The McLaren driver won from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel – last year’s winner here – with team-mate Hamilton finishing third.
“It was very important for us to get this one in the bank early on,” said Button after the race. “We haven’t been so strong at this point in the season before, so all in all a great day.”
As he got out of the car to celebrate his victory in Melbourne, Button used his thumb and forefinger with both hands to make a ‘W’ for winner – but the 32-year-old admits he has a long way to go if his gesture is to become as widely recognised as Vettel’s trademark celebration.
“I did the ‘W’ with a water bottle in my hand, which didn’t really work very well,” he joked. “I tried to think of something new, but I just can’t beat Seb’s finger.”
Meanwhile, defending double world champion Vettel had no choice but to admit Button fully deserved his victory – and conceded McLaren have laid down an early marker for the 2012 season.
“Jenson deserved to win, he was out of reach for us, unbeatable,” said Vettel. “I’m very happy with second, especially after the difficult day we had on Saturday.
“At least it was good to finally go racing again and stop all the talk, to see some results.
“In winter testing we said McLaren looked very strong. They had a very solid winter with no issues with the car.
“They did a lot of laps so we expected them to be strong, although they did surprise everyone a little with their qualifying pace.
“In the race it was a bit better for us, but nevertheless, they are the ones to beat at the moment, but we will see what we get next weekend in Malaysia.”
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