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Button dominates F1 field

By Paul Logothetis
Associated Press / May 25, 2009
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MONACO - Brawn GP's Jenson Button won the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday, capturing his fifth victory in six races to extend his Formula One championship lead.

"We've got Monaco baby," Button said after crossing the finish line 7.6 seconds ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello. Button's fourth start-to-finish victory of the season was the first for a British driver from the pole at the famed street circuit race since Jackie Stewart 36 years ago.

Button leads the circuit with 51 points, Barrichello has 35, and Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, who crashed out after 16 laps, is third with 23 points.

"I think we've proven this weekend that our package has worked and we're looking very strong for the next couple of races," Button said. "This was a massive win."

Kimi Raikkonen earned Ferrari its first top-three finish of the season by taking third. Ferrari amassed 11 points - the Italians' best point haul in a race this year - after Felipe Massa finished fourth ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber, who ran his points tally to 19 1/2.

"I'm not happy with the third, but for the team it's still a good result," Raikkonen said.

Brawn GP became the first team in its inaugural season to win in Monaco since Wolf's Jody Scheckter 32 years ago.

Defending F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 Monaco winner, was 12th after starting last on the grid.

"It was an extremely tough race," said Hamilton.

Button ran along the track to reach the podium, waving to fans and overlooking apartment balconies before accepting the trophy from Prince Albert.

Brawn GP leads the constructors' title with 86 points. Red Bull is next with 42 1/2 and Toyota has 26 1/2 after its two drivers finished near the end of the field.

Button easily held his pole position out of the start and slowly pulled away. The Briton, whose previous best result at Monaco was runner-up five years ago, maintained a double-digit advantage nearly to the end.