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“A Pretty Amazing Day”: The Reaction from the Podium Trio



31 MAR - 03 APR 2016

Jenson Button was delighted, Sebastian Vettel relieved and Lewis Hamilton dejected after they had finished in that order at the end of Sunday's incident-filled Qantas Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

Button, who had started second on the grid alongside his McLaren team-mate and fellow-Briton Lewis Hamilton, took control of the race on the opening lap when he took the lead at the first turn.
Hamilton was 'bogged down' off the grid and never recovered.

Vettel, who started sixth after a poor qualifying session for Red Bull on Saturday, fought his way through the field and took full advantage of a Safety Car intervention to steal ahead of Hamilton for second.

"That was beautiful, just a perfect start and it shows how important a good winter can be," said Button on his slowing-down lap. "A great start to the year for me and the team!

It was Button's third win in four years at the Australian Grand Prix and the 13th of his career.

"Every win means a lot," added Button. "As a team, the win shows how important the winter is. We've had a strong winter and yesterday we showed that in qualifying. It's nice to come away with victory in the first race of the new season.

"The guys have done an amazing job this winter. This win will definitely help them push hard in the extra hours in the morning and I thank them for that, doing that work for the extra parts that are so vital.

"So, a big thank you to everyone at Woking for this victory. It's a pretty amazing day."

Vettel said he believed he had a good chance to attack the McLarens in the race and would have pushed to pass Hamilton even without the assistance of a Safety Car intervention that worked in his favour, after 38 laps, when Russian Vitaly Petrov pulled up and parked his Caterham on the straight.

He said: "I decided to stay out when Lewis went into the pits and I think we would have had a crack without the Safety Car. Maybe it helped us a little bit to get past Lewis. We had a great stop. Thanks to the team for that!

"I thought I would be in a good position to have a go at Jenson, but two corners and ... he was gone. It wasn't very easy to get away from Lewis but Jenson was out of sight. He deserved to win today."

A taciturn Hamilton would only say: "Firstly, congratulations to Jenson - he did great job, and to the team for doing great job over the winter. It was a bit of a tough day for me, but we've got a lot of races ahead of us. I was in a very similar to position to what I was last year. It was a tough race, but still positive for the team, so hopefully we can take that on for the next race."

Asked how it was he appeared to struggle for pace in the race after looking so fast in qualifying, he said: "I've no idea...."

Button, by contrast, summed it all up superbly.

"I think we all think this is going be a very special year with six world champions in Formula One - and many great, competitive teams,” he said.

“F1 is in a great place right now. I am excited at the prospects, ahead of Malaysia next week, but right now I am going to enjoy myself with the team, my family and friends. I will turn my attention to the next race tomorrow."

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