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Button, McLaren Reign Chinese GP


Defending world champion Jenson Button became the first repeat winner of the 2010 Formula One season, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton came in second to give McLaren a 1-2 finish in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.

Button overcame treacherous rain conditions on the Shanghai road course and benefited from making just two pit stops for tires, while most drivers pitted four times or more. He passed Nico Rosberg for the lead on lap 19 when the Mercedes GP driver ran off the course heading into turn 14.

The safety car was deployed for the second time on lap 22 for track cleanup from Jaime Alguersuari's damaged car. Button quickly pulled ahead of Rosberg after the restart, and then ran in front for the remainder of the 56-lap race for his second win of the season and the ninth of his F1 career.

"When the safety car was out for clearing debris off of the circuit, I had my heart in my mouth when that happened, because I didn't know what was going to happen after that," Button said. "Towards the end of the race when we put the intermediate [tires] on, I felt really good and the car felt great. I wasn't pushing the tires too much. I could see that I was putting a gap on Lewis, and then it started raining again, and I made a mistake by running wide. From then on, I just couldn't get any heat in the tires."

McLaren bounced back from a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday when Button and Hamilton qualified fifth and sixth, respectively, after the two topped the charts in practice. Hamilton, the 2008 F1 champion, made four pit stops, but managed to fight back and finish just 1.53 seconds behind his teammate.

"It was very tough in the beginning with the weather, and it wasn't easy making the call when to change the tires," Hamilton said. "I fought my way through, and we both did a tremendous job, and it's really down to an awesome job that the team is doing."

After making their first stops for tires, Hamilton and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, the pole sitter, aggressively raced each other off of pit road, as the two nearly made contact.

Race stewards informed both teams they were investigating the pit road incident at the conclusion of the race, but Hamilton said during the post-race news conference that he was unaware of the investigation.

"I'm not really sure what it's all about," Hamilton said. "I think the team waited for quite sometime, and they released me when they thought it was the right time. I got quite a lot of wheel spin, so I struggled to get out of the [pit] box. As I came out, I noticed Sebastian was there, and he pushed me a little bit to the right."

Rosberg wound up finishing third. He lost the second position to Hamilton when he pitted for the final time in the closing laps.

With the victory, Button took a 10-point lead over Rosberg, while Fernando Alonso from Ferrari and Hamilton are one point behind Rosberg. Alonso finished fourth, despite serving a drive-through penalty on pit lane in the early going.

Renault's Robert Kubica finished fifth.

Vettel and Red Bull teammate Mark Webber started from the front row, but quickly lost their positions when Alonso pulled ahead of them on the opening lap. Both drivers fell back further in the field due to the rain, with Vettel finishing sixth and Webber coming in eighth.

Vitaly Petrov from Renault scored his first F1 points with a finish of seventh.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher from Mercedes completed the top-10.




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