Defending champion Jenson Button on Sunday delivered a perfectly judged drive in treacherous wet conditions to win a dramatic Chinese Grand Prix ahead of his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The two Britons delivered their first one-two of the season to prove that if Red Bull have the fastest car in qualifying, McLaren have great race performance, strategy and tactics. The two Red Bulls of German Sebastian Vettel and Australian Mark Webber came home sixth and eighth.
Button’s triumph was his second in four races since joining McLaren this season and the ninth of his career.
His early decision not to pit for intermediate tyres, when others acted hastily during an early rainstorm proved decisive. It lifted him 10 points clear at the top of this year’s drivers’ championship ahead of German Nico Rosberg, who finished third for the Mercedes team.
“Wow, what a victory! What a win!” screamed Button over the team radio during his slowing-down lap.
Russian Vitaly Petrov proved his flair in the wet conditions to finish seventh for Renault.
All aboard the Trans-Siberian
Trans-Siberian Express? Ferry from Spain? Train from Turkey? The F1 circus is considering all options to beat the volcanic ash and get back to Europe from China.
“It will be a challenge, but we'll find a way, even if it is the trans-Siberian railway,” McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said.
“We are not worried about the people because we will find a way home, but we have to get the cars back.” The next race is on May 9 in Barcelona. Most teams had planned major improvements to their cars before the next race.