Jenson Button might well have given up years ago on an F1 career which seemed long on promise and painfully short on hard results. But in Melbourne on Sunday, at the wheel of the new Brawn-Mercedes, the 29-year old Briton reclaimed his reputation as a potential world champion with a flawless drive to victory in the Australian Grand Prix.

When Ross Brawn took control of the former Honda F1 operation, his first challenge was to minimise the effect of all the variables he could. So, as far as the drivers were concerned, it was a case of if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Brawn had worked with Barrichello at Ferrari, where they won nine Grands Prix together. Sometimes Rubens even gave Michael Schumacher the odd fright. So if Jenson could often beat Rubens too, that must mean he is as good as Schuey, right?

Err, well, sort of. Pretty darn good anyway. And good enough not to be squandering the taut and efficient operations of the team during an crucial year in which simply battling for existence would take 100 per cent of the effort.

The merits of this argument were fully justified by the first 1-2 finish for a team on its F1 debut since Fangio and Karl Kling finished first and second in the 1954 French Grand Prix.

How long, I wonder, before the Brawn BGP 001 sports a discreet 'powered by Mercedes-Benz' decal on its virgin-white engine cover?

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