There are many races in Formula One history that rank up among the best – but none can hold a candle to the victory that Jenson Button stole from Vettel at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix.
In Formula One, fortunes can change within the blink of an eye. The high-octane sport has been a breeding ground for races that are highly unpredictable and high energy. It’s no wonder that it continues to dominate the collective global audience when it comes to the Motorsport of choice.
And while the future holds enough tantalizing prospects to send the mouths of every car fanatic salivating, there is a plethora of incredible past races that are just waiting to be remembered and re-heated for consumption.
Jenson button made headlines in 2017 when he stepped up to fill in for an absent Fernando Alonso at the Monaco Grand Prix, but the Brit proved himself out on the racetrack in a victory that perhaps no other driver will ever manage to replicate: the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix.
The race started out under a heavy layer of dense and dark clouds. The teams kitted out their respective challengers with heavy tread compounds in favor of additional grip in such inclement conditions, but true adversity was reserved for when the lights went out.
Within no time at all, cars were swerving into one another in a bid to eke each other out for pole position – Button being chiefly among them.
In an incident, down along the opening straight, the Brit tapped then-teammate Lewis Hamilton and sent the latter into the side barrier, ruining his rear suspension and putting him out of the race.
Despite managing to keep running, Button later went on to collide with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, sending the Spaniard out of the race as well and giving Button a puncture; his woes had only begun.
Button saw himself slapped with a stop/go penalty for covering too much ground under a safety car, which dropped him into 15th place. The McLaren driver proceeded to put in what can only be defined as the drive of his life as he battled back to the top of the grid. Lest we forget that he also fell back into last place following the puncture he sustained during his incident with Alonso.
Yet, despite the multiple collisions, several safety cars, dropping to the back twice in one race, and a race that saw all track activity postponed for two hours due to weather, Button somehow managed to fight back against the likes of Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher to seize victory away from Sebastian Vettel on the last lap.
Button stormed to the front not only once, but twice during the absolute anomaly of a Grand Prix. And while his final overtake of Sebastian Vettel may be chalked up to the German’s mistake into one of the course’s last turns, there is no under-selling it: Button had shown up every other driver and then some.