Button wins thrilling Japanese GP as Vettel takes title

October 9, 2011

Sebastian Vettel squeezed Jenson Button at the start © Sutton Images

Jenson Button won an enthralling Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Fernando Alonso as Sebastian Vettel secured his second world championship with 15 points in third.

It was a tight finish as tyre degradation dominated the race and Alonso closed to within 1.1s of Button at the chequered flag. Alonso pulled in the McLaren in the final five laps, but with two laps remaining Button responded and upped the ante with personal bests to maintain the gap and win the race.

Vettel, who led up until the second pit stops, settled for third in the knowledge that he needed just a single point for the title, and both he and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber in fourth were ordered not to take any risks. Nevertheless he was still within 0.8s of the lead battle as they crossed the line.

Lewis Hamilton had another difficult race and finished fifth after a puncture and another tit-for-tat battle with Felipe Massa. Michael Schumacher managed to split the pair of them in sixth using a different tyre strategy and one of his most competitive races of the season.



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