Button’s last-lap win named top 2011 moment

2011 F1 season review

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Jenson Button’s last lap win in the Canadian Grand Prix was the top choice of F1 Fanatic readers for best moment of 2011.

Here’s what kept us on the edge of our seats this year.

The Canadian Grand Prix

Button took a shock win in Canada

When asked to name the best moment of 2011, one race came up time and time again: the Canadian Grand Prix.

It was disrupted for two hours due to heavy rain, but once the race got underway it built to a thrilling climax.

Sebastian Vettel led most of the way but in a shocking twist Jenson Button raced through the field and caught the Red Bull driver on the final lap. All it took was a slip-up from Vettel for Button to score one of the most remarkable wins in a long time:

Button overtaking every car and forcing Vettel into a mistake to take a last-gasp victory in Canada. Actually, the whole race was the moment of the season – even the lengthy stoppages. I enjoyed that Grand Prix more than any other race I’ve ever seen.

That moment was thrilling to say the least, who would’ve expected Jenson’s comeback from last to first? Certainly not me! He was reaching Vettel and could’ve passed him in the final DRS zone, his pace was incredible, then Vettel put a wheel a few inches on the wet surface and he was behind Jenson. Awesome.

Screaming in both soaked misery and unbelievable shock with thousands of other people in the rain of the Senna curves of Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The only moment of the season that made me shout out in delight, much to the surprise of my girlfriend, who was in the same room but not watching, and was probably getting a bit frustrated at how long it had gone on for already

I’m not a major fan of Button, but that had me jumping out of my seat cheering, spectacular!
Juan Pablo Heidfeld

It left me thinking how it was possible to come from last to first in less 70 laps. It just stunned me.

I jumped out of my chair when Button overtook Vettel on the last lap in Canada. it’s incredible how he had a penalty during the race and fought his way through the field several times to win on the last lap.

Webber takes Alonso

Webber's overtaking thrilled us at Spa

Another moment which stood out in the minds of many was Mark Webber’s electrifying pass on Fernando Alonso in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Webber dived alongside the Ferrari as they plunged into Eau Rouge, leaving Alonso little option other than to make room.

Webber’s overtake at Eau Rouge – that could have gone incredibly badly wrong.

In a year where so many moves seemed quite inevitable due to cars being at different stages of tyre wear, it was brilliant to see such a ballsy pass involving cars with tyres that were both around the same age. The fact that is was between two great drivers in Eau Rouge is the icing on the cake!

Alonso’s starts

Alonso made another of his super starts in Italy

Alonso made many fine starts in 2011, but he seemed to save his very best for his and Ferrari’s home races at Catalunya and Monza.

On both occasions he started from fourth but surged into the lead on the run into the first corner:

The cheering of the fans at the start of the Spanish and Italian Grands Prix. I love when the crowds go crazy, so I guess I have to thank Alonso for that!

Alonso’s crazy starts at Barcelona and Monza, seeing the crazy Ferrari fans cheer their hero as he made some of the best starts in recent years really brought the passion of F1 right into me.

Alonso’s start in Spain, after such an uncompetitive start to the year I had so little hope going into that race and for him to take the lead so aggressively and then keep it for 20 laps was just magical.

Bravery in the extreme, especially in Catalunya.

More of your favourite moments

We were treated to several great races in 2011. Another was the Chinese Grand Prix:

The Chinese Grand Prix – the best Grand Prix I’ve ever seen. Halfway through I thought any of the five drivers could win it and it played out fantastic in the end. Hamilton was often criticised this year for being too aggressive, but people tend to forget that’s exactly what won him that race with some brilliant overtaking moves.

Rosberg jumping everyone at the first stops in China. With everybody focusing on the Button/Hamilton/Vettel battle it was brilliant and genuinely surprising to see Mercedes pull off a strategic masterstroke an slip Rosberg into the lead using the undercut… a fact move nobody, including the BBC commentary team, seemed to notice for a good few laps. If only they had fuelled him a bit more!

The inaugural Indian Grand Prix may not have been a spectacular race but it provided at least one memorable moment:

Rowan Atkinson’s now famous reaction in India. That was probably the funniest moment of the year.

And finally, how could I leave out this one from Girts:

The new features on F1 Fanatic. I’m a big fan of these. The best thing about them was that they came totally unexpected.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at your least favourite memories of the year. Until then, share more of the best moment of 2011 in the comments.

2011 F1 season review

Browse all 2011 F1 season review articles

Image © Pirelli

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on “Button’s last-lap win named top 2011 moment”

  1. @Eastman

    Screaming in both soaked misery and unbelievable shock with thousands of other people in the rain of the Senna curves of Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

    I hope you savoured that. That’s about as good as it gets for F1 fans. I just hope I get to see Webber win the Australian Grand Prix one day from the stands!

    1. I was lucky enough to be sitting in grandstand 33 in Montreal right where Vettel made that mistake! Huge Webber and Button fan so was delighted to see them make a podium! So many fans left during the rain but by God was it worth the wait!!!! Without doubt the greatest weekend of my life. Canadian Grand Prix is epic!! Roll on Spa and Silverstone 2012 :D

    2. Oh I loved it. Grade A satisfaction. I was absolutely stunned.

  2. At the time it was a stunning development and easily “best moment according to how you felt at the time” but looking back, I’d actually rank it 3rd. Alonso’s start at Monza and Webber’s pass on Alonso at Spa still make me go “wow” every time I watch them.

    1. Well that’s how I ranked them. I actually jumped out of my seat and cheered when Jenson got past Sebastian, which I don’t think I’d ever done before. It was 7am, I’d been up since about that time the previous day, I was exhausted and the sun was rising, but all of the effort was completely worth it. I’ve never been so happy with a Grand Prix finish in my life.

      1. The fact it was the last lap was surely a key factor. Alonso’s start in Barcelona astonished me, less so his Monza one as it wasn0t his first and I was afraid he’d suffer the way he had in Spain, being lapped. They were great moments without doubt, but I still rank the Canadian GP a little higher.

    2. I feel kind of left out from this year’s moment of the year as I didn’t enjoy the race as much as a I should have done, and that was nearly entirely because of DRS. I felt so angry as DRS ruined a potentially awesome scrap between Schumacher, Webber and Button for second. Then during the final laps I was simply praying we wouldn’t see an ugly DRS pass for the win. F1 was thankfully was spared that embarasment, but instead we saw Massa use the double DRS to come from nowhere to take an undeserved place off Kobayashi at the line. DRS may increase overtaking, but for me the gimmickry spoilt what should have been the race of the year.

      1. woops that was supposed to be a stand alone comment, sorry

      2. I sort of agree about the DRS, though I can’t disagree with some of the choices highlighted in the article.

      3. Without DRS would Button have been able to pass vettel though? I’m not so sure. on the penultimate lap, Button just got within 1 second of Vettel to utilise the two long DRS zones, thus catching right up behind Vettel.

        i think without that DRS catching up, VET might have been able to recover and block BUT due to the narrowness of the dry line.

      4. @Ads21 Agreed. Spa and Montreal don’t need DRS.

      5. Agree with this. Also Webber took forever to get by Schumacher with DRS, we might have seen Michael on the podium without it.

        DRS is just fail.

        1. @Icthyes What if they allowed each driver to use it for, say, 20 minutes in a race? And make it less of an advantage in terms of top speed.

          I love DRS in practice and qualifying, it’s a great thing.

          1. I massively dislike its use in qualifying. It exaggerates the differences between the cars far more than it sorts out the men from the boys.

            I would like to see DRS be put only on small straights. No overtaking, just cancelling out the negative effects of aero. Either that or let it be used everywhere by the following car, but reduce the angle so that DRS gives a tiny .boost all around the lap.

        2. Oh please, spare us, Smumi did’nt cry because he missed a podium because of DRS, & nor should you.

      6. i think DRS is a good thing, what needs to happen is that it must not be allowed to a overtaking tool but allowed to use by all drivers except the leading driver… and when the driver in front is within a second or so in the DRS zone it must be deactivated…. DRS should be used to get the cars closer but for them to overtake it must be a non DRS move. That would be a better way to use DRS.

  3. I can’t really argue against them choices

  4. “Button overtaking every car and forcing Vettel into a mistake to take a last-gasp victory in Canada.”

    In the process taking out the 2 best drivers in the sport.

    1. Neither of which were his fault?

    2. In the process having racing incidents with one of the best 2 drivers in the sport and also his teammate.


      1. I had to have a chuckle at that, David! :P

    3. It beggars belief that anyone could consider that accident to be anyone but Hamilton’s fault.

      1. Button apologized Lewis after the race.

  5. Perfect story, without a doubt the 1st moment. Shame not to have seen the last laps of the Monaco GP.

  6. Completely off topic but just a little interesting fact i found out, it’s probably been mentioned a dozen times on here, sorry if this is old news but i only just realised and it amazed me.

    Vettel, Alonso & Hamilton, who i consider to be the best 3 drivers on the grid, have never shared the podium together! i find that unbelievable considering the amount of times these 3 finish on the podium, just never at the same time! if 2 are there the other isnt..so strange.

    So yeah anyway, can’t argue with moment of the season, since i have no emotion towards Jenson i can’t say i was jumping round shouting or anything, but i have to appreciate what he did there was brilliant.

    1. How strange Rob I thought the exact same thing not too long ago! It’s a little odd but I guess each race does bring its story? Also, I completely agree with you on the top 3 drivers of the grid – all are fantastic in their own right.

      1. It’s quite similar to 1997, when Villeneuve and Schumacher never shared the podium. Their performances were perfectly desynchronized too. ;)

  7. The best moment of the year came when the HRT arrived and we witnessed the best looking car of the year. It should have been taken to the sandblaster….

  8. I did’nt have a best moment of 2011. Tho, if I’m honest, I did get some feeling of satisfaction watching Vettel screw up. Now that being said, if I had to choose a best moment, I’d probably say Web/Alo/Spa.

  9. I were into Grandstand 11 for that race, in the first turn. And all I have to say is that when vettel did its error and button passed him, everyone were standing and shouting like helll. We don’t have any canadian driver, but many poeple here like Button and Hamilton, so the fact that Button win from being last a couple laps ago, everyone were amazing, and I think its even better to see it from live. we could see button coming back lap by lap, sometime he could do 2-3 position in a lap. I really think it was his best performance in carreer, the kind of race wee see once every 10 years………

    1. everyone were amazed * Sorry.

      1. You seem to be allergic to the word “was”

        1. I aint an english guy, I try to do my best xD I think I aint doing so bad

          1. Most people knew exactly what you meant.

    2. Picking people up on small grammar and spelling issues on an international site is really not to helpful or inviting.

      @Gagnon I enjoyed reading your comment and if English is not your first language you are indeed not doing so bad. Probably a lot better than Rob Wilson is in any other language (and certainly a lot better than I am!!).

  10. jesus gagnon, even i knew he wasnt english! Give the fella a chance! Or are you alergic to some ”thought” :P

    1. Gagnon, c’est bon de vivre à Montréal, eh!

  11. Oh yes! I couldn’t stay up to watch this Grand Prix (considering it went on for 4 hours, I say it was a good call) but I distinctly remember waking up and getting right back to the TV, all the while resisting a glance at the internet. You wouldn’t believe the ruckus I caused when I saw what happened here. I honestly put this moment up there along with Lewis’ last corner overtake of Glock back in ’08.

  12. To be fair I think for us UK viewers every moment of this race was amazing, even the incredibly long delay with non stop commentary during it all. Was just one of those great Sunday afternoons that went on and on, and not in a bad way. When Jenson came back from seemingly nowhere and then to clinch the race in the last lap from an unusual mistake from Vettel, well wow, I was jumping up and down with excitement, which only happens occasionally with F1 (but far more in the last couple of years).

    A lot of people seem to be not very fussed with F1 now but I find it far more exciting and scintillating than I have in the past, maybe it’s just me, but we have a great assortment of characters and ongoing rivalries which we’re going to have for many great seasons to come. F1 is definitely advancing and I think this will be the greatest era of modern times. For me it already is. There’s real competition, not just two teams far superior to the rest, great midfield rivalries, and heck, even looking at the back markers is interesting, in the past I maybe just saw them all as the no-hopers and never paid attention, but now I’m interested to see where all these drivers and teams are headed. It’s a great time to be an F1 fan for sure.

    1. @davidhunter13 You’re right about the race in Canada. There was something pretty humbling about late night F1!

  13. Webber On Alonso Spa/ Alonso On Button Brazil/ Hamilton on Button China 2011 Highlights.

  14. Watched the Canadian GP in Tete Rouge bar in Le Mans 10 laps from the end I was screaming to a 100 other drunks that JB would win , no one believed me till 3/4’s of the way into the last lap, if you were there, yes I was that annoying … Who kept blocking the view shouting “come on Jense!!”

  15. Gotta agree with this. Button’s win was sublime and definitely something very special not only for the season just past but for F1’s recent history.

  16. Even though the Canadian GP wasn’t my number 1 moment of the year, I have to admit it was a memorable race. Not only the last lap pass but also the way it unfolded, the timing (I had never watched an F1 race finish after midnight) and the clashes made it unforgettable.

    Other good memories from the 2011 season? I think the Italian GP provided at least three of them. Vettel’s brave pass on Alonso, the great fight between Hamilton and Schumacher and the emotional podium ceremony made the race one of my all-time favourites. I also really enjoyed the first ever Indian GP, the three-way fight in Germany and Hamilton’s resurgence in Abu Dhabi. The funniest moment probably was d’Ambrosio’s pit lane spin in Hungary. For sure, it must have been painful for Jerome himself.

    Some of us probably also have a highlight, which is more related to the personal experiences and the trip to the Belgian GP is my special event.

  17. I agree,it was one of the best and exciting moments this season. The drive performed by JB was incredable. The whole F1 world was shocked by that performance. Not even a crash or traffic stopped him from winning the race.
    Must of been a perfectly suited car if he drove that well. And we all know that Jense’s performance depends on the setup of the car.

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