J enson Button spoke of his greatest Triumph. The 30-year-old Englishman has increased his winning account to nine. And he's the first to win twice this year. Again it was a smart victory and a lot of feeling on the accelerator. Button made the right decisions at the right time. He didn't want to talk about luck: 'We just did everything right today. And we were the fastest cars on the track in the rain.'
Button had the right strategy
The new McLaren star was in constant contact with his race engineer Jakob Andreasson in the 56 lap water battle. 'We always chatted when I was on the long back straight. There's time for that.' The radio was also busy in the first two laps. It was about whether you should continue to ride on slicks or switch to intermediates. Some teams believed they saw Meteo France's radar screens that the rain was increasing. 'My engineer said: do what you want. My inspiration told me: stay out on slicks.' Once again, Button had the right instinct for a delicate situation. With the exception of Rosberg, Petrov, Kubica and de la Rosa, the whole field switched to intermediates. And regretted the decision three laps later. 'The intermediates were starting to get bad,' reported Lewis Hamilton.
Button remains a realist despite the win
Two unnecessary pit stops threw all favorites with the exception of Button and Rosberg by more than 20 seconds back. It wasn't until lap 20 that the rain started to increase. The eventual winner considered again, again he hit the mark. 'I actually wanted to stay on slicks, but this time my engineer convinced me.' Then the second quality of the defending champion came into play. Button carried the intermediates around the course for 18 laps before pitting for only his second stop on lap 38. Fernando Alonso came in four times for service plus drive-through penalty. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton also picked up fresh tires four times. In the end, Button benefited from the fact that his pursuer Hamilton lost his grip on his race to catch up: 'The tires suffered. In the end, I no longer had the reserves to attack Jenson.'
McLaren had his cars in practice trimmed for a lot of downforce. The engineers were already speculating with a rain race and sacrificed top speed, which might also be the starting positions five andsix explained. 'We made mistakes,' insisted Whitmarsh, 'otherwise we would have been further ahead.' Hamilton was at war with Turn 11, and Button did not feel 100% comfortable with a vehicle set-up that he had changed shortly before qualifying. 'I had to do something. In the free practice sessions the rear tires kept overheating.' The problem sounds familiar to us. Maybe Michael Schumacher should have got advice from Button.
Despite the victory, Button remains a realist: 'We have to improve in training. And we still don't know exactly how strong we really are in a complete dry race. ' He couldn't help but give a little swipe at Red Bull: 'You are extremely fast, at the moment maybe a bit too fast for us. But we lead the championship table and that counts. The points in the first four races were for doubly important to us because Red Bull is currently superior to us. '
Button and Hamilton are like fire and flames
Lewis Hamilton would certainly have imagined the start of the season differently. It is not he who wields the scepter in the team, but his underrated teammate. The two are like fire and water. Here the bon vivant, there the ambitious perfectionist Hamilton. Here the level-headed tire whisperer, there the fighter and overtaker before the master. The other plans of the McLaren Boys characterize the two so unequal Britons. Both were unimpressed by the flight chaos in Europe. 'I'm going to South Africa on a PR tour,' said Hamilton. 'And I'm on vacation in Thailand for a week,' grinned Button. 'You can definitely fly in Europe again until it's ready.'