Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Button Avoids Mellee And Wins at Spa

FRANCOCHAMPS, BELGIUM – Starting from the pole, Jensen Button was able to avoid the race start melle (VIDEO) resulting from contact by Romain Grosjean with McLaren’s Lewis Hamiliton.  The incident resulted in a 5-car accident requiring 3 laps under yellow to clear.  Following the accident, Button was unchallenged for the rest of the race finishing 13.6 sec ahead of Sebastien Vettel.  Kimi Raikkonen placed his Lotus-Renault in 3rd.

Besides Hamilton, Grosjean’s aggressive maneuver also affected points leader Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez.  Kobayashi was the only car involved able to continue the race, managing a 13th place finish, 1 lap down from the leaders.  The race stewards handed down a one-race suspension to Grosjean.  "I honestly thought I was ahead of him and there was enough room for both cars;” commented Grosjean, “I didn’t deliberately try to squeeze him or anything like that.  This first corner situation obviously isn’t what anyone would want to happen and thankfully no-one was hurt in the incident.  I wish to apologise to the drivers who were involved and to their fans.  I can only say that today is part of a process that will make me a better driver."  Jerome D'Ambrosio will fill Grosjean’s seat at Monza.

Sebastien Vettel ran a superb race for Red Bull.  Following a disappointing qualifying round on Saturday, Vettel was able to pull off a great run on race day charging from 10th the 2nd.  “On Saturday I simply didn’t have the grip to go for the full speed.”  Vettel continued, “when I looked at the data on Saturday to see where I lost the most time and compare myself to Mark’s (Webber) lap it was clear that I didn’t have any chance but then in the race it suddenly clicked again. I have to say that I went into the race quite confident as the car worked pretty well on Saturday morning, so the hope was that there was a small glitch in qualifying but that that glitch would be eliminated during the course of the race. When I look at the start I have to confess that it was pretty bad. The clutch didn’t react at all so I lost a number of places - but I was able to regain them again into the first corner and into the first chicane. I would say that what made my race was the strategy.  The team has done a terrific job! This really got me back into the race again and finally onto the podium. 

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