Jenson Button had joined McLaren for the 2010 season. He won the Brawn GP World Title the previous year. In the first race of 2010 in Bahrain, Patton finished only seventh, but he managed to make up for that in Australia on March 28.
The Melbourne race was full of overtakes, action and accidents. In contrast to this season’s boring first race. Patton performed for a McLaren race on a drying track that was deserving of champions.
The entire field was started on the middlemen, but the rain stopped shortly after the race started. In the first corner of the race, things almost went wrong for Patton. And Fernando Alonso hit, who left no place inside. Alonso rotated Michael Schumacher’s front wing and damaged him. Botton was overtaken by teammate Lewis Hamilton and slipped to seventh. On the seventh lap the button decided to go pits for a group Spots.
Moments later, the rest of the field followed Patton’s example. The world champion beat Renault Robert Kubica. Only Sebastian Vettel was in front of him when all the stops were over. When Vettel’s Red Bull brakes broke in the middle of the race, Patton was thrown front in his lap.
A brave decision
Martin Weathermarsh, the McLaren boss, then admitted it was Patton who made the decision to move to Spots for exchange. “Good decision, he saved his tires very well, but it was his bravery that brought him victory in the end. I thought it was a bit risky to leave this early. But the timing was perfect and that made him win.”
Patton said after the race that his decision to change tires was mainly due to problems he faced with mediators. “I had no balance whatsoever with the moderators. I had big problems and lost a number of places. There was a dry streak, but it was still wet in some places. When I entered the pit corridor I thought I made a bad decision, it was wet there.”
At first, the stopping point looked like a hopeless move, as the Brit shot the first sector off the track on the next lap. Ultimately he scored the fastest time in the entire race in the second and third divisions. So Patton made the choice to stop at the right time and thus managed to secure his first McLaren victory, ahead of Robert Kubica in Renault and Ferrari Felipe Massa.
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