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Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's Button in Bahrain

Jenson Button made it three for four, winning the Bahrain Grand Prix in easy fashion Sunday and taking a dominating 31 point lead in the championship.

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Race

Sebastian Vettel was second for Red Bull, and Jarno Trulli a somewhat disappointing third for Toyota in the hot, dry conditions at Sakhir.

Timo Glock took the early lead when the lights went out, with teammate Trulli slotted in second and Button third after a brief threat from Lewis Hamilton. Vettel was the big loser, dropping back to fifth Instead of challenging the leaders, he found himself managing traffic, instead.

Glock and Trulli were showing good pace, but both were lightly fueled, and the German pitted on lap 11, his teammate just two laps latter. Button used the opportunity to get by. From there on, with the exception of his own stops, Button never really relinquished his lead.

Staring from the front row, and mindful of its experience at the Sakhir circuit, Toyota must be coming away feeling this is one that slipped away with just Trulli’s third spot on the podium and Glock’s seventh.

On the other hand, a fourth place for Lewis Hamilton and McLaren looks to be another feather in the cap of improvement. The next challenge for McLaren is in Paris April 29, and the Woking outfit’s season certainly hinges on the outcome.

Rubens Barrichello was fifth in the second Brawn, while Kimi Raikkonen, rearmed with KERS, picked up a sixth for Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso grabbed the final points-paying position, edging Nico Rosberg’s Williams. Once again Rosberg must be wondering where that Friday pace went.

Other notables: Felipe Massa a lowly 14th (beaten by Piquet!), Red Bull’s Mark Webber battling back from a ruined qualifying session to finish 11th, another forgettable race for Heikki Kovalainen, and the BMW Saubers bringing up the rear.

Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima was the only retirement.

Next up, in two weeks, is Spain, as F1 comes home to Europe after what seems like an unprecedented amount of time on the road. Expect to see a lot of aerodynamic upgrades as teams rush to close the gap and press their answers to the double-decker diffusers into service.

Bahrain Grand Prix (57 laps)
  1. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault
  3. Jarno Trulli, Toyota-Toyota
  4. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes
  5. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari-Ferrari
  7. Timo Glock, Toyota-Toyota
  8. Fernando Alonso, Renault-Renault
  9. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota
  10. Nelson Piquet, Renault-Renault
  11. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault
  12. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes
  13. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
  14. Felipe Massa, Ferrari-Ferrari +1 lap
  15. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
  16. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
  17. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
  18. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber +1 lap
  19. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber +1 lap
  • Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota, 48 laps, oil pressure


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