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Button storms to victory in 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.

Button finished 7.6 seconds ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello at the famed street circuit race for his fourth start-to-finish victory of the season.

"We've got Monaco, baby," said Button, whose Monaco victory was the first for a Briton since Jackie Stewart 36 years ago.

"I think we've proven this weekend that our package has worked and we're strong and looking good for the next couple of races," the Monaco resident added.

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

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen earned Ferrari its first top-three finish of the season by taking third. Felipe Massa was fourth for Ferrari ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber, who took his points tally to 19.5.

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, came 12th after starting last on the grid.

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

Brawn GP leads the constructors' standings with 86 points. Red Bull is next on 42.5 and Toyota has 26.5 after its two drivers finished near the tail 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.

Barrichello breezed past the KERS-boosted Ferrari of Raikkonen to sit second after the first turn and eventually finished 5.8 seconds ahead of the Finn at the end.

Massa earned 11 points for Ferrari for its best single race total this season in what has been its worst-ever start.

Vettel's championship hopes were hit when he slid into a corner, damaging his rear suspension, an identical accident to Hamilton's on Saturday that left the McLaren driver starting at the back of the grid.

Nico Rosberg of Williams came sixth, Renault's Fernando Alonso was seventh and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais took the last point.

There was disappointment for Force India, chasing its first points finish, with Giancarlo Fisichella finishing ninth. Robert Kubica's miserable weekend for BMW Sauber ended after 16 laps, one of six drivers to retire. The Pole remains without a point this season.


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