Date:Tuesday July 24 2012
Following months of disappointment, McLaren's Jenson Button finally had cause to celebrate in Germany.
Since his second place finish at the Chinese Grand Prix in April, Button has struggled with his McLaren, finishing in the points just three times in the next six races and finishing no higher than eighth.
The 2009 Formula One World Champion would have been feeling the pressure, especially after a poor showing in his home race at Silverstone last time out.
But McLaren came to Germany with a new upgrade package and in the dry at least both he and team-mate Lewis Hamilton looked quick.
Button and Hamilton topped the timing sheets in free practice one, before damp conditions played their part in proceedings.
In free practice three, Button was in the unfamiliar position of finding himself dead last on a Saturday morning. But the McLaren had decided to concentrate on long dry runs, which explained why he was 4.9 seconds off of the pace set by Fernando Alonso.
So into qualifying and McLaren must have been optimistic, until the rain came and the McLaren appeared to struggle in the wet conditions. Hamilton qualified eighth 3.565 seconds off the pace, but Button didn't fair much better, in fact he was just 0.073 quicker in seventh.
Speaking to formula1.com after qualifying Button said: ďWe struggled to get the tyres to work today Ė when you canít get temperature into the tyre; you donít know its limit because itís too cold, and you canít hit the brakes either because youíll lock up. Itís an issue weíve had for a few races and an area where we need to improve. In dry running, however, the pace is very good: we just struggle in wet conditions to get the tyres working.
He continued: 'the positives that we can take away are that our car looks quick in the dry and that this weekendís upgrade package is a good step forward. Everyone should be proud of their efforts to not only get it working, but to also have delivered it ahead of schedule this weekend. Today was tough, but I hope we have a good race tomorrow.Ē
Much to the delight of Button it was a dry race and the McLaren enjoyed a good start pulling away from the grid.
He diced with danger, running wheel-to-wheel with Pastor Maldonado before getting past the Williams and then he began his assault on the field with driving that is not often associated with Button.
Using the DRS zone in the way it was intended he first set up his move on the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, he dummied the move to go around the outside, commiting the German to the middle of the track before diving down the inside under-braking.
Then on the same part of the track he caught and passed another German in the form of Michael Schumacher, although the Mercedes didn't offer as much resistance, choosing to either not fight the position or simply being caught out by the speed Button was enjoying during this part of the Grand Prix.
After the first phase of pit-stops Button was in third place behind Vettel and Alonso, but with Hamilton struggling with a damaged floor following his early race puncture, Button found himself behind Hamilton during the mid-way point of his second set of tyres.
Hamilton was given the order to not hold up Button and with fresh rubber, Hamilton was able to pull away from Button and even catch and pass Vettel, much to the annoyance of Vettel.
Red Bull claim that this was the part of the race that helped Button close the gap, but in reality, Hamilton didn't play in role in it, catching and passing Vettel in the DRS zone and then immediately pulling away from the German.
Button was the first to pit for a second time and whilst the McLaren team have come under severe criticism due to mistakes in other races, they ran like clock work for Button's stop, changing all four tyres in just 2.4 seconds.
This pit stop together with a quick out-lap got him passed Vettel when Red Bull and Ferrari pitted at the same time.
The drama wasn't over at this point though, Button's tyres started to lose grip towards the end of the race and Vettel was able to get back into the battle for second. But rather than being patient and picking his moment, Vettel decided to make his move off the track to attempt to claim second place in his home grand prix.
Button refused to discuss the manoeuvre after the race which resulted in a 20 second penalty for Vettel, which moved Button back into the rightful position of second.
ďI had a really good race and really enjoyed myself out there. I made a good start, pulled off some good moves on both Nico Hukenberg and Michael Schumacher and had strong pace all afternoon. Sebastian Vettelís pass was a pretty straightforward matter: the rules state that you canít go off the track to gain an advantage. The thing is, there would have been more opportunities for him before the end of the race as my rear tyres were damaged. Thatís because I had to push hard to try and catch Fernando Alonso, which meant I had nothing left for the end of the race. We pretty much ran out of rubber two laps before the chequer.
Button's strong points finish moves him up to seventh in the F1 standings, but he remains 24 points behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Date:Tuesday July 24 2012
Records fall for Hamilton (Monday July 6 2015)
Vital talking point: Hamilton's pit, was it luck? (Monday July 6 2015)
2015 - British GP - Race result (Sunday July 5 2015)
Blog: Silverstone Qualifying (Sunday July 5 2015)
2015 - British GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 4 2015)
2015 - British GP - FP3 (Saturday July 4 2015)
2015 - British GP - FP2 (Friday July 3 2015)
2015 - British GP - FP1 (Friday July 3 2015)
Yet more gimmicks from F1 Strategy Group (Friday July 3 2015)
Hamilton calls for better trophies (Thursday July 2 2015)
Blog: Silverstone Preview (Wednesday July 1 2015)
Formula E cannot compare with F1 says Horner (Wednesday July 1 2015)
Pirelli to request more F1 tests (Tuesday June 30 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 9 (Tuesday June 30 2015)
Who will win the British Grand Prix? (Tuesday June 30 2015)
New contract for Horner (Monday June 29 2015)
F1 teams are all talk says Todt (Monday June 29 2015)
Formula 1 v Formula E (Monday June 29 2015)
Positive test for McLaren (Friday June 26 2015)
Mosley praise for Ecclestone (Thursday June 25 2015)
Mercedes remain on top in second test (Thursday June 25 2015)
Miami Dolphins owner to buy a stake in F1 (Wednesday June 24 2015)
Red Bull to sack Horner? (Wednesday June 24 2015)
Rain hampers running on first test day (Wednesday June 24 2015)
Ferrari to hand Red Bull a lifeline? (Tuesday June 23 2015)
Angry Mateschitz (Tuesday June 23 2015)
Vital talking point: Austria - ah, erm, err (Monday June 22 2015)
Blog: Austrian GP Report (Sunday June 21 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - Race (Sunday June 21 2015)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Qualifying (Saturday June 20 2015)
Four drivers hit with penalties (Saturday June 20 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - Qualifying (Saturday June 20 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - FP3 (Saturday June 20 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - FP2 (Friday June 19 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - FP1 (Friday June 19 2015)
Italian Grand Prix to alternate? (Thursday June 18 2015)
Will Michelin return to Formula One? (Thursday June 18 2015)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Preview (Wednesday June 17 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 8 (Tuesday June 16 2015)
Who will win in Austria? (Tuesday June 16 2015)
Hulkenberg wins Le Mans (Monday June 15 2015)
Head knighted (Monday June 15 2015)
Boullier calls for engine regulation change (Friday June 12 2015)
F1 holds new talks over New Jersey race (Thursday June 11 2015)
F1 regulations too complex for Ferrari chairman (Wednesday June 10 2015)
Grosjean apology for Stevens (Wednesday June 10 2015)
Rosberg & Vettel not good for F1 says Bernie (Wednesday June 10 2015)
Renault quit threat very real (Tuesday June 9 2015)
Blog: Canadian GP Report (Tuesday June 9 2015)
Vital talking point: Can it get worse for McLaren? (Monday June 8 2015)
2015 - Canada - Race (Sunday June 7 2015)
Blog: Montreal Qualifying (Sunday June 7 2015)
Grid penalty brings further pain for Vettel (Sunday June 7 2015)
2015 - Canada - Qualifying (Sunday June 7 2015)
2015 - Canada - FP3 (Sunday June 7 2015)
Why customer cars are not against F1ís DNA (Saturday June 6 2015)
2015 - Canada - FP2 (Friday June 5 2015)
2015 - Canada - FP1 (Friday June 5 2015)
Verstappen under fire (Friday June 5 2015)
Manor Marussia sign Fabio Leimer (Thursday June 4 2015)
Blog: Montreal Preview (Wednesday June 3 2015)
Manor Marussia make key appointments (Wednesday June 3 2015)
Ferrari and Honda set for engine upgrades (Tuesday June 2 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 7 (Monday June 1 2015)
Who will in Canada? (Monday June 1 2015)
F1 seeks new team for 2016 and beyond (Friday May 29 2015)
Extra homework for Kimi (Friday May 29 2015)
Verstappen penalised for Monaco crash (Thursday May 28 2015)
HSE to take no action over de Villota crash (Wednesday May 27 2015)
Vital talking point - First points for McLaren (Wednesday May 27 2015)
Mature Hamilton attempts to deflect blame (Tuesday May 26 2015)
Wolff attempts to defend the indefensible (Tuesday May 26 2015)
Vital talking point - Monaco - Mercedes Blunder (Tuesday May 26 2015)
Blog: Monaco GP Report (Monday May 25 2015)
2015 - Monaco GP - Race (Sunday May 24 2015)
Blog: Monaco Qualifying (Sunday May 24 2015)
2015 - Monaco GP - Qualifying (Saturday May 23 2015)
2015 - Monaco GP - FP3 (Saturday May 23 2015)
Bianchi's family continue to hope for miracle (Friday May 22 2015)
2015 - Monaco GP - FP2 (Thursday May 21 2015)
2015 - Monaco GP - FP1 (Thursday May 21 2015)
Hamilton at home with Mercedes (Wednesday May 20 2015)
Mercedes finally confirm new Hamilton deal (Wednesday May 20 2015)
Hamilton targets Monaco victory (Wednesday May 20 2015)
Blog: Monaco Preview (Wednesday May 20 2015)
Alonso targets Monaco points (Tuesday May 19 2015)
F1 strategy group proposes return of refuelling (Tuesday May 19 2015)
Mercedes back Honda to get things right (Tuesday May 19 2015)
F1 teams run two-days of Spanish testing (Monday May 18 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 6 (Monday May 18 2015)
Who will win in Monaco? (Monday May 18 2015)
Horner spices up his life (Monday May 18 2015)
Could F1 teams pick their own tyre compounds? (Friday May 15 2015)
Button scared of his McLaren Honda (Thursday May 14 2015)
Vettel still in the fight for the championship (Wednesday May 13 2015)
Visor tear-off strip caused Alonso brake failure (Wednesday May 13 2015)
Hamilton set to finally sign Mercedes deal (Tuesday May 12 2015)
Red Bull Racing reiterate quit threat (Tuesday May 12 2015)
Arrivabene rules out Hamilton to Ferrari move (Monday May 11 2015)
Vital talking point - Spain - Nico is back (Monday May 11 2015)
|7.||Push The Button||455|