Pit call secures Button's fourth win

 

Spanish Grand Prix:Jenson Button continued his dominance of this season’s Formula One world championship with his fourth win in five races after a superb pit-stop strategy switch at the Spanish Grand Prix. This was the ninth successive year that a driver has won from pole position at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, but it was no conventional procession from start to finish for Button.

After being passed by Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello on the run down to the first corner, Button and his team made the call to run from three stops to two early on.

It proved decisive as the 29-year-old did enough when Barrichello made his three trips into the pits to again take the chequered flag at the end of the 66 laps.

Yet despite standing on the top step of the podium for the fourth time this year, Button’s lead is only 14 points over Barrichello, who duly claimed second ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber.

“I was switched to cover all our bases," Button said. “We thought the three-stop (strategy) was the better, and when I was told we were going to two and I put the fuel on board, it felt very heavy.

“But it worked well and to come away with a win — and they all mean a lot — gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.

“It is a dream come true so far this season. Even when times are tough we are getting the wins.

“When it is good, it’s good, just like when it’s been bad for us these past couple of years, it was bad.

“But I do feel I’m on the top of the world at the moment.”

An unhappy Barrichello, who felt he should have won, remarked: “I had a great start, going into the lead.

“Then I heard they changed his strategy, and I had to keep pushing, but I had problems with my tyres, and it was a struggle to keep the car on the track.

“I’m disappointed I’ve not won, but it was a great effort from the team.”

Webber, who is now fourth in the championship, was naturally happy to have finished on the podium.

“It was a tough first stint, particularly after qualifying, so we did our best to hang in there," he said. “But then the second, which was long to try and jump others, went extremely well for me.

“It’s a good day for the team. We would have liked a few more, but it’s 11 and that’s a good chunk.

“We’d like to be closer to these guys (indicating Button and Barrichello), but then we are pulling away from the rest of the field.”