Wily Button sews up Melbourne triumph

WORLD champion Jenson Button admitted his shock after recording his first victory with new team McLaren at an incident-filled Australian Grand Prix.

Button outfoxed his rivals by changing to dry-weather tyres early in the race and reaped the rewards to claim his maiden win of the 2010 season.

He was also aided by pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel again failing to convert a winning position, brake failure this time forcing the Red Bull racer to retire.

Button had been expected to be overshadowed by Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, having switched teams during the close season.

But the Somerset driver proved last season’s breakthrough success was no fluke by out-manoeuvring his rivals to conquer Albert Park.

The 30-year-old conceded afterwards he had expected the transition to his new team to need more than two races to bear fruit.

“I thought it would take longer than this,” he said. “A lot depends on what sort of car you come out of the box with.

“I don’t know in general pace where we would stand but that is not all racing is about. It is also about strategy, thinking and conserving.

“We did it correctly today and we came away with a good victory. This is very special and whatever happens over the next few races, this means a lot to me.”

Renault’s Robert Kubica took second and Felipe Massa completed the podium, with his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso recovering superbly to take fourth.

Alonso spun at the first corner after tangling with Hamilton and dropped to 22nd, but worked his way through the pack and remains first in the drivers’ standings.

Starting 11th on the grid proved no barrier to Hamilton, who challenged for second at one stage, but he blamed his team’s strategy after coming in sixth behind Nico Rosberg.

Michael Schumacher’s underwhelming return continued as the track legend trundled home 10th.