• Australian Grand Prix

Strong winter key to Button success

ESPNF1 Staff
March 18, 2012 « Mercedes' Brawn hits back over F-duct controversy | RB8 has 'a lot of potential' - Vettel »
Jenson Button took his 13th grand prix victory at Melbourne © Getty Images
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Jenson Button says that a strong winter for McLaren was the key to his victory in the Australian Grand Prix.

McLaren struggled in pre-season 2011 but was still able to take second place in Australian behind Sebastian Vettel courtesy of Lewis Hamilton. Vettel went on to dominate the early part of the season, but after McLaren enjoyed a much more productive pre-season this year Hamilton took pole at Melbourne before Button went on to win the race.

Button said that his victory was proof of how important a good pre-season is and would act as motivation for the whole team to keep pushing forwards.

"I think as we all know sat here every win means a lot to you," Button said. "For us as a team it really shows how important the winter is. We've had a strong winter; yesterday's qualifying really showed that so it's nice to come away with a victory today. First race of the new season, the guys back at Woking have done an amazing job this winter and this will definitely help them to push harder in the extra hours in the morning when they're making that extra little part."

The only time Button seemed under threat came during a safety car period in the latter stages of the race and he admitted he was concerned that it could jeopardise his victory.

"You always do, especially when it's so cold. It's late in the afternoon, the sun's dropping, it's difficult to keep heat in the tyres and that's the last thing you want leading the pack round to the restart. So I was a little bit on edge, but I was able to keep heat in the tyres, save a lot of fuel - which I think was quite important for us - and get a good restart. The team said push as hard as you can for two laps after the restart to get a gap, I was able to do that which I was very happy about and then it was about controlling the pace until the end of the race. It was a pretty amazing day."

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