McLaren: Hamilton loses cool after weekend of frustration

2011 Monaco GP team review

A weekend of mounting frustration for Hamilton culminated in some ill-chosen words before the television cameras after the race.

Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button
Qualifying position 7 2
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’15.280 (+1.283) 1’13.997
Race position 6 3
Laps 78/78 78/78
Pit stops 3 4

McLaren drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78
Lewis Hamilton 94.107 82.345 82.132 81.692 81.484 81.512 81.452 82.46 82.126 80.65 80.014 80.213 81.051 85.639 83.661 80.687 80.439 80.413 81.071 81.73 81.991 106.381 85.304 78.565 78.094 78.647 80.329 80.957 81.207 81.989 81.924 82.547 91.139 133.256 92.51 86.025 84.685 110.774 84.4 82.475 83.234 81.616 93.931 82.195 80.374 80.24 80.513 81.074 101.684 82.593 78.909 78.438 79.522 77.847 79.792 79.271 79.407 79.319 79.106 79.586 79.117 79.436 80.086 78.562 79.15 82.171 83.49 88.666 101.244 95.584 94.314 120.544 83.881 78.764 78.748 79.916 79.124
Jenson Button 87.288 81.034 80.329 80.113 79.845 79.719 79.58 79.543 79.403 79.63 79.519 79.727 79.745 80.349 98.57 81.106 79.072 78.091 78.348 78.203 78.199 78.826 79.134 78.22 78.285 78.452 79.429 80.202 78.306 78.627 79.552 79.171 99.758 89.298 122.904 122.05 117.091 114.602 81.811 78.455 78.139 78.981 79.891 79.775 78.986 79.194 79.047 96.295 81.417 77.894 77.478 77.493 77.89 77.628 78.237 78.087 78.813 77.914 78.15 77.734 77.693 78.376 79.786 79.237 79.772 79.588 80.351 79.991 86.656 129.161 123.951 124.276 78.993 78.282 77.121 76.589 76.463
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

Lewis Hamilton

Were McLaren quick enough to take pole position in Monaco? It’s possible they were. The red flag at the end of third practice meant it was hard to tell for sure.

Button was less than half a second off Sebastian Vettel in Q3, and Hamilton has often been a few tenths quicker than him in qualifying, so perhaps he could have made a fight for it.

But McLaren chose to send him out for a single run in Q3 at Monaco – a risky plan given the possibility of an interruption during the session in a weekend that had already seen three red flags. Sure enough, it backfired.

Hamilton only got one run in after the session restarted following Sergio Perez’s crash – and that time was deleted when he was found to have cut the chicane, leaving him ninth on the grid. “We probably should have put a banker in,” he reflected, “I had the pace to be on pole”.

Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Monaco, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Monaco, 2011

He got past Michael Schumacher at the start but the Mercedes driver ran into him at Sainte Devote, breaking part of his rear wing (zoom in on the picture to see).

This briefly convinced Hamilton he had a puncture – “I have a flat tyre, right-rear” he told the team. Schumacher took the opportunity to re-pass him at the hairpin.

Hamilton took the place back on lap ten, diving down the inside of Schumacher at Sainte Devote. Schumacher saw him coming at the last moment and gave the McLaren room – much as Hamilton had at the hairpin on the first lap.

He latched onto the back of a five-way battle for fifth headed by Nico Rosberg. Unable to make a move on Vitaly Petrov, the team called Hamilton into the pits to try to take advantage of the ‘undercut’.

In Hamilton’s terse words after the race: “They said ‘[pit] to overtake’, I came in, and they weren’t there”. Despite the slow stop he was able to leapfrog Petrov and Maldonado, but not Massa.

Having switched to super-soft tyres he began attacking Massa, who was on softs. But a passing attempt at the hairpin ended in contact. Massa briefly stayed ahead, but crashed as Hamilton passed him in the tunnel.

The stewards handed down a drive-though penalty for “causing an avoidable accident”. Hamilton’s sarcastic reaction when he was told hinted at his frustration: “Surprise, surprise. I know the stewards love me, really”.

Having fallen to ninth, Hamilton passed Petrov at Tabac only to be caught up in the mayhem at the swimming pool on lap 69. Braking to avoid Adrian Sutil’s Force India, he was hit from behind by Jaime Alguersuari.

This left him with a broken rear wing which ordinarily would have ended his race. But the stoppage allowed the team to work on his car and repair the damage, allowing him to continue.

Hamilton resumed behind Pastor Maldonado who was running on soft tyres. Using the grip advantage of his super-softs at the restart he made to pass the Williams at Sainte Devote much as he had taken Schumacher earlier. But Maldonado stuck to his line and the pair collided, dumping the Williams into the barriers.

He reeled in Kamui Kobayashi for fifth but didn’t make it past the Sauber. Not that it would have made a difference, as the stewards gave him a 20-second time penalty for the collision with Maldonado. With the next car a lap down it made no difference to his finishing position.

His latest appearance before the stewards led to a stream of criticism which can be read here. He later retracted his comments.

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Jenson Button, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

Jenson Button, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

Jenson Button

Button started from the front row of the grid and defended his position firmly to stay there at the start.

He dropped back from Vettel initially before cutting his lead back to around three-and-a-half seconds.

Then McLaren surprised both Vettel and third-placed Fernando Alonso by bringing Button in for another set of super-soft tyres.

Both teams reacted, putting their drivers onto soft tyres. The benefit of pitting first plus Vettel’s slow pit stop put Button in the lead.

He pulled out a 13-second margin which was not enough to make a pit stop and retain the lead. McLaren brought him in again on lap 33 for more super-softs.

The timing was unfortunate, as the safety car came out just one lap later: “I suppose, Monaco Grand Prix, you always have to expect safety cars but you always hope they don?t happen when you are on a three-stop strategy”, he said afterwards.

As the race restarted the team advised Button on the radio he needed to pass Vettel. Despite being at least a second and a half faster in clean air, Button couldn’t find a way past.

Button’s pit stop for the mandatory change to soft tyres left him third, behind Alonso.

For lap after lap Vettel, Alonso and Button circulated, the three separated by half a second. Button found Alonso hard to pass as the Ferrari driver was able to use DRS in his pursuit of Vettel.

The race suspension put paid to any hopes Button had of taking advantage of the drivers in front of him having worn tyres.

He said: “Fernando, I?m sure, was filling Sebastian?s mirrors and he got very close a couple of times into turn one, and into the last corner, so you don?t know.

“Anything could have happened over those ten laps that we would have had if we hadn?t had the safety car.”

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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141 comments on McLaren: Hamilton loses cool after weekend of frustration

  1. Mach1 said on 30th May 2011, 18:47

    I’m still in two minds about these incidents.

    Initially I thought Hamilton was to blame regarding the incidents. But having looked at how Hamilton and Schumacher treated each other with regards to overtakes (at the same points), I also think that Massa and Maldonado lacked a bit of race craft with regards to knowing when to capitulate or at least judgement about how much to close the door without causing an incident.

    • kowalsky said on 30th May 2011, 19:02

      I agree. When they see the guy coming they close the door, and then crash just not to look like fools. And start blaming lewis for dangerous driving.
      It was the same with montoya, and senna. And monty was so fed up with it that sent everything to hell and escaped.
      Lewis has more sense of the history of the sport, but he must have a limit like the rest of us. If he goes to nascar, i think it would be the last straw for me.

      • Keith C in NY said on 30th May 2011, 21:40

        +2

        • Keith C in NY said on 30th May 2011, 21:42

          Oh – and I cannot believe my eyes – MSC being held up as an example of fair driving! Perhaps there was something to that May 21 thing after all.

      • f1geordie said on 30th May 2011, 21:46

        Just watched the reply of the hamilton-massa incident at the chicane. There is clearly a moment where felipe turns in slightly more than his original line as lewis closes in. For me, lewis’s move was too optimistic, but massa made the situation worse than it should have been. He got owned in the tunnel though!

        • Lee said on 31st May 2011, 12:42

          I agree. It is clear that Massa turned in on purpose which is why he ended up hitting Webber.

      • Ben Curly (@ben-curly) said on 30th May 2011, 22:23

        Alonso said: “I had two places in mind to pass and if we crash, we crash”… Well, Lewis was probably thinking the same, but he actually did it ;)

        However there is no question that both Maldonado and Massa reacted too late. They both left huge openings and they both tried to close them, when there was no room for Lewis to back out.

        • kenneth Ntulume said on 31st May 2011, 16:09

          I love that Alonso comment, wish Burton was like that…
          He who Dares Wins…..Thats why F1 is ruled by Ham, Alo and new kid on the block Vet

    • Gustav said on 30th May 2011, 19:03

      +1

      • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:26

        Oh dear. I’m glad you’re not race stewards. LOL

      • Gold Leaf said on 30th May 2011, 21:00

        Guys that know how to race, and race hard, Schumi and Hamilton, pass and re-pass each other.

        Whereas guys blocking seats with stolen millions from the Venezuelan poor, and as tame #2s, when it gets tricky, when it all happens too quick, they show themselves clearly to be from the second rank.

        I too immediately thought of Montoya, and the huge loss to the sport, in part from just this sort of unnecessary and officious interference … Hamilton to NASCAR, alongside JPM and Kimi, it wouldn’t pay quite as well, but he’d clearly start having some fun hard-racing again.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th May 2011, 19:55

      Yeah, I feel it should be filed under racing incidents.

      Still it was a wise thing Lewis was immediately sent to offer his apologies to the stewards by his team, he did become too colourfull (pun intended)!

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 30th May 2011, 20:57

        +1 to you and Mach1

        The thing about Maldonado is that if he had given Hamilton the room, maybe he would have lost a position but he still would have been in the race. Chopping across Hamilton’s tyre and running him out of road was a rather noobish mistake.

        Found this on twitter, a comparison of Hamilton’s moves on Schumacher and Maldonado: http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/3530/6a42e56c4c.jpg

        For all the criticism of Schumacher after Hungary last year, at least he leaves drivers some room on the road.

        • jake said on 30th May 2011, 21:29

          great picture… it clearly proves wrong the people saying Lewis was further back with Maldonado. Shows the only difference is the reaction of the defending driver. One was sensible and continued in the race, the other panicked. Yet some people analyse the first as a great overtake, the other as a stupid mistake. I don’t understand this point of view… if you’re going to punish lewis for one, surely you have to punish him for the other? No? exactly!

          • kowalsky said on 31st May 2011, 0:58

            Well said. But f1 is going this way, and is not going to change. They will keep creating this artificial racing, and just look at the tv figures. They don’t care about the fans, just the numbers. They are trying to fool the fans, and the worst thing is, they are achieving it very easy.

        • GQsm (@gqsm) said on 30th May 2011, 22:57

          Very interesting picture.

        • Eric said on 31st May 2011, 7:16

          I think Maldonado didn’t think Lewis would try it from there. The pictures are interesting but the entry lines are very different and you can’t tell where the braking zone begins. I think the onboard camera videos are a better indication. He was behind Maldonado when he started braking.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYiNKYaviZI

          There was far more space for the Schumacher pass, and by the time Schumacher started to turn in Lewis was right alongside him.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0R4XqZEUrQ

          The margin for error is tiny in Monaco. Lewis made a mistake and was punished accordingly. He just had a shocker this weekend. He’ll be back. Hopefully he will learn from this as quickly as he learned from his tyres in Malaysia and be a better driver for it.

          • kristy said on 31st May 2011, 14:23

            i agree with you, those photos only higlight more differences then similaties, the pass on schumacher had more space, and schumacher was coming from wider to the apex so had a slight moment more to react, also in previous years shcumacher would have done a chop, and been further on the inside defending, and also it was the start of the race and his tyres were fading, so why defend too hard and be part of the crash that hamilton was already starting? where as later in the race, hamilton trying something like that from a more accute angle on a rookie driving 6th in his first monaco race, was never going to work. at the start of the race it is different then at the end, the defending isnt as hard, but maldonado did not do anything wrong, hamilton was the car behind and he rammed him, how blind are people? and some people think this makes him a great driver – crashing people out. most of his overtakes over the years have been aided with the advantage of a strong merc engine, kers in ’09, f-duct in ’10, and now kers, merc and drs in combination giving him a better opportunity to pass then other drivers, as it brings him closer to attempt a pass then other cars. put him in a bad car (like the start of ’09) and all he can do is finish poorly, wear the tyres too much and shout at his engineers. hamilton turns in on pass attempts just like maldonado and massa did, only their hasnt been many crashes because the car behind has been smart enough to pull out of the pass, he is two faced this hamilton guy, if the other drivers let him through it would mean he has a special priveledge the other drivers dont have, id like to see him in the same situation reversed, in massa or maldonados car, would he have done different? no, but the difference would be maldonado and massa wont be close enough because of hamiltons merc, kers, drs advantage.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th May 2011, 21:42

        LOL, that’s well said, in keeping with bad puns I suppose.

    • frow said on 30th May 2011, 22:20

      quite simply LH had a massive sulk cos people simply didnt just pull over and let him cruise past, hes just an arrogant hothead and to make such a racist comment smacks of complete and utter rudeness, he said what he said and then decided to say it was a joke…that in itself is the biggest joke. The guy is obviously talented but he has to learn some manners and earn some respect. nobody seems to be mentioning his his actions completely screwed Buttons race, without the saftey car he was sure fire winner.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2011, 22:26

        without the safety car he was sure fire winner.

        No he wasn’t – as I said in the article he never had the time in hand over Vettel to make his switch to soft tyres without falling behind. And he made his second pit stop before the safety car came out.

        • frow said on 30th May 2011, 22:37

          sorry Keith but I disagree, without saftey car Button had a major chance…. Hamilton screwed his own race and Buttons because of his red mist.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2011, 22:44

            I’ve shown you why I think you’re wrong, care to offer any facts to support your point of view?

          • frow said on 30th May 2011, 22:51

            Since I cant seem to reply to your latest comment I will just say that it is my opinion and you can have all the facts and figures you like, no one will know if Vettels gamble would have paid off, his tyres could have hit the cliff in the last 5- 8 laps giving Button every chance. Assume we are allowed to voice opinions that differ to yours Keith ??

          • LuvinF1 said on 31st May 2011, 4:22

            Well Frown … appears to be a lot more than Red Mist clouding your judgment.

          • frow said on 31st May 2011, 8:16

            no red mist here just voicing an opinion that seems to have ruffled a few feathers….no one can say what would have happened over last few laps… as Alonso said he would have tried a pass and it would have worked or they would have crashed… Button said he could see it happening at turn 1 and was waiting an opportunity… Vettels tyres were shot and it would have been some drive to keep both Alonso & Button behind but who knows since the guy is pretty good at the moment, just saying that the saftey car pretty much screwed any chance Button had but he was definately in the hunt *( PS I’m not a Button fan particularly )

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st May 2011, 9:30

            frow, as you say yourself in your latest comment, Button was surely a contestant for the win. But hardly a sure fire winnner before that red flag.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st May 2011, 10:50

            I’m shocked that people think Jenson could have overtaken Fernando and Seb for the win at Monaco. Jenson was chasing Vettel on a pair of Super soft tyres, while Vettel was still on the softs, and Jenson still never looked capable of overtaking Seb. There is no way Jenson would be able to get by Alonso on the same tyre compound during the last 6 laps.

          • David BR said on 31st May 2011, 12:32

            @ Todfod, managed it at Canada last year – OK with the help of a back marker, but that’s what I was hoping for.

          • John H said on 31st May 2011, 13:40

            Hamilton didn’t ‘screw’ Buttons race at all. It was a Force India hitting the wall and the carnage that followed.

            If you didn’t see that Frow, I’m not sure how I can take your comments regarding Jenson’s “sure fire win” seriously.

        • SupaSix-1 said on 31st May 2011, 12:42

          Well said Keith.

          I have said this the whole time. People assume button wouldve overtaken alonso and vettel whereas I dont think he wouldve. jenson is a good driver but we all know that he prefers not to battle with drivers especially in monaco. Even Brundle said that jenson wouldntve liked the instruction from his engineer to overtake vettel and alonso on track. Once button closed up on the supersofts he backed off and left it to alonso to help despatch vettel – thats where I think he lost out as well as not pumping in the times enough.

          Also consider that button was gifted a perfect opportunity when Hamilton was out of the fight and especially when redbull dropped a huge clanger in the pits.
          -Chances like that hardly ever come and when they do – they need to be capitalised on.

          I also think vettel deserved to be driver of the day as he dragged out the life on those soft tyres whilst being under heavy pressure.

          I dont think this was a great result and performance from jenson – he had the race win gifted but instead lost 2 more places – I cant see why the guy gets so much praise for losing the race.

          • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 31st May 2011, 14:51

            I don’t think we could have ruled Jensen out for the win. Just before the big pile up, Alonso of all drivers was slipping and sliding everywhere, and Ted himself was saying on the RBR pit wall that Vettel was going to fall off massively in 2 laps.

            Shame Hamilton’s various incidents are overshadowing Button’s performance in this headline.

    • Bernard (@bernard) said on 30th May 2011, 23:07

      Here’s another Hamilton Monaco turn one comparison… Together with respective comments.

      • LuvinF1 said on 31st May 2011, 4:26

        That’s a good one, Bernard. Thanks.

      • Neil Davies (@neil-davies) said on 31st May 2011, 14:31

        That’s an excellent comparison.

        I think the problem with the steward’s decisions in Monaco was that they failed to take into account the actions of the driver defending. A lunge up the inside by the guy behind may result in a collision (and may warrant a penalty) – but so could an overly aggressive defence of a corner. They only seem to want to penalise the driver trying to overtake, which I find strange considering the FIA’s attempts to increase overtaking. The DRS zone was the pit straight remember, encouraging moves into turn 1. Did anyone but Hamilton make a move stick there?

        If both drivers make bad choices leading to a collision, why not either call it a racing incident or penalise both? Considering a collision is usually it’s own penalty, I think the stewards need to relax and give the drivers some lee-way to battle the way the FIA themselves are trying to enable.

  2. Timi said on 30th May 2011, 18:48

    Cue Hamilton abuse.
    Canada cannot come soon enough! It’s been a day and most of what Ive read since the race has just been abuse. I’ve barely even seen congratulations to the top three finishers! Oh well

    Here’s hoping for a positive weekend in Canada. (from everyone.. I’m not a Hamilton fanboy)

  3. David-A (@david-a) said on 30th May 2011, 18:48

    Surprising to see Button have an infinitely better race weekend than Hamilton for once. Hamilton has two weeks to calm down and put in a better performance in Montreal where he’s won twice.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th May 2011, 19:03

      Their difference in performance was enormous, partly due to Hamiltons qualifying. Button was superb all the time, with excellent qualifying and race, with many fast laps and he rapidly reduced his gap to the leaders despite an extra stop.

  4. VXR said on 30th May 2011, 18:49

    Can we stop saying that it was ‘McLaren’s’ fault for not sending out Hamilton at the beginning of Q3 and start saying that it was a ‘joint decision between some engineers and their driver’ not to go out at the beginning of Q3.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2011, 18:52

      The drivers drive for the team, it was a team decision and I’ve used the team name. I’m not getting into cumbersome distinctions to mollify a few pedants.

      • Snow Donkey said on 30th May 2011, 19:00

        Keith, can you give yourself QOTD?

      • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:04

        OK. So it must have been recognised by some ‘McLaren team’ members that there was an element of ‘risk’ to the strategy if the other driver of the same ‘McLaren team’ had the same ‘McLaren team’ opting to ‘play it safe’?

      • Prodriver said on 30th May 2011, 19:36

        I agree. Mclaren love to shoot their own foot. They have done this kind of mistakes several times. It beyond compreension.If they get the first pit stop right Ham would finish at least 4th

        • Mike said on 31st May 2011, 3:20

          I don’t understand, they got it very right with Button.

          Webber and Massa weren’t on the pace either. Does that mean Red Bull and Ferrari shot themselves in the foot as well?

          Mclaren didn’t do a perfect race, but name a team that did? It just happens that this weekend, Hamilton as the one to lose out.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th May 2011, 21:46

        I think Hamilton, although I initially thought he seemed to be blaming the engineers, actually admitted they share blame, when saying he didn’t speak against it – in the end it will always be his engineers that suggest strategy, based on the data, then they decide together what he will do, based on that information, and his own feelings.

    • Lee Harrison (@lee-harrison) said on 30th May 2011, 20:29

      I’m with VXR on this, everyone’s blaming McLaren, but Button didn’t wait tilt he final minutes did he? If it was a team decision he obviously over-ruled it, so why couldn’t Hamilton? Clearly it was a joint decision but Hamilton, like with the other incidents, was unwilling to take his portion of the blame.

      • GQsm (@gqsm) said on 30th May 2011, 23:12

        I guess Lewis could have overruled but his job is to drive, there are a gang of people whose job it is to work out the best strategy. He’s trusted them before and he will trust them again. Jenson’s race engineers planned the sensible thing of going out so Jenson did not have to overrule them.

        They need to do their job better in regards Sat afternoon, Monaco is not the race for that tactic. If I was Whitmarsh the race engineers in question would be scrutinised. It’s not the drivers job to crunch numbers on strategy.

      • John H said on 31st May 2011, 13:46

        That’s not the case at all. The race tyre strategies for Button and Hamilton would have been completely different in all likelyhood, hence the different strategies in qualifying.

    • AgBNYC said on 30th May 2011, 23:26

      Yeah but… as much as I hate to read it… Vettel said it was HIS decision to stay out etc… when will Lewis take SOME responsibility and some conviction???? He should take the team by the throat, much as he does with his car…

      If Lewis continues blaming everyone else and refuses to take control of his destiny and even make mistakes (people are so willing to forgive)… he will never be among the elite – no matter how fast he is….

  5. joseph said on 30th May 2011, 18:54

    The 2011 McLaren is stronger than last years car. Hamilton took hits on all sides and made it to the finish unlike last year at monza and singapore

  6. Ken said on 30th May 2011, 19:06

    These monkeys better get ready for a flogging in Montreal. Hamilton is mad.

    • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:09

      Don’t drive angry!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th May 2011, 19:59

        LOL, now that should be picked up by the FIA for their drive safely campaing.

        Put a short shot of Di Resta in, admitting he made a mistake and keeping cool. Then Hamilton flipping out and some of the moves on track. Then have Hamilton tell how much he realises it was the emotions getting on top and costing him dearly.

        Could be a great hit on the net if done nice and with a bit of humour.

  7. russ said on 30th May 2011, 19:10

    yes hes a whiney guy but I still fully support him.
    Without Lewis this would be BORING.monaco?Really?
    Does anyone know who won the race ? NO.
    Its all about the bashing.My boy fooked up.Get over it.
    I wish he would shut up and drive.But as long as I can watch him drive,Ill listen to his rants.

  8. Jonathan said on 30th May 2011, 19:11

    Keith, great to see you insert “[pit]” rather than repeat that dreadful new word, “box”! Can’t these drivers show some respect for F1 tradition?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2011, 19:25

      I think the use of “box” goes back a long way, but people are generally much more familiar with “pit”. Whenever I’ve used “box” I’ve found myself having to explain it.

      • jake said on 30th May 2011, 21:34

        do you know why they use box? I’ve always assumed it’s because it’s a clearer word over the radio?

      • BS (@bs) said on 30th May 2011, 23:20

        I agree pit makes more sense than box, especially since most teams and drivers hardly use the word themselves.

        Have you ever thought about using ‘prime’ and ‘option’ instead of refering to the actual compound though? Unlike pit vs box this does make sense, and all teams and drivers also refer to their tyres as the prime and option. Where in one race the Soft might be the prime (as now monaco) and the other the option (I think all the other races.

        I never understood why the BBC did this either. I think coulthart usually doesn’t, though.

  9. Alejanddro said on 30th May 2011, 19:14

    Can someone elaborate on what may have happened had the first SC not taken place? i’m still not sure it would have been better for Button that way.

    • Tim said on 30th May 2011, 20:45

      Button was leading Vettel and Alonso by 13 and 16 seconds before his stop, so came out of the pits in a close third.

      At that point Button would have had to stop again to use the soft tyres. Theoretically, Vettel and Alonso could have gone to the end. Without the SC it might have played out in a similar way to what actually happened, albeit with Alonso on older tyres (he stopped when the SC came out). Perhaps more likely is that Vettel and Alonso would have wanted a further stop, so the question is timing.

      Button was only a few seconds behind Vettel and Alonso in third and would’ve caught them quickly but probably not passed. Red Bull and Ferrari would then have been faced with a difficult choice. Either stay out and blunt Button’s new tyre advantage or pit and hope to pull the gap back to less than Button needed to pit again.

      The risk for Vettel and Alonso was that one would pit first and use the undercut the pass the other. If they both pitted too early they may not hold back Button for long enough to stop him pulling out enough to keep the lead during his final stop. Stay out too long and Button could use the undercut to pass them both.

      In other words, it was all to play for – there’s no way of knowing who would have won.

  10. Argent said on 30th May 2011, 19:14

    Great race by Button and the McLaren crew! Besides the obvious reason, I wish that the race wasn’t stopped by the massive pileup so that we could see how the race unfolded with Button on the freshest tyres of the front runners. What a great job by Button to close the gap to Alonso and Vettel the way he did.

    I am truly disappointed by the way the stewards handled the Hamilton and Maldonado incident, as he was more than halfway up alongside Maldonado far before the apex of Ste Devote. Maldonado turned in way to optimistically when compared to the same move that Hamilton pulled on Schumacher earlier in the race.

    • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:18

      I am truly disappointed by the way the stewards handled the Hamilton and Maldonado incident, as he was more than halfway up alongside Maldonado far before the apex of Ste Devote

      He has to be all the way alongside (like he was with Schumacher) in order to claim the corner.

      • Argent said on 30th May 2011, 19:33

        Watch the Schumacher pass again–he wasn’t fully alongside Schumacher until he just passed the apex. That being said, though, Hamilton was about two thirds up on Schumacher’s car versus the halfway or so on Maldonado.

        • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:52

          Hamilton was more than three quarters the way alongside Schumacher for quite some considerable time.

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/13591849.stm

          • jake said on 30th May 2011, 21:38

            there’s an image posted in an earlier comment that clearly shows Lewis was at the same place for both MAL and MSC before MAL turned in.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th May 2011, 21:53

          Part of the trouble is with that is: what is ahead – if your wheels are exactly next to someone early on a straight, it might be simple (until you reach the end of that straight, see further).

          But if you are going on on a curve, even if you are slightly behind, you might be actually “ahead” in the sense that you will make the corner, and the other guy won’t without breaking harder.

          So that rule is a bit unclear unless we are talking about a simple DRS overtake or something – the more interesting moves will be in a corner, where it might well be a question of who would be able to get out of it the fastest.

    • dyslexicbunny (@dyslexicbunny) said on 30th May 2011, 19:47

      Button was fantastic. He was out of his mind to be that close to Vettel while doing a three stop.

      • pSynrg said on 31st May 2011, 13:47

        Jenson, started 2nd, finished 3rd

        Lewis, started 9th, finished 6th

        A great drive from Jenson but fantastic?

  11. VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:16

    Does anyone know who won the race ? NO.

    I suppose it would be difficult to know that if you’re trying to see through a red mist.

  12. Racer said on 30th May 2011, 19:26

    All you people laying into Hamilton reminds me of this quote;

    Ayrton Senna: “by being a racing driver means, you are racing with other people. And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver. Because we are competing, competing to win and the main motivation to all of us, is to compete for victory, not to com 4th 5th or 6th”

    I for one hope Hamilton continues to do what he does best, like Senna when Hamilton stops racing i will stop watching.

    • GoToNascarAlready said on 30th May 2011, 19:32

      when Hamilton stops racing i will stop watching.

      Funny, I’ll do just the opposite

      • Edinfreak said on 30th May 2011, 19:38

        You must like fast parade racing (if you can call it racing)). live everybody is pretty much the same in terms of driving and pretty much everybody has the same machinary and pretty much everybody follows the one just a ahead for 78 laps … Good on you pal! Sure you wont be disappointed as you know who is going to win.No need for safety cars as there wont be racing incidents/penalties!

        • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:45

          It would have been a great race, even without Hamilton. Possibly better without him, as it happens.

          • Edinfreak said on 30th May 2011, 19:57

            Like who else gave us action then… Like Webber stuck behind Kobayashi, who in turn is stuck behind Sutil for days!! Same is the case with Button and Alonso, stuck behind the leader even with fresher tyres. So how can you call it a race if everybody keeps to their conservatism. The only other position changes happened in the pits or during safety car. If Hamilton is not there then all you have to do to solve the problem of racing is to create 3 safety car situations with 2-3 pit stops. Goodluck with that.

          • Edinfreak said on 30th May 2011, 20:06

            Depends on your definition of racing .. For me racing is wheel to wheel action. Putting the driver ahead under pressure to make him do mistakes. No friking cutting the race track deliberately and not looking into mirrors neither doing parade laps one after the other showing off how good the engineers developed the car. You may aswell give all the points after Q3.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 30th May 2011, 23:33

            We had a great battle for the lead between Alonso, Vettel and Button, which easily could have had Vettel lose the lead to the others. That was the main attraction, not the crashes.

      • John H said on 31st May 2011, 13:51

        Well at least you’ll be able to watch your fake DRS overtaking instead of real racing.

    • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:36

      And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver.

      It used to be that you could get away with driving in the manner that Senna did. Not everyone liked the way he drove or the quotes he used to justify it.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2011, 19:39

      And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver.

      He said that referring to Suzuka ’90, a few weeks after it happened, and a year before admitting he caused the crash on purpose.

      Perhaps not the best quote to use if your intention is to defend Hamilton.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 30th May 2011, 20:52

        Did he? If I recall correctly it was in answer to Jackie Stewart telling him he was involved in more incidents than every world champion put together. Then again I’ve only seen a small clip of the interview so he may have been referring to Suzuka, but I don’t recall a direct reference to it.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 30th May 2011, 20:58

          And of course, Suzuka ’90 was the previous race, so obviously it was a relevant issue at the time!

        • mattclinch (@mattclinch) said on 31st May 2011, 14:30

          +1

          i understood this to be a quote from the stewart interview about his accident rate.

          don;t know how we can vilify hamiltons aggressive style. if no one went for a gap we’d stop watching. schumacher pulled the same move as hamilton did at lowes and was commended for his courage…

      • llama said on 31st May 2011, 1:26

        Regardless of the circumstances, it’s a quote which embodies Senna’s lack of sportsmanship and respect for his own and other drivers’ safety. It is an attitude which arguably got him killed.

        There’s more to being a racing driver than coming first, a lesson which Senna never learned. Hopefully Lewis will outgrow the same infantile attitude.

        The most striking part of Lewis’ post-race comments aren’t about the racism, but the fact that he thinks that because Sebastian is leading him by a mile gives him the right to take the gloves off and act like a madman.

        He’s obviously panicking, as with a WDC each he and Vettel are more or less equal, but once Vettel wins a second, then Lewis’ status as the golden boy will be gone, and he’ll no longer be a prodigy, just another driver with a single world championship.

        • mattclinch (@mattclinch) said on 31st May 2011, 14:32

          would like to know how senna’s “lack of sportsmanship and respect for his own and other drivers’ safety” got him killed…

          as i seem to remember he had a williams which liked to shift from oversteer to understeer mid-corner and possibly a broken steering column and “arguably” it was that which killed him….

        • jon g said on 31st May 2011, 16:35

          Get a grip, how would it have been better? He clearly should not have said what he did, but at least he tried to overtake, neither were do or die moves and he had every right to go for it!

    • soulmonkey said on 31st May 2011, 22:21

      Great quote to bring back at this time.

  13. Edinfreak said on 30th May 2011, 19:35

    TBH guessing who won the race is hardly difficult. Only one person wins no matter what happens always and the other person who can compete with him is always in trouble due to what he is (Unfortunately)!!

    • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 19:41

      Hamilton got himself into “trouble” at around 10 minutes before the end of qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

      You’ve got to be in it (car) to win it, as they say.

      • Edinfreak said on 30th May 2011, 20:02

        THB the whole red flag thing in Q3 is a farce. They should give driver more time time more than atleast the time to complete a proper outlap from the pits and do a couple of proper laps. Hamilton was on a hot lap which e abandoned due to Perez’s incident. He is not in the same place after the red flag. He is in the pits with cold tyres with wrong tyre pressures and cold brakes!

        • John H said on 31st May 2011, 13:55

          I don’t think so. The rules are the rules, there is a high chance of a SC at Monaco so if you don’t go out immediately in Q3 then you have to live with that risk.

          Hamilton should have overulled the team and got a banker in. End of. Even if he was only doing one run why leave it until the middle of the session when you might get hampered Massa style on people coming out for their second run?

          Get out there and get the lap in man!

  14. David BR said on 30th May 2011, 19:52

    Okay I’m being serious: Hamilton drove great, I thought. Hampered by the team decision in Q3, blocked deliberately by Massa, scrunched by Schumacher at the start of the race, driven into by Massa, messed up by the team again, excellent pass on Petrov only to be clobbered by Alguersuari, driven into by Maldonado. Three undeserved penalties with none for the wayward, blundering opposition.

    You can see why he was annoyed!

    • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 20:00

      Hamilton is part of the team. He didn’t drive great. He was involved in the decision not to go out at the beginning of Q3. He failed to get fully alongside Massa or Maldando early enough on his attempts to overtake them. Alguersuari had nowhere else to go. He’s also pretty useless at interviews. But I can still see why he’s annoyed. LOL

      • David BR said on 30th May 2011, 20:06

        See, you’ve filtered out Massa blocking him, Schumacher hitting him, the team calling him and not being there… and the other collisions are all debatable as we’ve seen in the thread discussions. Just depends on how you look at it. Okay so I’m taking his side in the 50/50s, but I still think that adds up to a weekend where much of what went wrong wasn’t actually his doing.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st May 2011, 8:24

          Well if you call the situation 50/50s, and he was involved in three of them, dont you think that a huge part of it was actually Lewis’ doing?

          • David BR said on 31st May 2011, 12:08

            Trying to race at Monaco. Not pretty, but I’d say legitimate. I think the weekend was one huge snowball of problems for Hamilton from the moment he and his team, for whatever reasons, went for one run in q3. But I bet when this championship is wrapped up by Vettel mid-season everyone will be wishing someone had made more of a fight of it! Take Alonso: any real interest in passing Vettel or happy for second? No answer because of the red flag, but I have my doubts he’s have risked much. At least Lewis was making the attempt.

      • Xusen said on 30th May 2011, 21:32

        VRX – we know you hate Hamilton, no need to keep repeating yourself, I am sure everyone here got the message.

        Didn’t Hamilton finish 3 places higher than he started and button a place down? at the end of the day you can allow button a pass due to bad luck and deride Lewis on the same thing.

        • f1geordie said on 30th May 2011, 21:42

          Completely agree, VXR needs to settle down with the hamilton abuse. The reason why I got into F1 was bacause of hamilton bringing excitement to the sport. True, he may cross the line occasionally, but F1 would undoubtedly be a bit less thrilling without him.

    • matador said on 30th May 2011, 20:59

      hahahaha what a joke.

    • redstart (@redstart) said on 30th May 2011, 22:19

      Quality mate, POTD

  15. box this lap said on 30th May 2011, 19:58

    McLaren looked very fast, faster than Red Bull last weekend. I think McLaren will strike in Canada and I wonder how the results would have been if the last race was on a different circuit.

    • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 20:04

      McLaren and Ferrari (because Ferrari will still be using soft tyres) can have yet another go at Red Bull in Canada, and even Valencia. But after Canada and Valencia, we’re back in Red Bull territory.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th May 2011, 21:58

        It does seem likely – here in Monaco, Williams finally was fast, but does that mean they will be great everywhere? I hope so for them, but I doubt it. Monaco is quite different, and it certainly doesn’t allow the best bits of the RBR7 to shine the hardest; I also think that with the current car, Ferrari would struggle again in Valencia.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st May 2011, 9:20

          They might be having the same problem as Ferrari does with gettting the harder tyres to work.

          If that’s the case they might be comparable to Monaco for the next few races.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 31st May 2011, 10:03

            I would really like to see that. Maldonado finally had a car that he could show something with, and Barrichello was there to pick up the points when he collided.

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