Vettel cuts Button's lead with British win
Sunday 21 June 2009
Germany's Sebastian Vettel ran away with the British Grand Prix in a Red Bull one-two today while Formula One leader Jenson Button laboured to sixth place.
Australian Mark Webber finished runner-up for the third time this year, more than 15 seconds behind the 21-year-old, to equal his career best result, with Brazilian Rubens Barrichello third for Brawn GP.
Britain's Button, winner of six of the first seven races including the last four, had his overall lead over Barrichello trimmed to 23 points after finishing off the podium for the first time in 2009.
Button has 64 points, Barrichello 41. Vettel is a further two behind with nine rounds remaining after a dominant victory from pole position. Brawn have 105 in the constructors' championship with Renault-powered Red Bull on 74.5 in a two-horse race.
The win, in a processional race lacking drama or incident, was Vettel's second of the season and third of his Formula One career.
Despite being a German standing on the podium to the strains of the Austrian anthem, Vettel paid tribute to his British-based team.
"Thank you very much guys, this is a dream coming true. We've won the British Grand Prix," he said over the team radio after taking the chequered flag.
"It is only my second time here but I enjoyed it so much," added the youngster who also led Red Bull to a one-two in China in April.
"The atmosphere was great. This is what I was dreaming of when I saw the first grands prix here at Silverstone in the era of (Britain's 1992 world champion Nigel) Mansell and so on. It is kind of unreal to know that I am here, I've made it, I've won this grand prix."
Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa was fourth, ahead of Germany's Nico Rosberg for Williams.
Italy's Jarno Trulli was seventh for Toyota, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen taking the last point in a race billed as a farewell to the track that hosted the first Formula One championship race in 1950.
Red Bull's superiority over the Mercedes-powered Brawn was underlined by Vettel lapping more than a second a lap faster than his rivals in the early stages, despite being heavier on fuel, and finishing 41.1 seconds ahead of Barrichello.
"I don't think we could have beaten them today," said Brawn owner Ross Brawn.
Barrichello, who has not won a race since 2004 when he was at Ferrari, said he was happy to have closed the gap on Button despite suffering from back pains all weekend.
Button, who had struggled all weekend for grip and to get heat into his tyres, started sixth but had fallen to ninth after the opening lap.
He worked himself back into the points and then made up two places at his second pitstop, when he switched to softer tyres and chased Rosberg all the way to the finish before running out of time.
McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton, who won by a massive 68 seconds in the wet last year, finished 16th - the Briton's fourth race in a row out of the points - but received a huge roar from the crowd as he crossed the line.
His team mate Heikki Kovalainen and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais were the day's only casualties, both retiring in the pits after colliding on lap 35.
Despite the track being littered with debris, the racing line was clear and officials decided there was no need to deploy the safety car.
Donington Park is due to host the British Grand Prix next year, although Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said it will return to Silverstone if that circuit is not ready.
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