.3s), Hamilton (11.1s), Barrichello (13.1s), Glock (24.7s), Raikkonen (28.6s), Alonso (32.6s), Rosberg (37.7s) and Giancarlo Fisichella (48.5s) in tenth place - Button lapping a second faster than his chasers, while Barrichello in fifth lapping even faster.
On lap 27 Barrichello is the first driver to make his second stop from fifth, taking another set of soft tyres - rejoining in eighth place ahead of Rosberg.
On lap 30 Massa makes his second stop.
At lap 30 Button stretches his lead to 13.3 seconds ahead of Trulli, followed by Vettel (14.3s), Hamilton (15.1s), Glock (31.7s), Raikkonen (33.5s), Alonso (36.2), Barrichello (41.3s), Rosberg (44.5s) and Fisichella (56.4s) in tenth place.
Glock in fifth is under pressure from Raikkonen, the Toyota lapping a second slower than the other leaders.
On lap 34 Glock makes his second stop, and switches back to the softer option tyre, and rejoins in tenth.
On lap 35 Kubica pits from 18 place - BMW struggling as Heidfeld is 19th, a lap down.
On lap 37 Button laps last year's Bahrain winner Massa in the Ferrari, in 17th place. The leader Button, Trulli from third, Hamilton from fourth, and Alonso from seventh all make pitstops - Vettel taking over the lead.
On lap 39 Barrichello dives down the inside of Trulli at the first corner, but runs wide.
On lap 40 Vettel makes his final stop from the lead, rejoining in third ahead of Trulli.
At lap 41 Button leads Raikkonen (yet to stop) by 10.0 seconds, followed by Vettel (13.4s), Trulli (14.7s), Barrichello (16.2s), Hamilton (18.7s), Rosberg (21.6s), Piquet (32.7s), Glock (35.9s) and Alonso (41.9s) in tenth place.
On lap 43 Piquet pits from eighth place.
On lap 45 Raikkonen makes his final stop from second place, switching to the harder tyre, as he rejoins he battles alongside Glock and takes seventh place.
On lap 46 Rosberg pits from sixth place. Kubica, battling with Nakajima, spins but continues. Massa pits from 11th.
On lap 47 Barrichello makes his final stop from fourth place, rejoining in fifth ahead of the Raikkonen, Glock battle.
On lap 50 Nakajima retires in the pits.
At lap 50 Button continues to lead Vettel by 12.5 seconds, followed by Trulli (13.6s), Hamilton (22.6s), Barrichello (39.5s), Raikkonen (42.9s), Glock (43.6s), Alonso (50.0s), Rosberg (52.3s) and Piquet (63.9s) in tenth place.
On lap 51 Massa passes Fisichella for 14th place, making contact but both continue.
The order remained the same to the chequered flag.