BUTTONS WINS AS MICHELIN DOMINATES, COME WET OR DRY Jenson Button (Honda/Michelin) scored a memorable debut Formula One victory in today's topsy-turvy Hungarian Grand Prix. Michelin's partners dominated the early stages of the rain-affected race...
BUTTONS WINS AS MICHELIN DOMINATES, COME WET OR DRY
Jenson Button (Honda/Michelin) scored a memorable debut Formula One victory in today's topsy-turvy Hungarian Grand Prix. Michelin's partners dominated the early stages of the rain-affected race and Button swept to the front of the field on lap 52, when world championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) stopped with a rear wheel problem. The Englishman then maintained a comfortable lead as the leaders switched on to dry tyres in the closing stages.
He led a Michelin clean sweep of the top five, with Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren Mercedes) finishing a career- best second ahead of Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber), Rubens Barrichello (Honda) and David Coulthard (Red Bull). In his first grand prix, Polish driver Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber/Michelin) finished second to score a couple of points.
Nick Shorrock, Michelin F1 director:
"Where to start? Our 101st grand prix success might have been convincing, but this has been a very tough weekend. Track conditions have been very testing and this morning's rain made things worse."
"Most of our drivers startedthe race on intermediate tyres and it was immediately apparent that they offered our partners a clear performance advantage. Our teams were obliged to look after their tyres very carefully as the track dried but, again, the inters held up very well and continued to perform strongly."
"Switching to dries was obviously a critical moment in the race, but we had no worries at all and our partners continued to post competitive lap times as the race drew towards its closing stages. I'd like to compliment Jenson on spearheading a Michelin clean sweep of the top five - a fantastic tribute to the hard work we didwith our partners during the build-up to the race."
"It's a shame that Renault was unable to obtain the result its excellent performance merited, but the team still leads both world championships and I'm confident that we will continue to defend these effectively together."
Frédéric Henry -Biabaud, Michelin Motorsport Director:
"This was a fantastic race in which three Michelin drivers finished on the podium and we took a clean sweep of the top five places."
"I would like to thank all the team at Clermont-Ferrand for the hard work during the past few weeks. The result was a range of tyres that delivered excellent performance in both wet and dry conditions."
"It was clear that our partners had a significant advantage here in Budapest. On behalf of everybody at Michelin I would like to compliment Honda on its first F1 victory since 1967 and I'd like to thank them for the confidence they have shown in us since 2004."
Nick Fry: CEO, Honda F1 Racing Team
"Michelin did a fantastic job throughout the weekend. On dry tyres we were very quick in qualifying and our wets lasted brilliantly as the race wore on. The dries proved to be equally good when we put them on towards the end. It would have been easy to make a mistake in these conditions, but at end of day we won - and that's the main thing."
Martin Whitmarsh McLaren CEO:
"That was a great drive by Pedro and we're delighted with his second place. Obviously the weather didn't work out as planned, and we're disappointed about what happened to Kimi, but our Michelin wets were terrific and gave us great performance. The rain throws in all sorts of variables, but we came away with a strong second place and look forward to working with Michelin to obtain another good result in Turkey."