Button dominates to take simple, emphatic victory in Australia.

Posted on March 18, 2012

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Jenson Button cruised to a dominant season opening victory in Australia today, calmly underlining his title credentials at the earliest opportunity.

Jenson Button dominated the season opener in Australia. Credit: McLaren.com

The 2009 world champion snatched the lead off the line from team mate Lewis Hamilton and never looked threatened, at one stage building a 10 second lead. After a safety car period, Button was able to reestablish firm control and took the chequered flag in 2012’s curtain raiser.

Red Bull demonstrated there is little wrong with the RB8 despite yesterday’s underwhelming qualifying. Sebastian Vettel was promoted to second place by the second car and Hamilton could not touch him in the final dozen laps. The team is fast, they will develop rapidly and will win races for sure.

There were storming performances from Kimi Raikkonen, who brought his Lotus from 18th to 7th, and Sergio Perez, who was fast all afternoon on his way to eighth place.

By contrast, Mercedes looked underwhelming all afternoon after an impressive Saturday. Michael Schumacher, running third, suffered a mechanical failure early on, while Nico Rosberg looked to be struggling for pace on his way to a disappointing 12th.

But this was a clinical performance from Button, reminiscent of his Brawn victories which laid the foundations for his title year. He’s going to need a lot of luck and the development race will be fierce – but he is one of probably three leading candidates for the title this year.

A word also for the BadgerGP #badgerbash. As I write it’s still on-going and it was a bloody early start – but it’s been a great event, especially for us non-Sky folk.

It’s going to be a very close, competitive season. Marvellous.

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Posted in: Formula One, Race