Button to mark 200th grand prix in Hungary

By on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jun.22 (GMM) Jenson Button intends to celebrate his 200th grand prix next month in Hungary, the scene of his first formula one race win in 2006.

F1's official website lists the 2009 world champion as having "entered" 198 grands prix, meaning his double centenary could technically be marked at his home event at Silverstone.

But the typical practice is for the sport to only count grands prix that drivers actually start.

Button, 31, did not start in Monaco in 2003 after a practice crash, while in 2005 at Indianapolis all the Michelin runners pulled into the pits after the formation lap.

"I only count my race starts," the Briton confirmed to Roger Benoit, the veteran correspondent for the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"So my 200th will be on the 31st of July in Hungary," confirmed Button.

On August 6, 2006, then contesting his 113th grand prix at the wheel of a Honda, Button recorded his first formula one win at the Hungaroring.

Only Jarno Trulli (118) and Rubens Barrichello (123) took longer than Button to become grand prix winners, while with 179 races under his belt Nick Heidfeld is still trying to join them.

Only 11 F1 drivers have contested more grands prix than Button, with current rivals Rubens Barrichello (310) and Michael Schumacher (274) topping the list.

The Briton will climb to eighth on the all-time list by the end of the 2011 season, by surpassing the records of Alain Prost (198), Jean Alesi (201) and Nelson Piquet (203), and equalling Andrea de Cesaris' 208.

Fellow ten-time grand prix winner Gerhard Berger retired after his 210th grand prix.

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