• Australian Grand Prix

First McLaren win 'very special' - Button

ESPNF1 Staff
March 28, 2010 « Hamilton left angry after a poor weekend | »
Jenson Button on the podium with Felipe Massa © Getty Images

Jenson Button said his first McLaren victory at the Australian Grand Prix was made all the more special after his tough start at the team this year.

Button won the race after an inspired decision to stop for slick tyres on a drying track, two laps before the rest of the field. His McLaren career got off to shaky start with a seventh-placed finish in Bahrain, and he said the turnaround in Melbourne had been the perfect remedy.

"It is very special," he said. "It has taken me a little while to get to grips inside the car, but the team has been fantastic and welcomed me in. It is difficult to put it into words, it is a very special feeling and we will take a lot from this. I feel I am building in confidence, and I hope in the next race we can do something similar as this feels too good."

When asked if it was his decision to change to slicks so early in the race, he confirmed it was.

"I think it is a lot easier for the drivers to feel the conditions. Teams can see clouds coming in but we can feel what is coming in. I didn't have a balance at all on inters, so I thought let's get in and stick slicks on. There was a dry line but a few places were wet. When I went into pits I thought it was a catastrophic decision as it was wet in the pitlane but once I got up to speed it was pretty good. I was able to put in some laps and overtake a few cars. It was the right call - I'm very happy to have made it."

Robert Kubica put in a similarly measured performance in the Renault to finish second. After crashing out of last year's race while fighting with Sebastian Vettel for second, he said he was delighted with his result.

"Unfortunately Australia has not always been lucky for me, in the last two years I could have finished on the podium easily," said Kubica. "To be honest we were not expecting to finish on the podium, for Renault and myself it is a special result. We were pushing hard during the winter and this was the best result we could get for the beginning of the season. This is big thanks to all the guys. We have to stay realistic, we are not up to pace to finish on the podium normally. We need to keep pushing and I am sure we will manage sooner or later to be on the pace."

Third place Felipe Massa said his result was down to a brilliant start in his Ferrari.

"I had a fantastic start, without wheelspin, and I saw many cars, especially Fernando [Alonso] and [Mark] Webber having some wheelspin," said Massa. "I did a very smooth start and passed them in a very good way. I was happy with the start and whole race was very difficult, very slippery and low grip everywhere. "My best result in Australia before was sixth, and in 2007 I had problems in qualifying and started last. It's not the best race for me in terms of pace, and we lost some positions at the pitstop and a bit on track because of mistakes, so it is fantastic to have one second and one third. We know how important this is for the championship and in the past I have not scored as many points as I have now. The team did a fantastic job today and I'm happy to finish third in a difficult race like this."