Jenson Button secured his first win of the season on Sunday after passing defending Sebastian Vettel on the final lap of an extraordinary, rain-delayed and crash-hit Canadian Grand Prix.

The dramatic final lap saw Button eclipse Red Bull pair Vettel, who came second, and Australia’s Mark Webber, who grabbed a podium spot with a third-placed finish.

The 31-year-old Englishman, driving his McLaren car with great courage, speed and judgement after surviving an early collision with his team-mate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton, emerged triumphant at the conclusion of an unpredictable and sensational race.

Vettel, of Red Bull, had looked sure to win after leading from pole position both before and after a two-hour suspension of the action due to torrential rain, but he buckled under pressure from Button on the final lap.

This enabled Button, who was in last place at one time, to come home in a winning time of four hours, four minutes and 37.037 seconds.

It was the 10th win of his career for the champion of 2009.

“I really don’t know what to say, it’s been a very emotional three hours or whatever it’s been since the start,” said Button.

“The incident with Lewis – I couldn’t see anything and I’ve apologised to him. It was really a fight from then on, but I kept on pushing and I managed to get past Seb at the end. Another great win for me and possibly my best.”

Vettel managed to hang on and finish second after being defeated for only the second time this year in seven races.

This left luckless seven-times champion Michael Schumacher to finish fourth for Mercedes after looking poised to take a podium finish ahead of fifth-placed Russian Vitaly Petrov of Renault.

Brazilian Felipe Massa came home sixth for Ferrari, who lost Spaniard Fernando Alonso through an accident earlier in the contest, with Japanese Kamui Kobayashi seventh for Sauber.

Massa passed the Sauber by a few metres as they crossed the line.

Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari finished eighth for Toro Rosso ahead of Brazilian Rubens Barrichello of Williams and Swiss Sebastien Buemi in the second Toro Rosso.

Button’s triumph, declared by many as the finest of his career after one of the most spectacular Grands Prix of recent years, lifted him to second behind Vettel in the drivers’ championship.

“That was a hell of a race,” he shouted on the team radio.

“Thanks so much. That was a fantastic win.”

Button’s race included not only his collision with Hamilton, but also six pit stops including a drive-through penalty.