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Button rolls up to the number one spot and is congratulated by Hamilton.

Just to fill in a few of the blanks at the end there, Maldonado dropped it getting the power down out of turn seven and hit the wall heavily. He's out of the car and fine though. Rosberg passed Perez around the outside on the exit of turn 10 but then slowed.

God Save the Queen rings out at Albert Park, and Button looks a very happy man indeed. He's continued the form that saw him secure the runner-up spot in the championship during the second half of last year.

A "very convincing" win as Laurence describes it to my left. Button nailed his start and then was generally quicker than Hamilton before showing he had the pace to keep Vettel at bay too. A good result for Vettel though from sixth on the grid, but Hamilton we disappointed not to convert pole.

The safety car may have cost Hamilton second - the double pit stop just prior to that seemed like the move that would hold off Red Bull - but he couldn't really make an impression in to Vettel at the end. The race finished with just 4.5 seconds covering the top four, and it looks like we're set for a hugely competitive season between McLaren and Red Bull. Ferrari can't be counted out either as Alonso showed his class to take fifth with what was another sublime drive. The best news? You don't have long to wait, Malaysia is next weekend!

Thanks for following and for your comments - apologies we didn't get to publish more - but make sure you stay on the site for all the reaction and join us on Friday for FP1 from Sepang. See you then.

Lap 58

Button starts his final lap, and only Webber appears in striking distance of anyone at the front.

Maldonado has binned it attacking Alonso.

Button comes across the line to win for McLaren! Vettel comes home second ahead of Hamilton and Webber.

It's all going off further back! Rosberg crawling and Perez going backwards. Kobayashi up to sixth and Raikkonen passes Perez to take seventh. Then it's Perez, Ricciardo, Vergne and di Resta in a scrap for the line. Perez holds on for eighth ahead of Ricciardo and di Resta makes up three places on the final lap to take the final point!

Still unsure what happened that caused Rosberg to slow so much, replays show him passing Perez.

Lap 57

Button with the fastest lap, a 1:29.187. Gap now 3.6s. Can anyone make an impression on these last two laps?

Maldonado close behind Alonso. Still. Perez is holding up Rosberg having only pitted once. Kobayashi heading a queue including Raikkone and the two Toro Rossos

Lap 56

Three laps to go and Button pulls out his lead to 3.2s. Hamilton and Webber take 0.3s out of Vettel too.

Lap 55

Vettel with another fastest lap. Only 0.1s quicker than Button though. Hamilton dropping back a touch from Vettel.

Senna in the pits again from 15th place and he's in the garage. Out of the race.

Lap 54

Button's lead down to 2.9s. Hamilton 1.4s back and has Webber close behind. Button responding at the front. Vettel has an extra lap of life in his tyres.

Full commentary: Race Qualifying Free practice 3 Free practice 2 Free practice 1
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  • Jenson Button celebrates his victory with girlfriend Jessica Michibata and father John, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Caterham technical director Mark Smith watches on from the pit wall, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Bruno Senna and Daniel Ricciardo make contact at the start of the race, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Michael Schumacher runs across the grass before retiring, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012
  • Aaron Eckhart, Kate Peck and Lenny Kravitz on the grid, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Jenson Button celebrates his victory, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Mark Webber chats to Romain Grosjean ahead of the race, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Pastor Maldonado leads Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012
  • Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren cockpit, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren cockpit ahead of the race, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Eric Boullier on the pit wall, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012 Sebastian Vettel talks to the press, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 18, 2012