Jenson Button’s Belgian Grand Prix ended on lap one when the Briton was involved in a first-lap incident at Les Combes.
The Brawn GP driver, was tagged by Renault’s Romain Grosjean and was sent flying into the tyre wall.
Despite this, the world championship leader has assured the Formula One world that he has none of his motivation and will try hard to bounce back in Monza.
Rubens Barrichello’s race was compromised at the start with the Brazilian driver suffering yet another anti-stall problem on the grid. He eventually finished seventh place with a trail of smoke pouring from his Brawn car, due to an oil leak.
Jenson Button – DNF: “I had a really good start and had made up a few places in the first few corners to be ahead of Lewis and Rubens. I had a good run going down the straight to turn five just after Eau Rouge. I was on the outside of Heikki and turned in for the corner but quite simply Romain outbraked himself and hit my back wheel. That was it for my race today. It’s frustrating as I was in a reasonable position having made up some places and with a lot of fuel on board but it’s better to have my first retirement here where I haven’t been so competitive than when I’m running at the front. We’re determined get back on the track at the next race and be more competitive there at a track which should be quite good for our car.”
Rubens Barrichello – 7th: “I have to be happy with seventh place and the two points really after such an eventful race. We should have had far more from today but the problem with the clutch at the start took away any chance of a podium which is frustrating for me and the team. We changed my strategy at the end of the first lap to fuel longer for the first stint which was a good move and gave me the chance to get into the points. I had fun in the race from then on and the move on Mark Webber at the Blanchimont bend was definitely one of the highlights. The oil leak gave us some worrying laps but I was able to manage the pace and bring the car safely home which was a big relief.”
Ross Brawn: “It was a very disappointing race for us today when there was potential for more. Rubens’ car went into anti-stall at the start which left him stranded on the grid which was very frustrating for the whole team. It was a technical problem on the car and we have to get on top of that quickly as it has caught us out too many times this season. When the safety car came out, we took advantage to switch Rubens onto what was effectively a one-stop strategy and he drove extremely well from there. His car had an oil leak with two laps to go therefore we asked him to back off from chasing Heikki Kovalainen and manage the car to the end of the race. Jenson had a really good start from 14th and gained a few places before he was hit from behind at turn five which ended his race. There are important lessons which we can take from this weekend and some hard work to be done back at the factory before the final five races of the season.”