With McLaren riding high in the time sheets during practice for the Korean Grand Prix, let’s take a moment to look back and savour Jenson Button’s victory in the previous race at Japan.
While Lewis Hamilton struggled through another difficult race in his frustrating season, Button recovered from a start-line elbowing match with Sebastian Vettel to take a confident win ahead of Fernando Alonso.
The victory represented the only hope of delaying Vettel’s confirmation as the 2011 world champion – but the Red Bull driver’s third place finish ensured he cannot be overtaken for the crown.
“Seb has done a great job all season and he deserved the title,” said Button. “He was given the equipment and just got on and did what was required of him. But, for us, there’s still more that we can achieve this year.
“I’d love to go out and fight to win the next few races, and I think we have the car and the team to go and do that. We’ll keep pushing and hope to get some more wins this year, but we’re also in a very good place right now – and I think that’s key to success in 2012.
“This was a hard race – the last five or six laps were extremely tough, I had to really look after the tyres and try to save a bit of fuel to get the car home, but it was an amazing victory.
“Sebastian came across at me on the start – he kept coming and didn’t stop, so I got on the grass and had to back out of the throttle, otherwise there would’ve been an almighty shunt into Turn One. He said he didn’t see me until he saw me backing out, so that lost me a place.
“But fighting back was so, so satisfying: the performance has been in the car all weekend. It’s such an emotional victory for me: there’s so much history at this circuit, and the crowd here has been amazing, this is second only to a home victory for me.
“I want to thank every single person here in Japan who’s supported us – hopefully we’ve planted a happy memory in their minds, because a lot of Japan has been through difficult times this year. We did our best and we put on a fantastic show.”