Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Button off to Winning Start

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Button off to Winning Start

Article excerpt

JENSON Button's celebratory message over the team radio said it all as he launched his bid for a second Formula One world title with a stunning victory in Australia.

With adrenaline pumping after arguably one of the most perfect drives of his career, and after having led at Melbourne's Albert Park for all but one of the 58 laps, Button said: "The car is beautiful and she's quick. What a way to start the season."

It was Button's third win in the past four years Down Under, his 13th in Formula One, six of them now with McLaren.

Even runner-up Sebastian Vettel, who knows a thing or two about dominating races after winning 11 of 19 last season en route to back-to-back titles, described Button as "unbeatable". Certainly after passing McLaren team-mate and polesitter Lewis Hamilton on the run to the first corner, his fellow Briton only third, there was no looking back for the 32-year-old.

Not even the arrival of the safety car on lap 37, after Vitaly Petrov had stopped on the start-finish straight in his Caterham, failed to disrupt Button's rhythm. Once the safety car disappeared, so did Button into the sunset that falls on this race, as it is one of two twilight events on the calendar.

"Every win means a lot to you, and for us as a team it really shows how important the winter is," said Button.

"We've had a strong winter - yesterday's qualifying really showed that - so it's nice to come away with a victory at the first race of the new season. The starts of the past two seasons have both been tricky for us, so today is really encouraging.

"Today means a lot to me, and I'm sure it'll mean a lot to all of the team too. It will make those extra hours worked in the early hours of the morning all the more worthwhile, because we know we can do great things with this car."

Crucially from Button's perspective, and with a nod towards the year ahead, he said: "There's a huge amount of positives to take away from this weekend. …

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