Brazilian GP: Jenson Button says victory bodes well for 2013
Jenson Button was delighted to end the season with victory at the Brazilian GP, but lamented being unable to celebrate on the podium with departing McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Button prevailed in a dramatic race for his third win of the year, but Hamilton, who joins Mercedes for next season, crashed out.
"All in all [it's] a great way to end the year. It bodes well for 2013.
"It would have been nice to have been up there with Lewis," he said.
Jenson Button in 2012
- Wins: 3 (Australia, Belgium, Brazil)
- Podiums: 6
- Poles: 1 (Belgium)
- Points scored: 188
Hamilton had been leading with 27 laps to go but the 2008 World Champion was hit by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, ending his race.
That meant Button inherited the lead, a position he maintained despite having to contend with the changing weather conditions.
"For everyone that took part in that race it was crazy out there," added Button.
"It was not just about driving the car round, it was about being on the radio all the time with my engineer trying to understand what the conditions were.
"I had a lot of fun with Lewis, especially in the first 10 laps. We had a really good fight and it was a pity he was not there at the end, but it was nice to have that fight with him in our last race as team-mates.
"It has been good working with Lewis, we have had a lot of good battles together. We have had a good fight but good things come to an end."
For Hamilton, crashing out was certainly not how he envisaged his final race for McLaren would end.
The Briton now prepares for a new chapter as he leaves the team he has been with since he was 13, and he admitted he is looking forward to a new start.
"I feel a little like I did in 2007 [when he narrowly missed out on the world title ], quite numb," said Hamilton.
"It is mixed emotions at the moment. I feel sad that I was leading and didn't get to see [it] through the race. I love to always see the end of the race, and I'm sad also I'm leaving.
"But I am looking forward to having a new start next year."
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh felt Button drove one of the best races of his career.
On the Button
Jenson Button's victory in Brazil was his 25th podium place in three seasons with McLaren - more than he scored in his 10 seasons with previous teams.
He said: "Jenson drove a millimetre-perfect race, brilliantly managing the changeable and challenging weather conditions that always bring out the very best in him.
"We've won the season's last two grands prix, both wins the result of our car's sheer pace, and that achievement gives us an extremely solid platform from which to develop our 2013 car over the next few months in readiness for the new season."
Whitmarsh also paid tribute to the departing Hamilton, adding: "It would have been fantastic if we could have scored the one-two finish that was clearly within our reach but for that collision.
"Lewis has had a superb record with us and warrants setting out here: 110 grands prix, 21 wins, 49 podium places, 26 pole positions, 12 fastest laps and 913 world championship points.
"On behalf of everyone at McLaren, we wish him well."