Button wins thrilling Australian GP

2010 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button won in Melbourne for the second year in a row
Jenson Button won in Melbourne for the second year in a row

Jenson Button scored his first win for McLaren in his second start for the team at Melbourne.

The world champion made an early switch to slick tyres on a damp track which paid dividends. But once again Sebastian Vettel lost the lead with an apparent car failure on his Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton endured a frustrating race in the other McLaren. He made an extra pit stop in the later stages of the race and was hit by Mark Webber two laps from home.

Hamilton recovered to take sixth behind Nico Rosberg, who he passed earlier in the race with a brave pass around the outside of turn 11. Hamilton had been as high as third earlier in the race.

Button led home Robert Kubica who scored a fine second for Renault, and Felipe Massa who spent much of the race defending from team mate Fernando Alonso.

Webber ended the race in ninth after his collision with Hamilton. He had briefly led but delayed his switch from intermediates to dry tyres, dropping him down the running order.

Vitantonio Liuzzi scored points for Force India again with seventh ahead of Rubens Barrichello.

And Michael Schumacher claimed the final point after a long recovery drive after he hit the spinning Ferrari of Alonso on lap one. He spent much of the race trying to find a way around Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso, and claimed tenth place with a late pass on Pedro de la Rosa in the dying stages of the race.

Full report and analysis to follow.

2010 Australian Grand Prix

232 comments on “Button wins thrilling Australian GP”

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  1. Was McLaren’s decision a mistake?…..maybe….maybe not. But – and this is directed solely at S Hughes and cabbagesVScarrots – to think that McLaren would deliberately jeopardise Lewis’s race so he wouldn’t beat Jenson is beyond pathetic!!! You two really need to get a grip.

    It was a shame for Lewis given how great he raced. Potentially he may have got a podium – or perhaps he wouldn’t have. But regardless, he would not have have beaten Jenson today.

    Personally, I can’t stand McLaren and maybe they did make a mistake but these conspiracy theories that always pop up by the likes of the aforementioned two contributors is farsical.

    1. I agree with what you said, Dorian.

    2. I’d be really surprised if by the end of the year there hasn’t been a fistcuff or two at Macca… kiddie stuff

  2. Man i am so glad Butt’s got the victory, i will be a fan always, such a nice chap, hope he gets more this year! He is a worthy champion, just needs to adjust to the Mclaren, and he’ll be fine.

    1. Jeremy Clarckson was right- without beard Button is faster then with it :D

  3. Awesome_race
    28th March 2010, 11:27

    Awesome race….was never a fan of jenson….but he convinced me that he can win races even if the car is not the most strongest in the grid. The gamble he took payed off, so i think he was lucky as well….I think hamilton was awesome as well till the accident happened with webber…some great overtaking by him. But the driver of the day for me is Kubica….getting second with such an inferior car is certainly an acheivement. One of the other best moments of the race was di grassi coming back at schumacher.But the main problem of overtaking still reamins a concern…we cant expect rain in every race…so they have to think of something to make overtaking possible even in dry conditions

    1. Yeah you are right there, there were lots of guys here claiming he is overrated, but i knew he will show his talent, he needs to get a drive in one of the four horsemen(Ferrari,Mc,RB orMerc) to put the stamp on it.

    2. Obviously, you did not atch F1 last year. Lewis won GP’s in a car that was not the best,nor the fastest on the grid!

  4. On a scale of 1 to 10 for Mclaren pit strategy cock ups I`d give it an 11.

    1. Nurburgring 07 was much worse. Ham still got points at least

      1. China 07 cost me £30

        1. The China was much worse for you then!

        2. Iam still fuming, Ive sat and watched Mclaren make mistakes from HAK in Aus 98 to cant be bothered to find the year RAI at Hochenheim, but todays call for a second pit stop takes the biscuit, I could say what were they thinking but HAM was saying that down the radio before, to use a quote that made me laugh `Webbers NASCAR overtake ` oblitarated all hope off a podium finish. I feel that Ive seen this too many times, stop using algorithms and use some bloody common sense.

          1. Tell a lie

            I remember Irvines 3 wheel pit stop in 99.

          2. Ferrari could`nt bear the thought off the WDC going to Jaguar.

  5. I think that Mclaren wher trying to replicate buttons fantastic strategic decision to switch to slicks and jump the cars infront, when they brought Hamilton in for fresh tyres. i also presume that they thought ferrari’s tyres would die off. with those factors considered it was a good decision, which obviously turned out badly.

  6. Hey, I published some interesting facts and stats. Check them out:

  7. We want turbos
    28th March 2010, 12:16

    If would make sence for mclaren yo jepordise Hamilton and hand Ferrari points on a plate as for the “button bashers”(love that phrase) who did he need to overtake? He couldn’t get to grips with the inters hence falling back atctge start! Also I’d like to point out the martin whitmarsh arguement about ride height adjusters! Mclaren looked fast on full tanks much closer to rb and Ferrari! He may have a point!!

  8. Hi guys.

    Unfortunately I couldn’t follow the race this morning, do you know if I can watch a replay streaming somewhere on the net ?

    1. Here’s a BBC one:

      It may be UK only – I hope it works wherever you are.

      1. Thanks for the link Tom.
        Yes it is UK only and i am in France… :-(
        Nevermind !

  9. I liked Alonso`s team radio reply ” I don`t want to know ! “when he was told Hamilton was flying towards him.:)
    Now as far as overtaking is concerned, Hamilton was the best , he overtook more high profile drivers than anyone on tract!

  10. Just what we needed, a race to really get things going. Congratulations to Jenson, shame Mclaren didn’t get the one two though. I believe Kubica deserves a mention for a solid race and also Chandhok just for finishing with the little testing he’s had. Also do’es anyone know why, in quali, Schumacher’s name comes up as ‘MSC’ when everyone else uses the first three letters of their surname (‘ALO”BUT’ ‘VET’) etc. I know its not important but….

    1. When his brother was racing he was RSC.

      1. Thats a good point. Forgot his brother used to race.

  11. Absolutely brilliant race. Lewis & Alonso were spectacular to say the least. Level headed Button gifted a deserved win, bad luck for Vettel. Saying all that, Alonso did mess up big time on the opening lap but certainly redeemed himself.

    Unfortunate strategy choice for Lewis by McLaren however I can also see their reasoning at that moment in time; as EJ alluded, they could have pitted maybe 2 or 3 laps earlier.

    Lewis should reconsider his criticisms though and remember that he failed to deliver a good grid slot. Now his adrenalin has settled he will realise that this played a strong factor overall. He was lucky to only lose one place to the fast but limited Webber. Not sure he would have eventually passed Kubica though, who deserved his 2nd place probably more than Jenson his win and most certainly more than Massa’s 3rd.

    Lewis was driver of the race though with typical aggressive maximum attack (with shades of his GP2 action) and scintillating passes.

    1. Lewis failing to deliver a good grid slot was also down to Mclaren. He was sent out on wrong tyer pressure and the given wrong amount of fuel to get onto Q3

    2. David Watkins
      28th March 2010, 13:41

      I agree here.

      He needs to apologise to the team for letting rip at them publicly and now, more than ever, he needs to be at one with them

      He always compliments the team when it is easy to do so, ie when he has won

      Now he has to show he means it, be constructive and sit down with the team and talk it out like adults

  12. Over the Team Radio, for all the world to hear, publicly, Hamilton did the unforgiveable to team-mates in team sport – He “threw them under the bus”. This will fester…

    1. Three things that are beyond me
      -Why LH was ever allowed to race again after lying to the stewards at Melbourne last year
      -Why the Melbourne police did not jail LH for the rest of the weekend
      -Why Macca did not just fire LH after the abuse they took from him during the race

  13. Well, even ex-driver Montoya (in his own words) shuddered at the thought of Alonso joining McLaren. If there’s a driver who’ll be favoured over another at McLaren, that would be Lewis thanks to his long association (almost a decade) with them. Think that Ron’s his godfather, so that would be another plus for him, i mean he has only sponsored Lewis’s career out of his own pockets.

    Button today made a good call and got himself in a situation where he eventually controlled the race after Vettel’s departure. He would have finished 2nd in the worst scenario, where Vettel would’ve continued had his brakes not failed on him. Hamilton, well, he did well to avoid the first corner melee, but then i saw nothing that would earmark him to be more deserving a candidate for the spoils of the day.

    Kubica was a surprise, a revelation if you prefer in the Renault which no one fancied for a top three finish. None the less, one can’t take anything away from Button and his by and large flawless drive (i think he was more responsible for the first corner melee).

    1. You didn’t see Hamilton overtake all those cars?

      We finally have 2 drivers who actually give us a show and overtake lots of cars and this is not something that you see would be fit for something deserving a reward?!!?!?

      1. May be we were watching two different races? I certainly don’t meant to insult you when i ask whether Hamilton finished in front of Button? Alonso made a lot of passes too (more than Hamilton), so are you saying that he’s more deserving? Personally, i think it was unfortunate that Button ran into Alonso and otherwise Alonso could have had won the race. Vettel could have had won the race, then again his brakes failed and he didn’t…

        Button did win and in a team which everyone thought he was a fool to go to, given Brawn’s running start. Button was genuinely happy and it was nice to see him win the race, proving his detractors wrong. Look for reasons beyond the track, for all the talk he had to endure during his Williams days, then in BAR… then even with Brawn and people called him an undeserving champion. I think i was happy to see him put it all behind him… he was happy too and for obvious reasons. He has one upped the game…

        Kubica offered a glimpse of promise that he holds as a racer and i was glad to see him back… back on podium and in the limelight. Let me remind you, it was such a performance in a car that was not supposed to be any good and Renault are carrying out updates as we speak, with FIA’s permission (sodding rule changes).

        I do not want to spoil it for everyone, but today’s race was only interesting thanks to the weather conditions. I’d be happy to be wrong, but i know i wouldn’t be. Even the driver’s themselves said it will be a long haul and not in a good way :P So unless a lot of us, or the good lord of motor racing himself waters the track… :P forget about overtaking. F1 is becoming too stale and do not forget, some manufacturers exited thanks to that, no matter what they say about cost cutting. There’s no better advertisement than winning a race/ championship. I find the whole charade about cost cutting a farce, as they all continue with billions as advertisement-spend.

        1. Hamilton started well back of Button, had his race messed up by a bad team call and was rammed off track. I’d say achieving 6th after all that is more impressive than getting a lucky early call since Button’s race was over basically when he ruined his intermediates.

          Button didn’t really beat anybody. He was marginally in front of Kubica in a slow Renault and Massa who was driving horribly all weekend.

          But yeah he got the result. That’s what ultimately counts. Did he deserve it more than Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso. No way.

          1. So you are saying that Button out-qualified Hamilton? If so, then what you’re saying is that Button helped himself to be in a position of strength, isn’t it? Are you questioning Button for being that damn good, because i can assure you that it sounds like it. Button may have been lucky that he was the one to pit first, but then again, he could have pitted a second time, instead he did get his tyres to last and about 4/5th of the race distance (mighty impressive one would think)…

            In my books, Kubica did the best today, well actually it was yesterday :D. To be that ahead, in that bad a car, it matters. Alonso, he could have had won the race easily, given his pace had he not been knocked out by Button in the first corner of the first lap itself, but racing incidents happen. Then again, there’s Vettel and what is so special about leading from pole and winning, as i remember most people used to hate Schumacher/ Ferrari domination by and large for that reason.

            I’m sorry, i really don’t mean to be rude… Button not only won the race, he managed to send a message to his detractors and homeboy Hamilton. Hamilton is a little more than a talented but a spoilt brat. Does that mean that Hamilton will get in trouble sooner than later with the team? Very possibly, as this is not the first time that Hamilton has done something to the effect of chiding his team and their actions in public. Then again, there was lie gate… there was Monaco in the year 2007… needless that i go on though.

          2. By saying you don’t want to be rude you are in effect being incredibly rude.

            I’m saying Hamilton and Alonso had great drives during the race to overcome adversity and finish high up. i do feel that that DESERVES them some reward. Button and Kubica just drove their laps.

            At least Kubica had a good start although he was helped a lot by Schumacher, Alonso and Button coming together.

            So the point is Button didn’t show anyhting. Well he showed us that with luck (and a lot of accidents with the people in front of him) he can win a race, but still Hamilton was easily a second a lap faster.

            Same with how Massa beat Alonso. Massa had a good start, but after that he put in a completely mediocre drive. The fact that Alonso didn’t pass him doesn’t mean that Massa upstaged Alonso.

  14. Keith given that in the past you have come out against passing and winning through pit stop strategy, and the given that Button’s win was basically achieved by such means, do you think this detracted from the race and Button’s win?

    1. What irritated me in the refuelling days was the way teams would use pit strategy to get their drivers in clean air – i.e. away from other cars, spoiling the races.

      Today Button sussed the conditions better than anyone else and was brave enough to take on a damp track on slick tyres. I say good for him.

      That said, Hamilton drove a peach of a race. Apart from the mistake when he was in front of Webber – which he immediately made up for by re-passing – he never put a wheel wrong and made some astonishing overtaking moves.

      1. David Watkins
        28th March 2010, 14:40

        Can you do an article Keith on McLaren’s persistent strategy blunders?

        Off the top of my head:

        China 2007
        Brazil 2008
        Australia 2010

        There have been more but they escape me for now

        1. James Brickles
          28th March 2010, 15:01

          Valencia 2009 where McLaren were late in bringing the tyres out and cost Hamilton the win.

        2. McLaren doesn’t make anymore mistakes than anyone else. Think about Red Bull or Ferrari lately.

          Also I don’t think this “strategy blunder” was _that_ bad. Hamilton lost less than 15 seconds because of bad strategy for sure so he might have been like 4th at best.
          6th or 4th, who really gives a damn, but of course it’s in headlines if one of the top drivers mocks his team in public.

      2. You see I dont think he did suss anything out, he had little choice. He said it himself, his inters were shot, he was passed by Lewis and he was not getting anywhere so he took a gamble and it gave him enough time ahead, while Lewis came in with the swarm 2 laps later and got delayed in the rush out of the pits.

        1. Doesn’t make a difference. He could just as easily have put more inters on – after all, there were reports more rain was coming. Besides which other drivers were also struggling with their inters, like Massa’s Ferrari. but he stayed out.

          1. come on, “put more inters on”? surly you dont really believe that was an option ;)

          2. I think you misread the part about “there were reports more rain was coming”.

      3. To me it was a fairly classic strategy call. His tyres weren’t working well, similar to if he has been following another car and overused his tyres due to a lack of aero grip, so basically gambling it would pay off he pitted early in an attempt to gain an advantage. Similar I imagine to the thinking behind the Hamilton strategy except Hamilton’s strategy required that he pass people on track where as Button’s meant he passed them (except for Vettel) when they were in the pits.

        The Kubica, Massa, Alonso gaggle was symptomatic of the issues surrounding the loss of aero grip experienced when running behind another car. Alonso, probably the fastest of the trio, was stuck behind Massa who was stuck behind Kubica who was the probably slowest. With no strategic possibilities they were left to wait for errors which never manifested significantly enough for a change of position.

        Hamilton’s (or McLaren’s) gamble was that they might on fresher tyres be able to get past, that or they thought others would pit. Either way you might say they were not content to be beneficiaries of circumstance and decided to take their fate in their own hands.

  15. Just to like to add, i find it funny that few have mentioned hamiltons front wing incident with massa~(i believe. Just like he treats his tyres, hamilton played a risky game with his front wing, which was very nearly ruined and would’ve certainly cost him a decent result, i think hes very lucky he only lost one position in the alonso/webber incident.

    p.s. also quite funny no-one mentioned that it was Alonso’s locking up incident that put LH and MW out of sync and lead to MW’s epic fail…

    some people prefer to talk politics than actually watch what happens on track…

  16. Button made the call and it worked out for him. he still had to last the race, and he did. He deserved to win.

    Hamilton let the team make the call, and they ended up costing him. He drove like a madman just to get onto Alonso’s tail. He deserved more, but in the end got what he did.

    It was a great display of driving by both McLaren drivers and only circumstance prevented a 1-2.

    I love f1fanatic, but I’m increasingly exasperated by the absolutist and biased comments that always come up over the same issues, in this case both the issue of Button’s ability and people’s opinions of Hamilton. It’s great that this site is becoming ever more popular, but it seems like the fans of F1 who happen to support a particular driver are getting seriously outnumbered and out-shouted by those who are fans (or haters) of a driver first and F1 second.

    Like the race result, that’s life, I’m not criticising the site, just making the observation. I say it because I think PM’s theory (not expressed here, but earlier in the week) that the majority of F1 fans are whiners is wrong; I simply think that most of the “whiners” aren’t real fans.

    1. “absolutist and biased comments that always come up over the same issues, in this case both the issue of Button’s ability and people’s opinions of Hamilton”

      couldn’t agree more mate!

    2. I agree 100%. Freud would probably say that these rabid fans lead pathetic lives and bring their soccer hooliganism to the sport of F1. Real fans of F1 may care for a particular driver or team but above all, find beauty in the fusion of man and machine. That’s how I see F1.

      1. It both frustrates and amuses me whenever I read comments like ‘this driver definitely would have won if this hadnt happened’ or ‘the team shouldn’t have done that’ As if they’re either psychic, or know things for a fact as if they’re a member of team or something. Takes the fun out of the whole sport, doesn’t it? But I’ll continue to enjoy the site and sport regardless =D

        1. same, I’m a vettel fan but you don’t see me nagging lol.

          but on a serious note after schumi semi-retired i became more of F1 fan then just supporting one driver.

          The only problems I have with certain drivers is Kubica’s nose, hamiltons ego, webber staring into space when he gets interviewed, vettel’s obsession with good luck charms not actually working and Rosberg’s pretty boy looks.

          1. What about Barrichello and Massa saying ‘for sure’ every 5 seconds while theyre being interviewed?

        2. I absolutely agree. I am Polish and dedicated Kubica-fan, though I easily recognize other’s brilliance behind the wheel. Everyone has his favorites, but this should never overshadow some extent of objectivity and simple love for the sport itself. We all should admire great driving, regardless of the fact who is the driver. I’ll say this again – Hamilton-fan boys – GROW UP!

          1. @Alex R. maybe their rosetta stone Cd’s had “for sure” in every sentance lol.

            Also is it just me or was that middle aged woman around petrov on the interviews before the race, his mother? hamilton’s dad was questionable being there all the time but your mum, thats just abit funny for me so just ignore what i say :p

            @Cyclops idd it gets quite annoying when some Alonso or Hamilton fans spew out remarks saying they were robbed from a podium and “deserved more” and sneered at from a different point of view.

            It’s worse then me in my schumi fan days screaming at the T.V putting jinxes on drivers like Haikkenen, Hill, Villneuve and praying for engine faliures. we’re in reality most of us anyway since the only person who “deserves” more over the season is Vettel by miles and miles. Hamiltons race season so far has been quite lucky for him, having top drivers infront of him break down or spin off to hand him posistions and free points.

            So he gets 1 bad situation and he loses his top? how do you think Vettel feels? he has 12 points out of a likely 50 so i think (holding back here) hamilton should just stfu…..and get ready for malaysia.

  17. F1 races are always interesting when it’s raining. Without rain, I’m pretty sure this race would have been boring as hell.

    Like Martin Whitmarsh said, of course there isn’t any overtaking, if they use two days of GP weekend in order to get fastest cars/drivers in the front plus a driver gets only few additional points by passing someone plus passing is almost impossible if a driver isn’t one second faster than the driver in front of him.

  18. J B …Mr Smooooth ,saving the car,another WDC here we come!!! Ham needs his daddy back…

  19. Congratulations to Jenson Button. He did a lucky gamble and it paid off big time. Like Hamilton’s win in Monaco ’08, this win was probably more due to luck than hard work and beautiful driving. I didn’t see the race, but I have found a few replays on YouTube.. I’m glad no penalties were handed out, but Webber’s driving was a disgrace – especially in the final moments of the race when he drove off Hamilton. Hamilton is an aggressive driver, which is probably why most of us like him, but he had no fault at all in the incident with Mark Webber in the end. It seemed like he was going very strong at Alonso and he might even have taken in the last corner because he had the better exit line.

    I’m so sorry I missed the race, it sounds like it was very eventful :(

    1. Could you post a link for the repays

  20. I am glad that Button won a race before Hambone, regardless of the causes. Yeah Lewis had a great run prior to his last5 pit, but it was that great run that also destroyed his tires requiring him to pit.

    I’ll take the steady measured pace of Jenson over the reckless bravado and bitching of Hambone every time.

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