Brawn GP's Jenson Button achieved his third victory of the 2009 Formula One season today at the end of an exciting Bahrain Grand Prix. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello brought his Brawn-Mercedes car home in fifth position to score valuable points and consolidate the team's lead in the Constructors' Championship after the opening four rounds.
Jenson's victory was set up with a strong opening lap which saw him pass Vettel at turn one before fighting with Hamilton round the first lap and taking his opportunity at turn one on the second lap. Jenson put in some quick laps to overtake the Toyotas at the first round of pit stops and controlled the race from there to take the chequered flag with a seven-second lead over Vettel.
Rubens ran a three-stop strategy to maximise his time in free air. After passing Piquet and Glock on track, he was able to close the gap to the cars ahead and build enough of an advantage to secure fifth position from Raikkonen.
As Formula One returns to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday 10 April, Brawn GP lead the Constructors' Championship with 50 points with Jenson heading the Drivers' Championship with 31 points and Rubens in second position with 19 points.
"It was a great race today and I'm so happy to have seen the chequered flag without a safety car or red light in front of me! To achieve my third victory of the season is amazing and we are going back to Europe with a strong lead in both championships. I couldn't wish for anything more. It has been a tough weekend for the team which makes this win even more rewarding as we didn't have the pace that we expected. I was really happy with my first lap. I knew that I had to overtake Sebastian quickly and got him round the outside on turn one. I had a couple of attempts at Lewis round the first lap and almost got him at the last corner. I knew that he would pull away from me on the straight so I dropped in behind and used the tow to overtake him at turn one. It wasn't easy from there but getting up to third on the first lap was crucial for me. Our thanks to Mercedes-Benz this weekend who have not only provided us with a powerful engine but have integrated so well with our team. You need a close-knit unit to succeed in Formula One and that is what we have at this team."
"We brought home some valuable points today but it was a tough race for me. I lost a lot of time behind Piquet after my first stop which was a real shame as it compromised my race plan. We went for a three-stop strategy and then took the decision to come in slightly early for my second stop as I was being held up behind Hamilton. It was so hot out there this afternoon and the car was burning my waist on the right-hand side which made it very difficult for me. It seems that luck is on Jenson's side at the moment and well done to him and to the team for winning the race today. I hope that my turn comes soon!"
"A fantastic performance today from Jenson and all credit is due to him for an outstanding opening lap which made today's victory possible. We have had a challenging weekend in dealing with the extreme temperature conditions which was made more difficult by our lack of hot weather testing prior to the season. I am very proud of the way that the team here in Bahrain has worked together to overcome the issues that we faced and how they performed in the race today. Our particular thanks this weekend are due to our engine partner Mercedes-Benz and we are delighted to have achieved our third victory of the season with them here today. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the team at the factory in Brackley who have been working very hard on our upgrade package. After a demanding but successful start of the season, we are all looking forward to returning home and the opportunity for the team to celebrate together before our focus turns to the start of the European season in Spain in two weeks."
-credit: brawn gp