F1

Jenson Button has been hailed as a cool, relaxed, mature guy

The précis of Button’s character comes from his race engineer Jakob Andreasen in the wake of the 30-year-old’s maiden race victory with the Woking-based team in Australia on Sunday.

Andreasen previously worked for Lewis Hamilton as assistant to the 25-year-old’s former race engineer Phil Prew.

Prew has this season been promoted to the role of principal race engineer overseeing both drivers, a reshuffle that took place in January to ensure a degree of parity in the McLaren garage.

That was tested, though, in Melbourne as Hamilton was called in for a fresh set of tyres when he had a shot at a podium, whilst Button sailed off into the distance to secure his first win since May last year.

That came after Button made an early call to pit for fresh rubber when the Albert Park track was still wet in places from an early rain shower.

“We gave him the choice, and he felt the conditions were correct,” explained Andreasen.

“It was a bit of a risk, but he is good at detecting the grip, and he made the right call – fantastic job.”

Appreciating a man who has changed beyond all recognition from his early days in Formula One, Andreasen added: “Jenson is a cool guy in general.

“He is a great guy to work with, very relaxed, very mature, and we get very good information from him all the time.

“We just make steady progress all the time. It’s methodical, but we’re getting there, and it’s the start of a good relationship.

“I’m really, really positive about it, and hopefully this (the win) is the first of many.”

Button may now have that first win under his belt, but he admits his love affair with his McLaren is yet to fully blossom.

Ahead of the next round in Malaysia on Sunday, Button insists he is not yet as one with the car, which if the case, is a warning shot across the bows of Hamilton and his fellow title rivals.

“I’ve spoken before about needing time to get more comfortable in the car, and I still mean that,” said Button.

“There’s still a little way to go until I think I’ll find the new environment completely suited to me.

“At Sepang, which is an awesome circuit and one I love driving, I think I’ll be able to further develop and improve my relationship with the car.”

Button will again likely have to contend with wet weather if he is to repeat his triumph in Malaysia of a year ago.

Tropical storms forced the race to be halted after 31 of the 56 laps, which led to half points being awarded for only the fifth time in the sport’s history.

Although the race has been brought forward an hour to a 4pm local start time to hopefully avoid any torrential downpours, early indications are the drivers will face treacherous conditions.

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