Button Wins After Early Carnage
McLaren driver Jenson Button led from start to finish to claim victory at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, although it was a race full of drama after an opening corner crash knocked out several title contenders.
Lotus driver Sebastian Grosjean was the guilty party in the incident as his aggressive driving saw him cannon into Hamilton triggering a crash also involving Alonso and Sauber’s Sergio Perez.
The incident was a gift for the title’s chasing pack, with Alonso sitting pretty on top of the pile, and Button along with reigning champion Sebastian Vettel took advantage by claiming one-two to close the gap.
Button, who claimed pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session, was never headed during the incident-packed race, while [[Red Bull]’s Vettel worked hard and drove cleverly to claim second spot ahead of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who was again on the podium.
Nico Hulkenburg came in fourth for Force India after a good race, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in fifth and Mark Webber - who was second on the championship standings coming into the race - only managing sixth and slipping to third in the standings now, behind team-mate Vettel.
Alonso was the innocent party in the first-lap crash which has subsequently seen Grosjean banned for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix in Monza. The incident could easily have been much worse for the Spaniard though, with Grosjean’s car coming close to him as it lept skyward.
“I’m disappointed because of the points lost, but I’m also lucky that I can be in the car in five days at Monza because - looking at the images - we were turning in so you could have a problem with your hands or even your head because Grosjean’s car was so close,” Alonso told reporters. “I think we broke everything on top of the car. It was lucky in that aspect.”
Meanwhile, Button moves up to 101 points in the championship, still down in sixth but within 63 points of Alonso, and told reporters he was delighted with a perfect race.
“This circuit is such a special one to most drivers, the way it flows and the history, so to get a light to flag victory is very special,” Button said.
“It’s a massive long shot to win the title but today proves that you can claw back 25 points very very quickly. If we can keep fighting for victories like this… there’s still a small chance that I can really fight for that championship.”
Drivers Championship Alonso, 164 - Vettel, 140 - Webber, 132 - Raikkonen, 131 - Hamilton, 117 - Button, 101 - Rosberg, 77 - Grosjean, 76
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