Ferrari and Red Bull out of reach in Germany (McLaren race review)

Jenson Button, McLaren, Hockenheimring, 2010

McLaren ran their exhaust-blown diffuser for the first time – despite losing precious testing time with it after Lewis Hamilton crashed on Friday.

But they weren’t able to challenge their main rivals in qualifying or the race and never looked likely to threaten for a podium position.

Jenson Button Lewis Hamilton
Qualifying position 5 6
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’14.427 (-0.139) 1’14.566
Race position 5 4
Average race lap 1’18.931 (+0.039) 1’18.892
Laps 67/67 67/67
Pit stops 1 1

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Jenson Button

Ended his six-race losing streak against Hamilton in qualifying. But his advantage came to naught when he was held up by Sebastian Vettel at the start, dropping him to sixth place.

The team gambled on a long first stint to get him ahead of Mark Webber, which proved successful. Indeed, he almost made it out of the pits ahead of Hamilton.

The MP4-25′s straight line speed advantage kept him safe from Webber at first. Then when the Red Bull driver dropped back with escalating oil temperatures Button was left to follow his team mate home for fifth.

Compare Jenson Button’s form against his team mate in 2010

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton crashed in first practice when the car snapped away from him at turn three. He explained what happened:

I up-shifted from third to fourth and this initiated mass wheel spin and caused the car to snap into oversteer. Overall, it was a mistake but the shift didn’t help.
Lewis Hamilton

This delayed McLaren’s planned evaluation of their new exhaust-blown diffuser. It left Button to do most of the running in the dry second practice session while Hamilton’s car was repaired. Nonetheless they opted to carry on with the exhaust-blown diffuser.

Hamilton made a better start than Mark Webber in front of him and passed him on the inside of turn one.

He also took Button, who had been slowed by Vettel, on the way out of the corner but had to give best to Webber at turn two, who had kept his momentum by going off the track at the first corner. However Hamilton slipstreamed and re-passed the Red Bull on the way into the turn four hairpin.

His pit stop left him behind Robert Kubica and as the Renault driver stayed out it looked as though Button might be able to get ahead of him after his pit stop. Fortunately for him Kubica pitted, allowing him to lap quickly enough to ensure he stayed ahead of Button.

That’s where he finished, allowing him to increase his championship lead to 21 points. But he urged the team to find more performance from the car:

It was a very tough race today ?ǣ the car didn?t feel fantastic and the Ferraris and Red Bulls were very fast. We hoped the gap would be closer in the race than it was in qualifying, and it was ?ǣ but, even so, we?ve got to make up some pace on our main rivals.

We need to go back and figure out where we can improve, and pick it up again very quickly. Today, we did everything we could do ?ǣ now we just have to work harder than ever to get ahead of the cars in front.
Lewis Hamilton

McLaren admitted after the race they were looking into adopting a design of front wing used by Ferrari and Red Bull which appears to flex to allow its endplates to lower, improving its efficiency.

Compare Lewis Hamilton’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 German Grand Prix

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50 comments on Ferrari and Red Bull out of reach in Germany (McLaren race review)

  1. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th July 2010, 15:04

    Some off-topic comments have been removed from this thread.

  2. Electrolite said on 27th July 2010, 23:07

    What I like is how Mclaren’s development is so aggressive; it doesn’t always work. They gamble and it doesn’t always pay off, it’s been quite exciting to watch throughout the season. However they are still leading constructors and driver’s championships, so they must be doing something right…

  3. Younger Hamilton said on 28th July 2010, 2:09

    I think McLaren could have been much closer to Ferrari and Redbull if it wasnt for the rain in FP1 and Jenson mainly focused on Race set up and pace in the Practice sessions.Also Lewis’s crash in FP1 and limited running in FP2,plus he had to get straight to quali set up in Third Practice.We werent able to get enough data in Friday Practice 1 and 2 from the blown diffuser,which we’e been mainly focusing on.McLaren says they’ve got a lot of data for the blown diffuser and floor coming into Hungary they cannot be compromised in any way this weekend its crucial.Anyway i dont think the F-duct will be any benefit this weekend,they should do what Ferrari did in Monaco, take it off and install a mini rear wing for more downforce.

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