Button: Aggressive first lap was crucial

Jenson Button believes his first lap pass on Heikki Kovalainen was the key to minimising the victorious Rubens Barrichello's inroads into his championship lead at the Italian Grand Prix

Button was ultimately able to take second behind Brawn team-mate Barrichello at Monza. The Brazilian had passed Kovalainen's McLaren - which lacked race pace - off the line, and Button was able to follow him into the second Lesmo as Kovalainen lost ground trying to overtake Barrichello again.

"It was a messy lap but I made up a position which was fantastic," said Button. "You are always wary at the start because of KERS cars, [Fernando] Alonso did not get the jump and Kovy was struggling. He braked late and these two [Barrichello and Kimi Raikkonen] nearly came together.

"I was sat behind Kovy at the second chicane and at Lesmo I put a nose inside and got him into Lesmo 2. It was a much needed move as without that I probably would have finished third or fourth."

He admitted that Barrichello had been the quicker of the Brawn duo this weekend.

"It's great to be up here in second," said Button. "I would like to where Rubens is sat, but he did a better job this weekend. I lost two points here but gained seven on [Sebastian] Vettel. This guy here [Barrichello] is my closest rival, but we have a good relationship."

Button came under pressure from Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages, but looked set to hang on to second even before the McLaren crashed on the final lap.

"Lewis started pushing in the last three laps," said Button. "I had him pretty much covered, it's very difficult to pass even with KERS. I don't know what happened but a big shunt for him and for me a great result."

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