Button celebrates dominant victory in Belgium

Button celebrates dominant victory in Belgium

2 September 2012 – Jenson Button has won at Spa for the first time, confirming that McLaren is the first team to celebrate four victories in 2012. Sebastian Vettel collected a crucial second place, with Kimi Räikkönen on the podium for the third consecutive event. Both championship leader Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were taken out in a frightening incident at the first corner, triggered by Romain Grosjean.

Miraculously, nobody was hurt in the La Source carnage
The legendary track set deep in the Ardennes forest has delivery a truly memorable weekend to re-launch the F1 campaign after the summer break. Following the washout of Friday, which significantly limited dry running time, spectators were treated to a warm day and blue skies this afternoon. There was pre-race drama for Michael Schumacher; not only did Mercedes need to change his engine, but also dealt in rapid fashion with a KERS issue.

Nobody could have predicted the drama of the start. As Pastor Maldonado moved set off before the lights went out, the Williams shot towards the front. Romain Grosjean then moved over on Hamilton, forcing the McLaren onto the grass and out of control; the resultant accident saw both cars, and the Ferrari of Alonso, thrown high into the air. Both Saubers, which had qualified in excellent second and fourth places, plus Maldonado were also affected as debris was strewn all over the circuit. Fortunately, nobody involved was injured despite the Lotus of Grosjean missing Alonso’s head by millimetres.

Schumacher celebrated his 300th Formula 1 start
At the Lap 5 restart, Button proceeded to pull away from the pack and was never headed during the race. Only he and Vettel made one stop at the front, but the Englishman – who had yet to win since the season-opener in Melbourne – was far enough ahead never to lose his position. Vettel’s own drive was impressive, fighting back through the field after intelligently avoiding the errant car parts at La Source on the opening lap. His recovery included a strong move on team-mate Mark Webber and an entertaining battle with Schumacher, whose 300th race required two pit-stops and ended in seventh place after running as high as second.

The carnage of the day allowed several underdogs to pick up the pieces. Force India finished fourth and tenth with Nico Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta, unbelievably out-scoring Sauber by 13 points on a day when the Swiss team had threatened to take victory. Felipe Massa beat Webber to a top five result as Toro Rosso celebrated a double points finish, with Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo – often running in tandem – coming home eighth and ninth.

Button's previous Spa best had been two third places
It was also a dramatic day for F1’s three newest teams. Marussia saw their two drivers in an entertaining battle for 15th position in the closing stages, whereas the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan spun out at Stavelot. Heikki Kovalainen spun twice during the race, but it is his pit lane release into Karthikeyan which is more than likely to result in a hefty fine. A similar moment for Webber and Red Bull is also being investigated by the stewards, as are the first-corner crash, the jump start for Maldonado – who retired in a crash at Les Combes – and pit entry for Schumacher, who had unintentionally moved in front of Vettel during a dramatic duel.

Jenson Button’s 14th career victory confirms that McLaren is the first team to win four races and two consecutive Grands Prix in 2012. With Vettel jumping to second in the title race and eating into Alonso’s lead by a mammoth 18 points, Räikkönen - who pulled a stunning Eau Rouge overtake on Schumacher - is now fourth overall and ahead of Hamilton. Today’s result marks the 75th victory for the McLaren-Mercedes partnership, which celebrated its first with David Coulthard in Australia 15 years ago.


The 2012 Formula 1 season now moves to another historic venue, Monza in Italy, for Round 13 of 20 next weekend

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 26 January 2015

  2. 14:34

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. 14:17

    Photos: Lotus unveils E23 Hybrid

    F1
  4. Lotus releases first images of E23 Hybrid 14:10

    Lotus releases first images of E23 Hybrid

    Lotus has revealed the first images of its Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid, which it hopes will propel the Enstone-based squad...

    F1
  5. Palmer: Lotus reserve deal a 'no brainer' 13:25

    Palmer: Lotus reserve deal a 'no brainer'

    Reigning GP2 Champion Jolyon Palmer says joining Lotus as its reserve driver was a 'no brainer', due to the amount of track...

    F1
  6. Ferrari reveals name of 2015 challenger 11:36

    Ferrari reveals name of 2015 challenger

    Ferrari has revealed the name of its 2015 challenger, ahead of its unveiling at the end of the week. The team will...

    F1
  7. Bottas to debut Williams FW37 at Jerez 08:53

    Bottas to debut Williams FW37 at Jerez

    Williams has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas will give the new Mercedes-powered FW37 its public debut on the first day of...

    F1
  8. Video of the Day: Rosberg's torture machine 05:08

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's torture machine

    Nico Rosberg demonstrates his 'torture chamber' as he trains for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign.

    F1
  9. Sunday 25 January 2015

  10. Renault targeting 'at least five wins' in 2015 16:36

    Renault targeting 'at least five wins' in 2015

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul expects the French manufacturer to halve its engine deficit to pacesetters...

    F1
  11. 'Evolutionary approach' for Force India's VJM08 13:22

    'Evolutionary approach' for Force India's VJM08

    Force India Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer says the squad's VJM08 is an evolution, with the car containing much of...

    F1
  12. Rosberg got over 2014 disappointment quickly 08:11

    Rosberg got over 2014 disappointment quickly

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg says it took him just a few days to get over losing out on the 2014 title and is ready to fight again...

    F1
  13. Video of the Day: Inside the Abt garage 05:04

    Video of the Day: Inside the Abt garage

    Go behind the scenes in the Audi Sport Abt Formula E garage with driver Daniel Abt.

    FE
  14. Saturday 24 January 2015

  15. Streiff retracts comments following FIA threat 13:13

    Streiff retracts comments following FIA threat

    Philippe Streiff has retracted comments made about the FIA after President Jean Todt and Medical Commission boss Gérard...

    F1
  16. Arrivabene wants 'heavy metal band' sound in F1 07:39

    Arrivabene wants 'heavy metal band' sound in F1

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has backed calls by Mercedes' Niki Lauda to boost the spectacle of Formula 1 and...

    F1
  17. Video of the Day: McLaren P1 GTR approaches 05:17

    Video of the Day: McLaren P1 GTR approaches

    In just under two months, the McLaren P1 GTR will be officially presented at the Geneva Motor Show.

    F1
  18. Friday 23 January 2015

  19. Video: Vettel in Ferrari's 2015 challenger 17:23

    Video: Vettel in Ferrari's 2015 challenger

    Ferrari has released a short video of Sebastian Vettel sitting in the team's 2015 Formula 1 car.

    F1
  20. Vettel to complete first laps in new Ferrari 16:15

    Vettel to complete first laps in new Ferrari

    Sebastian Vettel will be the first to drive Ferrari's new Formula 1 car at next month's Jerez test, a spokesman for the...

    F1
  21. Exclusive interview with Pirelli's Paul Hembery 15:32

    Exclusive interview with Pirelli's Paul Hembery

    Formula 1 returns to action at the start of next month, when the majority of teams debut their new cars at Jerez. Ahead of...

    F1
  22. 15:09

    Photos: Construction work in Mexico City

    F1
  23. Red Bull offers £10,000 reward after robbery 14:43

    Red Bull offers £10,000 reward after robbery

    Red Bull has offered a £10,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of those who stole over 60 trophies from...

    F1
  24. Sauber confirms driver schedule for Jerez 13:56

    Sauber confirms driver schedule for Jerez

    Sauber has confirmed its driver schedule for the opening pre-season test at the Circuito de Jerez, which takes place from...

    F1
  25. Marciello joins Trident for 2015 season 10:07

    Marciello joins Trident for 2015 season

    Ferrari youngster Raffaele Marciello has switched to Trident for his second GP2 season. The Swiss-born Italian, 20, made...

    GP2
  26. Hernández forced to miss first Sepang test 09:56

    Hernández forced to miss first Sepang test

    Pramac rider Yonny Hernández will skip next month's opening Sepang test after dislocating his left shoulder in a dirt track...

    MotoGP
  27. Chilton eyes IndyCar with Carlin in 2016 06:57

    Chilton eyes IndyCar with Carlin in 2016

    Ex-Marussia Formula 1 driver Max Chilton will join forces with Carlin in a joint development programme as both parties look...

    F1
  28. Video of the Day: Sauber presents Ericsson 05:12

    Video of the Day: Sauber presents Ericsson

    Sauber introduces its new signing for the 2015 season – Swedish racer Marcus Ericsson.

    F1
  29. Thursday 22 January 2015

  30. FIA launches legal action against Streiff 18:15

    FIA launches legal action against Streiff

    The FIA, President Jean Todt and Medical Commission boss Gérard Saillant are planning to take legal action against...

    F1
  31. Villeneuve-designed circuit gets approval 16:32

    Villeneuve-designed circuit gets approval

    A racing complex that will feature a road track designed by former Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has received...

    F1
  32. Caterham administrator refuses to give up 14:34

    Caterham administrator refuses to give up

    Caterham's administrator has refused to give up on finding a new buyer for the 2015 season. Caterham entered...

    F1
  33. Melandri: Malaysia tests crucial for confidence 13:38

    Melandri: Malaysia tests crucial for confidence

    Factory Gresini Aprilia rider Marco Melandri says it is essential that he builds up his confidence levels at next month's...

    MotoGP
  34. Alonso to debut McLaren-Honda at Jerez 11:24

    Alonso to debut McLaren-Honda at Jerez

    McLaren has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will be the first to drive the upcoming MP4-30 at the opening pre-season test in...

    F1
  35. Video: 3D animation of Williams FW37 11:02

    Video: 3D animation of Williams FW37

    Watch a rotating 3D animation of the new Williams FW37, revealed online earlier this week.

    F1
  36. Ecclestone hopeful Marussia can be saved 10:19

    Ecclestone hopeful Marussia can be saved

    Bernie Ecclestone is hopeful that Marussia can be saved after meeting with a potential investor. The team's planned...

    F1
  37. Force India: Wind tunnel move behind car delay 07:23

    Force India: Wind tunnel move behind car delay

    Force India Technical Director Andrew Green says the team's decision to delay the track debut of its new Formula 1...

    F1
  38. Video of the Day: Force India livery reveal 05:08

    Video of the Day: Force India livery reveal

    Relive the entire presentation of Force India's new livery for the 2015 Formula 1 season.

    F1
  39. Wednesday 21 January 2015

  40. Force India pair hope to build on experience 17:03

    Force India pair hope to build on experience

    Force India pair Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez are sure that their experience with the team in 2014 will help drive it f...

    F1
  41. Mallya targets further podiums in 2015 16:49

    Mallya targets further podiums in 2015

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says the outfit's primary goal for the 2015 Formula 1 campaign will be to claim more...

    F1
  42. 15:52

    Photos: Force India showcases new look

    F1
  43. Force India presents 2015 livery in Mexico 15:38

    Force India presents 2015 livery in Mexico

    Force India presented its new look for the 2015 Formula 1 season on Wednesday, unveiling a predominantly black and silver...

    F1
  44. Hamilton 'relaxed' over Mercedes contract 13:37

    Hamilton 'relaxed' over Mercedes contract

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton says he is in no rush to sign a new contract with Mercedes, despite entering the final year of...

    F1
  45. Video: CCTV footage of Red Bull break in 12:53

    Video: CCTV footage of Red Bull break in

    CCTV footage of last month's trophy break in at Red Bull's Milton Keynes factory has been released.

    F1
  46. Ecclestone wants 2016 South Africa return 12:51

    Ecclestone wants 2016 South Africa return

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone hopes the sport can return to South Africa next year. Ecclestone explained last month...

    F1
more news