Button charges to victory after rain plays havoc with grand prix

Jenson Button grabbed a dramatic win in the Canadian Grand Prix, which was plagued with atrocious weather conditions in Montreal yesterday.

Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel was leading, after starting on pole position, when the race was red flagged and cars ordered to park on the starting grid as rain lashed the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with just 24 of 70 laps completed.

As drivers climbed back into their cars rain continued fall, but officials determined that conditions had improved enough for a restart. The race was the first run in wet weather this season, making the twisting and challenging layout all the more treacherous.

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Race control for the Canadian Grand Prix opted to start behind the safety car for the 70-lap race. That came as a surprise, and a disappointment to a sell-out crowd, because the rain that had steadily fallen overnight and throughout the morning over Montreal finally relented around 30 minutes prior to the five red lights disappearing.

It basically meant the track was wet, with some standing water, but nothing drivers of this calibre cannot cope with.

With an air temperature of 20 degrees centigrade, relatively warm, there was the likelihood of the track drying out over the course of the race should no further rain fall.

The decision played into the hands of polesitter Vettel, the reigning champion spearheading the grid for the sixth time in seven races this season. It also deprived the fans of what would have been a spectacular start.

After two laps behind the safety car, Lewis Hamilton was asked for his opinion of the conditions, with the McLaren star from fifth on the grid replying: "They're fine. It's normal. Visibility is okay."

On lap four it was then announced the safety car would come in, and at the start of lap five Hamilton immediately tangled with Mark Webber in his Red Bull. Attempting to pass the Australian through the opening few corners, Hamilton tagged Webber, sending the 34-year-old spinning. The 26-year-old dropped to seventh, with Webber falling towards the rear, resulting in the stewards calling an investigation.

Although the Briton soon made up one place on team-mate Jenson Button, that was lost again on lap six when he made a mistake in running wide at the hairpin as he attempted to pass Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes. Further calamity followed at the end of lap seven going into eight as Hamilton sized up Button down the start/finish straight.

Hamilton pulled out to pass, only for Button to drift across on the racing line and squeeze his team-mate against the wall, his left-rear wheel hitting the concrete.

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Although Hamilton tried to continue, it was apparent the damage was too severe, and he eventually pulled over soon after, resulting in the deployment of the safety car.

Just prior to that Button screamed over the radio: "What was he doing?", with the incident forcing him into the pits, switching from full-wet tyres to intermediates.

Even with Hamilton forced into retirement, the stewards announced an investigation, as well as looking at a breach of safety car speed limit rules against the duo. After 12 laps, the safety car again returned, allowing the racing to commence, with Button running in 12th place.

Within seconds of the restart, stewards announced a drive-through penalty for Button, which he served immediately, relegating him towards the back of the field.

Button immediately began to scythe his way up the field, running in 11th after 16 laps, at which point a number of those ahead of him began to switch to inters.

Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari, running second, plus the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher all went in. Within minutes, however, it proved to the wrong call as the rain grew in intensity to such an extent that the safety car was used for the third time, and with the race only 19 laps old.

Unsurprisingly, Button, Alonso, Rosberg and Schumacher all returned to the pits to take on full wets again.

Remarkably, as the safety car was touring round on lap 22, Vettel remarked that from turn nine, through the hairpin and up to turns 13 and 14 the circuit was "undriveable".

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In a further transmission on the following lap, he noted that while he could see, as leader, those behind would be unable to, leading to likely aquaplaning and accidents. With Button then complaining of the woeful conditions, it was no surprise when the red flag came out and the race was stopped at the end of lap 24. But the Englishman went on a dramatic charge after the restart to seal an fine win.