Drivers: Jenson Button
(McLaren), Sebastian Vettel
(Red Bull Racing) and Lewis Hamilton
Jenson you took the lead at the start, controlled the race, sum up your emotions?
I think, as we all know sat here, every win means a lot to you, and 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 (at the) first race of the new season. The guys back at Woking have done an amazing job this winter. This will definitely help them to push harder into the extra hours in the morning when they're making that extra little part. So, big thank you to everyone at Woking and the whole of the Vodafone McLaren
Mercedes team for this victory here in Melbourne.
Sebastian, sixth on the grid, unaccustomed for you, but second at the end, which is a bit more normal. The Safety Car did the trick for you to get past Lewis with 20 laps to go.
Yeah, nevertheless I think we would have had a good shot at him because it was very close and I was quite quick and I decided to stay out and he went to the pits so I think we would have had a crack even without the Safety Car, it would have been very close but surely it did help a little bit. Nevertheless, I think it was a great race. Quite a lot of fun. A good start initially but then I was surprised by Nico. He had a very good start. I got a bit stuck at the inside, I didn't really have an option on where to go and he got past and then I had two Mercedes ahead. I got past Nico very quickly – which was a great manoeuvre, on edge. And then I was behind Michael where I had a mistake, went off in the first corner and then he decided to do exactly the same the next time I got close to him. That was good. And then, obviously, catching up the McLarens. I think all in all, congratulations to McLaren
and to Jenson, he drove a fantastic race and was unbeatable today but I'm very happy to come away with second, it's a lot of points. I think a lot of people would not have expected that after the result of yesterday. I think we had a better car in the race and the car seems to have a lot of potential and it's up to us to get to it. Then we should be very close to these guys but I think it was a great day and thanks to everyone for pushing so hard and making the race result today possible.
Lewis, you look dejected. It wasn't your day today, was it?
No. First of all, congratulation to Jenson he did a fantastic job and congratulations to the team for doing a great job over the winter. Yeah it as just a bit of a tough day but we have plenty of races ahead so I just have to keep my head down.
Back to you Jenson: how did you feel when the Safety Car came out? You had built up a 10-second cushion. Did you think 'uh-oh, I'm in trouble here'?
Yeah, 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. That's the last thing you want leading the pack round to the restart. 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. Yeah, it was a pretty amazing day.
Sebastian, from your side when the Safety Car came out? Your feelings and how quickly were you made to make that decision?
We decided to stay out when Lewis came in, then the Safety Car came out. I'm not sure, maybe it helped us a little bit to get past Lewis. We had a great stop so I think that was the most important thing. And then when the Safety Car came, yeah, I thought I would be in a good place or a good position to have a go at Jenson… but I didn't! He was just too quick. Two corners and he seemed to be gone and I was struggling to get up to speed. I think I held up Lewis, he was a couple of laps very close with the DRS enabled, so it wasn't very easy to get away from him but Jenson was out of sight. So there was no way we could have stayed with him. He completely deserved to win today.
Lewis, your feelings when you saw the back of that Red Bull
in front of you having taken your second place? You had a go to try and get it back again in the final stages?
Yeah, very similar to the position I was in last year. It was quite a tough race but it was still quite positive for the team to come here with good pace and so hopefully we can take that on to the next race.