McLaren race review
Just one week after watching the Red Bulls and Ferraris drive away from them at Interlagos, McLaren were back in contention for victory in Abu Dhabi.
The MP4-25 seemed much happier on the ultra-smooth Abu Dhabi track but McLaren credited much of their progress to a new rear wing.
They matched their best qualifying performance of the year, pressured Sebastian Vettel for victory and clinched second in the constructors’ championship.
|Jenson Button||Lewis Hamilton|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’39.823 (+0.398)||1’39.425|
Off the pace on Friday and concerned about vibrations from the car early in qualifying, but rebounded to qualify fourth. Although this marked an improvement he was disappointed not to be higher on the grid:
I made a mistake and ran wide on my last lap, so it’s a little disappointing to be starting fourth because I could have been even higher.
He picked off Fernando Alonso at the start. After that he ran a very long stint on his super-soft tyres, eventually pitting on lap 40 having led for 14 laps.
However he wasn’t able to rise any higher than third place.
Clearly very happy with the updates to the MP4-25, topping second practice on Saturday. Had a few run-ins with Felipe Massa during qualifying but nonetheless put his car on the front row, just a few hundredths of a second slower than Sebastian Vettel.
Got off the line well and had a look at passing Vettel into turn one, but couldn’t make it work. He kept Vettel honest throughout the opening stint, the gap between them less than a second at times.
But his pit stop left him behind Robert Kubica and Kamui Kobayashi, and while he was able to pass the Sauber quickly he remained stuck behind the Renault for over 20 laps.
By the time Kubica pitted any chance of catching Vettel for the win was gone:
I was able to match Sebastian’s [Vettel] pace in the early part of the race – but, after my pitstop, I was stuck behind Robert [Kubica]. It was just impossible to get past him – he made no mistakes – so it wasn’t possible to resume my attack on Sebastian. But that’s the way motor racing goes sometimes.
2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Steven’s view of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Drivers’ and teams’ end-of-season photographs
- Alonso’s role in Ferrari strategy revealed in pit messages
- Hamilton: McLaren learned a lot in 2010
- Button vows to address qualifying weakness
- Vettel ends season on a high to snatch title
- Ferrari hit back at criticism of race strategy
- McLaren rediscover their form at final race
- New engines help Renault to best result of 2010