Unreliability and poor pace costs McLaren title lead (McLaren race review)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2010

Lewis Hamilton lost the lead of the drivers’ championship and McLaren surrendered first place in the constructors’ rankings after a poor showing from the team in Hungary.

Jenson Button also had a bad weekend, failing to reach Q3 again and struggling to keep up with the Saubers.

Jenson Button Lewis Hamilton
Qualifying position 11 5
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’21.292 (+0.415) 1’20.877
Race position 8
Average race lap 1’27.940 (-3.449) 1’31.389
Laps 69/70 23/70
Pit stops 1 1

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Jenson Button

The qualifying problems that blighted the second half of Button’s 2009 campaign have returned. He failed to make it into Q3 for the second time in three races, saying the car did not have the kind of grip in qualifying it had in practice. He made two attempts to get through Q2 using the super-soft tyres – his team mate only needed one – and couldn’t improve on 11th.

It got worse at the start of the race, as Button was crowded out at turn one and slipped to 15th.

He managed to pick up a place from Liuzzi but was then stuck behind the brake-troubled Schumacher. The team elected to pit him early, which gained him four places when the rest of the field pitted en masse behind the safety car.

He spent the rest of the race between the Saubers but looked more likely to come under threat from Kamui Kobayashi than apply pressure to Pedro de la Rosa.

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

Lewis Hamilton

Qualified fifth on the grid which Martin Whitmarsh dubbed “best of the fixed-wing cars”, alluding to the flexing front wings on the Red Bull and Ferrari which McLaren are struggling to understand.

He made a good start but with Mark Webber in front and Felipe Massa to his right he had nowhere to go, and lost a position to Vitaly Petrov. He took the Renault driver around the outside of turn two at the beginning of the next lap.

Massa’s delay in the pits promoted Hamilton to fourth but a suspected gearbox problem ended his race on lap 24. It’s his second race-ending mechanical failure of the year.

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

2010 Hungarian Grand Prix

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