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

Browse all 2011 Singapore Grand Prix articles

Image ?? McLaren, Singapore GP/Sutton

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