Button wins Australian GP

MELBOURNE: An early switch to dry tyres reaped spectacular rewards as Jenson Button raced away with the Australian Grand Prix to clinch his first victory for his new McLaren-Mercedes team today.

Button, who switched from Brawn GP as the reigning world champion, seized on brake failure for Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel mid-race to storm to a 12-second victory in a highly eventful second GP of the season. The Briton comfortably held off Polish Renault driver Robert Kubica and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa of Brazil to claim his eighth win in 172 GPs and back-to-back Australian victories.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished fourth to retain the world drivers’ championship lead with 37 points, ahead of teammate Massa (33) and Button (31). Lewis Hamilton finished sixth and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher 10th.