(CNN) -- Reigning world champion Jenson Button won the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday after an incident-packed race in Melbourne.
Robert Kubica took second for Renault, ahead of the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.
Button's McLaren started fourth on the grid, as Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel set the pace in qualifying to claim pole position.
Vettel's good form continued into the race as he dominated the Albert Park track from the start.
However, disaster struck on lap 26 when a brake failure forced the German's car onto the gravel and out of the race.
This allowed Button, who had fought his way into second place despite a collision at the first corner with Bahrain GP winner Alonso, to surge into the lead.
The Englishman never looked back as he finished some 12 seconds ahead of Kubica.
Button's team-mate and fellow Briton, Lewis Hamilton, also staged a dramatic charge, having climbed from 11th to second at one stage, but a late clash with Mark Webber denied him a podium place as he finished fifth.
Michael Schumacher, who continued his comeback for Mercedes, could only manage 10th place.
"It is very special," Button, 30, told Britain's Press Association. "It has taken me a while to get to grips with the car but the team have been fantastic.
"I don't know what to say, it is very difficult to put into words. I feel I am building in confidence. This is just too good."