McLaren: Button makes amends for collision with stunning win

2011 Canadian GP team review

Halfway through the Canadian Grand Prix McLaren had one car out and another at the tail of the field.

But Jenson Button recovered from a costly collision with his team mate to clinch a sensational victory.

Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button
Qualifying position 5 7
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’13.565 (-0.273) 1’13.838
Race position 1
Laps 7/70 70/70
Pit stops 0 5

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
Lewis Hamilton 142.459 126.157 125.34 123.927 100.949 99.917 97.761
Jenson Button 143.984 126.581 125.396 123.343 100.56 97.974 98.237 117.792 111.816 130.653 125.557 119.687 102.221 96.648 96.589 92.915 96.095 96.312 122.704 111.16 110.778 105.489 121.447 136.959 141.746 127.009 122.485 122.305 122.075 120.807 122.499 121.563 119.804 109.893 95.486 185.552 103.759 94.723 91.635 95.059 93.158 91.721 89.948 89.475 89.07 89.972 90.182 89.205 87.245 103.33 90.161 82.759 83.911 80.513 80.221 99.809 106.56 120.262 120.304 80.747 81.348 80.369 81.441 78.866 77.967 77.509 77.218 76.956 78.238
Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Montreal, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Montreal, 2011

Lewis Hamilton

Had a few problems in first practice, losing the data on his display in the car and later experiencing a hydraulic leak.

His unbeaten run in qualifying at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve came to an end on Saturday as he could only manage fifth. He said his seventh gear was “a bit too long for qualifying”.

He showed strong pace in the seven laps his race lasted for, but the same ragged edge that had been evident in Monaco was still visible.

First there was contact with Mark Webber – Hamilton said: “I touched Mark?s car after he braked a bit early into the first corner. He left me enough room, but I touched the inside kerb and understeered into him”.

That dropped him behind Michael Schumacher, who Hamilton tried to pass at the Casino hairpin but ended up running wide and letting Button pass.

Button made a mistake at the exit of the final chicane and Hamilton lined him up to try to pass.

He tried to move to Button’s left, and claim the inside line for turn one. But Button didn’t see his team mate coming and the pair made contact, Hamilton also striking the pit wall. They were fortunate that neither car flipped into the air, and that the terminal damage was limited to just Hamilton’s car.

Hamilton didn’t think so at first and said as much when interviewed afterwards.

The stewards saw fit to investigate the matter and issue a statement:

The stewards have investigated the actions of the driver of car three (L. Hamilton) after his collision with car four (J. Button) in particular the matter of where he stopped his car.

Having heard from the driver and the team representative, the stewards have concluded that the driver was convinced he only had a flat tyre. This was subsequently confirmed by the team representative to be correct.

The driver therefore believed he could safely return to the pits and proceeded to attempt to do so.

However at the time, his team believed the car had sustained suspension damage and radioed him to stop immediately. The driver reacted accordingly and stopped within six seconds at a marked vehicle recovery point.

The stewards therefore decide to take no action on this matter.

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

Jenson Button

Said he “overdrove” his qualifying lap which put him seventh on the grid.

Butt picked up damage in the collision with Hamilton and had to pit for repairs, during which he also took the opportunity to switch to intermediate tyres. On top of that he was handed a drive-through penalty for speeding during the safety car period.

He made his way back to to tenth when the race was suspended. After the restart he did one lap then came in for intermediate tyres.

He took advantage of Adrian Sutil and Jarno Trulli running wide at the hairpin to pass both of them, then found Fernando Alonso coming out of the pits in front of him.

The pair tangled in turn three and Alonso came off worse but Button ended up limping back to the pits with a puncture.

Fortunately for him the safety car came out again and he was able to catch up to the field just in time for the restart on lap 41.

Now the last running car on the track, Button picked off the HRTs, Virgins and Lotuses with ease and was swiftly up to 12th place.

He switched to slick tyres on lap 51 and was instantly able to lap quicker on them than those around him, possibly thanks to the higher downforce wings on his McLaren helping him generate more heat in the tyres.

Webber, who had pitted for slicks one lap earlier, set a new fastest lap of 1’24.6 -on the next lap Button was 1.7 seconds faster.

Button jumped past several cars who scampered into the pits for slicks and rapidly overtook those remaining on the track in front of him. When the safety car came out for the final time he was up to fourth.

After the final restart Button picked off Webber who went wide in the final chicane. He dealt with Schumacher easily on lap 65, flying past the Mercedes using his DRS.

With four laps to go Button was 1.6 seconds behind Vettel and storming towards an incredible upset. Vettel gave it everything he had and stemmed the loss of time to Button to a few tenths of a second per lap.

But by the penultimate tour Button was within the DRS zone and the pair started the final lap less than a second apart. When Vettel skidded at turn six the lead of the race – and a stunning victory – fell into Button’s lap.

“It felt like I spent more time in the pits than on the pit-straights,” he said. “The guys did a great job of calling the strategy.

“At some points we definitely lucked out on the strategy, especially when the red flag came out but we called it very well going to slicks”.

He added the race was “one of those Grands Prix where you are nowhere, then you?re somewhere, then you?re nowhere and then you?re somewhere.

“As we always say the last lap is the important one to be leading and I was leading half of it. Amazing day”.

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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98 comments on McLaren: Button makes amends for collision with stunning win

  1. Damon said on 14th June 2011, 20:05

    The talk of a bet keeps everyone quiet! Anyone up for it?? £100 wager, il have Hamilton, I doubt any of you button boys will accept the bet

    • BBT said on 14th June 2011, 21:34

      What to crash out more than twice in the rest of the season, nah, you are right, Hamilton will win that one ;-)

  2. Damon said on 14th June 2011, 22:15

    To finish ahead of jenson lucky, Sunday driver button in this years championship!! :)

  3. Wooolfy said on 15th June 2011, 6:00

    I’m new to F1 (just over a year, attended Montreal 2010 and 2011, Mclaren/Lewis fan), and is downright disgusting to read some comments from long time F1 fan. It takes machine, man and track conditions to determine an outcome. Some drivers are obviously more talented than others, within the same team as their cars are of similar performance, and within the field. Weather played a huge part in that race and had it been dry conditions, the outcome would be totally different. Maybe no accidents/collisions, maybe Vettel wouldn’t have cracked, maybe Mclaren 1-2, who knows. Blame it on the rain. Point is, most of what happened in Montreal had to do with the track conditions and it’s nearly impossible to take a measure of relative performance, cars or drivers.

  4. Tricky said on 15th June 2011, 11:42

    Has anyone seen more details about how Button and Hamilton got their speeding penalties? In the past, once they were queued behind the safety car the delta was not important. And seeing as they have to follow within a certain number of car lengths, how can they speed?
    In the same way, looking at the lap times, after Button’s puncture he put in a 103sec lap, only marginally slower than the following race lap.
    Also, have we noticed how close Button was to going a lap down after the puncture!

  5. damon said on 15th June 2011, 18:53

    the mistake at interlagos didnt cost him the title, it was the gearbox problem that ended that dream. 2010 if it wasnt for vettels car troubles nobody else would have been in the title race anyway. name me one driver who hasnt made costly errors during a season. you will be hard pressed to tell me one that is for sure

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