McLaren driver Jenson Button has won a dramatic Grand Prix in Shanghai, China today.
The reigning World Champion picked up his second win for the year, and ironically, his win came due to a superior tyre strategy – the same way he took his first win at the Australian Grand Prix.
The win also means that Button now leads the world championship.
With rain dampening the Shanghai track in the opening laps of the race, most of the leading contenders – including Red Bull Racing’s dominant men Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber – elected to pit for intermediate tyres. The decision ultimately turned out to be the wrong one, with the track not quite wet enough for them to sustain a good pace. The guys who took this strategy had to re-pit for drys, costing them an extra two stops compared to those who braved the conditions.
Button, along with Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica elected to run their first stints on dry rubber, and it initially worked in their favour, with Button eventually taking the win having only pitted twice in the race.
His McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton was the best of the ‘four-stoppers,’ finishing in second place ahead of Rosberg.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was one of the drivers to employ the four stop strategy, and worse for him was the fact that he’d jumped the start and was forced to complete a drive-through penalty. He visited pit lane five times but still managed to come home in fourth place.
Kubica was fifth from Vettel, Vitaly Petrov (two stops and first-ever world championship points), Webber, Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher.
Despite the rain, the race had little carnage – save for a first lap bingle between Tonio Liuzzi, Kumui Kobayashi and Sebastien Buemi.