McLaren: Another collision, another penalty for Hamilton

2011 Singapore GP team review

Lewis Hamilton’s troubled season continued in Singapore after another collision with a rival.

Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button
Qualifying position 4 3
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’44.809 (+0.005) 1’44.804
Race position 5 2
Laps 61/61 61/61
Pit stops 4 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
Lewis Hamilton 124.841 117.452 116.933 115.442 115.347 115.268 114.993 115.446 116.511 118.763 126.045 139.334 124.824 139.272 125.744 130.988 114.525 113.867 114.328 115.284 115.676 114.928 116.555 115.565 114.994 113.744 114.575 114.442 138.057 160.249 125.624 122.074 127.058 116.596 119.272 116.214 114.291 113.325 113.189 111.623 111.702 111.69 112.795 113.007 113.368 113.503 114.416 124.756 133.334 112.778 112.257 112.805 112.066 110.832 112.765 112.411 111.633 112.262 113.816 113.585 115.484
Jenson Button 119.507 116.428 115.779 115.41 115.43 115.484 115.104 114.991 115.285 115.282 115.604 115.68 116.511 124.378 135.594 114.354 114.155 114.356 114.322 114.322 114.063 114.107 114.917 114.114 114.702 115.713 113.876 113.6 114.059 146.125 159.646 166.74 159.95 116.023 112.181 112.873 112.246 112.201 112.017 111.984 111.712 111.698 111.665 111.908 112.123 111.987 112.647 120.256 132.904 110.4 111.441 111.061 109.293 108.454 108.704 108.712 109.001 109.153 111.929 111.22 113.113

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Singapore, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Singapore, 2011

Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Super soft 30.142s
Pit stop 2 Soft 33.456s
Pit stop 3 Super soft 30.706s
Pit stop 4 Soft 29.876s

Hamilton described his qualifying session as “eventful”. He damaged part of the car’s floor in Q1 which was repaired for the next session.

He picked up a puncture in Q2 when he ran over debris from Kamui Kobayashi’s crash and didn’t have enough fuel in Q3:

“We had an issue with the refuelling process ?ǣ we couldn?t get enough fuel into the car quick enough. In the end, we just ran out of time, so I couldn?t fit in my final run.”

McLaren request that Hamilton be allowed to change his damaged tyre before the race but were denied, costing him a set of super soft tyres. In the event, that was the least of his problems.

Hamilton made a good start but cautiously backing out of a lunge down the inside of Mark Webber cost him – he slipped down to seventh and then to cap it all was passed by Michael Schumacher heading into turn seven.

On lap four Schumacher ran slightly wide at turn five, Hamilton pressed his DRS button and he was past the Mercedes much more quickly than he had been in Monza. The next time by he took the sister car of Nico Rosberg.

It took Hamilton four laps to get within range of Felipe Massa. The pair pitted together on lap 11 and Hamilton came out right behind the Ferrari.

He had a look on the outside of Memorial corner and was in the process of pulling back behind the Ferrari when he carelessly clipped Massa’s right-rear tyre with his front wing, damaging both.

Unusually, McLaren kept him out for a lap with the left-hand portion of his front wing completely destroyed. They then switched him to the soft tyres with the intention of keeping him out as long as possible.

The stewards handed Hamilton a drive-through penalty – a straightforward and non-controversial decision given that he had wrecked Massa’s race. He served it on lap 16.

When the safety car came out Hamilton had done 16 laps on his soft tyres and the team decided to switch him to super softs so he could attack in the final stint.

This he did, passing Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg and Paul di Resta in succession to take fifth.

He had to repeat the process having made a final stop for another set of tyres on lap 48.

Massa claimed Hamilton ignored him in the media area afterwards. The Ferrari driver was seen interrupting a television interview with Hamilton to sarcastically tell him “good job, well done”.

Hamilton does not appear to have made any comment about his latest collision at the moment, making only passing reference to it in his remarks after the race.

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Jenson Button

Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Singapore, 2011

Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Singapore, 2011

Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 30.169s
Pit stop 2 Soft 29.921s
Pit stop 3 Super soft 30.305s

Button out-qualified Hamilton for the fourth time this year but was concerned about tyre temperatures: “We?re putting a lot of heat into the tyres ?ǣ so if we push hard in the first sector, we lose rear-end grip by the third sector.

“It?s difficult trying to find that balance, but I think we got reasonably close to it this evening.”

Button, who took medication for dehydration and a stomach complaint before the race, easily out-dragged Webber to take second place at the start – and held the place for every lap of the race.

He dropped back from Sebastian Vettel early on and although he gained some ground during the safety car period, he lost more time passing lapped cars.

Kamui Kobayashi proved particularly troublesome, earning himself a drive-through penalty after badly delaying Button

Button found more time than Vettel in his final stint on super soft tyres and cut Vettel’s lead from 12.7 seconds on lap 52 to 6.5 on lap 57.

From that point the gap between them varied wildly as they passed through large clumps of lapped cars.

Button started the final lap 6.5 seconds behind Vettel and ended it just 1.7 behind – the narrowest the margin had been all race.

He had some complaints about traffic after the race, but stopped short of saying it cost him a potential win: “If you look at the time at the end of the race, I was 1.7s behind Sebastian. I lost more than that behind Kobayashi but I?m sure Seb would have been driving at a different pace if he knew I was four seconds closer.

“The traffic that we had today is disappointing, I would say and it?s something that we need to concentrate on for the next race because I spent over a lap behind Kobayashi.

“There was no reason for him not to let me past, he had a clear circuit in front and I was lapping him, so very, very frustrating and something that we need to resolve for the future.”

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

2011 Singapore Grand Prix

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145 comments on McLaren: Another collision, another penalty for Hamilton

1 2 3
  1. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 26th September 2011, 19:58

    There’s nothing to say other than Jenson was the better Driver this Weekend,Great Drive & Final Charge.Lewis needs to get it together and this is not the first time coming from a McLaren fan we’re not expecting ‘recovery drives’ from him,We’re expecting him to be faster than if not as fast as Jenson & be Vettel’s Main Challenger.Whats happened to him since Hungary?

  2. I believe the stewards are being consistent. In Malaysia, Alonso lost his front wing against the back of Hamilton’s car, and it didn’t effect Hamilton, but Alonso still received a penalty.

    • streetfightingman said on 26th September 2011, 20:21

      I agree. It was the first thing that came up in my head when the Hamilton once again wrecked, that it would be sad if he didn’t get a penalty.

    • Christian said on 26th September 2011, 20:23

      That’s a fair point, not many people will pause to reflect upon that.

      Perhaps though, we should be questioning why penalties are given out so freely in modern day Formula One.

      • yeah neither alonso or lewis should get a penalty for an error IMO.

        penalties should be used for stupid pointless mistakes and purposely calculated moves that put another driver at risk.

        • dkpiote said on 27th September 2011, 17:25

          you claim lewis should not get a penalty for an error and then contradict yourself by saying “penalties should be used for stupid pointless mistakes” which is what hamilton did.
          hamiltons penalty was right as he caused “avoidable contact” which resulted in another drivers race being ruined.

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 27th September 2011, 21:01

            Plus, how would it look if Hamilton didn’t have to serve a penalty and rejoined the track way in front of Massa after they both had their mandatory pit stops…

            Not exactly fair I would say.

            It’s wrong when the victim of an accident pays a much higher penalty than the perpetrator. It shouldn’t matter if it’s on purpose or not.

      • f1geordie (@f1geordie) said on 26th September 2011, 21:17

        why didnt mark webber get a penalty for doing EXACTLY the same move at the same corner last year and putting hamilton out of the race?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th September 2011, 21:36

          The two incidents were completely different as I’ve already explained to you once but you appear to have ignored:

          http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2011/09/25/furious-massa-hits-hamilton-crash/comment-page-3/#comment-838033

          • Keith I’m going to have to diagree with you on this one. In the earlier post you described the incident as ‘Webber and Hamilton were side by side – racing incident’, when clearly the videos will show that Hamilton was ahead of Webber going into the corner, which is why Webber’s right front tyre contacted Hamilton’s left rear.

            For me, I can understand why they gave Hamilton a penalty this weekend, he caused an accident that affected another driver; but I will never understand how Webber got away with it last year. I’d love, for example, to see an overlay of Webber/Hamilton – Singapore 2010, with Hamilton/Maldonado – Monaco 2011. It’s not difficult to see why Hamilton often feels targetted by the stewards.

          • maxthecat said on 27th September 2011, 12:12

            Keith, your love for Red Bull is blinding you to facts, last year Webber punted Hamilton off the road, pure and simple, if Hamilton had done that to Webber he would have got a penalty and you know it.

          • David BR (@david-br) said on 27th September 2011, 15:33

            The incidents were different, sure. Hamilton was aborting an attempted pass but couldn’t control the wheels from locking up as he braked to match Massa (braking very heavily into the corner) and ‘wrecked Massa’s race’ [© Copyright Maranello 2011, though they don't explain how Hamilton recovered to 5th and how Massa would have achieved much better than where he ended up anyhow].

            Webber, though, wasn’t level but ‘challenging the corner’ alongside Hamilton, but behind. The reason he should have got a penalty, maybe, was that had Hamilton’s McLaren not been there to ‘brake’ him, his velocity into the corner would have sent him completely off-track, which indicates he came into the corner too fast, therefore producing an ‘avoidable incident.’ Whether he did so recklessly, knowing he was almost entirely likely to collide with Hamilton, is meaningless now.

            As for the example of Alonso being penalized for colliding with Hamilton, interesting that the latter also picked up a penalty simultaneously for supposedly weaving earlier, whereas we’ve seen numerous examples of other drivers weaving this season, including Vettel off the line, and escaping punishment. You can’t convince me FIA are consistent in relation to Hamilton, at all.

          • Hewis Lamilton said on 27th September 2011, 17:01

            +1 Keith

            I definately would not want to be on track racing with those stating it was Webber’s fault.

          • JSC and Anthony_MR are right here, there is no way Webber and Hamilton could be described as “side by side” in last year’s incident. Webber carried far too much speed into the corner, and attempted a barge through. Lewis was at worst guilty of closing the door. Lewis was careless this year, but he was far less careless than Webber was last year.

            The penalty is for “causing an avoidable accident”, not “causing a specific type of accident where the cars are a given value of y inside each other’s axle”. Webber caused an avoidable accident last year and should have been punished.

        • Webber didn’t get a penalty because he was on the inside for the corner, and had no where to go, Lewis turned into him and didn’t give him enough room. If anything, it was Lewis’ own fault.

          • I believe Webber’s car comes with a brake pedal. If Hamilton had run into Webber’s left rear tyre into turn one at the start of the race on Sunday he would have gotten another penalty. Instead, he slowed down, conceded the corner, and lost 3 places in the process. Webber should have done the same last year.

          • Hewis Lamilton said on 27th September 2011, 17:06

            No, no brake pedal last year in Webber’s car.

        • It wasn’t the same move. Webber had nowhere to go and Hamilton just turned into him. It was a racing incident because they both were to blame. Webber should probably have bailed out, and Hamilton shouldn’t have taken the turn that tight.

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 27th September 2011, 21:10

            It was clearly Hamilton’s fault.

            A few laps later in that race Kubica showed how Hamilton should have done it.
            Kubica tried to pass (Sutil?) on the outside towards turn 7 but saw the other wasn’t going to yield. So, Kubica gave enough room, made the corner and the pass.
            There was no touching, no blocking, just a clean pass.

        • f1geordie (@f1geordie) said on 27th September 2011, 17:12

          Sorry for not seeing your first reply Keith! I still think if you’d have swapped Webber and Hamilton around last year then Hamilton would have got a penalty – they clearly were not side-by-side and Webber could have braked to avoid the collision, just like Hamilton did at the start of the 2011 race as he was up the inside of Webber.

          I still think it was right that Hamilton was given a penalty this year, but Webber should have got one last year. Thanks for the discussion, though!

          • Yes, both Webber last year and Hamilton this year deserved a penalty or neither, simple as that.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th September 2011, 9:59

            Sorry for not seeing your first reply Keith!

            That’s alright I realise it’s not always easy with the site as it is at the moment. Something I plan to change in the future.

  3. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 26th September 2011, 20:02

    these results were typical of their 2011 seasons. jenson’s race-craft has been outstanding this year, while lewis seems to be an implosion in progress.

  4. Keith, pretty sure Button started the final lap 6.5 seconds BEHIND Vettel.

  5. It is amazing how Hamilton recovered from accident and penalty. But Button definetely drove better. He’s now fast as Hamilton except qualifying.

    Speaking of accident, even Hamilton paid his mistake, I understand Massa’s anger either. He has been suffered from Hamilton too frequently this year.

    • As much as I was angered with Lewis or crashing, his race from then on was incredible, and he passed many cars with ease and quickly.
      I lost some more respect for Hamilton this weekend, but that al went to Button who was superb at the end.
      Anyway, Button beat Hamilton four times on 14 in qualy, and Massa beat Aloso two times on 14, so I can’t see all the fuss about Massa’s poor qualifying, he has often been very close (not to take away rom Button, he’s been great this year).

      • vho (@) said on 28th September 2011, 6:18

        I don’t see the fuss in Lewis’ charge from the back of the field – in fact I don’t see why many people fuss so much about a driver in clearly the top 3 fastest teams come from the back of the field to finish in the top 5-7 places. Lewis set the 4th fastest lap time and is average lap times (accident/penalties aside) was within the top 6 placings. Lewis finished at the bottom out of the top 3 teams (Massa aside because of their collision and Massa’s inability to drive fast. LoL).

  6. Franton said on 26th September 2011, 20:11

    “Carelessly clipped Massa’s tyre …” .. look again at the footage. His tyre was locked up and smoking. That’s the point where you’re a passenger, not a driver. “Careless” is an unfortunate choice of word.

    • Carelessly late&hard braked? I don’t think he tried to destroy Massa’s tyre but it doesn’t mean he was careful.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th September 2011, 20:19

      His tyre was locked up and smoking.

      And whose fault was that?

      “Careless” is a deliberate choice of word.

    • streetfightingman said on 26th September 2011, 20:22

      The inside, unloaded wheel was slightly locked up. You’re not a passanger at all. You’re still in control.

      • Franton said on 26th September 2011, 20:39

        Then you’ve not had to brake hard in a road car to avoid someone. If your tyres are skidding you do not have anywhere near the same amount of control than if they were properly gripping the tarmac. That’s just physics.

        • Yes, please Franton, lets take that analogy further.

          If that happens, and you hit someone in front, who do you (or the police in case they are nessiccary) put down as responsible for the incident? Exactly, the person who was to close and could not stop before hitting someone.

          • Correct. As Keith keeps saying, the fault lies with the car behind. BUT – consider the speeds they are doing. Consider that the drivers can’t see their own front wings. And consider that the car behind and outside (Hamilton) is relying on the other car’s braking and turn in point being consistent. If Massa braked a little sooner or harder than Hamilton expected, or turned in a little tighter, then his car would not be where Hamilton expected it to be. Hamilton no doubt wanted to come out of the corner inside of Massa, and he had to make his decisions for all of this several seconds earlier. His misjudgment was only a couple of inches – the cars had the lightest of taps. Add to this mix the fact that Massa detests Hamilton and will do his utmost to both make it hard for Hamilton and make it look like Hamilton makes mistakes (as per Monaco- the replay stills show the hairpin incident was 100% Massa’s fault yet he managed to be perceived as the victim). The lesson Hamilton needs to learn is that when passing Massa he should give him double room and leave an extra margin of safety.

          • @Brit, If you are right that it is the car behind that is at Fault. Then Webber should have received the penalty last year.

          • Sorry buddy, it’s not that straightforward. The car in front can be guilty. Let’s call front car “car 1” and back car “car 2”.

            If “car 1” suddenly slows down in a fast lane and “car 2” fails to stop the car before hit “car 1” it cannot be blamed. Your assumption qualifies everybody in a crash in chain as guilty, which is not correct.

          • @Jcost

            Actually on the road and in law you are incorrect, the car behind is to blame no matter how hard the car “car1″ breaks / slows down.

          • @W-K: Agreed. Or neither should have been. One of the points I was trying to make in my original post is that these errors of judgment are tiny, and sometimes based on one driver’s expectation (formed several seconds earlier) of what another driver might do or what his line might be. Once you’re committed, you’re committed. But if that other driver doesn’t quite go where you expected him to, a collision can occur. My other point was that Massa is very good at changing his line and braking point in a corner so that any collision looks like it was the other person’s fault.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 27th September 2011, 4:34

          His outer wheel was locked. In cornering this has WAY more grip than the inner wheel. Could be as much as 3 times more grip in fact.

    • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 26th September 2011, 20:24

      losing control of the car does not absolve the driver of responsibility. “careless” is a very appropriate choice.

    • panache (@panache) said on 26th September 2011, 20:26

      He was on the outside and turned in on Massa without scrubbing off enough speed beforehand.

      Locked brakes or otherwise, he caused an avoidable collision by turning in too early in an attempt to stay as close to Massa’s rear wing as possible.

      There’s no two ways about it, he made a careless error of judgement.

    • his tyre wasn’t locked up and smoking. The incident happened while accelerating out of the corner. He was just trying to cut back and traction better than Massa and he just misjudged the move.

    • He had the runoff ahead o him, unlike Webber last year; Massa occupied a minimal part o the track on his left, and braked late to repass Hamilton, who braked early and turned ignorin what Massa was doing, when slightly turning the wheel or accelerating a bit might have saved both’s races.

    • halifaxf1fan (@halifaxf1fan) said on 27th September 2011, 23:28

      It is funny how Hamilton fans argued quite loudly that Hamilton was in complete control when he was ‘hooning’ in Australia or doing 180′s in the middle of a busy racetrack in Hungary but now when he has a tiny puff of smoke from one of his front tires he is completely out of control and just a passenger! He was careless driving into the back of Massa, in fact Hamilton this year has been an absolutely dreadful racecar driver.

      • vho (@) said on 28th September 2011, 6:41

        LMAO – COTD. Love it! The fact is you’ve got a really strong defender in Massa and a really strong attacker in Lewis – and the fact they have little respect for each other adds more fuel to the fire. Lewis made a poor judgement thinking he needed to get an early jump on the switch back given there is a short distance to the next corner – just lacking the patience really. He should’ve held back until he got to the DRS zone to make the move, in that way it wouldn’t hamper his overall race progress. Just look at Alonso – he knew Webber was going to take him and it was inevitable, but intelligently he let Webber through with minimal interruption to his own pace and hence he managed to get 4th spot from a car that really should have been 5th or 6th.

    • “His tyre was locked up and smoking. That’s the point where you’re a passenger, not a driver.”

      That’s the problem with tyres, when the driver ask them to supply more friction than is available, they don’t like it and react angrily, throw their toys out of the pram and even have a fag. They should have had the penalty, not Hamilton.

  7. panache (@panache) said on 26th September 2011, 20:16

    Button started the final lap 6.5 seconds ahead of Vettel and ended it just 1.7 behind – the narrowest the margin had been all race.

    If only Button was ahead by 6.5 seconds going into the final lap :)

    Good write-up, the lap time chart makes for interesting viewing.

    Judging by the lack of variation, or to put it another way the consistency of Buttons lap times in his second and third stints, he hadn’t yet pushed the tyres to their limit when he came in to pit. Is that a fair assessment?

    Button said himself after the race that the last stint was the first time in the race where he was allowed to push instead of managing tyres.

    The speed at which he was reeling in Vettel seemed so rediculously fast that I was convinced at the time Vettel was struggling to control the margin.

    Would he really allow Button to close the gap to within 3.7 seconds at 2 seconds per lap that late in the race, considering he brilliantly managed to sustain a comfortable margin of 12+ seconds for the bulk of the race beforehand?

    Personally I don’t think so and even in the press conference Vettel’s comments about having the situation under control seemed to be delivered tentatively to me.

    Is it not possible that Vettel’s immense pace throughout the early and mid stages of the race combined with the Safety Car closing his initial gap led to him being compromised on fuel, forcing him into a heavy fuel saving mode where he could no longer match Button’s ultimate pace as Button let it rip with everything in his car set to achieve peak performance?

    Perhaps I’m just clutching at straws, but Button’s late race charge got my pulse up with the nostalgia of Canada bristling in my mind.

    • I reckon that was the thinking in the McLaren pit.

    • Red Bulls issues with their KERS being on the limit with cooling might have been part of the reason as well.

      It certainly made it worthwhile for Button to have a go at putting up a bit of pressure to see if anything gave way in the Red Bull in front.

    • socalf1fan (@socalf1fan) said on 26th September 2011, 21:54

      Agreed…

      I suspect that there must be fuel-savings/KERs-preserving/”don’t push it to hard, you’ve got a safe lead Seb” things going on or the McLaren’s are just much faster on low fuel, because there have been several races in a row where the Seb’s lead has been well eaten into.

      Of course, if the McLaren’s were that much faster on low fuel, I’d expect that they wouldn’t be a half second behind in quali every time.

  8. Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 26th September 2011, 20:31

    “The stewards handed Hamilton a drive-through penalty – a straightforward and non-controversial decision given that he had wrecked Massa’s race.”

    I don’t remember Webber being handed a penalty last year in the same corner, in a very similar situation when he not only wrecked Hamilton’s race but also put him out of it, dashing his championship hopes in the process too.

    This time Hamilton’s case of unfair treatment is very strong, McLaren should take the opportunity to use it in favour of Lewis. The ‘how’, is up to them.

    • That is right Shrieker, we did not see Webber and Hamilton in a similar situation last year at that corner.
      Different situation, different punishment.

    • “a very similar situation” ?

      Considering you say MW put himself out of it, I guess you don’t remember the move very well.

      • Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 26th September 2011, 21:33

        Webber had risked it to regain his position, caused contact and took out a competititor in the process. It’s obviously very similar.

        “not only wrecked Hamilton’s race but also put him out of it” Not “himself”, “him”.

        • leadfoot (@leadfoot) said on 27th September 2011, 22:38

          I think you summed up the difference pretty well. The Webber incident was Mark trying to regain a position. In the Massa incident he never got past. Whether Mark deserved a penalty or not is one thing however to use that as a comparison to show how Lewis is mistreated is wrong.

  9. Button has definitely gone up in my estimation. When he join Mclaren, I thought Lewis was going to thrash him but he’s difinitely proved himself as a good driver. well, with the number of years experience under his belt, that is what we all expect from him i guess.

    • + 1.

      But it is still clear, to me, that Lewis will beat him the day they get them cars capable of winning championships.

      • panache (@panache) said on 26th September 2011, 23:05

        I see it the opposite way around but even so it’s pure speculation at this point.

        Button is outperforming Hamilton on race pace in addition to consistency of results and has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to play the long game with strategy to his benefit.

        Hamilton on the other hand attempts to go flat out from lights to flag and hopes for the best with the tyres, relying more heavily on his team to make vital heat of the moment strategy calls.

        If Mclaren supply their drivers with a car that is in a class of its own at the front then a qualifying discrepancy of 2-3 tenths won’t have as large an impact on Button as it currently does.

        The drivers would likely secure front row lockouts for most races, meaning Button only has to outrace Hamilton to win over the course of the season.

        Button is also widely regarded as being more sensitive to an unbalanced/difficult car than Hamilton is. This is not a belief I hold, though surely if true then Button would stand to benefit more than Hamilton if they are given a car that is exceptional.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 27th September 2011, 7:49

          Good points on your post. But will Button win a WDC relying on tyre nursing? I don’t buy that.

        • lewis has been nowhere near his best this season,but theres still 5 races left.if lewis drives anywhere near his best level in those 5 races he can easily finish 2nd in the championship.your forgetting the gap is only 17 points despite his terrible season.and it wouldnt even be that big if it wasnt for that puncture he got.he would have gone quicker on his second run,and probably qualified in second place.
          i wonder what ppl will say if lewis does actually finish the season with more points than button?considering the fact ppl are saying buttons been great this season and lewis has been poor.

  10. Wasnt Massa ahead of Hamilton after the drive through? Haven’t seen the replay but pretty sure he was.
    A lot of comments saying how his race was “wrecked” by Hamilton, but he needs to take some responsibility himself for not being able to get past 2 Force Indias. Hamilton managed 5th quite comfortably, Massa had plenty of time to get back into the top 6.

    • You’re maybe forgetting that Massa entered the pits with the flat rear tyre which took him forever to get to the pits. That was considerable amount time lost.
      Nevertheless, slow Ferrari and Massa driving 1 second slower laps from Alonso is what wrecked his race.

  11. Ernie Becclestone (@ernie-becclestone) said on 26th September 2011, 21:06

    While Lewis did a great job recovering to fifth, how good is that McLaren, Vettel and his engineers just seem to get the RB7 spot on, where as McLaren seem to compromise themselves one way or another. They do know how to build fast cars, just struggle making use of it. Sam Michael could make a difference on that front next year. Lets see!

  12. It’s a shame that the title of this article is not Button’s great weekend, but Hamilton’s poor one.

    Geting bored of this now, let’s celebrate the good for a change instead of the bad.

  13. Go Mclaren! Go Button! Go Hamilton! There would be nothing else to to talk about if not for Hamilton, vettel’s leisurely sunday evening drive to the win has been somewhat cast aside.

    Massa is a slow coach and tried to blame his woes on Hamilton. For sure, his days in a Ferrari are numbered. I wonder why no one question perhaps Massa went into turn 7 a tard too slow and Hamilton, a true racer that he is, was just getting on with his job of providing us with his usual thrill.

    The penalty against Hamilton was an absolute joke but he did well to recover and finished 5th. That still didn’t go down well with all his haters who continue to chuck out drivel upon drivel. Massa trying to get things personal with Hamilton was just so disrespectful to say the least.

    Lest not forget the way the race unfolded, maybe things would have been different if mclaren had not make a mistake with Hamilton’s refuelling during qualifying, maybe things could have been different if Webber had not fluffed his start and crowded out Hamilton going into turn one.

    It’s all going well for Button at the moment and Hamilton is having a rough time and bad luck this season. All these talk of this driver is better than that driver is sheer nonsense, we all know who is the real deal. I wonder which drivers today would Vettel not have chasing him down at a track somewhat difficult to pass. Hamilton would certainly be one of them. Will Hamilton wait till the last 5 laps to start racing? Surely not. He’ll be back for sure. Thanks.

  14. codesurge (@codesurge) said on 26th September 2011, 22:02

    Whitmarsh is claiming that McLaren are going to try to deny Vettel clinching the championship at Suzuka.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/94857

    Given current form, looks like they’ll need to have Hamilton ram Vettel off the road to prevent him scoring that final point…

  15. I think Massa should attempt concentrate on how he is going to become a race winning driver again, which I severely doubt he is capable of doing at the moment.

    All that Hamilton ‘ruined’ was perhaps a 4th place for a sore loser of a driver who is still bitter about 2008 and who is going to be deservedly sacked by Ferrari at the end of this season.

    • Why bring all that into it? Fact is Hamilton DID ruin Massa’s race. Whether it makes a difference for his future or how good a driver he is, is irrelevant.
      Facts are facts. Criticizing Massa for who he is won’t change that.

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