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Button happy despite failed salute
Jenson Button has admitted his victory salute did not quite go according to plan on Sunday, but it proved to be his only flaw on an otherwise faultless day at the Australian Grand Prix.
Once the five red lights disappeared to signal the start of the 2012 Formula One season, Button immediately made his mark by passing McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton on the run to the first corner at Albert Park and - from that moment - then led for all but one of the 58 laps en route to his third win in four years Down Under ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton.
Upon getting out of the car Button has been prone to using thumb and forefinger with both hands to make a 'W' for winner. That, though, went a little awry, as he said: "I did the 'W' with a water bottle in my hand, which didn't really work very well. I tried to think of something new, but I just can't beat Seb's finger."
Button was referring to the raised index finger from the 24-year-old double world champion which dominated last season as Vettel scored 15 poles and 11 race wins.
Asked if he thought Vettel would get sick of the sight of his 'W' as he did with the finger, Button said: "Hopefully he will."
McLaren and Button certainly appear to have a solid platform on which to build a robust title challenge this year, and although it is only the first race, the Woking-based team are renowned for their rate of development over the course of the year.
"Starting the year strong for this team is really important," said Button.
"Heading into the first race the last two years has been tricky, so to come away with Lewis' pole and the victory puts us in a great position for the next few races and on the right foot."
Mark Webber was fourth for Red Bull, his best result on home soil, with Fernando Alonso fifth after a dismal qualifying. Williams' Pastor Maldonado should have finished sixth, only to spin into a wall on the last lap, handing the place to Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi.
Kimi Raikkonen was seventh on his Lotus debut and return to F1 after two years away in rallying, followed by Sauber's Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo for Toro Rosso and Force India's Paul di Resta.