Button extends points lead with win
ISTANBUL -- Brawn GP's Jenson Button won the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday for his sixth victory in seven Formula One races.
Vettel, the first driver not to win from the pole in five races at Istanbul, finished third after opting for a three-stop strategy.
Button leads the standings with 61 points. Teammate Rubens Barrichello, who retired after starting third, has 35 points. Vettel has 29 and Webber 27.5.
"[It's] the first race where the car has been absolutely perfect," Button said. "This car is just outrageous. Before this, I really believed the Red Bulls were on our pace, but today we were a step ahead."
Button's fourth straight win -- the best streak by a Briton in 17 years -- makes him the fifth driver to achieve six victories in a season so quickly. The previous four -- Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark and Michael Schumacher -- all went on to win the championship.
Nigel Mansell was the last British driver to win four straight in one season when he took the title in 1992. Button joined Mansell, Damon Hill, Clark, Jackie Stewart and James Hunt as the only Britons to win six races in a season.
It's an unbelievable start for a driver who languished at the back of the grid the past four years and only found out that he would be racing two weeks before the start of this season when Brawn bought out Honda after the automaker's surprise pullout.
"Every race has been pretty emotional, all the old memories come flooding back," said Button, who spent last season at the back of the grid. "We thought it was going to be a tougher battle today."
Vettel touched the grass around turn 10 to veer wide, providing Button with an opening to pass.
"It was my mistake," Vettel said. "But I don't think it would have made a big difference today because Jenson was just too quick."
Vettel, the only other race winner this season, stayed right on the tail of Button up to the halfway point. But unable to overtake, the German dropped 23 seconds back after his second pit stop.
Vettel was mystified that his team stuck to its initial strategy.
"I am not happy but we should be satisfied," said Vettel, whose previous two career victories had come from the pole, although both were in rain-soaked conditions.
Webber overtook Vettel after his final stop in the closing stages and held his teammate off by 0.7 seconds for his second runner-up finish this season.
"We knew the podium was set, it was just a matter of whether it was me or Sebastian," Webber said. "[Jenson] was on another planet."
Jarno Trulli reversed Toyota's poor performances at Barcelona and Monaco to finish fourth. Nico Rosberg of Williams was fifth ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who had won in Istanbul the past three years.
Barrichello retired with 11 laps left after a frustrating day that started with about a dozen cars passing him as he rolled out of the start after his malfunctioning clutch kicked in the anti-stall system.
He dueled with Heikki Kovalainen, trying to pass on the inside of turn 10 but went spinning after touching cars with the McLaren driver. Barrichello dropped to 17th place and then collided into Force India's Adrian Sutil soon after to damage his front wing.
Lewis Hamilton, the defending F1 champion, finished 13th.
McLaren has now gone eight races without finishing in the top three.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso still hasn't been on the podium this season. The Renault driver finished 10th.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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