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Post-race press conference - Australian GP - Pt.1

Jenson, we go next to Malaysia. You'll be looking for another win there I'm sure. Stiff competition though, we in for a competitive season clearly. How are you feeling after this first race?

Jenson Button:
We all think this year is a very special year in F1. Last year was also, having five world champions but having six world champions and so many competitive teams – it's good to see F1 is in a great place right now. It's a great sport to be a part of right now. Very excited heading to Malaysia but I'm not thinking about that right now. I'm going to enjoy myself with the team this afternoon/evening, with my friends and family. Then tomorrow I'll turn my attention to Malaysia.


Press conference

Q:
Jenson, your third win here, this place must be getting a bit special for you?

Jenson Button:
Yeah. And I've actually stayed in the same bedroom those three years. We arrived this year and my missus said 'we're actually in the same bedroom when you won those two previous years' – so maybe that's the reason why.

Sebastian Vettel:
Next year you get a different one…

Jenson Button:
yeah, whatever… but every race you win, as we all know here, is very special but I think starting the year strong for this team is really important and the last two years for us have been tricky coming into the first race, so to come away with Lewis' pole yesterday and the victory today, I think puts us in a great position for the next few races and on the right foot. Big thank you to everyone within the team who's worked so hard. I saw our mechanics this morning who said 'this curfew's great – it's the first rest we've had since the start of the year', so big thanks to all of them and everyone at Woking that's worked those extra hours to get these extra parts out and… yeah. Fantastic day.

Q:
You seemed to pull away progressively at the start of the race, then got a margin and then that margin seemed to stabilise. What was it like at the start of the race?

Jenson Button:
The first few laps I knew I had to push hard. I knew that Lewis would be right on my tail and I obviously had to try to get away because of the DRS after lap two, so that was important. But I think we're all going into a bit of the unknown in the race. The longest run I did was about eight laps on Friday – and obviously the conditions were very different. So, going into the race, trying to understand what wing angle to use, tyre pressure and everything was very tricky. I think we got it close but it wasn't quite right but the second and third runs for me were much better. We had more of an understanding of what the car felt like in the first stint and the second and third ones were much stronger. All in all I'm happy with the car, there were a few areas where I think it could have been a little bit better – but I think we did a pretty damn good job this weekend.

Q:
And the difference in tyres for you.

Jenson Button:
Yeah, there is a difference and it's a difference in balance more than anything else. The biggest worry was the safety car. When you've pulled a ten second gap, or you've got a ten second gap it's a great place to be. You can control it to some extent but as soon as the safety car comes out and it's six o'clock in the evening, it's difficult to keep temperature in those tyres and we found that last year and the year before, so that was a big worry for me. We all try to keep as much temperature in the tyres but when you actually push, it's a very different feeling and it's very easy to lock-up and grab a tyre. That didn't happen, I was able to pull a good gap again in order to get out of the DRS zone and then try to control the pace – but Seb put in some pretty quick laps in the end and I had to just put a couple in just to keep the gap – but we did it in the end.

Q:
Sebastian, for you, you had quite a few battles, not just with Lewis at the end but also with Michael. It was quite a lively race for you.

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, the start was surely pretty interesting, so I enjoyed that. I think I had a good start first off, getting off the line was important. Then it's a bit tricky here because Turn One is quite difficult to find the right point to hit the brakes. But I was quite surprised when Nico all of a sudden arrived from the outside. I think I got a bit stuck. Surely you don't, y'know, want to leave the door open at the inside, he used the opportunity and, yeah, great start for him. Nevertheless I think I was happy with how the first two corners went and from there I felt pretty quickly that yeah, McLarens are pulling away, bye-bye, and I had to make sure that we are not losing too much ground. I felt that we were quicker than the Mercedes. I got past Nico fairly early, which was important, and then with Michael I did a mistake going into the first corner. I was a bit surprised, obviously I was in the DRS and I arrived a fair bit quicker than the lap before which caught me out. Fortunately I kept the position against Nico, and then had another go at Michael and, yeah, he was very kind, he did exactly the same mistake I did a couple of laps earlier, so that was good. Then it was quite surprising to see how we were able to catch Lewis in a way. I think the second stints were fairly, yeah we had the same pace: Lewis was a bit quicker in the beginning; I seemed to be a bit quicker at the end just when we lined up for the last round of stops and I decided to stay out when he pitted which I think was the right decision. I think we would have had a little bit of a go anyway, but then the safety car came out. I'm not sure, I think it might have helped us a little bit, anyway we got him at the stop, so great job from the guys at the pitbox, and after that, yeah, obviously I thought I'd have another go at Jenson but yeah, the first two or three corners after the restart he was already quite far away. I was struggling, at that time I was holding Lewis up a little bit and he [Jenson] was pulling away too much. I think once I got settled the lap times weren't too bad, the speed wasn't too bad but I think overall he was too quick today for the whole race. So, out-of-sight. Nevertheless, I think it was a very positive race for us, we knew it would be a difficult one, so to come away with second and a lot of points is very important and I think the car has a lot of potential. Obviously we would have loved to have been in a better position yesterday but as I said, we did a lot of laps and I think we understood more about the car and, yeah, now we need to address the problems and make sure that we give them a harder time next week.

Q:
Were you happy with the gear ratios because at one time we thought you were hitting the rev limiter?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, I don't think it's a secret – we were quite aggressive and I was happy with the ratios. Obviously overtaking around here is quite difficult, we know it's difficult even if you have perfect gears for overtaking, so we decided on the best compromise. I think it worked out, to be honest. I think we had good pace in the race and we still got past people so that was good. The only manoeuvre which I think was a bit borderline was when Lewis was just getting past Perez in turn one and then I lined up for turn three and I'm not sure if he saw me.. It was very close to the outside there, so I need to have a word with him, but other than that it was fine.

Q:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes and 1st place Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
1st place Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
2nd place Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing with 1st place Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes and 3rd place Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes

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