BRITAIN’S Jenson Button dismissed his hopes of staging a late charge for the title after claiming his first win since the opening race of the season with a pole-to-flag triumph at a chaotic Belgian Grand Prix.
Button avoided a spectacular four-car crash on the first corner, which ended the afternoons of McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton and drivers’ championship leader Fernando Alonso, before cruising to victory.
“It is a good 25 points, and if we can keep fighting for victories like this there is still a small chance I can fight for that championship, but going to [the next race in] Monza, I don’t think about the championship,” said Button, who now lies 63 points behind Ferrari’s Alonso with eight races left.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel fought from 10th on the grid to finish second, and move to within 24 points of Alonso, while Kimi Raikkonen took third for Lotus.
Hamilton’s race lasted just seconds as Romain Grosjean veered too close and touched his front-left wheel, sending the Frenchman’s Lotus flying over Alonso, missing the Spaniard’s head by two feet.
The Englishman was earlier involved in more controversy when he was ordered by McLaren chiefs to remove an image he had posted on Twitter of technical data relating to his and Button’s qualifying laps, for fear it would give rivals an edge.