2011 Singapore GP team review
Lewis Hamilton’s troubled season continued in Singapore after another collision with a rival.
|Lewis Hamilton||Jenson Button|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’44.809 (+0.005)||1’44.804|
McLaren drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|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 – 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.
|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 – 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.”
2011 Singapore Grand Prix
- Vettel and Button take Driver of the Weekend wins
- Rate the race result: 2011 Singapore Grand Prix
- Ferrari deny Massa told to cause Hamilton crash
- From Kovalainen’s fire to fireworks: your Singapore videos
- 2011 Singapore Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Singapore GP driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel supreme as championship beckons
- McLaren: Another collision, another penalty for Hamilton
- Ferrari: Alonso wants to focus on 2012 in last races
- Force India: Di Resta claims best result yet
Image © McLaren, Singapore GP/Sutton