Jenson Button wins dramatic Australian Grand Prix

Reigning world champion Jenson Button produced a brilliant performance to claim his first win of the season at a fascinating Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today.

The McLaren driver had started fourth on the grid but with pole sitter Sebastian Vettel and Red-Bull team-mate Mark Webber notably faster during qualifying, the 30-year-old seemed to be facing a tough task if he was to challenge for victory.

However, Vettel was once again the victim of bad luck as a brake problem ended his race midway through and, after he had made his move following a frenetic start at Albert Park, Button surged into the lead on lap 26 where he remained to the chequered flag, finishing over 12 seconds ahead of Renault's Robert Kubica.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa secured his place on the podium for the second successive race as he climbed from fifth to take third place in his Ferrari.

Massa's team-mate Fernando Alonso recovered from a spin at turn one on the first lap to take fourth place while Mercedes' Nico Rosberg finished fifth with 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton claiming sixth place.

The victory for Button also marked his first with his new team and the Briton was struggling to find the words to describe his feelings after he climbed from his car.

"It is very special," he said. "It has taken me a while to get to grips with the car but the team have been fantastic.

"I don't know what to say, it is very difficult to put into words. I feel I am building in confidence.This is just too good."

Button's team-mate Hamilton had delivered a charging drive, having climbed from 11th to second at one stage, but a late clash with Webber saw him drop away from challenging for a podium finish.

Tonio Liuzzi once again finished inside the points as he took seventh place in his Force India while Williams' Rubens Barrichello secured eighth.

Webber will no doubt be disappointed with his finish at his home race after the Australian's clash with Hamilton ensured he finished ninth.

Mercedes' Michael Schumacher - who has four wins to his name in Australia - came out on top of a late tussle with Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari for 10th place.

BMW Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa took 12th place with Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen and Karun Chandhok of HRT finishing 13th and 14th place respectively. A total of 10 drivers retired from the race.

Clouds filled the skies above Albert Park to end concerns over a glare issues from a bright setting sun but instead, after threatening to do so for much of the afternoon, rain started to fall 10 minutes before the start of the race to present a different concern for the drivers.

It set the stage for an exciting start and so it proved as the five red lights went out and Vettel streamed away but there was drama at turn one as Bahrain GP winner Alonso spun after first clipping Button before hitting Schumacher to drop to 22nd.

From then on there was plenty of action on the circuit as both Hamilton and Button took advantage of the chaotic start to climb through the field.

Hamilton had quickly moved up to seventh by lap 16 before winning a wheel-to-wheel battle with Webber to move ahead of the Red Bull.

Button, meanwhile, had made an early pit stop to change to slick tyres and it was to prove an inspired decision.

The Briton was attacking Vettel, although the German looked comfortable in first before disaster struck on lap 26 with brake failure seeing him beach the car in the gravel.

From then on Button maintained a comfortable lead ahead of Kubica to ease to the eighth victory of his career.


1. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1 hr 33 mins 36.531 secs

2. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault +12.034 secs

3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 14.488

4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 16.304

5. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 16.683

6. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 29.898

7. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India-Mercedes 59.847

8. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 1:00.536

9. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:07.319

10. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:09.391

11. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:11.301

12. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:14.084

13. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 2 laps

14. Karun Chandhok (India) HRT - Cosworth 5 laps


r. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 17 laps

r. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth 32 laps

r. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 33 laps

r. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 49 laps

r. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 49 laps

r. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth 54 laps

r. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 58 laps

r. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams - Cosworth 58 laps

r. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 58 laps

DNS. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth 58 laps

(rank: r = retired)

Fastest Lap: Mark Webber, 1:28.358, lap 47.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific