Jenson Button wins action packed Australian Grand Prix

Jenson Button won the Australian Grand Prix from second on the grid, getting the jump on team mate Lewis Hamilton into the first corner as third place starter, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean was forced off the track and into retirement by Williams’ Pastor Maldonado on the second lap.

Fernando Alonso found himself upto into sixth from 12th on the grid by the sixth lap, right on the back of the Nico Rosberg and defending drivers champion Sebastian Vettel battle for fifth place. Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher went off the track into turn one on lap 11 allowing Vettel to move into third place while Schumacher retired shortly after. Former drivers champion Kimi Raikkonen moved up into eighth place from 17th on the grid due to Schumacher’s retirement and Rosberg making his first pit stop, meanwhile Button slowly and surely extended his lead over Hamilton!

In the first round of pit stops, Button retained his lead while Hamilton came out in fourth behind Raikkonen and Sauber’s Sergio Perez, who both had yet to stop. Hamilton got stuck behind Perez and his fading tyres for five laps allowing Button to extend his lead to over 10 seconds. Hamilton started to close in on Button who was complaining about a vibration on the radio before the driver from Frome started pumping in equal lap times to Hamilton to maintain the gap at 9.5 seconds.

On lap 32, disaster struck for Hamilton as both he and Button pitted back to back in the second round of pit stops while Vettel carried on for one more lap, in which Vitaly Petrov ground to a halt on the main straight, which brought out the safety car to recover the Caterham. Vettel used the opportunity to pit under the safety car perfectly coming out of the pits ahead of Hamilton.

The safety car came in and the race restarted on lap 42, Button bolted leaving Vettel’s Red Bull for dust, the ‘Frome Flyer’ built up a 2.5 sec lead by the start of lap 43, safely out of reach of Vettel and his DRS system. Hamilton did challenge Vettel a few times but couldn’t make a move stick before eventually falling back towards Mark Webber in fourth place as the race progressed.

Williams’ Bruno Senna and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa tangled on lap 49 resulting in punctures for both drivers; both driver made it back to the pits but only Senna drove back out of the pits, Ferrari immediately retired the Massa’s car. Pastor Maldonado’s Williams was all over the rear of Alonso’s Ferrari in the closing laps until the very last lap when the Venezuelan dropped it on the curb and went headlong into the wall and retirement, which triggered all sorts of position changes.

Kimi Raikkonen got past Perez into seventh, Daniel Ricciardo jumped his STR team mate Jean-Eric Vergne for ninth while Force India’s Paul di Resta also got the jump on Vergne to claim a point!

So a great opener to the season from my point of view, all three drivers I support scored points, Button winning fair and square, no excuses from the Hamiltonians this time. Webber claiming fourth after being bashed around and dropping back on lap one and Kamui Kobayashi took the chequered flag in sixth place. Williams looked properly quick with the Renault lump in the back, hoping for good points for Williams this season, hopefully Senna will live upto his famous surname and score some good points in future races, frankly he was piss-poor at the Australian GP.

Fernando Alonso will be very happy with fifth place after starting for 12th place in an ill handling Ferrari, it definitely is the Spaniard’s ability that secured fifth place for Ferrari, this is proved by Felipe Massa’s lack of pace all weekend in an identical car, time for Massa to leave Maranello?

The top 10 finishers, 1 BUT, 2 VET, 3 HAM, 4 WEB, 5 ALO, 6 KOB, 7 RAI, 8 PER, 9 RIC, 10 DIR

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