Button wins in Melbourne

Updated: March 18, 2012

Jenson Button opened the 2012 Formula 1 world championship with a commanding victory for McLaren in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, his third win in Australia.

World champion Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) managed to get up to second from sixth on the grid, fending off pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren and the second Red Bull of Mark Webber.

Fernando Alonso salvaged fifth place from Ferrari’s difficult weekend, having proved much more competitive in the race.

Michael Schumacher only lasted 10 laps as he was forced to retire with gearbox problems.

Felipe Massa briefly made it into the top 10 in the second Ferrari, but struggled with poor pace and high tyre wear, making three stops and falling back to 13th before retiring with damage following a collision with Senna.

2007 world champion Raikkonen in his comeback secured a credible 7th, while Sauber showed they have made dramatic improvements this season with a 6th and 8th for Kobayashi and Perez respectively.