Monday, 13 June 2011

Sensational Jensen Button wins exciting Montreal GP

Safety cars, rain delays, waterlogged track did not stop the Montreal GP being one of the most exciting GP’s I have ever watched. It all looked like another win for Vettel, until an inspired Jensen roared from the back of the field to take an unlikely first place.

I’ll be honest as I sat there watching the rain pouring down, listening to David Coulthard and Martin Brundle tell us they were sorry for the rain delays, trying to fill in time. I was about to call time myself and decide not to watch. I am glad I didn’t because what a race, it had everything; crashes, overtaking, penalties, incidents, spins, blown tyres, mistakes, and of course some brilliant driving.

You cannot say Formula One is boring anymore, the only dull bit was the start, they did not need to start under a safety car, and even when they decided to go back out after the delay, they didn’t need to be behind a safety car for as long as they were. Yet this did not spoil an exciting race, Jensen Button was simply sensational, to fight from the back of the field, after god knows how many pit stops and a drive through penalty was fantastic to watch.

Mind he could have been out of the race near the start, as the accident prone Hamilton managed to hit Webber first, and then tried to squeeze down a part of disappearing track, trying to overtake Button, which knocked Hamilton out of the race.

Then the race was stopped after only twenty odd laps, and we waited for nearly three hours to start the race again. I am pleased they decided not to abandon the race, as once it started again and a tiny strip of dry race line started to form, it made the race really exciting. Overtaking was treacherous, but with the DRS it was possible. Then as he tried to overtake Alonso in a difficult chicane, Alonso closed the chance but was accidentally taken out of the race, and Button was dead last, as he changed from intermediates to slick tyres. The new tyres helped Button fly through the field and he was catching the leaders, though it did not seem likely he could win the race. Then Nick Heidfeld hit the back of Kobayashi’s car, and another safety car was released. This allowed the front runners to catch Vettel who had been in front the whole race.

Luck seemed to be on Vettel’s side once more as he was able to take full advantage of every safety car, but the last one proved to be a disadvantage as Schumacher, Webber and flying Button caught him up. It all lead to a thrilling last few laps, as Button tried to pass Webber, and Webber tried to pass Schumacher. With slick tyres on it was hard to get any grip off the racing line, and eventually Webber made a mistake trying to pass Schumacher, Button pounced and passed him. Button then went straight past Schumacher and was now only a few seconds behind Vettel with two laps to go.

The pits told him, “you can catch him”, and he did very quickly, as they entered the final lap, which started with only a few seconds to spare until the two hour mark was up, Vettel was less than a second ahead of Button. The pressure was building for Vettel and half way around the last lap, he made a mistake and Button flew passed him. The crowd roared and so did McLaren’s pits, as Button took the chequered flag, what a race.

It has to be one of the best races I have ever watched, for drama and excitement, Button and Webber will be very pleased considering their situations before the restart. Vettel, Alonso and Massa will all be disappointed. As for Hamilton well he needs to get his head examined, to be involved in so many incidents on a wet day in the first ten laps, is not going to help him ever win a championship again. He is far too reckless, and makes bad judgements and decisions under pressure, he needs to calm down and remember the length of the race.

Overall I was pleased Button won, he goes second in the championship and maybe it will light a spark under him and his team, to at least try and compete against Vettel. McLaren still made mistakes; imagine how well Button would have done if he had not had to pit 6 or 7 times and if he had not driven too fast when the first safety car was out, stupid mistakes that need to be ironed out.

If this is the future of Formula One then it is a bright future, it might be more like a Playstation game these days for the drivers with so many paddles and buttons, but for the public it is thrilling and exciting to watch.

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