Button takes straightforward win at Bahrain

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

Jenson Button has added yet another win to his count of this year's wins. A third win in 4 races just shows how well Button and his car work together to get the most out of each situation. Second is Chinese GP winner Sebastian Vettel while pole-man Jarno Trulli secured third place for Toyota.

With Glock and Trulli in front of the pack, the Bahraini GP is immediately a different story than previous races. Despite his dominant performance during qualiying, Trulli is a bit slow off the mark and is immediately passed Glock who takes the lead. Behind him, Hamilton shot forward like a cannonball up to second. The Briton obviously profited from his KERS device, only to get passed by Trulli in the same lap and Button one lap later.

Hence, after 3 laps both Toyota's are comfortably ahead of Button. Behind them is Hamilton, Vettel, Barrichello, Raikkonen and Alonso. Piquet has moved up 5 places and just behind him is Webber in 11th place, 7 places better than his starting position.

Because of some incidents in the first lap, both BMW Saubers, Massa and Nakajima have already entered the pitlane for new front wings. All four are in the back of the pack and allowed others t move up the ranking easily.

After 11 laps, Timo Glock is the first to come in and change his softer option tyre for the primes. He is followed by Trulli one lap later for the same change. Trulli rejoins in 6th place just ahead of Fernando Alonso, while Timo Glock is only behind Rosberg, 3 places down on his Italian teammate.

It will be interesting to see how Toyota will manage to keep up the pace on the primes as it appears that those tyres are up to 1.5 seconds slower than the options. Trulli's harder tyres and higher fuel load after his stop result in Alonso being able to pass the Italian on the outside on turn 3. The cars banged wheels but no damage was done.

The stops by the Brawns and Alonso show that they are all completing their second stints on the option tyres, possibly the better choice. In lap 19, Vettel also stops and takes option tyres. He rejoins in 4th place, in between Trulli and Rosberg who hasn't made a stop yet. Lewis Hamilton is just behind them.

It is now Kimi Raikkonen who is leading the race, although he hasn't stopped yet. He is only 3.8 seconds ahead of Button. That was only for 2 laps though as in lap 21 Raikkonen is in for scrubbed option tyres.

After 22 laps, Jenson Button takes the lead, 7.5 second ahead of a trio led by Jarno Trulli. Vettel and Hamilton follow closely. Barrichello is 5th and is moving up after passing Piquet and Glock. Mark Webber is currently 13th with Massa closely on his tail.

Just at the time Barrichello came under the rear wing of Hamilton after a series of stunning laps, he enters the pitlane on lap 27 for another set of option tyres.

The second Toyota of Glock is meanwhile also struggling to keep up the pace. Timo is in 5th place but has Raikkonen closely behind while Alonso is also closing and on lap 33 only 3 seconds behind the Ferrari. One lap later the Toyota is in to continue his race on the option tyres.

In lap 37, Button doubles Massa, last year's winner. The Briton is now 16 seconds ahead of Trulli and is pitting at the end of this lap. Button then takes on the prime tyres, just as Hamilton in the same lap. Trulli on the other hand is also pitting at the same time but takes on the options again which are proven to be considerably faster. The stops put Vettel in the lead, 10 seconds ahead of Button. Raikkonen is 3rd, Truli 4th and Barrichello 5th, although the latter still has to make a stop to put on the prime tyres.

2 laps later, Vettel makes his final stop. He rejoins behind Raikkonen and is third at the moment.

10 laps from the end, Barrichello makes probably the last stop of the race. He rejoins just aheaf of Raikkonen and Glock who are fighting for an additional point.

With 8 laps to go, Button is 12 seconds ahead of Vettel who has Trulli right on his tail. Button managed to take advantage of the Brawn's excellent tyre conserving properties that have allowed him to keep a constant pace on the option tyre, while other drivers started to struggle after up to 10 laps.

Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile secured the first points for Ferrari this year with his sixth place.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTime
1.ButtonBrawn GP-Mercedes1h31:48.182
2.VettelRed Bull-Renault+ 7.187
3.TrulliToyota+ 9.170
4.HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes+ 22.096
5.BarrichelloBrawn GP-Mercedes+ 37.779
6.RaikkonenFerrari+ 42.057
7.GlockToyota+ 42.880
8.AlonsoRenault+ 52.775
9.RosbergWilliams-Toyota+ 58.198
10.PiquetRenault+ 1:05.149
11.WebberRed Bull-Renault+ 1:07.641
12.KovalainenMcLaren-Mercedes+ 1:17.824
13.BourdaisToro Rosso-Ferrari+ 1:18.805
14.MassaFerrari+ 1 lap
15.FisichellaForce India-Mercedes+ 1 lap
16.SutilForce India-Mercedes+ 1 lap
17.BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari+ 1 lap
18.KubicaBMW Sauber+ 1 lap
19.HeidfeldBMW Sauber+ 1 lap
Did not finish
20.NakajimaWilliams-Toyota+ 9 laps




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News on 26 April 2009