Button wins rain-delayed Canadian thriller

Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:30am EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Jenson Button celebrated his greatest victory on Sunday after overtaking Red Bull's Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel on the last lap of a rain-delayed Canadian Grand Prix thriller.

Vettel, who skidded wide under relentless pressure just a few corners from the finish, recovered from his error to take second place ahead of Australian team mate Mark Webber.

The race, a chaotic epic packed with incident that will be remembered as a highlight of any season, had earlier been halted for more than two hours as rain lashed the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Button had to fight through from the back of the field to deny the runaway championship leader a sixth victory in seven races.

Along the way he squeezed McLaren team mate and fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton into the wall and out of the race and also collided with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, ending the Spaniard's hopes when his car spun and was stuck on a kerb.

Despite his error, Vettel stretched his overall championship lead to 60 points with the 23-year-old German now on 161 to Button's 101.

"It's definitely my best race ... I'll remember this for a long time," said Button, the 2009 world champion who had never before won in North America.

Button made six visits to the pitlane -- five regular stops and one drive-through penalty -- before storming back into contention as the track dried.   Continued...

 
<p>First place McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain and second place Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel (R) of Germany stand on the podium with champagne bottles after finishing in the Canadian F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal June 12, 2011. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger</p>