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Championship Standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 302
2 Sebastian Vettel 236
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2 Ferrari 359
3 Williams/Mercedes 220
4 Red Bull/Renault 149
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Spanish GP: Button wins 4th time in 5 races

by Mark J. Cipolloni
Sunday, May 10, 2009


Rubens Barrichello (L) and Jenson Button enjoy another 1-2 for Brawn GP

Jenson Button can hardly believe how well his career has turned around now that F1 genius Ross Brawn has taken over from floundering Honda.  Button won Sunday's Spanish GP at Barcelona leading home his teammate Rubens Barrichello in another Brawn GP 1-2.  It was Button's 4th win in the first 5 races of the 2009 season and he is well on way to his first F1 title. 

The Briton, watched on by his parents, pulled his lead in the drivers' championship over teammate Rubens Barrichello to 14 points.

Barrichello, from third on the grid, passed Button at the first corner of the race, but his three-stop strategy was never going to beat the more effective two-stopper.

"We switched from a three stopper to a two stopper.  We thought three would be quicker but we changed to cover all the bases," said Button.

Barrichello explained: "I heard that they changed Jenson's strategy but I had to keep on pushing.  I was actually quite surprised (to hear of the change) but from then on I just had to go flat out.

"I'm disappointed not to win because I thought I had it in the bag," he added.

"I don't know if something broke on my car, but it was a big struggle.  In the end I am relieved to be second."

Mark Webber brought his Red Bull home third ahead of his teammate Sebastian Vettel who had his race ruined by being stuck behind the slower Ferrari of Felipe Massa.

For Webber it equaled his career best F1 finish.  Three times he has finished third.

Barrichello turned the fastest lap of the race and may have won had his team not put him on a 3-stop strategy while his teammate Button won on a 2-stop strategy.  When at Ferrari under Ross Brawn Barrichello played 2nd fiddle to Michael Schumacher and he appears to be the bridesmaid once again under Brawn, but this time at Brawn GP.

Felipe Massa has another disappointing finish in Spain
It was another embarrassing race for the Ferrari team.  After a disastrous qualifying Kimi Raikkonen had moved up 6 places in the early laps only to fall out with gearbox troubles.  Felipe Massa was running 5th ahead of Fernando Alonso but his Ferrari team miscalculated on the amount of fuel they put in the car and Massa had to slow dramatically in the closing laps and let Alonso past on the final lap, much to the delight of his adoring Spanish fans.

World Champion Lewis Hamilton once again was a backmarker in his McLaren proving he is only as good as his car.  Not able to develop a car like a Fernando Alonso can, he and his team are scratching their heads unable to find the speed because Hamilton (and his teammate Heikki Kovalainen) cannot give the engineers the feedback they need to develop the car.

McLaren's decision to push Fernando Alonso aside will cost them dearly for many years to come.

A crash on the first lap took out Jarno Trulli who started the accident by spinning (after being forced wide by another car) and then coming back onto the track in front of Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastien Buemi and Adrian Sutil.  All four could not avoid the sideways Toyota of Trulli and all were eliminated from the race.

The next race is the famous Monaco GP in two weeks time.


Pos Driver Team Time/Lap Out
1. Button Brawn GP-Mercedes 1h37:19.202
2. Barrichello Brawn GP-Mercedes +13.056
3. Webber Red Bull-Renault +13.924
4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault +18.941
5. Alonso Renault +43.166
6. Massa Ferrari +50.827
7. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +52.312
8. Rosberg Williams-Toyota + 1:05.211
9. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
10. Glock Toyota +1 lap
11. Kubica BMW Sauber +1 lap
12. Piquet Renault +1 lap
13. Nakajima Williams-Toyota +1 lap
14. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
15. Raikkonen Ferrari L18
16. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes L8
17. Trulli Toyota L1
18. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari L1
19. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari L1
20. Sutil Force India-Mercedes L1

Fastest lap: Barrichello, 1:22.762

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