Jenson Button ended his 2012 Formula 1 season on a winning note, claiming victory in a chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos yesterday.
Sebastian Vettel claimed the world title - his third in succession - but it was Button who took the chequered flag in what he described as a 'crazy' race.
“Everyone who took part in today’s race deserves respect – it was crazy out there," said Button, from Frome.
"The conditions were always going to trigger plenty of action, because some cars could generate the required tyre temperatures and others couldn’t.
"So, for most of the race, you were on a tyre that didn’t feel quite right for the conditions, but for which the lap-times looked okay compared with those of the cars on the other tyre.
"I spent so much time speaking on the radio to my engineer, Dave [Robson], trying to understand what was going to work and what wasn’t.
"The Safety Car made life more difficult for us – we lost the 40-second buffer we’d built up – but then the rain really came down, and the race became all about choosing the best time to switch to the Inters.
“Then the challenge altered, and it became all about nursing the car to the end. There was a lot of standing water about, especially where Paul [di Resta] had his accident. I’d been through there on the previous lap and had a big snap too, which was a pretty scary moment.
“Last but not least, congratulations to Sebastian. To win three world championships in a row is a great achievement.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh hailed Button's 'perfect' race.
“Jenson drove a millimetre-perfect race, brilliantly managing the changeable and challenging weather conditions that always bring out the very best in him, and notched up his 15th Grand Prix victory as a result," said Whitmarsh.
"I speak on behalf of everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes when I say how delighted we are that he was able to win here today, thereby book-ending his 2012 season with a magnificent victory to go with his season-opening win in Melbourne. He also won in fine style at Spa, of course.
“And here’s one for the train-spotters: Jenson has now scored more podium places in the three seasons he’s driven for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (25) than he’d scored in the 10 seasons he’d driven for his previous teams (24)."