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Rediff.com  » Sports » Button masters Monaco for fifth win in six

Button masters Monaco for fifth win in six

May 24, 2009 21:49 IST

Button masters Monaco for fifth win in six

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Formula One championship leader Jenson Button mastered Monaco's treacherous streets on Sunday to chalk up his fifth victory in six races and lead another Brawn GP one-two finish.

The Briton's sixth career victory, in an untroubled drive from pole position on a sunny afternoon, stretched his lead over team mate Rubens Barrichello to 16 points with 11 races remaining.

Button, who took the chequered flag 7.6 seconds clear of the Brazilian after a masterfully smooth performance around a bumpy and twisting track lined by metal barriers, has 51 while Barrichello has 35.

"Yeah, Monaco baby, yeah," the local resident, who had laboured among the back markers in recent years with an uncompetitive Honda, yelled over the team radio after his third win in a row.


Image: Jenson Button leads the pack
Photographs: Reuters
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Performance of the team will surely go down in history: Button

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The only mistake he made, after 78 laps at the wheel, was to park his car in the wrong place after taking the chequered flag.

Astonishingly, considering what he had gone through during the previous hour and 45 minutes, he climbed out of the car and ran along the straight from the pit lane, waving at the fans and jumping for joy.

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen, who had started on the front row but lost out to Barrichello at the start, took third place for champions Ferrari in the Italian team's first podium finish since the last race of 2008.

Mercedes-powered Brawn, heirs to departed Honda, have now finished one-two three times in the most astonishing debut season the championship has witnessed in 60 years of competition.

"The performance of the team this year is definitely going to go down in history," said Button, the first Briton to win in Monaco from pole since Jackie Stewart in 1973.


Image: Jenson Button in action

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Facts don't excite me too much: Button

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Button told reporters before the race that winning a race considered the shining jewel in Formula One's crown would be no different to any other. "That was a bit of a lie, really," he said, explaining that had been mainly to take the pressure off.

"Facts don't excite me too much, especially after the last few years I've had, but winning does," he added. "And winning here is very special."

Barrichello grained his tyres in the first stint and also had to contend with a loosening seat belt. "I had great fun but it was not as easy as it looked from the outside," added the Brazilian.

Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa, who had not scored any points until this month's Spanish Grand Prix, was fourth ahead of Australian Mark Webber in a Red Bull.

"We still have work to do to fight for first place," said Raikkonen. "But we need to be happy after the very difficult start to the season."


Image: Jenson Button celebrates after winning the Monaco F1 Grand Prix

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Fisichella misses point by whisker

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Germany's Nico Rosberg finished sixth for Williams, with Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso collecting two points for Renault and Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais eighth for Toro Rosso.

There was disappointment for Force India, chasing their first points finish, with Italian Giancarlo Fisichella finishing ninth.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton, who started last on the grid after crashing in qualifying, was 12th and lapped by his winning compatriot.

Button became only the seventh driver to win five of the first six races of a season, the last being Germany's seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher in 2004.

He was also the sixth British driver to win in the Mediterranean principality. Hamilton won last year's race.

In a race with few incidents, 14 cars finished. McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, Renault's Nelson Piquet, Toro Rosso rookie Sebastien Buemi and Williams Kazuki Nakajima all crashed out.


Image: Jenson Button (center) along with 2nd-placed teammate Rubens Barrichello (left) and 3rd-placed Kimi Raikkonen

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