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Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Sunday, 28 March 2010 13:38 UK

Aussie win 'feels like the first time' - Jenson Button

Highlights - Australian Grand Prix

Jenson Button said his Australian Grand Prix victory was as special as his maiden win for Honda in 2006.

The world champion beat Renault's Robert Kubica and Ferrari's Felipe Massa in Melbourne to win in only his second race since moving to McLaren.

"This victory feels more like Hungary in 2006 than the wins last year," Button told BBC Sport.

"Last year was exceptional but to move teams and be here winning means a lot. It's a very special day for me."

Button, who won six races on the way to the world title last year, made a surprise move from Brawn GP - now rebranded as Mercedes - to partner 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.

Win feels pretty special - Button

And Button said victory in Melbourne, the scene of his opening victory in 2009, is all the sweeter coming as it does for his new team and with a car he feels is not as quick as the Red Bulls and the Ferraris.

"I thought it would take longer than this to win my first race with McLaren," he said.

"Last year we had a very competitive car, whereas at the moment we don't. In qualifying, you can say we don't have the quickest car - I don't know about the race trim yet - so it really means a lot to get this win here.

"We need to enjoy this moment. We've been hungry so much for this over the winter, it's a taster which will push us on even more to improve. It's exactly what we needed at this point of the season.

"When we get to Malaysia [next weekend] we will be competitive but it will be very difficult to win like we did here unless we have tricky conditions.

"I know everyone is working so hard on improving the car. There are still some areas we need to improve in but we got the best out of what we have here.


"The good thing is that we've scored a victory already. It's important to get the wins in now and we've just got to keep improving with what we have and hopefully catch those Ferraris and Red Bulls."

And Button paid tribute to McLaren for the way they have helped him integrate with the team.

"The team have been great," he said. "I got to grips with being in a new environment pretty quickly and a lot of it is down to the team.

"Getting to grips with the car is a different feeling, there's always things you want changed but the great thing is that they have the resources to do that.

"When I have asked for something different they have been able to give it to me. It takes time but I'm getting there."

Button finished 12 seconds clear of the field in an action-packed race at Albert Park.

Changing weather conditions played a major role in the outcome and Button was helped by a key switch to dry-weather slick tyres early in the race.

It was Button who made the decision to come in, a move which surprised pundits especially as he went off the track and briefly into the gravel soon after the stop.

Whitmarsh hails Button's bravery

"I didn't have a balance on the intermediate tyres," added Button. "I had so much oversteer and the rear tyres were destroying themselves after four or five laps.

"If that is happening so quickly, you have got to take a punt. I thought I had made the wrong decision but when I drove out onto the circuit, I felt pretty good about it.

"I made a mistake at Turn Three but I could get into a rhythm pretty quickly and when everyone else pitted, their tyres were cold. I knew where to brake and I could just pick them off."

Button also sympathised with Hamilton, who criticised the team for their two-pit strategy after finishing in sixth place.

"Lewis was one of the first guys to come and congratulate me after my press conference, which was lovely," said Button.

"It was a tough race for him. I don't know the reason for the pit stop, but he had very good pace.

"He was pushing very, very hard. We don't know what would have happened to those tyres in the end but in my mind I had an idea of driving the car to a limit which was not 100% because we had to do 50 laps with the tyres. It worked out for me in the end.

"Lewis is disappointed I am sure, and I am sure the whole team are because we could have had a better result as a team but the most important thing for me is that I won the race."

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see also
Australian Grand Prix race result
24 Feb 10 |  Results
Button wins dramatic Australia GP
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton blames team for strategy
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel admits reliability worries
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Australian GP as it happened
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher enjoyed 'fun' race
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Australian Grand Prix photos
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Button takes first Grand Prix win
06 Aug 06 |  Formula 1

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