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
Vettel prepared for engine penalty (Thursday October 30 2014)
Gap is too big in F1 says Fernandes (Thursday October 30 2014)
Button would welcome Alonso challenge (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Switch to Mercedes good for Lotus (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Marussia could be saved (Tuesday October 28 2014)
Ferrari and Mercedes at loggerheads (Monday October 27 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 17 (Monday October 27 2014)
Marussia go into administration (Monday October 27 2014)
Who will win the US Grand Prix? (Monday October 27 2014)
Caterham & Marussia to miss US Grand Prix (Saturday October 25 2014)
Five-year plan for Haas? Survival (Friday October 24 2014)
Caterham saga: Fernandes hits out (Friday October 24 2014)
Caterham on brink of turmoil (Thursday October 23 2014)
Sam Michael to quit F1 (Thursday October 23 2014)
Caterham Sports Limited placed into Administration (Wednesday October 22 2014)
Kubica considers surgery in bid for F1 return (Wednesday October 22 2014)
Hulkenberg to stay with Force India (Tuesday October 21 2014)
Pirelli change selection for Brazil (Tuesday October 21 2014)
Blog: Mercedes reaps what it sows (Monday October 20 2014)
Raikkonen will end F1 career with Ferrari (Monday October 20 2014)
Vettel set to pay the penalty (Friday October 17 2014)
Caterham remain bullish (Friday October 17 2014)
Rosberg can swing momentum (Thursday October 16 2014)
Di Montezemolo confirms Alonso's Ferrari exit (Thursday October 16 2014)
Lotus dump Renault for Mercedes (Wednesday October 15 2014)
Button does not need to prove himself (Wednesday October 15 2014)
Hamilton contract talks on hold (Tuesday October 14 2014)
Mercedes win F1 constructors title (Tuesday October 14 2014)
Bianchi will not give up (Tuesday October 14 2014)
Pirelli make final selections (Monday October 13 2014)
Blog: Russian GP Report (Monday October 13 2014)
2014 - Russia - Race (Sunday October 12 2014)
Blog: Sochi Qualifying (Saturday October 11 2014)
2014 - Russia - Qualifying (Saturday October 11 2014)
2014 - Russia - FP3 (Saturday October 11 2014)
2014 - Russia - FP2 (Friday October 10 2014)
Kvyat excited by home race (Friday October 10 2014)
Marussia to run one car in Russia (Friday October 10 2014)
2014 - Russia - FP1 (Friday October 10 2014)
Russia will be an interesting challenge for F1 (Friday October 10 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 16 (Thursday October 9 2014)
Who will win in Russia (Thursday October 9 2014)
Azerbaijan to host innovative street race (Wednesday October 8 2014)
Bianchi family thankful for support (Wednesday October 8 2014)
Driver reaction from Suzuka (Tuesday October 7 2014)
Results in Japan inconsequential (Tuesday October 7 2014)
McLaren & Mercedes deny Alonso deals (Monday October 6 2014)
Andrea de Cesaris killed in motorbike crash (Monday October 6 2014)
Vettel not 'running away' from Red Bull (Monday October 6 2014)
Bianchi in critical condition following surgery (Monday October 6 2014)
Blog: Japanese GP Report (Sunday October 5 2014)
Thoughts with Bianchi (Sunday October 5 2014)
2014 - Japan - Race (Sunday October 5 2014)
Blog: Suzuka Qualifying (Sunday October 5 2014)
2014 - Japan - Qualifying (Saturday October 4 2014)
What next for Alonso? (Saturday October 4 2014)
Vettel to replace Alonso at Ferrari (Saturday October 4 2014)
2014 - Japan - FP3 (Saturday October 4 2014)
2014 - Japan - FP2 (Friday October 3 2014)
2014 - Japan - FP1 (Friday October 3 2014)
Typhoon warning for Suzuka (Thursday October 2 2014)
Stevens to get F1 drive (Thursday October 2 2014)
Bailiffs seize goods at Caterham (Thursday October 2 2014)
Penalties to play part in final stage of season (Wednesday October 1 2014)
Ferrari target third place in the Championship (Wednesday October 1 2014)
Verstappen turns 17 and gets F1 drive (Tuesday September 30 2014)
Mercedes identify Rosberg fault (Tuesday September 30 2014)
Force India proud of battle with 'great' McLaren (Monday September 29 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 15 (Monday September 29 2014)
Who will win in Japan? (Monday September 29 2014)
Red Bull is the official works team of Renault (Friday September 26 2014)
Teams need six months notice for three-car teams (Friday September 26 2014)
Button hints at new deal (Thursday September 25 2014)
Rosberg hopes to 'get over' Singapore result (Thursday September 25 2014)
Vergne hopes Singapore performance brings rewards (Wednesday September 24 2014)
No imminent announcement for McLaren (Wednesday September 24 2014)
Magnussen denies burns (Tuesday September 23 2014)
Red Bull not giving up on long shot (Tuesday September 23 2014)
Singapore swings in Hamilton's favour (Monday September 22 2014)
Will reliability decide the F1 title? (Monday September 22 2014)
Blog: Singapore GP Report (Monday September 22 2014)
2014 - Singapore - Race (Sunday September 21 2014)
Blog: Singapore Qualifying (Sunday September 21 2014)
2014 - Singapore - Qualifying (Saturday September 20 2014)
2014 - Singapore - FP3 (Saturday September 20 2014)
2014 - Singapore - FP2 (Friday September 19 2014)
2014 - Singapore - FP1 (Friday September 19 2014)
Alonso angered by Italian rumour mill (Friday September 19 2014)
Massa & Chilton raise radio ban concerns (Friday September 19 2014)
Renault aiming to optimise performance (Thursday September 18 2014)
Rosberg & Hamilton hope to gain advantage (Thursday September 18 2014)
FIA clarify new radio rules (Wednesday September 17 2014)
Lotus finances improving (Wednesday September 17 2014)
Williams want to become title contenders (Tuesday September 16 2014)
Prodromou completes McLaren switch (Tuesday September 16 2014)
Radio ban not clear says Mercedes (Monday September 15 2014)
Pirelli select tyres for Japan and Russia (Monday September 15 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 14 (Monday September 15 2014)
Who will win the Singapore Grand Prix? (Monday September 15 2014)
F1 radio clamp down (Friday September 12 2014)
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