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Jenson Button hails 'special' Japan GP victory

Jenson Button

Button overjoyed after Japan win

Jenson Button described his victory in the Japan Grand Prix as "one of my most special wins" despite Sebastian Vettel's coronation as world champion.

A third-place finish was enough for Vettel to wrap up back-to-back titles, but Button was in jubliant mood.

"To win at a circuit that has been Red Bull's stamping ground traditionally is phenomenal," the Briton told BBC Sport.

"This is one of the most perfect circuits in racing with one of the most special crowds. It means a lot to me."

Button, starting second on the grid, lost position at the first corner as he was overtaken by McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton after being forced on to the grass by an aggressive defensive manoeuvre by Vettel.

Japanese GP top three drivers

Japanese Grand Prix - top three drivers

But a fabulous drive, aided by fine work in the pits from the McLaren team as well as Button's ability to manage his tyres on the demanding Suzuka circuit, ensured the 31-year-old was able to lead home Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Vettel for his third win of the season.

And after a year in which Japan was hit by the devastation of a massive earthquake in March, Button was full of emotion at the race's end.

The Englishman, whose girlfriend Jessica Michibata is Japanese, has a great affinity with the country having spent two years with the Honda team and he said: "I have never seen my missus cry at a race before. When she cries it's difficult for me not to but I'm going to try to hold it together.

"It's not just Japan, it's this circuit - the layout, the history, it's a fast-flowing circuit and it's unforgiving, there is absolutely no room for error.

"The Red Bull is always so strong on these type of circuits with the change of direction and so for us the win here really does mean a lot for us. I don't think I've ever won a race at such a high-speed circuit.

That fact is that Sebastian [Vettel] has been phenomenal this year and he totally deserves the title

Jenson Button

"How often do you have a grandstand still full an hour after the finish of the race? Hopefully we've planted a special memory after a difficult year for them."

Button, meanwhile, also added words of congratulation to Vettel after the German became the youngest driver ever to secure successive world titles.

Referring to the incident at the start of the race when he had to lift off to avoid the Red Bull, he said: "In that moment in time I felt he kept coming across and I felt I was enough alongside him for me to see me and not push me into the grass. At the time emotions run high and I felt he had no need to do it. I felt like too much.

"[But] I spoke to Sebastian after the race and he said he didn't see me and I'm going to take his word because I don't think he's a liar.

"The fact is Sebastian has been phenomenal this year and he totally deserves the title. He's been given the equipment but he's made the most of it. Congratulations to him."

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see also
Japanese Grand Prix race results
08 Mar 11 |  Results
Vettel takes crown as Button wins
09 Oct 11 |  Formula 1
Rivals hail 'phenomenal' Vettel
09 Oct 11 |  Formula 1
Sebastian Vettel: the champion
09 Oct 11 |  Formula One
Hamilton laments 'shocking' race
09 Oct 11 |  Formula One
Japanese Grand Prix - top three drivers
09 Oct 11 |  Formula One
Japanese Grand Prix as it happened
09 Oct 11 |  Formula 1

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