Button wins Canadian Grand Prix on Pirellis

June 13, 2011

After a prolonged red flag period due to torrential rain, McLaren driver Jenson Button claimed his first win of the year, having used three different types of tire from the Pirelli P Zero Formula One range.

Button passed Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel on the final lap to win the race, despite a collision with his team mate, a drive-through penalty, and five pit stops: which at one point in the race put the Englishman as low as 21st. Nonetheless, the correct strategy calls in the constantly changing conditions - as well as a fantastic drive - enabled him to win one of the most action-packed races of the year.

The race began in wet conditions behind the safety car for the first four laps, which meant that all the cars started on the P Zero Orange full wet tires: the first time that this has happened all year. Button was the first person to switch to the P Zero Blue intermediate tires on lap eight, giving the Italian intermediates their competition debut.

However, the rain returned just over half an hour after the race started and brought out the safety car. Shortly afterwards, on lap 24, the race was red-flagged as conditions were un-driveable. According to the rules, teams were allowed to change tires and work on their cars while they waited for racing to resume.

The race restarted behind the safety car nearly two hours later, once again on the P Zero Orange tires. As conditions dried out, the leading runners moved onto intermediate tires, then slick tires. Button made a final stop for the P Zero Red supersoft tires on lap 51 to win the race by 2.7 seconds, having taken full advantage of one more safety car period with just 12 laps to go.

Vettel - who led every lap apart from the final one - finished second on the P Zero Red supersoft tires after three stops, while his team mate Mark Webber was third. The final eight laps saw a frenetic battle for the podium places, with Vettel defending from Button, Webber and Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher, before making a rare mistake.

At the finish, nearly four and a half hours after the race started, Pirelli's Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said, "This was one of the most thrilling and unpredictable grands prix we have seen so far this season, with an amazing drive from Jenson Button and all three podium places decided on the very final lap. We finally got a wet race, which showcased the effectiveness of our P Zero Orange full wet and also the P Zero Blue intermediate tire. Once the race re-started, it was very interesting for us to run the wet and intermediate tire down to the crossover point, which we've never done before in competition. This proved to be a key point in the strategy as both Button and Vettel showed. We really enjoyed watching Kamui Kobayashi as well who delivered a fantastically spirited drive in a race that was well worth the wait. The final battle for the podium was definitely one of our highlights of the year so far."