Button Seizes Opening Race of the Season

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Jenson Button kicked off the 2012 Formula one World Championship in Melbourne with a flawless drive.

Jenson got the jump on his teammate Lewis Hamilton and managed to make it stick into the first corner, leading for the remainder off the race in a drive that F1 fans normally associate with the current World Champion.

Sebastian Vettel took second place, with Hamilton taking the final podium spot.

Hamilton, who started the race from poll, struggled with traction from the standing start which allowed his team mate to seize the lead.

At the time of his first pit, one lap later than Button, Hamilton was just over three seconds behind his team mate. He came out behind the Sauber of Sergio Perez. In the laps that it took Hamilton to make the pass on Perez the gap between first and second had been extended to more than ten seconds.

Further bad luck on lap 37 hindered Hamilton’s race when Vitaly Petrov pulled over in his Caterham on the pit straight. This meant the deployment of the safety car, allowing Vettel to get the pass on the Brit.

Button, who also clocked the fastest lap of the race commented on his take on the race:

“At the start, I really wanted to get away fast in the first two laps to avoid the threat of DRS – it wasn’t easy because I had Lewis right on my tail.

“But the race went smoothly after that. My biggest worry was the late-race safety car. I had a 10-second advantage, which was pretty healthy, but the safety car cut that to nothing.

“There’s a huge amount of positives to take away from this weekend: we’ve got a great car and we can fight for the world championships”

Second place Hamilton summed up the race from his perspective:

‘I struggled out there, I made a shocking start, which was the beginning of it all. The car didn’t feel as spectacular as it did yesterday, but it was still good enough to stay ahead of at least one of the Red Bulls’

The Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado looked promising and stood to take sixth place and earn Williams a valuable 8 points, more than they obtained in the entire of last season. Unfortunately, Maldonado clipped the artificial grass on the exit of turn 7 which sent his Williams into the barriers on the final lap of the race.

The Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has shown that two years of rallying has not hindered his ability in F1 and took a strong seventh place from eighteenth on the grid, showing that his experience as a driver will be invaluable to Lotus in picking up points this season.

After two seasons dominated by Red Bull and the young German it appears that McLaren has closed the gap at the top, and that a season of close fought battles between the two teams at the top is likely. The drivers head to the Sepang circuit next weekend for the Malaysian grand prix and another chance for McLaren and the British duo to prove that once again they can race from the front.

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