Jenson Button has praised the strategic planning of the McLaren team after claiming his first victory of the 2011 F1 season at a rain-affected Canadian Grand Prix.

The Briton, who has had to watch as team-mate Lewis Hamilton became the only driver to deny Sebastian Vettel victory this season, was running last at one point after a combination of tyre changes and drive-thru' penalties appeared to have scuppered his chances of returning to the top step of the podium, but mounted a stirring charge back to the front, picking off Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher in quick succession, before catching and forcing Sebastian Vettel into an error on the final lap.

"I really do not know what to say," he smiled after the race, "It has been a very emotional three hours - I got a drive-through for speeding behind the safety car and I had to fight my way through about three times, but, eventually, on the last lap, I was chasing Seb down. It was an immense battle and a great result. I have got to say a big thank you to the whole team and the work they have done. I think I must have pitted eight or nine times in this race and they did a great job every time so thank you very much."

Button's actual pit tally was five tyre stops and a drive-thru', and he was quick to praise the efforts of the McLaren team, both on the pit-wall and in the trenches as they reacted to the conditions.

"[The race] had its ups and downs, let's just say that," he laughed, "It's definitely one of those grands prix where you are nowhere, then you're somewhere, then you're nowhere and then you're somewhere. As we always say, the last lap is the important one to be leading and I was leading half of it.

"It felt like I spent more time in the pits than on the pit straight. The guys did a great job of calling the strategy. At some points, we definitely lucked out, especially when the red flag came out, but we called it very well going to slicks. The car was working really well in these tricky conditions, so I enjoyed it very much coming through the field.

"Fighting your way through is almost as good as winning a race - that feeling of getting one up on someone. To be on the podium was a pretty exceptional result and to fight my way through from, I think, last position. It's definitely my best race and I want to say a big thank you to the whole team for staying calm in some very difficult circumstances, especially when I damaged the front left and the front wing.

"I think, strategy-wise, we sometimes get it wrong, but a lot of the time we get it right. Moving onto intermediates in the first race, and then moving to intermediates in the second race was the right call. The car on the intermediates and the slicks felt fantastic but, on the wet tyre, didn't really work. It was a very special race to win from where I was and I will remember this for a long time."

The Briton was also thankful to the new-for-2011 DRS system after getting close enough to Vettel to be able to deploy the technology and give himself a chance of snatching victory when the German made an error.

"I wouldn't have had a chance if we didn't have DRS here," he conceded, "If Sebastian didn't make a mistake, it would have been very tricky, but it was getting very close to making the move because of the DRS.

"The previous lap, I got DRS and wasn't really close enough to make a move, but I felt I was creeping closer and it could have been one of those moves on the last lap into the last corner. It didn't go that far because Seb put a wheel onto the wet surface and ran wide."

Having come close to winning in Monaco two weeks previously, only for safety cars to conspire against him, Button felt that he had been due a little good fortune in Montreal.

"I will take that [way of winning]," he admitted, "I think, after Monaco, which again was a great race for me, to get the win here and get some luck in the end... I think we deserved that. I think there were lots of incidents today. It's a very, very slippery circuit here, especially with the wet tyres, and the first time that we've driven here in the wet for many years. A lot of people were finding it difficult to judge braking and also it's impossible to see in your mirrors when it's wet. I think there were incidents that you don't like to see, obviously, but sometimes it just happens."

"It was a tough day for my engineer, Dave Robson, with all the different calls and what have you. But it's also the first race we've won together, with him as chief engineer on my car, because last year he was working as the second engineer, the data engineer. He was obviously very hyped up - I wasn't going to say [anything about going for the win] on the radio, as I don't say that until I'm across the finish line, but it was nice for him to say it. I think it was just to rev me up a little bit, not that I really needed it."



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