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GP Week : Issue 163
28 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: A first podium finish in over three months heralded a return to form for McLaren’s Jenson Button, as the 2009 world champion finally got on top of his tyre issues to record a valuable second place finish in Hockenheim. Starting sixth on the grid, Button was up to fifth by the end of the first lap before overtaking Hulkenberg and Schumacher during the first stint to lie third. A quick and early second pitstop then saw him leapfrog Sebastian Vettel for second although he was unable to challenge Alonso for the lead. “I had a really good race and really enjoyed myself out there. I made a good start, pulled off some good moves on both Nico and Michael and had strong pace all afternoon,” said Jenson. Although he crossed the line in third place, he was later promoted to second when the stewards penalised Vettel for overtaking Button off the circuit on the penultimate lap. Button thinks Vettel would have got more opportunities to pass before the end of the race because his tyres were in such bad condition. “Sebastian’s pass was a pretty straightforward matter: the rules state that you can’t go off the track to gain an advantage,” explained Button. “The thing is, there would have been more opportunities for him before the end of the race as my rear tyres were damaged. That’s because I had to push hard to try and catch Fernando, which meant I had nothing left for the end of the race.” Second place does little good to Button’s championship challenge however, as he still lies an over whelming 86 points behind leader Alonso. BUTTON BACK ON FORM FOR FIRST PODIUM SINCE APRIL F1 >>> HOCKENHEIM