Jenson Button Wins Australian Grand Prix
McLaren-Mercedes’ Jenson Button started the 2012 Formula One season in style with victory at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Briton produced a flawless driving performance in Melbourne, to claim his third chequered flag Down Under in his previous four attempts. Meanwhile, reigning champion Sebastian Vettel finished second.
The result not only showed Button’s quality behind the wheel, but also that McLaren indeed have the pace in their engine to contend for the title this year. McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton grabbed the other spot on the podium ahead of local hope Mark Webber who was fourth in his Red Bull car.
Hamilton had started on pole but slipped down the order after a poor start, while Button made few mistakes through the race, although Vettel had his moments with the safety car coming on the track with around 10 laps to go, giving him a real chance. But the Briton held on.
Button said: “It was very special. Starting the year with a win is important. To come away with Lewis’s pole yesterday and victory today, I think it puts us in a great position for the next few races and on the right foot, so a big thank you to everyone in the team.
“I am very excited heading to Malaysia but not thinking about that now. I will enjoy this now with friends and family and tomorrow turn my attention to Malaysia.’’
On the race, he added: “The biggest worry was the Safety Car. When you have a 10-second gap, it is a great place to be but, as soon as the Safety Car comes out and it is 6pm, it’s difficult to keep the temperature in those tyres.
“That was a big worry for me. I was able to keep the heat in the tyres and saved a lot of fuel, which was important for us, and then got a good restart. I was able to do that, which I was very happy about, and was then controlling pace to the end of the race, so, a pretty amazing day.”
Meanwhile, a downbeat Hamilton said: “I don’t like going backwards in my career. I went back two places back today. I want to make sure in the next race I am going forwards.”
Runner-up Vettel added: “They were too strong for us today, Jenson deserved to win. He was out of reach for us today, I’m very happy with second.
“We expected them to be strong. We were a little bit surprised by their pace in qualifying yesterday and today it looked a little bit better for us. Nevertheless they are the ones to beat at the moment.”
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