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Button: Win won't be Rosberg's last

16 April 2012

Having been beaten to the chequered flag by Nico Rosberg in China, Jenson Button has admitted that he expects to see the Mercedes driver on the top step of the podium a little more often in future.

The two drivers know what it is like to have to wait for a maiden F1 victory, with Button's first win, in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, coming just two races further into his career than Rosberg's success at the 111th attempt on Sunday. Although it took a while for Button to again top the podium - he had to wait until the blistering start to his 2009 world championship-winning campaign - the Briton knows that the boost a driver gets from breaking his duck seems to make adding further success easier to come by.

"We were talking on the podium and, yeah, he beat me by two races - I took 113 and he's on 111," the McLaren man confirmed, "It's amazing how, with some people, it can happen very quickly if you can find yourself in the right situation, while, for others, it takes a little bit more time.

"Which way would you choose? We'd all choose to win immediately, I think. I wouldn't choose my career path and the mistakes that I've made and, obviously, the good things that have happened in my career – it's just different for all of us. I'm sure that this won't be Nico's first and last win. We all know how special it is, your first win, and I'm sure there will be many more, just hopefully not too many more this year. [Mercedes] seem very competitive this year and Nico obviously hasn't put a foot wrong all weekend, so I think we're going to have a battle on our hands this year."

Of course, Button's current team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, is among those to taste F1 success very early in their careers, having battled for the world title in his very first year in the sport. That bid, ironically, came unstuck at the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix, when Hamilton ran into the gravel trap bordering pit-lane, but the Briton bounced back the following year to precede Button as champion.

This year, the pair have started two races from the front row, and Hamilton would made that three had it not been for a five-place penalty that relegated him to seventh on the grid in Shanghai. Despite the setback, he came through to complete the podium behind his team-mate, who admitted that, despite the setback of a slow final pit-stop, he had enjoyed the cut-and-thrust of the pack racing.

"I got a good start - I think, all year so far, we've had very good starts, if not the best starts and [that's] promising when you don't qualify so well," he reflected, "Great job by the whole team for sorting out a special start out for me and great to get up into P3. .

"I can't remember how many cars I overtook during the race, but it was a good fight and most of it was very, very clean, which is good to see. I think, when you're in front for the first few laps, it always makes it easier, [as] you're dropping the traffic better. Everything was going to plan, I knew I'd have traffic and we were picking them off nicely up to the second pit-stop.

"After the last stop, it was a lot more difficult. Kimi [Raikkonen] was leading a train of about eight cars and everyone was DRS-ing at the same time, so, until Sebastian [Vettel] had a go at Kimi, I couldn't have a go at Sebastian. But it was good fun. Overtaking Sebastian was probably the most fun move of the race, down into the hairpin - or maybe [Romain] Grosjean, when I took him before the actual back straight, through the right-hander, that was quite nice as well."


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