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Button Takes 4th Win in Spanish GP

Jenson Button seems unstoppable in this year’s Formula One Championship, as he clinched his 4th win of the season at Circuit de Catalunya, leading Brawn GP’s second 1-2 this season. Barrichello paid tribute to a 3-pit strategy on Sunday and had to settle for 2nd place, while Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber went on to secure his second podium of the season in 3rd place.

The race started off great for Barrichello, who powered from 3rd to leader in a matter of meters. Button had no option but to let his teammate through, while Massa used the best of his Kinetic Energy Recovery System to get ahead of Vettel.

Jarno Trulli, however, had a start to forget on Sunday, as the Toyota driver caused the first pile-up of the day. While slightly pushed into the runoff area by Williams’ Nico Rosberg, the Italian lost control of his car and rejoined the track sideways, crashing into both Toro Rosso cars and Force India’s Adrian Sutil. The incident caused the safety car to be deployed, for the first time in Europe.

Soon afterwards, Barrichello went on to secure a 10-second margin to teammate Button, but the first pit stop gave us a clear view on both drivers’ strategy for the afternoon. While Button decided to take on enough fuel for a 2-pit race, Barrichello opted for less fuel and quicker track exit.

Massa and Vettel went head to head and joined the pits on the same lap, coming back to the track still in 3rd and 4th. In the meantime, Webber put the hammer on and started to get away from Renault’s Fernando Alonso, while soon posing a threat to the Massa-Vettel duo. His strategy paid off after the second pit stop, as the Aussie got in front of the two drivers and waited for Barrichello’s 3rd pit stop to see whether he’ll climb the second or third step of the podium.

The Brawn GP veteran fueled less than 15 laps to the finish line (quick stop though) and rejoined the track some 10 seconds behind Button, but a few hundreds of meters ahead of Webber. While catching up with Barrichello, Webber eventually opted for a safe 3rd place, enough to give him a 2-place boost in the overall classification.

The real action happened in the dying 4 laps of the race, though, with Massa forced to save fuel in order to actually cross the finish line. He therefore had to let Vettel go for 4th, while hoping the 16-second advantage over Fernando Alonso would be good enough to secure him a 5th place.

With the enthusiastic crowd by his side, Alonso pushed his Renault R29 to the limit once more and managed to pass the Brazilian in the very last lap. Massa would eventually keep that position until the finish line, less than 2 seconds to BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld. Nico Rosberg went on to finish 8th overall.
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