Jenson Button has hailed his Chinese GP triumph as ‘extremely special’, after he overcame the tough and changeable conditions to come out top in his McLaren.
Button won the race – just like in Australia last month – thanks to another canny call on tyres, which helped pave the way for his second win of the season, a result that puts him top in the drivers’ championship with 60 points.
Although Button lost a lot of his hard-earned advantage following the second safety car period, which bunched up the pack, he managed to hold off team-mate Lewis Hamilton, despite a scare near the end when he went wide at turn 14 on near bold intermediate tyres. He eventually took P1 by 1.5 seconds.
“This was my best victory in F1. Every race you win becomes your best, but this was an extremely special win in very tough conditions,” said Button. “And it’s especially satisfying because it was a really dominant victory for the whole team.
“We scored a one-two, and the reason we did so was that every single element within the team worked perfectly. From the strategy calls to the pitstops, you need to get everything just right if you’re going to win in conditions like these. And we did indeed get everything just right.
“It’s not luck that brought us out on top today. We made the right decisions – the guys on the pitwall and back in Woking made the calls brilliantly, and I couldn’t have asked for better support.”
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile was delighted to see Button and Hamilton come home 1-2, a result that moves the Woking-based outfit to the top of the constructors’ championship – 19 points up on arch rivals Ferrari.
“The race was seriously challenging for drivers and teams alike. The strategy was very tricky to call correctly, but in the end we probably selected two different strategies that suited Jenson and Lewis very well,” said Whitmarsh.
“Jenson drove like the world champion that he is to record a truly brilliant win in extremely testing conditions. You won’t see many better drives than that, I can tell you – he was very, very impressive.”