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Button wins Hungarian Grand Prix
August 06, 2006 20:31 IST
Briton Jenson Button seized the first victory of his Formula One career in a Hungarian Grand Prix thriller on Sunday.
While the 26-year-old Honda driver ended his long wait, triumphant at last in his 113th start, Renault's world champion Alonso trudged away without a point after leading for much of the afternoon.
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher also failed to score, retiring three laps from the finish to leave the title battle as finely balanced as ever with Alonso 11 points ahead and five races remaining.
Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa was second for McLaren, the best result of his career, with Germany's Nick Heidfeld third for BMW Sauber.
Alonso's car slewed and skidded into the tyre barriers with 18 laps to go while in the lead after a breathtaking charge from 15th place on the grid in wet conditions.
"After the stop I had a feeling something was not in order. I wanted to get back to the box, but it was not possible," said Alonso.
"We were extremely fast at first. It's a shame. But it happens to everyone."
Button's win, from 14th on the grid after a 10 place penalty for an unscheduled engine change on Saturday, was Honda's first as a constructor since 1967 and provided a story book ending to a weekend full of drama and surprise.
The first British winner of a Grand Prix since David Coulthard for McLaren in Australia three years ago, Button finished 30.8 seconds clear of de la Rosa.
Brazilian Rubens Barrichello took fourth place for Honda, ahead of Coulthard in a Red Bull and Toyota's Ralf Schumacher.
Poland's Robert Kubica took two points on his debut for BMW Sauber with Brazilian Felipe Massa eighth for Ferrari.
Hungary, so often providing one of the duller processional races on the calendar, turned out to be an all-action roller-coaster and the first of the season without a Ferrari or Renault in the top three.
Schumacher, seven-times a world champion, had been lapped by Alonso after 25 laps but was fighting for second place when he retired with Alonso already out.
Penalised two seconds in qualifying, like Alonso, he had also to pit for a new front wing after a collision with Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella as the Italian went past.
The first wet race in years transformed a slow and twisty circuit, where overtaking is usually a rare treat, into one that offered more passing manoeuvres than anyone could ever have imagined.
Four of the last five winners had come from pole position but not this time with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen crashing into the back of tail ender Vitantonio Liuzzi's Toro Rosso while lapping the Italian and in second place.
"I slowed down a bit to let him by, I was trying to be as helpful as possible," said Liuzzi. "It was a misunderstanding, it was a shame that it turned out this way."
Formula One: The Complete Coverage