F1 »

Button: Melbourne perfect place to kick off year

Jenson Button: It's been very difficult to read pace over the winter because a lot of teams have been playing their cards close to their chests. But I think it's going to be extremely close...

McLaren's Jenson Button has said he is feeling happy going to Australia after a 'very solid' pre-season.

Button ended 2011 'best of the rest' in the drivers' championship and he is now looking forward to F1 2012 and trying to wrestle back the drivers' crown he won with Brawn GP in 2009.

“I'm happy with our preparations. You always want more laps and more time in the car, but, unlike last year, we've had a very solid start to our pre-season,” Button confirmed. “It's been very difficult to read pace over the winter because a lot of teams have been playing their cards close to their chests. But I think it's going to be extremely close, and I can't wait to find out where we sit in the pecking order.”

Melbourne holds fond memories for JB and over the last three years he has taken 'gold' on two occasions, something he would obviously love to repeat next Sunday.

“My first grand prix was here way back in 2000 – it was just a buzz to be in F1: it was pretty intense, the whole weekend just flew past pretty quickly. I had pole here in 2006 – another good memory,” he continued. “But I think the two most significant memories for me were, in 2009, winning from pole for Brawn GP. It was a momentous race for the entire team and it felt so sweet to give them such a reward.

“And winning here in 2010… just an incredible day. Going early for the dry tyre, then almost losing the car at Turn Three, putting the others off following my example, and then finding a rhythm and having a fantastic car underneath me. That was my first win for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes – it was completely unexpected, but a really significant result for me personally.”

So what is it about Melbourne that makes it so special?

“It's hard to put your finger on it. It is a special race – you step off the plane after a long, cold European winter and it's usually very sunny and the people are incredibly welcoming. I think the circuit is a nice challenge too – it's not a particularly technical track, but the surface is always rubbering in across the whole race weekend, and it's a place that encourages nip-and-tuck racing. For a street track, it's got a really good flow, you can really find a good rhythm – and it's got some fast corners too, which is unusual for a road course,” Button continued.

“I think the new rules have definitely made it a more competitive place [too] – it's easier to pass here now than it ever was. And I think the potential of a second DRS zone will be a real benefit – last year, along the startline wasn't quite enough for overtaking – I think we'll get more benefit from a second zone.

“Finally, the walls around here are close enough to keep your mind focused. I can't remember a race here that wasn't eventful or surprising in some way – so it's the perfect place to kick off the season.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
03.03.2012 Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
03.03.2012 Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
03.03.2012 Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
01.04.2012  Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
01.04.2012 Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
07.02.2012 Jerez, Spain, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes   - Formula 1 Testing, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship
07.02.2012 Jerez, Spain, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes   - Formula 1 Testing, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Dee - Unregistered

March 11, 2012 10:22 AM

I've always like it when Melbourne kicks off the new F1 year. I've been to this circuit more than any other with the exception of Suzuka, and the atmosphere is great and the amount of racing we've seen there has improved over the last few seasons. I don't know how everyone else feels, but I'm ready to go racing...

Pole Position - Unregistered

March 11, 2012 7:09 PM

@ dan more silly comments! I see u can't help yourself! The article is about Button! I hope Hamilton has a good year and prove all u guys wrong this year! It's childish and ridiculous!



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.