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GP Week : Issue 78
"For me, this is my best victory because the conditions were so tough," he said, having slid off the circuit once and then struggled to get heat into his tyres as team mate Lewis Hamilton caught up. "I had my heart in my mouth while I was trying to keep the thing on the road." It was Jenson himself who made the initial call to stay on slicks, while the decision to change to intermediates on lap 38 was McLaren's. "I was thinking of staying out again and they made the right call there: one all." It was Nico Rosberg who led until lap 19, when the Mercedes driver had a brief excursion off the track letting Button through into P1. Rosberg blamed it on severe tyre degradation. For Hamilton, it was all action. Unlike the other McLaren driver, he made the wrong tyre call on lap two and banged wheels with Vettel in the pits, earning both drivers a reprimand. "Obviously at the beginning with the weather it wasn't easy making the call or when to change the tyres. I chose very, very late, when I was half-way round the last corner and clearly it wasn't the right choice. I fought my way through, we both did a tremendous job." He also fought wheel-to-wheel with Michael Schumacher for the first time in his career, the two jousting for position in the midpoint of the race. "It took ages to get past him," said Lewis, smiling. Hamilton followed Button home to give McLaren their first one-two since the 2007 Italian Grand Prix. Button now leads the championship and has, in turn, become the man to beat, silencing those who thought he would run second to Lewis in his debut season at McLaren. His style is less dynamic, less aggressive than Hamilton's but he's been all the more effective for it. He takes the Prost route, Hamilton takes the Senna route. It's going to be a fascinating season for McLaren observers. "My first few months with the team have been extraordinary you could say," said Jenson, "and I really feel a part of this team now. It is a nice position to be in after four races, leading the championship. Three weeks break now. I am going to enjoy that very much and I am looking forward to Barcelona." Jenson had already planned a holiday in Asia, while his rivals try to get back to Europe. A double win. Everything seems to be going right for Mr Button. F1 CHINA >> 25