Button: Papa Smurf will have a big smile on his face looking down

Jenson Button during the driver's parade in Melbourne

Jenson Button during the driver’s parade in Melbourne

Jenson Button’s first race weekend since the death of his father John was always going to be a tough one emotionally for the 2009 world champion, but he did his best at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The McLaren driver’s hopes of a fourth win at Albert Park were all but dashed in qualifying when Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen crashed and brought out the yellow flags toward the end of a rainy session.

Condemned to start 10th on the grid, the 34-year-old Button worked patiently through the traffic to finish fourth on the track but ended up third, after Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified.

John Button celebrating his son's victory at the 2009 Australian GP

John Button celebrating his son’s victory at the 2009 Australian GP

With Danish rookie teammate Kevin Magnussen taking Ricciardo’s second place on a brilliant debut, McLaren had two drivers together on the podium for the first time since China in April 2012.

“Yesterday was a painful day because I wanted to do really well for him,” Button said of his father, a constant source of support and popular paddock regular, who died in January.

“It’s been a tough weekend emotionally, I’m not the sort of a person who likes to show it in front of a TV camera.

“I don’t think that’s right. So in the background it’s very, very tough. But I’ve had the most amazing support from the paddock. My family, friends…it really does mean a lot.

Jenson Button during the 2014 Australian GP

Jenson Button during the 2014 Australian GP

“He’ll have a big smile on his face looking down and knowing that everyone’s talking about him right now. He loved that.”

Button battled hard to beat his 21-year-old teammate, but Magnussen showed him a clean pair of heels.

“It’s a great day for us,” said Button before Ricciardo’s exclusion was announced.

“A great result for the whole team, Kevin drove really well. First podium, first race. I was fighting all the way to chase him down and also Daniel at the end. But there just wasn’t quite enough in the tyres.” (Reuters)

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  • http://bryanvcpalacio.weebly.com brianne

    no offense to Jenson Button but he is the luckiest driver ive seen in Formula 1. how many times have you seen a driver who starts out of the top 10 and finishing numerous times within the top 5 without overtaking someone and having been gifted places by the deployment of the safety car or somebody crashing/retiring. not to mention you have Jessica Michibata.

  • =El Presidente=

    Maybe you considered he is just a great driver, or is that beyond your capacity?

    😉 I think if we are talking ‘lucky’ there are numerous other who come in front of JB.

    Also having your dad die at age 33 is very lucky 😉
    Jessica is down to sheer luck, i must admit that haha.

  • http://bryanvcpalacio.weebly.com brianne

    some maybe luckier than JB. i wont consider him a great driver. somewhat above the average driver would be appropriate, but skillful as a hamilton, alonso or raikonnen would never cross my mind.