Motorsport Wrap for Monday 19th April 2010
BUTTON PROVES HE'S THE RAINMASTER AGAIN
Tyre strategy was again crucial at the fourth Formula One race of the 2010 season and, once again, it was Britain's Jenson Button who made the best call in tricky conditions at the Chinese Grand Prix.
When early rain saw many of the teams - including the leading Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Australia's Mark Webber - head into the pits to change to Bridgestone's intermediate tyres, the reigning World Champion stayed out on track on the soft-compound dry Potenza rubber.
It proved an inspired move as the changing conditions forced most of the runners back into the pits as the track dried, leaving Button with a lead he would never lose.
"For me it is my best victory. Every time that you win I think it becomes your best victory," Button told the BBC.
"But this one was very special as it was very tough conditions and the great thing is our pace was good."
Button cruised to victory ahead of his fast-finishing teammate Lewis Hamilton in what was the first 1-2 for British drivers since 1999. Third place went to Mercedes GP's Nico Rosberg.
"This was a fascinating and thrilling race. Fascinating, because conditions were right on the crossover between the dry and intermediate tyre for so many laps, and thrilling for the action this caused on track," said Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone's Director of Motorsport Tyre Development.
"The soft compound worked very well in the damp conditions and we are happy with the performance of the intermediate. Both tyres required careful management and Formula One was gifted with a superb spectacle in Shanghai."
Button is now 10 points clear in the championship as the teams now head back to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9th.
- Jenson Button (GB) McLaren 60 points
- Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 50 points
- Fernando Alonso (Sp) Ferrari 49 points
- Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren 49 points
SECOND FOR TANDER
Garth Tander was the ‘best of the rest' at the Hamilton 400, with second place in both races in his Bridgestone-backed Holden Racing Team Commodore.
However, he and the rest of the field could only watch as Vodafone's Jamie Whincup took his tally to six wins from eight races in the 2010 V8 Supercars season to establish a dominant championship lead.
Whincup now leads nearest rival James Courtney by more than 200 points with the teams heading back to Australia for the City of Ipswich 300 on May 2nd.