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Minggu, 28 Maret 2010

Button Wins Wild Australian Grand Prix

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MELBOURNE – After two weeks of criticism over a processional race at the season opener in Bahrain and accusations that the Formula One’s new rules had made the series a bore, the second race of the season proved to be one of the most exciting in the last decade.
With three world champion drivers colliding with each other in the first corner at the start of the race and John Travolta on hand as a guest to wave the checkered flag over the winner, it looked like a Hollywood production from start to finish.
And what a finish it was as the reigning world champion Jenson Button – who started fourth before dropping to seventh after the early crash – made a bold tire change decision and climbed quickly up the pack to second position, before taking the lead by Lap 26 after the race leader, Sebastian Vettel, spun off with a brake failure.
Jenson Button of Britain sprays champagne to celebrate after winning Formula One’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. 
William West/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Button sprayed champagne after winning the Australian Grand Prix.

Button took the eighth victory of his career and his second in a row in Melbourne, where he started his victorious campaign last season at the Brawn team. This time, however, it was in only his second race with the McLaren Mercedes team.
“It’s a very special feeling, I feel I’m building confidence and hopefully we’ll do similar at the next race,” said Button. “It was great to see because Bahrain wasn’t the most exciting race. I did see the TV screen and it looked like a very exciting race, and hopefully we’re going to have a lot more races like this, because this is what we all love.”
The race began in the evening and Button said he found it very difficult to see toward the end of the 58 laps.
A sudden drizzle that dampened the track about 16 minutes before the race began was the catalyst for the chaotic start, but the excitement continued long after the track dried out, right to the final laps.
At the first corner of the first lap, Fernando Alonso, a double world champion, Button and Michael Schumacher, a seven-time world champion, entered the corner side-by-side and Alonso, in a Ferrari, spun into Button. Button’s car pushed off Alonso into a spin and the Ferrari hit Schumacher’s car and broke the front wing of the Mercedes.
“The start of the race wasn’t perfect with me, I touched with Fernando at Turn 1,” said Button. “I was halfway inside of him and I don’t know if he didn’t see me, but we touched and it cost me a lot.”
In fact, Button only dropped to seventh place after starting the race in fourth, whereas Alonson dropped to third last and Schumacher fell to the last position because of the collision.
Alonso managed to climb up the pack and finish the race in fourth, but Schumacher spent most of the race trailing behind Jaime Alguersuari in a Toro Rosso, and the German finished in tenth position, finally passing the Spaniard with two laps left before passing another Spanish driver, Pedro de la Rosa.
The race ended with a battle between Hamilton – the only other world champion in the series – and Alonso, with a grand finale for fourth between world champions, the way the race had started. But Mark Webber the local driver in the other Red Bull, was less than half a second behind Hamilton, making it a three-way battle for fourth.
With one and a half laps left in the race, Webber ran into the back of Hamilton’s car as Hamilton tried to pass Alonso. Hamilton nevertheless finished sixth, and Webber finished ninth.
Felipe Massa finished in third, behind Robert Kubica, the Polish driver for Renault, who finished second, at 12 seconds behind Button.