BRITAIN’S Jenson Button paid tribute to his “monster” car after tightening his grip on the world championship with a sixth win of the season at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Button took full advantage when pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel ran his Red Bull wide at turn nine on the opening lap. He quickly extended his lead and was never challenged as he became the first British driver to win four successive grands prix since Nigel Mansell in 1992. And as he took the chequered flag he told Brawn GP chiefs over the radio: “Thankyou. You’ve built me a monster of a car.”
Australia’s Mark Webber narrowly beat Vettel into second place, completing a successful weekend for Red Bull. World champion Lewis Hamilton’s miserable season continued as his McLaren remained uncompetitive and he finished outside the points again in 13th position.
It was not all good news for Brawn though, as Button’s team-mate Rubens Barrichello stalled on the grid and later retired with a gearbox problem. But after the race boss Ross Brawn paid tribute to Button: “It was a beautiful drive from Jenson, absolutely perfect. Sebastian’s mistake made it absolutely open but Jenson just managed it perfectly.”
Button now leads the championship by 26 points and has a legitimate chance to surpass Michael Schumacher’s record of 13 wins in a season. He added: “Today the car was the best it’s felt all year, it was immense, it just keeps getting better.”
Meanwhile, energy-recovery KERS technology looks set to be dropped next season, with most teams in favour of abandoning the costly device.
F1 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1. Button, Brawn GP (61 pts)
2. Barrichello, Brawn GP (35)
3. Vettel, Red Bull (29)
4. Webber, Red Bull (27.5)
5. Trulli, Toyota (19.5)
6. Glock, Toyota (13)
7. Rosberg, Williams (11.5)
8. Massa, Ferrari (11)
9. Alonso, Renault (11)
10. Raikkonen, Ferrari (9)