Button wins again in changing weather at Hungaroring
McLaren’s Jenson Button took his second victory in mixed conditions at the Hungaroring, to follow his win in similar weather in Canada earlier this year. The Englishman was assured of victory after his team mate Lewis Hamilton changed onto intermediate tyres in the closing stages of the race only to find that the conditions were not wet enough, forcing him to revert to slicks in his fifth pit stop of the afternoon. In an intriguing move, Hamilton had saved an extra set of supersoft tyres for the race during qualifying, allowing him to find extra grip even in the damp middle stages of the race. However, a gamble on more rain failed to pay off and he finished fourth, leaving Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to take the podium’s lower steps.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “It’s been another fascinating race in mixed conditions which has allowed Jenson Button to demonstrate his skills of mastering changing weather and the capabilities of our P Zero tyres, which demonstrated both performance and durability throughout the grand prix. Even when rain was falling at the end of the race, Button managed to secure enough grip from the P Zero Yellow soft tyres to make sure of a well-deserved victory.
“There was a very wide variety of strategies employed by all the teams throughout the race, with the top five using four different strategies, but in the end it all came down to each driver’s ability to get the best out of slick tyres in slippery conditions. The McLaren drivers were very closely matched: Lewis Hamilton also drove a brilliant race and seeing his recovery at the end, despite six visits to the pits, was fantastic. I’m particularly pleased because the Hungaroring is a place that has not always been renowned for overtaking in the past, but today we saw plenty of it, in a race that contained more twists and turns than the circuit itself!”
Hamilton’s fightback on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre to fourth place in damp conditions was a highlight of the race, despite a drive-through penalty that meant he visited the pits six times in total. Like Button, Sebastian Vettel stopped three times and ran a final 29-lap stint on the soft tyre to claim the runner-up spot, 3.5 seconds behind the winner, while Fernando Alonso stopped four times in the Ferrari to take third. Button’s victory was the 11th of his career, taken at his 200th grand prix. The Hungaroring was also the scene of Button’s very first grand prix win in 2006, which was also held in wet conditions.