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SHANGHAI - Jenson Button admitted yesterday that he had giggled to himself with satisfaction midway through his perfectly judged drive to victory in the Chinese Grand Prix.
"I had a giggle to myself in the car when I thought about the tyre strategy and I knew we had called it right," said McLaren's defending world champion.
"It all just felt so good and it was nice to be out in front."
Two weeks earlier, a bungled strategy call by McLaren during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix condemned Button and 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton to start from 17th and 20th positions respectively on the grid at Sepang.
This time, Button started from fifth but made the most of a first-lap multiple collision that required a safety car and then a rainstorm that persuaded many of his rivals, including Hamilton, to make a hasty decision to switch to intermediate wet tyres.
Button stayed out on his slick dry tyres, picked his way through the puddles and chaos and, after following German Nico Rosberg of Mercedes for 19 laps, took the lead.
"It is such a sweet feeling and it is really special to be leading the championship again after the Chinese Grand Prix. I know what this means now and that is why it felt so good.
"For me, it is my best victory. Every race you win becomes your best victory but this was run in pretty tough conditions. The good thing is our pace was very good today. It wasn't just the call of weather, it was good pace.
"At the end, we were two seconds a lap quicker than other people.
"We don't know where we are in the dry, but we will forget about it at the moment and enjoy this."
Button also won the Australian Grand Prix last month and has proved his ability to drive in all conditions. - Sapa-AFP