Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Istanbul, 2011

Hamilton rues opening lap move on Webber

2011 Turkish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Istanbul, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Istanbul, 2011

Lewis Hamilton regrets his failed passing attempt on Mark Webber on the first lap which cost him two places.

Speaking after the race he said:

“I really lost quite a lot of ground at the beginning of the race when I tried to go down the outside of Webber. I had such great pace.

“In actual fact, I had too much front wing in the car to start off with. It was one of the reasons you struggle to look after the rear tyres, it’s better to drive a car with more understeer and I had a bit too much front end.

“Obviously I was trying to get past Jenson, I had so much pace at the time, and once I did get past him my tyres were finished, so that forced me into a four-stopper – I don’t even know, how many stops did I do? Five? Four?

“Considering we had a bad pit stop as well, I think we did a pretty good job to get back up to fourth.”

That left him in a fight for position with his team mate:

“At the time I was relatively frustrated that I’d lost position.

“I’d had a good start, I should have really been up to third at the beginning of the race. Then I could have been battling for second in this race, but we came home with fourth in the end.

“But the battle was good, Jenson was fair as always.”

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64 comments on “Hamilton rues opening lap move on Webber”

  1. it’s a nice thing to see the 2 mclaren drives showing so much respect for each other.

    1. Its because Hamilton had the last laugh.
      Did you hear the same words after 2010 Turkey race ??

      1. Not a good race from either McLaren driver. But at least I get to say that McLaren made a mess of one drivers pit stop and the other drivers strategy. Must try harder.

        1. I thought both drivers drove well, apart from Hamilton’s error near the start. They’ve given another perfect display of how to overtake each other without colliding.

          1. It was an error but Webber was so slow at that point that Lewis just had to try get past lest he be overtaken. It didn’t work, but at that point in time he couldn’t afford to fall back behind Webber.

          2. I think part of that is Button being willing to let him through, I think if you had two Lewis’, they would have collided.

            But good show by Mclaren none the less.

      2. Gill, what are you on about? Hamilton won the Turkey 2010 GP – after beating Button.

        1. I thought the same. Hamilton had the last laugh there too.

        2. He did win 2010 but he did not expect Button to overtake him (because of whatever reasons) after Red Bulls collided. This year Button did not have any chance of defending coz he was on a 3 stopper, hence the praise.

          1. Not really praise, just saying it was a fair battle ‘as always’. Their first head-to-head this race was evenly matched, I thought, though Hamilton seemed to have been faster from the off and probably lost a chance of chasing 2nd at least by falling behind in the first lap. The second time later in the race he breezed past Button, yes, but presumably the drivers chose their strategies, Button could have gone for 4 too.

    2. The respect between them is evident. I didn’t feel nervous for McLaren potentially taking each other out. They seemed to know the boundaries.

  2. Mclaren need to cut down mistakes to have any chance of catching Redbull. They have to be pushing equally hard both off(car development) and on track(pitstops, strategies).
    Hamilton’s 3rd pitstop was a disaster without it he could have been on podium. Can’t wait for stats.

    1. I doubt that Hamilton would have got a podium, the first three were 30 seconds further up the road!

      Button said that he should have stayed out longer on his soft tyres. Hamilton was compromised by his pit stop. It’s all water under the bridge now.

    2. Yeah I agree about the mistakes. They’ve had too many sloppy pitstops this year and a few strategic errors too. However, they didn’t have the pace to beat the Red Bulls or Alonso today. Hamilton finished 30 seconds behind Alonso, without the pitstop blunder it would have been about 20 seconds so he had no chance of a podium anyway.

      1. Withmarsh mentioned, that they did not have enough time to evaluate everything they had with them because of the rain in FP1.

        Shows they know they have to push with the development. That pit stop failure was not a mistake by anyone, just a technical glitch.
        Actually they are doing a lot better in the pitstops then they were last year for now.

  3. sebsronnie
    8th May 2011, 16:46

    @Gill – thought he had the last laugh then too?

    1. He did but he did not expect Button to overtake him (because of whatever reasons) after Red Bulls collided. This year Button did not have any chance of defending coz he was on a 3 stopper, hence the praise.

    2. I don’t think that either of them will be doing too much laughing today.

      1. why did they plan the 3 stopper for button? didn’t they realise it from vettel in china that the tyre conservation thing doesnt work that well with the pirellis?

        1. Very strange indeed. While Red Bull learn from their mistakes, McLaren for some reason start to copy Red Bull’s mistakes.

  4. This year everybody expected Button to be good due to the high tyre wear, but “for sure” he is not proving a match for Hamilton.

    1. I think that they’re pretty close (as the points show). Button also said that he should have stayed out longer on his first three sets of tyres. May have even gone quicker than Hamilton if he’d used a four stop strategy. Too early to be saying that one isn’t a match for the other, as indeed was the case last season.

      1. Qualifying is 4-0

        1. 3-1. China.

          1. Sorry, my mistake!

        2. 3-1 (China?)

          And how many points do you get for qualifying?

        3. Quali and race is 3-1….Lewis should handle Button this year–I wondered why most why flowing to jense’s bandwagon…in any case, not a great race for either driver, but Lewis managed to limit the potential damage, so pretty good regardless.

          1. I think that if the two drivers had to 100% choose their own strategy, rather than leaving it mostly to the people on the pit wall, Button would probably come out on top every time, at least in the race.

            Unfortunately for both of them, beating their team mate may be all that is on the cards for them this season. Normal service has been resumed at Red Bull! Big updates for them in Barcelona too!

          2. @VXR – if that was the case, then surely Button would be taking a lead on strategy decisions. He’s a very good driver, but we’ve seen quite a few times now that he’s now quite up to Hamilton’s level in most situations.

            I fear that the Vettel / Red bull combination is too strong for anyone to catch this year, but I hope that someone can put up a challenge.

          3. Sorry, that should read “not quite up to Hamilton’s level”.

          4. I think that if the two drivers had to 100% choose their own strategy, rather than leaving it mostly to the people on the pit wall, Button would probably come out on top every time, at least in the race.

            Thats quite a pointless statement to make. All drivers need the pitwall. They are a part of the team, and have a responsibility – ‘Strategy’. Drivers make calls from time to time, but they are all based on information provided by the pitwall.

            I think that if the two drivers had to drive fast.. or in other words.. just race, Hamilton would come out on top everytime.

          5. @VXR Mclaren too have big updates for spain and the updates they intended for Turkey, and if you look at the data in more detail as I’m sure Keith will, you will notice that had things gone slightly better for Lewis at the start and in the pits, he would have had the pace to challenge for the top 2. I wouldn’t go writing them off … you of all people should know that after the false joy you got out of winter testing

      2. The facts show that Jenson Button is like frozen turkey. Hamilton spotted Button a horrendous start, suffered bottled up behind him for several laps, endured a couple DRS re-McPasses, gave away an(other) epic pit stop, and still blew him away. As far as the strategic ifs and buts, Button, legend has it, is the thinking man that team, and doesn’t rely on the wall. The stopwatch shows that Button is leaving many tenths on the road, and the points show that Hamilton is pulling away from him by out-performing him all weekend.

        Hamilton should rue his move but you don’t beat a superior car by lining up behind it and hoping things work your way. You have to go for it.

    2. infact I think he is a very good match for hamilton. we saw that today. Yes, he doesnt drive aggressive which lewis does which puts him in the spot light. but he is good behind the wheels. he is a very composed driver, unlike lewis who keeps locking his tyres when in threat maybe why everyone thinks button isnt a match for lewis.

    3. I’m going to recycle my stats from last year and update them. As team mates, Hamilton has beat Button:

      • 15-8 on pure results (65%)
      • 13-4 when factoring in retirements (included classified non-finishes) (76%)
      • 19-4 if you compare their relative positions when the race finished, one retired and weeding out mechanical problems (82%)

      Restricting it to this season gives 3-1 in all cases, 75% though we are dealing with small numbers.

      1. Points make prizes. What’s the percentage difference there?

  5. Redbull are just too fast at the moment, let’s hope the upgrades at Spain bring them to there level. Things then will get very interesting

    1. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks)
      8th May 2011, 19:20

      Yep totally agree. I think for Mclaren it was just good damage limitation. By the sounds of things from both drivers, they didn’t extract the best set up all weekend.

      But irrelevant of that RBR are just too quick, particularly in the hands of Vettel anyway. Let’s hope that Ferrari and Mercedes get some good upgrades in Spain, as well as Mclaren, to even things up as much as possible, because the two Championships are starting to look a bit ominous in terms of real competition.

      From a technical point of view I hope we see (or don’t “see”!) the octopus exhaust from Mclaren at some point, could be interesting to see if they can get it to work.

  6. Hmmm. Maybe, just maybe with not bring stuck and not having his tyres go off early in the first stint, he could have challenged for 3rd. Would have only been another 3 points though, so not the end of the world.

    Still, the pace was encouraging and the major upgrades coming for Spain could see another fight for the win.

    1. I agree with that.

      Some of the parts they had prepared didn’t make it on the car due to the rain in FP1, so there is defenitely some improvements to come from the team.

  7. Bit of a Brazil 2007 moment from Lewis. Not the season when he can afford these bobbles.

    1. It’s pretty obvious that with the new rules you don’t have to go out and win the race in the first few corners. Sure that sort of thing is great to watch if it comes off, but the price you pay if it doesn’t can make for a long disappointing afternoon.

      1. Getting past the Red Bulls at the start is the only way to challenge them. Lewis rolled the dice again; it worked in China but not this time.

        1. Exactly..I had no problem with the move…considering the Bulls are so far in front of everyone else, the only way to beat them is by strategy(unlikely–since most were on a 4-stop) or by taking risks on track.

          This move didnt come off–but there have been, and will be, plenty of others that will.

          1. Number of pit stops were unknown during the first few corners of the race. Could have been two, three or four. Maybe five!

            Sometimes patience is a virtue. But I’m all for Hamilton taking a few risks. :)

        2. Lewis was definately right in attempting the move when you consider he pulled off the same move around Vettel at the start last year. Unfortunately the track was probly dirtier oflline this yerar with the pirrellis

  8. Really hope Mclaren can get it together. If not it will be a boring season watching Red Bull Dominate. I do not think Ferrari will keep up this pace. Honestly, I think Alonso just drove an amazing race.

  9. Had lewis not got stuck behind Button and Rosberg and without his pit stop problem he may have been possibly in 3rd or at least within a few seconds of Alonso.

    But he had to try to get past webber when he had a chance rather then potentially stay where he was and get stuck behind him. And in the end the pit stop problems didnt cost him any points, so hopefully by having pit stop issues now hes got it out of the way so he gets better luck when hes closer to and challenging the red bulls in later races.

    1. Yeah, had he made it past Webber, the race would have looked compeletely different altogether.

  10. Far from the best start for either McLaren driver. Hamilton did a brilliant job to finish where he did given that terrible pit stop.

  11. Button claims he could have gone a few laps longer before his first stop. But lets face facts, tyre drop off aside, after an additional lap or 2, the window to make a stop and come out in relative clear air, is difintely altered becomes closed.
    You don’t gain anything by running longer than neccessary wih these tyres.

  12. It was a hard afternoon for him as he failed to pass Webber then spend huge amount of time fighting with Button & then a bad pit stop.I guess if not that pitstop problem he may have ended fighting with Alonso & Webber in the tail end of the race.

  13. Battle each other in another year…quite fun.

  14. Buttons qualifying excuse ” couldn’t find the balance in the car”!!! Balance, Set-up, Tyre temperature-Excuses are getting boring now. Clearly the number 2 driver. Hamilton sometimes tries impossible passes that can hinder him but thats why he’s the most exciting driver in F1 bar none

    1. “one of the most exciting drivers”

      1. Along with???

        1. Anyone else that can overtake in an F1 car?

          There’s a perception that a driver willing to risk everything in a situation that would gain him very little, is somehow “exciting”.

          But if there is a ‘best’ overtaker in F1, then it’s generally thought to be Kobayashi.

          If there’s such a thing as a ‘best’ risk taker in F1, then I’ll give that accolade to Hamilton.

          Having said all of that, Button probably pulled off the most audacious overtake during the entire race!

          1. Admittedly Kobayashi is an immense driver. I would love to see what this guy could do in a front running car!

    2. Clearly the number 2 driver

      I hope that people continue to think this way. :)

      Vettel and Alonso may clearly have number 2 drivers. Hamilton clearly still has his hands full.

      1. I have no doubt that Hamilton has his hands full with Button and Button is a former world champion but it does seem that Hamilton tends to have the beating of Button in both Quali and Sundays both this season and last. I just think Ham can get that little extra in terms of pure pace.

  15. Jeffrey Powell
    9th May 2011, 17:11

    So Lewis tries racing at the start ,and all to late remembers he is not on racing tyres and cannot try on the edge moves without destroying them in two laps.Rosberg tries to push hard in a car that is poor on full tanks and does the same to his first set.Alonso seems to have learnt to push just so(for one race anyway)and being helped by a skilfull start from the clean side ,of course he was on the soft for the first to stints so was able to make the most of a good handling car with full tanks.The Red Bulls had him covered and drove within their limits. So we see that drivers must never push to the limit for fear of multiple pit stops.I think the overtaking between Lewis and Jenson was done well within the cars limits it looked more like table tennis than F1.

    1. What do you suggest they do in a way that doesn’t give Red Bull even more opportunity to opitimize it’s car? Because on perfect tyres with a perfect fuel level, the Red Bulls would be even quicker than they are now.

      1. Jeffrey Powell
        9th May 2011, 21:11

        You are exactly right,and that is what F1 is about,the other top teams must catch up if they want to win. D.R.S. is enough on its own to allow a charging driver to overtake a slightly slower rival and negate to a good degree the aero effect.Making slower car and driver combinations look good for a few laps is not F1. A driver does not have to win to give us entertainment,a driver that ‘drives the wheels of a car’ will allways get my vote
        ‘not the tyres.

  16. @vxr. If it wasn’t for the start webber would have Surely been able to challenge vettel for the win, but we all know redbull would not have allowed that as we all know vettel demands no 1 status, silverstone 10 settles that argument. As for Lewis having his hands full, button is a world champion something webber and massa can only dream about!!

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