Button targets race one win
Jenson aware winner of first GP often remains quick through season
Last Updated: March 15, 2012 4:30pm
Jenson Button admits winning the first race of the new season in Australia would be an important step for his and McLaren's championship challenges.
Although the nature of the Albert Park circuit doesn't reflect many of the other venues on the calendar, and is therefore often said to provide an unreliable guide to the pecking order, four of the last five Melbourne winners have gone on to become World Champion at the end of the respective season.
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Button kicked off his title-winning year with victory here in 2009 and acknowledges the team that wins the first race generally remains competitive over the remainder of the season.
"It's important because it's the start of the year," he told Sky Sports News when asked how crucial a first race victory was.
"We come away from winter testing doing all our tests and you can normally see the performance of the cars at the first race, and that team can pretty much hold it together for the whole year.
"So, yeah, it is an important race but it's not everything."
Button also won in Melbourne in changeable conditions two seasons ago, when the race was the second event on the calendar, and says he certainly goes in search of a third victory this weekend - even if a podium is never a bad way to kick off a campaign.
"We obviously go out there looking for a win," he said.
"I think you'd be happy with a podium in the first race just to get some points on the board, but as a racing driver you always want to win - that's got to be the aim every time you go racing.
"But we come here happy with what we've done over winter testing and feeling strong. But you never know how strong - everyone looks competitive when you look at the testing times."