Jenson Button hails 'special victory' at Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix
Jenson Button has admitted to feeling a part of Spa’s illustrious history after “a very special victory”.
Frome Flier Button’s 14th career win in Formula One was a lights-to-flag romp of a Belgian Grand Prix overshadowed by a first corner pile-up at the La Source hairpin that accounted for four drivers.
Championship leader Fernando Alonso was the biggest casualty, the Spaniard failing to score a point for the first time in 24 races.
Mercifully, Alonso was fortunate to escape with his life in light of Romain Grosjean’s Lotus flashing within inches of his helmet as the smash unfolded, suffering nothing more than pain in his left shoulder. As the instigator of the incident Grosjean was later hammered by the stewards with a one-race ban that will see him sit out next Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
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Grosjean’s error also took out Sauber’s Sergio Perez and McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, compounding a horror week for the Briton in which he lost an aunt, Diane, on Wednesday to cancer.
It meant it was another bitter-sweet weekend for McLaren, with Button faultless, whilst Hamilton was seemingly unable to put a foot right given his Twitter folly too these past few days.
Button’s latest triumph, though, and Alonso’s failure to score, has at least thrust him back into title contention, however 63 points remains a considerable gap to overhaul with eight races remaining.
But there was no denying his delight at this success as he said: “This circuit is such a special circuit to most drivers with the way it flows, the history. So to get a win from lights to flag is very special, especially as it’s not been the easiest year for me.
“And I just love Spa, I think we all do. It’s really nice to win on a circuit like this.
“I remember watching Formula One back in the day here – it was a little different then – and there’s so much history. It’s really good to be a part of that.
“So, yeah, a very special weekend. We’re going to enjoy this for a little while longer before we head to Monza and hopefully do the same.”
Bizarrely, after fielding questions at the start of the weekend about supporting Hamilton in his quest for the crown, Button now finds himself just 16 points behind his fellow Briton. Hamilton, static at 47 points off of Alonso, refused to be drawn on Grosjean’s actions as the Frenchman cut across the McLaren at the start of a dramatic race.
In clipping the front-left tyre with the rear-right of his Lotus it sparked a chain of events which have cost Grosjean dear.
“I accept my mistake,” said a bitterly downcast Grosjean.
“I misjudged the gap to Lewis. I thought I was in front of him.
“It was a small mistake, but a big incident. I’m very sorry, and I’m just glad nobody is hurt. That’s the main thing.
“It’s a very hard decision to hear. When you love racing it’s hard.”