Button wins as Alonso, Schu, retire in Hungary

Sun, 6 August 2006, 07:03

As the championship contenders wrapped up their nightmare weekend in Budapest, Jenson Button has proved that 113 is his lucky number by winning for the first time in a seven year career.

With sodden Hungary staging one of the most action-packed races in recent memory, the title battle hung on a knife edge but ultimately ended in status-quo with both Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher failing to reach the chequer.

Fortunes swung like a pendulum on Sunday, with – at different moments – both contenders looking to take mighty points off one another. At one point, Alonso lapped a struggling Schumacher, but once the Spaniard retired Ferrari’s German was looking at bringing the title deficit back to 3 points.

Schumacher pitted for a new front wing after clashing with Alonso’s Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, but it all went wrong for Alonso when his driveshaft failed and he spun backwards into the wall.

It was his first retirement for 23 races.

”It’s a disappointment,” he said, ”but mechanical problems happen to everyone.”

Schumacher then found himself in an epic battle with Pedro de la Rosa, who ultimately finished second, before retiring with apparent damage.

De la Rosa’s pole-sitting teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, led the race early-on but smashed into the rear of Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso).

At his 113th attempt, then, 26-year-old Button – who took a ten-place penalty for a qualifying change on Saturday – netted the first Honda win of the Japanese carmaker’s latest F1 foray, with a convincing 30 second margin.

Nick Heidfeld made it another first, by taking BMW-Sauber to its first podium finish.
gmmf1 dailyf1news.com

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