McLaren’s Jenson Button won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix as his team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished third.
Jenson Button, who qualified second to his team-mate, beat him into the first corner and pulled away to win.
Lewis Hamilton lost second place to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel after an unlucky break with a safety car, and the German was able to hold him off.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber was fourth, ahead of the surprisingly quick Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.
Williams driver Pastor Maldonado was on course to take a close sixth, but he lost control while chasing Alonso on the last lap and crashed at the Turn Seven kink.
That handed sixth place to Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi. The Japanese won out in a seven-car fight to the flag.
In a chaotic final lap, Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, impressive on his return after two years in rallying, took seventh ahead of the second Sauber of Sergio Perez, the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo, Force India’s Paul di Resta, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, who had been eighth until Maldonado’s crash led to frantic place-swapping.
Jenson Button was serenely unaware of the drama behind him – he was in a league of his own throughout the race after making a better start than Hamilton and passing him down the inside into Turn One.
“As a team it really shows how important the winter is,” said Jenson Button, who kicked off his 2009 championship-winning year with victory in Australian.
“We had a strong winter and qualifying really shows that. It’s nice to come away with a win in the first race of the season.
“Every win means a lot to you.”