Jenson Button has admitted that he can't wait to get to the second round of the Formula One world championship - but has warned that he does not expect to have things as easy as he did on Brawn GP's debut at the Australian Grand Prix.
Having been close to the top of the timesheets all weekend, Button and team-mate Rubens Barrichello annexed the front row of the grid at Albert Park, before going on to take a 1-2 result - albeit, on Barrichello's part, as the result of others' indiscretions. Button led from lights to flag, and only really had cars filling his mirrors when the safety car appeared, despite claims from BMW Sauber that Robert Kubica might have won had he not been removed from contention by a collision with Sebastian Vettel.
Brawn's debut performance naturally prompted concerns that - an appeal against the legality of its diffuser notwithstanding - the championship might be as open as the change to a new rulebook suggested, but Button insists that, even though he is looking forward to going to Sepang this weekend, he is not expecting things to be as straightforward as they appeared on Sunday.
"I'm all for it, I cannot wait," he admitted, "It is a circuit I really enjoy and, hopefully, we can iron out some of the problems we had here. It is going to be a good race, but I have a feeling that other teams are going to be on us very quickly and, when we get to a different type of circuit, maybe in Malaysia, some other cars, which weren't so competitive here, will be.
"Vettel's pace surprised me a little bit. I didn't think they were quite as quick as they were today when we watched them in practice, but their pace seemed to be good. So it's not a walkaway victory for sure, and it's never going to be easy for us over the next few races. Of course, I hope that we are quick all season and I hope that we have an advantage all season, but I don't think that's going to be the case."
Vettel and Kubica looked to be the only one capable of denying Button his second F1 win, but took each other out three laps from home as the Pole attempted to pass his German rival with what appeared a better car. Button and Vettel had to use the softer of the two Bridgestone tyre options for their final stint and Kubica, on the harder compound, was lapping quicker than both - prompting BMW Sauber to suggest that he could have caught and passed the Briton.
"I actually wasn't worried," Button said of the run to the flag, "I knew, when I came out in front of Vettel, that I would be fine as I knew that we could look after the tyre. The thing with the last stint was not to push and try and see what was the best time I could do. I was purposely driving very slowly for what pace I think we could do to look after the tyres. I wasn't turning in aggressively to any corners.
"I think I could have been in the mid 1m28s, but we were taking an easy route to stop the graining because, as soon as that graining starts, you see what happens as Vettel lost a massive amount of time behind me and I was able to just plough on doing my mid 1m29s when he was in the 1m30s. So I wasn't worried once I was out in front of Vettel - I knew we could bring it home from there."
Indeed, Button's only concern stemmed from the final pit-stop itself, after he revealed that a minor error cost him valuable time. Team boss Ross Brawn had admitted before the race that the team's Achilles heel may be its pit work, which hadn't received as much attention in the build-up to the race as perhaps it should have, but the fault lay with its driver rather than the crew.