McLaren: Button made call to stay out during rain

2011 Hungarian GP team review

Jenson Button admitted he was never going to come in for intermediate tyres during the late shower in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

That decision won him the race. But Lewis Hamilton made the opposite call and finished off the podium having led most of the race.

Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button
Qualifying position 2 3
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’19.978 (-0.046) 1’20.024
Race position 4 1
Laps 70/70 70/70
Pit stops 5 3

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 115.242 109.61 107.854 105.095 103.736 102.214 101.287 100.444 100.554 100.695 99.754 101.129 119.225 91.634 89.474 88.893 89.054 88.264 88.215 87.851 88.236 87.897 88.291 88.475 89.75 91.241 104.019 86.121 87.188 86.592 87.163 87.33 87.144 86.63 86.485 86.517 86.687 87.185 88.632 90.963 102.874 85.288 84.987 85.57 85.877 86.646 99.177 89.256 87.024 93.307 100.448 96.598 108.771 95.005 105.658 86.758 95.072 85.538 83.876 83.905 83.661 83.706 87.616 84.999 84.801 84.288 84.498 84.032 84.007 84.662
Jenson Button 117.078 109.376 107.827 105.149 105.254 103.598 102.741 101.721 101.294 101.109 102.604 117.557 95.881 92.522 90.778 89.286 89.135 89.919 88.154 88.351 87.932 87.625 87.534 87.057 87.751 88.495 91.567 105.14 86.333 86.538 87.101 87.022 87.034 86.59 87.091 86.512 86.757 87.041 87.333 87.73 87.273 88.375 102.386 84.549 85.599 85.966 92.648 88.652 86.837 94.352 101.256 95.379 89.88 88.853 86.624 85.935 85.196 83.937 84.338 85.328 84.783 84.235 84.921 85.127 85.177 85.038 85.404 85.26 85.841 87.671

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton was quickest in both of Friday’s sessions. But he struggled on Saturday morning, unable to get the car to turn in properly at turn one on the super-softs.

He switched brake material from Carbone Industrie to Brembo ahead of qualifying – as he had also done at the Nurburgring – and was instantly back on the pace.

So much so that he was the only driver to make it through Q2 without using a set of super-soft tyres, keeping a fresh set in hand for the race.

He was fastest at the start of Q1 but was pipped to pole position by Sebastian Vettel in the final shoot-out:

“At one stage during Q3 I was up,” said Hamilton, “I had half a tenth in reserve.

“But then I went a little bit wide, which triggered a big oversteer moment, and the result was that I lost that crucial bit of time.”

He didn’t get a good start on the damp side of the grid, and went side-by-side with his team mate into the first corner. The pair gave each other a lot of room, and Hamilton emerged in front.

He was instantly on Vettel’s tail for the lead and made several attempts to pass in the opening laps. Eventually he got down the inside of the Red Bull at turn two and through into the lead.

Within a lap he was 2.5 seconds ahead. By half-race distance Hamilton was seven seconds clear of his team mate, who had taken over from Vettel in second place.

His race began to unravel when he made his third pit stop on lap 40. While his team mate and the two Red Bulls opted for soft tyres, Hamilton took another set of super-softs.

His pace was slower than Button’s, suggesting he was trying to eke his tyres out to the end of the race. Given that Kamui Kobayashi abandoned a stint on super-softs after 25 laps, it’s hard to imagine Hamilton could have gone 30 without losing so much time he would have lost the lead.

In the end we never got to find out, as the rain came down and Hamilton pitted for intermediates. Two laps later he was back in to replace them with a set of soft slicks.

“We were having radio issues,” said Hamilton. “I could hear my engineers, they couldn’t hear me, so I was constantly asking them for information, but they couldn’t hear me. So it was a very difficult call for them.”

By this time he’d already had a spin at the chicane – “I’m disappointed in myself”, he admitted afterwards. The spin cost him the lead to Button but his spin-turn recovery was even more damaging,

The stewards determined he had forced Paul di Resta off the track during his hasty recovery. Hamilton apologised to Di Resta afterwards, and took his penalty three laps after his final pit stop.

He came out of the pits behind Webber, who overtook Massa on lap 57, Hamilton following him by.

Six laps later Webber and Hamilton reached a string of lapped cars. While Webber pulled out to pass Kamui Kobayashi on the way into turn 12, Hamilton swept around the pair of them to snatch fourth place.

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011

Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011

Jenson Button

Button’s best qualifying performance since Monaco put him third on the grid, less than five-hundredths of a second behind Hamilton.

He held fire at the start, content not to force the issue with his team mate. He switched to slicks a lap before Vettel and Hamilton, closing in on the pair of them, before taking second off Vettel on lap 14.

Button said afterwards he fancied his chances of winning had the race stayed dry. He was quicker than Hamilton at the end of stints and admitted he was “surprised” how early he was called in for his third stop, which was in reaction to Ferrari pitting Fernando Alonso early.

Now on softs, Hamilton on super-softs, Button took two seconds out of his team mate in three laps. On lap 47 the rain hit, Hamilton spun and Button was in the lead.

Button described what happened: “I came round the corner and saw Lewis facing the other way.

“I went to the inside and I was just about to overtake Adrian Sutil and had to hammer the brakes on, as it was a yellow flag. He had backed off to let me by, so I almost stopped the car, he almost stopped the car and Lewis was able to turn the car around and he was on my bumper before the next corner, so it made it very tricky.”

Four laps later, under pressure from Hamilton, Button slithered off at turn two and his team mate was back in the lead. Button retaliated on the pit straight, claiming his lead back, but once again Button ran wide at the second corner allowing Hamilton through again.

If either of them had been told to “maintain the gap” they must have developed selective deafness. But their precise, hard-but-fair racing exemplified why such orders are unnecessary.

Meanwhile the team were trying to decide whether to bring them in for intermediates. Webber had already done so, and Button explained both were told to come in for intermediates at the end of the lap.

“I didn’t answer back because I was never going to,” he said afterwards. As they neared the end of the lap Button was told to stay out while Hamilton came out: “They didn’t want to queue us,” Button added.

Button explained his decision to stay out, saying: “I was never really going to come in for inters anyway. I didn?t think it was the right choice personally.

“We weren?t going slowly enough, to start with. We were struggling on the tyres, it was difficult keeping the car on the circuit but we weren?t that slow, it wasn?t inter pace really.

“And when you put the inters on, you?ve got to put the dries back on as well, so you?ve got to stop twice. For me, it wasn?t the right decision.”

This was the call that won Button the race. As the track dried again he increased his lead over Vettel to almost ten seconds before backing off.

The timing of his win couldn’t have been better: five years to the race since his maiden F1 triumph, and in his 200th Grand Prix start.

“For some reason I like these conditions, don?t ask me why, but it worked out again,” he said, adding later, “but I would like to win one in the dry, please.”

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

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116 comments on McLaren: Button made call to stay out during rain

1 2 3
  1. Craig said on 1st August 2011, 19:07

    Button cant win a dry race, not really good as F1 follows the sunshine!

    • I’ve seen him win dry races, you must be new to F1.

      • Becken said on 1st August 2011, 21:06

        He cant win dry races against Lewis Hamilton in pure pace. Thats it!

        • Addster said on 2nd August 2011, 22:40

          I can’t take button as a true contender unlikley to be in the true fight.

          people who say he’s a rain master he hasn’t even won a wet race in his career yet and remember korea 2010 which was wet throughout the only cars he was able to beat was 2 HRT’s and a lotus

          Even in his 4 wins in wet/dry conditions just think back to the wet stage of the race and button wasn’t making progress or setting fastest laps only when the track was good for dry tyres he made progress often the first to do so because of his lack of pace

          • Korea was different he was trying an experimental brake system for McLaren for this current year he kept locking the front tyres and in those conditions you need to feel the car.

      • TomD11 (@tomd11) said on 1st August 2011, 23:44

        I think that should be amended to Button can’t win a dry race without a massive car advantage.

        2006 Hungary – Wet
        2009 won 6 of first 7 in the dominant Brawn and once they were caught up never won again
        2010 Australia – Wet (Lewis could have challenged if not won had it not been for a dodgy tyre call by the team)
        2010 China – Wet
        2011 Canada – Wet (Lewis was also faster here but came of worse after their coming together)
        2011 Hungary – Wet

        I still don’t understand why people think he’s so brilliant. He’s a nice enough guy but as a racing driver I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. He’s an alright driver who benefited from a rule change and as a consequence fould himself with a WDC and a McLaren seat. While I do believe you make your own luck and Jenson made the most of his, I honestly don’t think he’s in that top tier of drivers.

        On top of that, my opinion of JB hasn’t really been helped by his tenure with McLaren. The thing that rankles most is that as a Lewis fan on top of a few bad calls, sometimes McLaren seem obsessed with equality to his detriment. As JB is the beneficiary, being a Hamilton fan, that sometimes leads to a feeling antipathy towards him. Especially when they don’t have a winning car and IMO they should really put their weight behind one driver. Obviously I think Lewis would be the better bet and so it tends to grate when they don’t. As an F1 fan I much prefer seeing teammates battle but I’m a hyprocrite so when it adversely affects the driver I support it annoys me somewhat. Especially after what looks like 3 years without a title.

        Consequently when a driver who I didn’t think was anything special to begin with seems to benefit from the misfortunes of the driver I support, I don’t tend to hold him in the greatest esteem. That’s just me though.

        • Button is in F1 and highly rated by the team principals (with the exception of Briatore perhaps) How many times do we have to say that Brawn compared him favourably to schumacher. But no, you know more apparently.

          Here is what Gil De Ferran had to say about him as quoted by James Allen on his site

          “It became apparent to me very quickly that Jenson’s skill was at a very high level looking at his data traces,” recalled De Ferran, once a champion driver himself in America, “There was never any exaggeration in his throttle, brake or steering, everything was done the precise amount. He would never over do it and come back,

          “It indicated tremendous amount of feel, I think a driver that has the level of feel and sensitivity in his hands and feet that Jenson has, is able to drive at a very high limit without ever making mistakes or overstepping the mark.”

          Pressed for examples, De Ferran remembered qualifying for the British Grand Prix 2005 in particular. Button qualified 3rd, but, as is sadly all too common in the sport, the brilliance of what he had achieved was appreciable only by the handful of people inside the team with access to the telemetry,

          “I remember looking at his data after qualifying and thinking, ‘Jesus, Christ!’ He had basically judged every corner to absolute perfection. That’s something the public doesn’t see; the tiny adjustments he made to find a whole new limit was very impressive to me. It was perfect – there was not one correction too many. It was all done with surgical precision; the throttle, brake and steering were all just perfect

          I have no qualms saying that Hamilton is one of the best two in F1 right now, alongside Alonso, but what is with the constant denail regarding Button.

          If were THAT lucky why bother with the F1 career, he only needs to spend a pound every now and then to win the national lottery.

          I get really sick of hearing luck luck luck.

          He’s highly rated, just not by you. And you really don’t matter because those that do, rate him, pay him and give him machinery capable of winning races.

          • TomD11 (@tomd11) said on 2nd August 2011, 0:50

            He’s good but not great. It’s just the way some people carry on like he’s up there with the best that annoys me, when he’s clearly not. In comparable cars history has shown he can only win when it’s wet and even then he’s not some infallible racing god as some seem to think. When he wins a wet race by over a minute he might be slightly more deserving of the kudos he gets but until then he’s a decent driver who seems to do quite well in changeable conditions, nothing more. He may well be a technically brilliant driver but in a dry race that simply doesn’t make up for his lack of pace.

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 2nd August 2011, 9:12

            @TomD11 Well, prepare to be annoyed for quite some time, because Button is up there with the best. You may not like it, but that doesn’t change the facts. He’s keeping up with Lewis for the second season in the row and looks much better than Massa or Webber, when you compare them to their team mates.

            Basically it all depends how many drivers you want to count as “the best”. If you want to count only top 3, than sure, Button is out. However he’s definitely among the top 5 or 6. I don’t know about you, but I call it “up there”.

        • The Sri Lankan said on 2nd August 2011, 0:51

          i have to say that i dont rate Jensen at all. Malaysia 09 could have been Toyota’s first win and Glock was catching him with pace to spare. but jensen had to have a cry to get the race called off….

          • Casanova (@casanova) said on 2nd August 2011, 11:30

            Don’t be ridiculous – anyone who watched that race could see that it was completely impossible to continue. It was a monsoon!

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd August 2011, 12:32

            I hate to call bias as it is normally incredibly unfair and pig-headed to do so, but you ignoring all the facts of the race, ignoring that the cars were travelling at about 30 mph and still falling off the track, and that just about EVERY driver was ‘crying to get the race called off,’ and to then blame it solely on Jensen for scuppering the race of the most average team in F1 can’t be anything but.

        • So for Jenson to be considered good enough he basically has to lap the entire field and win, just coming first isn’t good enough.

          Overtaking practically the entire field and forcing the ‘highly’ rated Vettel into and error on the last laps is just plain easy, I don’t know why everybody doesn’t do it.

          If Jenson is only good what does that make Heiki who rarely finished within 5 places of Lewis and didn’t even win a race in a year when the Mclaren was clearly a class car. Unlike this year where it’s not always even second best.

          No one is saying Button is one of the ‘greats’. I see more vitriol written about him and have not seen one single comment that elevates him to the status of Senna or Fangio other than what BRAWN said. And that was Brawn, you know, the guy who helped out MS.

          I’m not even a Lewis fan but I am not pathetic enough to belittle him for his errors and lack of judgement or call him lucky every time something goes his way. I big enough to acknowledge him for what he is, one of the best in F1 right now. A very entertaining driver.

          So without attemtping to elevate Button beyond a damned good racing driver I am just trying to redress teh balance for those unnecessarily negative people and haters who are no doubt simply jealous.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 2nd August 2011, 7:34

            I do have to say that for me, the praise heaped upon Button (and so far DiResta too) whenever possible by the BBC is a bit much at times when Hamilton gets praise only in a sort of “yeah we criticize, but look he came through and showed us an entertaining race again” like an apology. Brundle isn’t a fan of HAM, I am sure (but DC is usually quick to put some perspective to him).
            That doesn’t really make me rate Button higher.

            But I do think Button is a lot better than the 2007,8 Honda made him look, and it’s no accident he was the 2009 WDC. He is good in changeable conditions, and when he gets the car to his liking. He isn’t great when the car isn’t there (hm, like Trulli with the steering?). That’s where Alonso and Hamilton are beating him – ultimately it is race to race consistency despite the circumstances. That’s also where I see his changes of battling for the 2011 WDC be too slim.

          • Boomerang said on 3rd August 2011, 7:41

            Don’t bother mate, they don’t understand it, it’s pure waste of time…
            Thanks for DeFerran’s quote…

        • Coefficient said on 2nd August 2011, 11:39

          Selective amnesia always recalls in favour of personal bias which is probably why you neglect to mention that but for poor team strategy this year, Jenson could have won Monaco which was jolly sunny. The fact that Hamilton was out of position due to poor qualifying is irrelevant, you’ve got to roll with the dice you’re given.

          Also, JB would have won Monza last year if the team hadn’t fluffed his pit stop, Jenson comprehensively outperformed Lewis that weekend.

          I think most would agree that Hamilton is a touch quicker than Jenson on ultimate pace but Jenson keeps him more honest than most would and considering everybody expected Button to kill off his career by taking Hamilton on I think he’s doing great. He’s added 45% of his career wins to his tally whilst team mates with “the fastest driver in formula 1″ which is no mean feat, ask Heiki Kovalainen.

          When you’re a little down on pace you have to make the difference up with your other attributes and Jenson can dig deep enough to stop Hamilton getting complacent. That said, Jenson was right there with Lewis on pace this weekend, less than a fag paper between them in qualifying and Jenson had the race pace to get the job done as it became clear from the first round of stops that Lewis was struggling towards the end of the stints.

          The moment Lewis put a 3rd set of super softs on with 30 laps to go he was never going to win, he still lacks the Prost like race brain of Button and Alonso. Admittedly, if he ever develops that aspect of his racing then god help the rest of them but until that happens it will remain fair to say that when the racing gets complicated Jenson is better whereas in perfect conditions Lewis is peerless on outright pace.

    • Scuderia Britalia Racing - Lucas "Mr. Veloce" - Yours With Wings said on 1st August 2011, 20:15

      Australia ’09, Bahrain ’09, Spain ’09, Monaco ’09 and Turkey ’09. Yeh, they were soaking, nearly all had to be called off…

    • The moist master

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st August 2011, 22:19

      We might have seen him do it here. Or maybe the cars just have too much grip currently for his skills to shine more than those of others in on a dry track that is not slippery from sand or something.

  2. Alfie said on 1st August 2011, 19:09

    If either of them had been told to “maintain the gap” they must have developed selective deafness.

    Hahaha!

  3. Hairs (@hairs) said on 1st August 2011, 19:11

    Every pundit seems to say the thing about Button in those conditions is that he can test the limits further than any other driver on the grid – he has the confidence to say “I can go into there at that speed and it’ll work” where another driver wouldn’t even consider it.

    And it’s the reason why he’s not beating Hamilton in the dry – he’s not taking the same risks, believing the car will stick and hold for him.

    Confidence, confidence, confidence. As we saw in Silverstone 2009 when it disappeared on him, or any time he’s got “massive understeer” in qualifying. Have the same mental attitude in the dry as you do in the damp, and Lewis has a real fight on his hands.

    • I wonder what every happened to Lewis’ fabled ability in wet conditions? After Britain and Monaco in 2008 it seemed like he might be untouchable in the wet – but now it seems Button has Hamilton in the palm of his hand when it starts to rain. What’s going on?

      • Lewis was dominating Button in the early stages, when the track was truly wet.

      • mwoerne (@mwoerne) said on 1st August 2011, 21:10

        That’s simply not true at all. It is Hamilton, if anything, who has Button in the palm of his hand during wet conditions. Hamilton was FLYING in the wet in Hungary (going way faster than Button), and was just as fast as Button in “mixed conditions” during the race, so I’m not at all sure what you’re talking about. Lewis was also faster than Button in Canada, but, as we know, when he tried to take advantage of that speed difference, he crashed into his teammate. And remember Spa last year? I recall Lewis doing quite well in mixed conditions there. Button, I’m afraid to say, really just has luck going with him in these circumstances. All of the races he’s won for McLaren in mixed conditions Lewis could have won as well, had it not been for a complete lack of luck on Hamilton’s part. In all of those races, Lewis was faster until something (either by his own doing or by his team’s strategy calls) happened that threw him out of contention.

        • GEZ (@gez) said on 1st August 2011, 21:33

          @mwoerne totally agree

        • So Button wins because of Lewis bad luck AND because of his own good luck.

          I like your reasoning.

          • Lee Harrison said on 1st August 2011, 22:31

            So Hamilton spinning, re-passing Button then being caught and passed by Button again before Button slides off is bad luck??

            Hmmm…

        • Alex W said on 2nd August 2011, 0:44

          Lewis was very lucky to finish in Spa last year after he crashed off, didn’t you remember that? Button would have won that one if he wasn’t taken out!

          • Addster said on 2nd August 2011, 22:49

            Spa 2010
            did you see the amount of cars he was holding up from behind well it was 2 red bulls and a renault you can’t say he would have won because you can’t tell what would have happened
            what happens, happens like me saying Hamilton 2010 world champion if his wheel didn’t fail with 2 laps to go in spain

            then he was able to say after the race
            “18 points lost could have been better”
            joke lol

        • Coefficient said on 2nd August 2011, 12:04

          Jenson was caught behind Vettel and trying to make his tyres last by dropping out of the dirty air. Hamilton was flogging his horsey too hard and buggered his tyres up making him very slow at the end stints. They’re different racing philosophies, Hamilton wants to run and hide and defend from attacks when the tyres have gone off whereas Button likes to average the performance out over a stint and it works especially welll in those conditions. When the time came to get the hammer down, Jenson was quicker on the Softs than Lewis was on the Super softs which are supposed to be worth 8 tenths per lap. No biased argument stacks up very well against the facts, I think we have to give this one to Jenson especially as Hamilton made 4 mistakes during the race any one of which would have lost him the race but I guess he wanted to make damn sure he’d come 4th by taking a 3rd set of S/Softs, spinning on those S/Softs, doing a donut into oncoming traffic and then asking the team for inters when there was barely a drop of rain on the racing line. Yep, he was quick but his overall approach was shabby.

        • Baremans said on 3rd August 2011, 10:02

          Racing is not only driving fast. It includes having the ability to make the right calls in difficult conditinos. Button does that better than Lewis. It’s not “luck” that Button won several races in mixed conditions.
          Regardless what people think, Button did win several mixed conditions races and it usually turned out that he made race-winning call. If you don’t think that’s a true asset for a race driver, than I don’t think you fully appreciate what racing is all about.
          It’s not only going as fast as possible at all times.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd August 2011, 12:47

        He was careless in Canada (although I still think Lewis retiring was more Button’s fault), but he was also moving up the field fairly quickly- the brief time he was in the race and pointing the right way, it looked like he was in a position to fight to win. And he was fast in Hungary too, but was unfortunate and mistaken in his decisions. Jenson seems to keep a cooler head in those conditions- he has great pace too, but unlike Hamilton he less regularly throws it away. I think in a purely wet race Hamilton would still have the ability to show his talent.

        • Coefficient said on 3rd August 2011, 12:38

          Canada was never Buttons fault in a million years. Button took the racing line in order to defend it as any racing driver worth his salt is obliged to do. If you watch the in car footage of Hamilton’s approach on Button he gets his left wheels on the thin, soaking wet strip of grass that runs along side the pitwall. This typically makes Hamiltons car spear to the right making his front right quarter hit Button and his Left rear corner hit the pit wall which is what prevented him from continuing. Hamilton should have gone downt he outside into turn one, he had enough overspeed to have a clean shot at Button down there but he could wait and went for a gap that was not there by the time he arrived.

  4. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st August 2011, 19:34

    He’d have still won even without the rain, considering LH needed to pit for tyres again.

    It’s impressive how hard he pushes and how calm he is, hardly putting a wheel at the wrong place.

    It’s weird because he excels when the track it’s tricky but when it really rains, he doesn’t particularly shine.

    • TomD11 (@tomd11) said on 1st August 2011, 23:03

      Would he have though? I still don’t understand how Lewis lost the race. This isn’t me thinking Lewis can do no wrong, I was genuinely confused. When he put on the super-softs he should have been faster than Jenson but he wasn’t. That lack of pace relative to Jenson is what doesn’t make sense to me. If it was on purpose and Lewis was trying to make the tyres last to the end, surely he would have put on the softs. However, if it was out of Lewis’ hands, I can’t fathom why. I think Alonso also lost time and it doesn’t make sense to me. As I see it, track evolution would still favour the super-softs, as would lower temperatures and rain (and conditions didn’t seem like they would lead to higher degradation), so could someone please explain why that wasn’t the case.

      • Steven said on 2nd August 2011, 1:52

        The call for super softs is what cost him the race. Yes, over one or two laps those tires are 0.5 – 1 second a lap faster, but they degrade so quickly that within 3-4 laps the softs were as fast, if not faster.

        Track evolution this year hasn’t been that pronounced and the lower temps contributed to higher wear as the tires were sliding more on the surface. Starsports did a good feature on the tires, showing that the front right took a battering on a lot of corners and especially turn 2 as the corner drops away and it was having to work especially hard to keep the car balanced. In the wet this was even more pronounced as the cars were struggling to hold on. I believe this is why the tire wear was high.

      • Coefficient said on 2nd August 2011, 12:11

        We saw surprising pace from the harder compound in Nurburgring in the final stint. When the track rubbers in the compounds performances seem to converge a little so given the better durability of the harder compound, that seems to be the tyre to be on at the end of the race.

      • Coefficient said on 3rd August 2011, 12:43

        Lewis did his fastest qualifying lap on the softs as opposed to the super softs. Maybe he hadn’t been paying proper attention to how the compounds perform on low fuel.

  5. shadow13 (@shadow13) said on 1st August 2011, 19:40

    I think it is mainly Button’s decisions in the wet that win him races not his superior driving which I don’t believe he possesses. Lewis Hamilton is a far superior driver, which is compliment indeed coming from a Ferrari fan. In normal race conditions Hamilton is much better, in qualifying he is also considerably better. I find Button very annoying to be honest, almost every qualifying session he has blamed his poor performance on a sudden loss of grip that has appeared since the morning. Utter rubbish. He is a mediocre driver, who is exceptional at making calls on tyres. I say they should get a decent driver to replace him and have as their official tyre advisor.

    • Alexi said on 1st August 2011, 19:45

      Decent driver? Who are you going to suggest? Paul Di Resta? Ricciardo? They’d get stomped by Hamilton like Kovalainen was.

      You don’t win the championship by being a mediocre racer, not even in a Red Bull-like car, as Webber and Barrichello liked to prove. Not to mention Button would probably be ahead of Hamilton if wasn’t for Mclaren screwing up his last two races, and most of the paddock agrees he’s a very likeable guy.

    • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 3rd August 2011, 7:49

      The average qualifying gap between Hamilton and Button is less than a tenth of a second so far this year. So what you’re saying is that Hamilton is less than a tenth faster than a ‘mediocre’ driver? It’s a wonder how such mediocre drivers win world championships isn’t it?

  6. HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st August 2011, 19:48

    I think Hamiltons penalty was a bit harsh from what I saw of it, he was sitting right in the middle of the track just around a corner, very dangerous place to be, I would have been in a hurry to get out of there if it had been me. Also the way he spun the car on its axis hardly moved its position on the track and DiResta would probably have had to go of track to miss him if he had not moved.Naturally I realise that the stewards had more information than me,but it still seemed harsh…”give a dog a bad name etc.”

  7. DaveW said on 1st August 2011, 19:49

    I love these team write ups.

    My mouth was bone dry when the two McLarens were trading punches after Hamilton’s spin. That was incredible stuff. I’m sure Whitmarsh was about to faint. How is it that the two McLarens together provide some of the best actual racing in F1? They should be allowed to have four cars.

    As far as Button saying he would have stayed out anyway, whatever. He didn’t have to make the choice. And he was just guessing just like everyone else and just like the pitwall. He had no idea if it was going to rain more. The irony of the brilliant decision he didn’t have to make was that Hamilton, who actually came in for the cancelled stop, was fitted with the tires the team had just decided neither car needed.

    Hats off to him for a great drive in messy conditions. But the whole issue of him making a brilliant choice and acutely measuring the conditions is apocryphal.

    My sense is that he prospers in these mixed conditions not because he makes genius tire choices and reads the race, but because he is extraordinarily disciplined in his driving and minimizes mistakes.

    • Steven said on 2nd August 2011, 2:03

      he never actually said it was his call. On the interview on the bbc forum, he said earlier in the lap both drivers were told to come in and queue for inters. He said he never responded. On the second to last corner his team told him to stay out, which he said, he was planning to do anyway.

      So, yes, he was kinda lucky to make the right call. But the fact he thought about it and didn’t jump to conclusions is what won him the race, and he seems to be very good at that!

  8. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 1st August 2011, 20:04

    Why do people consider Jenson an inferior driver, and don’t think that he’s capable of challenging Vettel for the Championship, when if his car or team hadn’t failed him, he’d be the closest driver to Vettel at the moment?

    Not to mention that he is the only driver, I believe, apart from the Red Bulls, that has yet to have a non-finish that was his own fault. (Unless of course you include Alonso, which is debatable as I believe it was a racing incident).

  9. It’s funny how people actually seem to think that driving in the dry is harder than driving in the wet. Funny how when it’s drivers like Schumacher, people think it’s a talent, yet when it’s Button, he’s just lucky or he’s no good in the dry.

    The simple fact is that Button drives differently than anyone else and recieves a huge amount of accolade from team prinicipals such as Witmarsh, Brawn (who likened him to Schumacher)Dave Richards and Gil De Ferran who worked with him at BAR Honda and recognized his unique talents and precision. But what do they know, they’re just wasting their money on him, after all he’s only got one WDC, he’s nobody.

    It’s too much too accept that Hamilton did not win yesterday, that Button did. Button made barely any mistakes. Is that luck? Hamilton made a race losing error at a point when Button had a pitstop over him anyway. Is that skill?

    I believe Hamilton is one of the most exciting and one of the best two racers in F1 today. But please. Give Button credit.

    He won the race on ability, the kind that often loses Lewis races.

  10. And what does that say about the Hamster?

  11. Rob G said on 1st August 2011, 20:20

    (To me at least) It is pretty obvious that queing in the pitlane would be detrimental to Button’s race, made the decision easy, if it was Button in front of Hamilton he would have pitted and Vettel would have won. Just that simple.

  12. MVEilenstein said on 1st August 2011, 20:43

    He is a mediocre driver, who is exceptional at making calls on tyres.

    My sense is that he prospers in these mixed conditions not because he makes genius tire choices and reads the race, but because he is extraordinarily disciplined in his driving and minimizes mistakes.

    This is why I love F1 Fanatic. Two people watch the same race, and come away with diametrically opposed perspectives.

    • While watching the race, I was also watching the live timing on Formula1.com

      Button was just as fast as Lewis and at the end of each tyre stint had started to reel Lewis in. BEFORE Lewis spun, Button was there around 4 seconds behind Lewis. Which is why he was able to capitalise on Lewis’s spin.

      By lap 45, on the softs he was running FASTER than Lewis on supersofts and as Button had the capacity to run to the end and Lewis did not, Button effectively had a pitstop over Lewis.

      Button deserved the race win as much as Lewis and more so because he actually won it.

      • MVEilenstein said on 1st August 2011, 20:54

        I don’t disagree. I’m just struck by the utter dichotomy of the two opinions.

        Bottom line: Button was leading when the checkered flag fell, which is really all that matters. The whithertos and whyfors ultimately mean nothing.

        • I understood, I am equally amazed that people can make statements such as Button can only win races in the wet and then list what they consider to be several races that Button only won because it was wet when in fact not a single drop of rain fell in any of them.

          It’s facts versus prejudice that gets me. I am a huge fan of Button and always first to defend him. But I know Hamilton is better. I state facts. Button was faster at Hungary, Button was catching Lewis, the live timing on the FIA’s website does not lie. There must be a reason other than Button made a better tyre choice (also a racing skill). Button can manage his tyres, thinks about the WHOLE race and not just chasing down the hare in front and is a precision driver and generally does not destroy his tyres like other (rear out) drivers.

          • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 1st August 2011, 23:02

            I completely agree. I am a huge Button fan as well, but can also admit he’s not always the fastest driver on the track, as he too admits.

            However, the best drivers are the most complete drivers, not simply the fastest. Hamilton proved that on Sunday (even though Button was just as fast) and so did Alonso. You need a calm head, you need consistency, you obviously need to speed, you need to have the feel to make the right choices and you need to be able to manage your tyres.

            Button has all of these, but a little lack luster in raw pace from time to time. This is also why I believe Vettel is so far ahead at the moment.

            How many times do I have to mention that Jenson would be Vettel’s closest challenger had it not been for incidents not in his own control.

      • did you see vettles fastest lap on live timming, he was 2 seconds faster where he cut corner somewhere on track

      • jasonpoly said on 1st August 2011, 23:06

        I wasn’t following the live timing, but what I saw on screen over that stint was Hamilton build an 8s gap, then lose 4s prior to both cars pitting. That’s still 4s faster over the stint. He was also 8s up again very soon after the pit stop. If things had remained the same for the rest of the race, I think Hamilton had the measure of Button. Tire wear would have become less of a factor towards the end of the race.

        As it was, Hamilton’s pit crew probably made an error by going with a 3rd set of super softs. I say probably since before the last set of rain Hamilton was 8s ahead and pulling out a gap with at least 10 laps of tire life left. At 1s a lap, that would have given him a pit stop gap. As it was, the rain came, he slowed down and made a couple of mistakes.

        • Button has been making one less stop than Hamilton recently, no reason to think he would have done different.

          As Lewis was getting 12 laps out of supersofts, by lap 25 when up spun he’d either have had to make 2 more stops to Buttons none or take on softs. It still would have been tocuh and go catching and repassing Button on old tyres. Not saying he couldn’t have done it.

  13. MVEilenstein said on 1st August 2011, 20:45

    Sorry, should have been block quotes. Ah, you get the idea.

  14. MGriffin90 (@mgriffin90) said on 1st August 2011, 21:12

    You know the world has truly gone mad when a world champion (well-deserved IMO) wins yet another race in challenging conditions, with precision and great thinking, and the commenters STILL call him mediocre.

  15. mikeycool said on 1st August 2011, 22:24

    I find it funny how each time hamilton has won, no one even mentions button in the same breath. But when Button wins, its always – ‘Button drove a great race and lewis is an idiot’.

    Fair play to Button, he won the race fair and square because he made the right choices in the rain, and had a very competitive pace. And if it rained every race, I’m sure Button would always be a front runner. The fact remains though, Hamilton will most often than not outpace and outrace Button fair and square regardless of the conditions.

    Hamilton has rarely been beaten by button simply because he wasnt as fast.

    Button deserves the credit for his wins no doubt, but please, don’t praise Jenson in order to spite Lewis. That Hamilton does not deserve.

    • ‘Button drove a great race and lewis is an idiot’

      I don’t see anyone saying that except you. As a Button fan I am more than pleased to praise Lewis, because for sure it makes Button’s win sweeter. I concede that Lewis is a faster more exciting looking racer than Button, but on the race occasions Button gets it right it’s really nice.

      As far as I can see it’s the over sensitivity of the Hamilton fans who think any praise of Button is an automatic criticism of Lewis, because they find it difficult to accept that Button won when Lewis did not and that obviously under ‘normal’ circumstances Hamilton would have won and Button still has to prove himself blah blah blah. INCREDULOUS.

      Simple fact. Button won.

      I’ve only seen one occassion where someone one nearly won by accident and without deserving and that was Nelson Piquet Junior who mysteriously found himself leading an F1 race when the whole field pitted under safety car and he did not.

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