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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 August 2006, 20:45 GMT 21:45 UK
Victory at last
By Mike Burnett

Jenson Button
Button becomes the sixth youngest British winner
After six years and 113 races, Jenson Button has ended the wait for his first Grand Prix win.

Button's victory at the Hungarian GP finally delivered what British Formula One fans had long hoped for - but almost given up hope of seeing this season.

While top contenders Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher fell by the wayside, the 26-year-old Englishman held his nerve in the tricky wet conditions at the Hungaroring.

BBC Sport looks at the man once touted as Britain's next F1 champion, who may have revived those predictions with his charge from 14th on the grid to victory.

BUTTON STAT ATTACK

Button became the first British winner in 63 races since David Coulthard at the Australian Grand Prix in 2003.

But you have to go back another four years to find the last time an Englishman topped the podium, with Johnny Herbert at the Nurburgring in 1999.

The 26-year-old from Frome, Somerset, also gave Honda their third win, following victories in 1965 and 1967 - though it was the first for the team which began as BAR seven years ago.

And Button's 113-race wait for glory pips team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who grabbed his maiden win in his 124th race.

The Honda driver can also claim to be the 18th British winner in F1 and 96th overall.

WINNING IN STYLE

BUTTON F1 FACTFILE
1980: Born on 19 Jan in Frome, Somerset
1999: Finishes third in British F3, wins three races and test-drives for McLaren
2000: Signs for Williams and becomes Britain's youngest ever F1 driver
2001: Makes way for Juan Pablo Montoya and joins Benetton
2002: Dropped and heads to BAR for 2003
2004: Secures first podium position by finishing third in Malaysian Grand Prix
2004: Signs for Williams for 2005, prompting a legal dispute with BAR which he eventually loses forcing him to stay put
2005: Button buys his way out of a requirement to join Williams for 2006 and stays at BAR
2006: Wins his and his team's first Grand Prix in Hungary.

It was not so long ago that Button was in the middle of a five-race points drought and looking unlikely to clinch that elusive first win.

But two weeks is long time in F1 and, after narrowly missing a podium in Germany last weekend, the Briton finally lived up to the pre-season hype.

Cynics may award his victory to the pit-stop strategy of Honda or the manufacturers of Fernando Alonso's failed drive-shaft.

But Button's achievement of clinching victory after starting 14th on the grid speaks for itself.

While many drivers floundered in the wet conditions, Button consistently clocked fast laps and was pushing Alonso hard before the Renault driver was forced to retire.

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS...

Damon Hill won his first Grand Prix in Hungary too
Button has emulated Hill's first win in Hungary in 1993
At 26, Button can now claim to be the sixth youngest Briton to win a race.

Red Bull's Coulthard grabbed his maiden victory aged just 24 at Estoril in 1995.

But that does not take anything away from the fact Button has succeeded at an age when many of his British predecessors were not even close to such heroics.

Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill were both 32 when they claimed their first wins.

Mansell notched up his first win in 72 starts at the European Grand Prix in 1985, while Hill offers a striking parallel to Button by also winning his first in Hungary in 1993.

Defending world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain also secured his maiden Grand Prix triumph at the Hungaroring three years ago.

But Button, be warned, no driver has taken so long to win a race and then gone on to win the world championship.

WHAT NOW FOR BUTTON?

Much of the pre-season saw F1's high and mighty doggedly quizzed by British journalists, asking when Button was going to win his first Grand Prix.

After a promising start to the season, with fourth in Bahrain and third in Malaysia, Button's season seemed to peter out with technical problems and poor qualifying results.

However, the German GP seemed to mark a turning point for Button and Honda as the driver secured his first points since finishing sixth in Spain in May.

The Englishman started on the second row in Hockenheim and just missed out on podium place with fourth, but even Button admitted it was a massive "step forward".

The Hungaroring witnessed another strong qualifying performance, soured by being dropped 10 places to 14th on the grid after an engine blow-out in practice.

Now with a win under his belt, clearly some of the pressure has been lifted off Button's shoulders.

He has proved he can compete with the big boys and Honda have the package to let him do just that.

The question of his first Grand Prix has now become a case of when Button will win his next. Surely much sooner than another 113 races...



SEE ALSO
Button takes first Grand Prix win
06 Aug 06 |  Formula One
Button pays tribute to Honda team
06 Aug 06 |  Formula One
Hungarian Grand Prix photos
06 Aug 06 |  Motorsport
Alonso relief at maintaining lead
06 Aug 06 |  Formula One
Hungarian GP as it happened
06 Aug 06 |  Formula One
Hungaroring, Hungary
17 Feb 06 |  Circuit Guide


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