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. Friday 1 July 2016

  2. 19:36

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Spielberg

    GP2
  3. Three drivers handed GP2 grid penalties 19:34

    Three drivers handed GP2 grid penalties

    Three GP2 drivers have been handed three-place grid penalties after a series of incidents during qualifying for the Feature Race…

    GP2
  4. 18:18

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Spielberg

    F1
  5. Vettel gets grid penalty for new gearbox 18:16

    Vettel gets grid penalty for new gearbox

    Sebastian Vettel will receive a five-place grid penalty at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix after Ferrari was forced to fit a…

    F1
  6. McLaren duo look to exploit possible rain 17:17

    McLaren duo look to exploit possible rain

    Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both feel that rain will provide McLaren with its best chance of a strong result at the…

    F1
  7. Hembery: Sub-1m06s possible in qualifying 16:58

    Hembery: Sub-1m06s possible in qualifying

    Pirelli's Paul Hembery reckons a sub-1m06s lap could be possible in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying, providing the weather stays…

    F1
  8. Rosberg backs Red Bull Ring changes 16:33

    Rosberg backs Red Bull Ring changes

    Nico Rosberg has backed the resurfacing and kerb additions at the Red Bull Ring after the first day of practice for the Austrian…

    F1
  9. Verstappen: Walls better than new kerbs 15:50

    Verstappen: Walls better than new kerbs

    Max Verstappen feels that walls would be a more effective anti-cutting measure than the new exit kerbs at the Red Bull…

    F1
  10. Sirotkin edges Giovinazzi for Austria pole 15:30

    Sirotkin edges Giovinazzi for Austria pole

    ART Grand Prix Sergey Sirotkin claimed his second GP2 Series pole position of the season as he edged out Antonio Giovinazzi…

    GP2
  11. Vettel: Brake issue caused late FP2 spin 15:25

    Vettel: Brake issue caused late FP2 spin

    Sebastian Vettel says a brake distribution issue caused his spin during the closing stages of Friday's second practice session…

    F1
  12. Dragon Racing retains Duval, d'Ambrosio 14:57

    Dragon Racing retains Duval, d'Ambrosio

    Dragon Racing has confirmed that Loïc Duval and Jérôme d'Ambrosio will stay at the team for the 2016/17 Formula E…

    FE
  13. 14:39

    Austrian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  14. Rosberg fastest in rain-interrupted FP2 14:37

    Rosberg fastest in rain-interrupted FP2

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Nico Rosberg again topped the timesheets during Friday afternoon's second practice…

    F1
  15. Pirelli announces Monza tyre compounds 14:04

    Pirelli announces Monza tyre compounds

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has announced its compound choices for the Italian Grand Prix, with the red-marked Super Soft…

    F1
  16. Drivers reprimanded for FP1 incidents 13:46

    Drivers reprimanded for FP1 incidents

    Manor drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto and Sauber's Marcus Ericsson have been given reprimands following separate…

    F1
  17. Sirotkin to test for Renault at Silverstone 13:13

    Sirotkin to test for Renault at Silverstone

    GP2 frontrunner Sergey Sirotkin will receive a day's worth of running with Renault during the post-British Grand Prix test, the…

    F1
  18. FIA releases 2016/17 Formula E entry list 12:46

    FIA releases 2016/17 Formula E entry list

    Formula E's entry list for the 2016/17 season, featuring 10 teams, has been released by the FIA. Eight of the 10 outfits on…

    FE
  19. Ricciardo honoured with home grandstand 11:41

    Ricciardo honoured with home grandstand

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has had a grandstand named after him at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne as a gift from…

    F1
  20. Ferrari spends another engine token 11:20

    Ferrari spends another engine token

    Ferrari used up another of its engine development tokens ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. Although the focus of Ferrari's…

    F1
  21. 10:37

    Austrian Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  22. Rosberg sets record pace in first practice 10:35

    Rosberg sets record pace in first practice

    Nico Rosberg posted the fastest ever lap of the Red Bull Ring during Friday morning's first free practice session for the…

    F1
  23. Frijns stays with Andretti in Formula E 09:36

    Frijns stays with Andretti in Formula E

    Amlin Andretti has confirmed that Robin Frijns will remain with the team in Formula E next season. Frijns, 24, made his…

    FE
  24. 08:52

    Follow first practice for the Austrian GP!

    F1
  25. Button: Tyre pressures 'unbelievably high' 08:12

    Button: Tyre pressures 'unbelievably high'

    Jenson Button has described Pirelli's mandatory minimum tyre pressures for the Austrian Grand Prix as "unbelievably high", and…

    F1
  26. Bottas plans to be 'more involved' in future 07:32

    Bottas plans to be 'more involved' in future

    Valtteri Bottas says he plans to be more involved in discussions regarding his Formula 1 future moving forward, but has made…

    F1
  27. Hamilton braced for engine grid penalties 06:12

    Hamilton braced for engine grid penalties

    Lewis Hamilton says that he is bracing himself for engine-related grid penalties over the remainder of the season after taking…

    F1
  28. Video of the Day: Red Bull Ring hot lap 05:22

    Video of the Day: Red Bull Ring hot lap

    Join Daniel Ricciardo for a hot lap of the Red Bull Ring ahead of this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

    F1
  29. Thursday 30 June 2016

  30. 19:03

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Spielberg

    F1
  31. Ferrari presents updated halo device 19:01

    Ferrari presents updated halo device

    Ferrari has publicly debuted an updated version of its 'halo' device, as Formula 1 inches closer to introducing increased…

    F1
  32. Sainz Jr. sure top team chance will come 17:08

    Sainz Jr. sure top team chance will come

    Carlos Sainz Jr. is adamant that an opportunity with a leading Formula 1 team will come, following confirmation that he will…

    F1
  33. Alonso: Busy period will test McLaren 16:50

    Alonso: Busy period will test McLaren

    Fernando Alonso says the upcoming busy period in the Formula 1 calendar will provide an all-round test of the competitiveness of…

    F1
  34. Lowes 'astonished' by Aprilia test debut 16:37

    Lowes 'astonished' by Aprilia test debut

    Sam Lowes says he was left "astonished" by his first experience of MotoGP machinery as he tested Aprilia's RS-GP during a…

    MotoGP
  35. Ricciardo confirms Red Bull 2018 deal 14:29

    Ricciardo confirms Red Bull 2018 deal

    Daniel Ricciardo has formally confirmed that he will remain with Red Bull until at least the end of 2018, after Team Principal…

    F1
  36. Bottas eyes Williams podium challenge 14:05

    Bottas eyes Williams podium challenge

    Valtteri Bottas is confident that Williams can challenge for the podium positions at the Austrian Grand Prix as it bids to…

    F1
  37. Ericsson: Sauber outlook more positive 13:59

    Ericsson: Sauber outlook more positive

    Marcus Ericsson believes the outlook for Sauber is more positive, having negotiated "the most difficult part" of a troublesome…

    F1
  38. Haryanto still unclear over F1 future 13:50

    Haryanto still unclear over F1 future

    Rio Haryanto says he is still uncertain whether he will finish the current Formula 1 campaign with Manor but understands that…

    F1
  39. Haas opts to switch focus to 2017 car 12:24

    Haas opts to switch focus to 2017 car

    Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says that the rookie outfit has now switched the majority of its focus to developing its…

    F1
  40. Video: Formula 1 driver eye-tracking 12:08

    Video: Formula 1 driver eye-tracking

    Explore the skills and reaction times of Nico Hülkenberg as he wears special eye-tracking glasses.

    F1
  41. Pérez not distracted by Ferrari rumours 12:03

    Pérez not distracted by Ferrari rumours

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez insists he will not become distracted across a busy period of four races in five weekends as…

    F1
  42. IndyCar linked with Surfers Paradise return 08:40

    IndyCar linked with Surfers Paradise return

    IndyCar has been linked with a potential return to Surfers Paradise in Australia, eight years after the US-based category last…

    Indy
more news