Hamilton ends Red Bull’s pole position domination

2011 Korean GP qualifying

Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Korea, 2011

Hamilton starts ahead of Vettel and Button on the grid

Lewis Hamilton ended Red Bull’s monopoly on pole position in 2011 by beating Sebastian Vettel in qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver was fastest in all three parts of qualifying on his way to pole.

He shares the front row of the grid with Vettel and their team mates line up behind them.

Q1

Hamilton was the quickest driver in the first part of qualifying, setting a time of 1’37.525 on soft tyres.

Unusually the Red Bull drivers used a set of super soft tyres for their first runs, but appeared not to push them too hard as they secured their places in Q2. Christian Horner later said they had driven to a target lap time.

Both Williams drivers stayed in the pits until the final five minutes. When they came out, Rubens Barrichello was initially faster than Pastor Maldonado, the latter falling at risk of elimination.

They had enough time for a final run each. But Barrichello abandoned his attempt at improvement, feeling the tyres had gone off, and Maldonado’s 1’39.436 was enough to knock his team mate out.

Heikki Kovalainen was the quicker of the two Lotus drivers, who line up in front of the two Virgins.

Daniel Ricciardo did not set a time due to a technical problem and will need permission from the stewards to start the race.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’39.538
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’40.522
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’41.101
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’42.091
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’43.483
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’43.758
24 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth

Q2

Hamilton stayed on top in the second part of qualifying, lapping almost exactly one second on super softs than he had on softs in the first session.

Vettel could only get within seven-tenths of Hamilton’s time, which put him second.

Michael Schumacher only did a single lap and although he had the track to himself his 1’38.354 was ultimately not good enough to get him into Q3. He complained of a vibration on his car before starting the lap.

It put him ninth but later improvements from Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersauri and Paul di Resta left him out of the top ten.

Both Force India drivers secured places in Q3 but Alguersuari was eliminated along with his team mate. So were the two Sauber drivers.

They were joined by Maldonado and Bruno Senna.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.315
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’38.354
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.508
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.775
15 Bruno Senna Renault 1’38.791
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’39.109
17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.443

Q3

Eight cars went out as Q3 began, both Force India drivers holding back in the pits.

Hamilton picked up where he left off in Q2, heading the times with a 1’36.130, his McLaren looking stable and changing direction beautifully in the fast sweeps of turns seven, eight and nine.

But Vettel was threatening – the Red Bull driver crossed the line just three-hundredths of a second off Hamilton’s mark.

Webber led the cars out for their final efforts, the front runners taking care not to end up missing their last chances as they did in Suzuka. Hamilton delivered a clean lap to lower the fastest time to a 1’35.820.

Vettel had to pass Di Resta during his lap but did not appear to be delayed by the Force India. He improved his time but, fell short of beating Hamiton by two tenths of a second.

Webber had a poor final run and Button took advantage to claim third on the grid. The Ferraris share the third row, Massa ahead of Alonso.

Top ten in Q3

1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’35.820
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’36.042
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.126
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.468
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’36.831
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’36.980
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.754
8 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’38.124
9 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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171 comments on Hamilton ends Red Bull’s pole position domination

1 2 3
  1. Keamo said on 15th October 2011, 7:22

    Fantastic qualifying from Lewis. He could have been on pole in Japan as well.

  2. It is finally some relief to see the end of redbull pole domination. Hamilton is very impressive this weekend. But with tyre degradation is gng to be very crucial in race, probably vettel & button may have edge on hamilton in race. what ever be, we are going to have some exciting race ahead with all tyre strategies at play.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th October 2011, 7:31

      yes, looking forward to see how it pans out. But a great result to see something other than a Red Bull on pole, good job Hamilton and Mclaren (shame about messing it up in Japan though).

    • Vinola said on 15th October 2011, 7:34

      yeah, Button was preserving his tires for the race (oh so smooth)..lol

    • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 15th October 2011, 13:47

      It’s very impressive from Mclaren, the performance of the MP4-26 has improved so much over the last 4-5 races. Hopefully this improvement isn’t all about the exhausts etc so they can carry through the aero improvements into 2012.

      I agree about the tyres though, I can’t help but think we’ll see Hamilton quick for 5-8 laps before his tyres begin to give up and he begins to struggle again. I really hope this isn’t the case.

      Ferrari could get on the podium again with a good start and some longevity on the super-softs. Plus despite not getting pole, it was very impressive from Vettel, thoroughly trounced Webber again, who looks like he’s almost switched off for this season.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th October 2011, 20:34

      I wouldn’t say their qualifying domination is over per se. It will take more than one spanner in the works to reverse the trend with any kind of decent impact. However, it’s a start!

  3. I’m so glad I stayed up all night for that.

    I hope McLaren’s tyre choices reward them too.

  4. xplr (@xplr) said on 15th October 2011, 7:26

    was this RBR doing different things/tests? I have the feeling they weren’t going fully for the pole…

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 15th October 2011, 7:48

      Yeah they definitely tried something different this quali session. If I had to guess, I would think they are trying to do a pit stop less than the Mclarens, and therefore have preserved all their soft tyres for the race.

      Cant wait for tomorrow’s race!

  5. David-A (@david-a) said on 15th October 2011, 7:27

    Very good job from Lewis, well done to him.

  6. John Cahill said on 15th October 2011, 7:28

    Did anyone notice how unhappy he (HAM) was after the session – just stood up and got out of the car, also wasnt happy during the press conf.

    • SparkyJ23 (@sparkyj23) said on 15th October 2011, 7:33

      Why should Hamilton be happy? – His working day outside the garage he is surrounded by folks who see profit in tearing him down. He’s about to be baited every second between now and race start by the media just waiting for him to fail. Wait and see what happens if he doesn’t win tomorrow. Actually even if he does win look for the critics to flap their gums.

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 15th October 2011, 7:35

      Difficult to say when it comes to Ham

    • I don’t think there was anyone who didn’t notice that. Not sure whether it had to do with all the bad press he’s been getting or with his unhappiness with his own performance lately. Possibly a combination…

      • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 15th October 2011, 7:47

        I think you still have to wonder what else is going on in his life that’s causing him issues. I don’t see this just being the lack of wins since he wasn’t like this in early 2009.

        I hope that, whatever it is, he can get it sorted and get back to the Lewis we’re all used to and all love/loath (he does polarise opinion rather!!) before 2012.

      • JOMcL said on 15th October 2011, 8:33

        well he knows that it is sunday that matters. With all the bad and unfair press he had, I understand he is trying to not show too much his feelings.
        Who are we to say he has trouble in his private life that may alter his performance? We are no shrink, are we?
        And now media are focusing on the “poor” performance of Alonso … ahh if we could only ignore them!

        • It’s really tough to judge why he looks unhappy other than the recent incidents and the bad press.
          And you’re right, we have no business in speculating about his private life.
          Also, his choice if management never seemed bright to me, maybe it’s time to change. I don’t know what good they’ve done him since they arrived.

          And about the “media”; whoever as much as suggests that Alonso’s performance this season has been anything less than stellar, needs to be slapped in the face with a shoe. The guy’s been driving the wheels of that Ferrari in each and every single outing and considering that it’s a little tough to stay motivated when you’re capable of winning titles but you’re in a slower car for almost the entire season, he’s driven like a champ.
          The top drivers this season have pretty much been Vettel, Alonso and Button. Not an inkling of doubt about that.

    • Daniel Thomas (@iamdanthomas) said on 15th October 2011, 9:48

      That’s how I acted when I was 15 and got dumped.

      Whatever it is, it was certainly odd. In all the interviews nowadays he seems subdued, like he’s afraid of being honest.

      Simon Fuller and XIX Management are surely doing him no good.

    • Randy (@randy) said on 15th October 2011, 11:55

      I don’t see his reaction as being unhappy. Remember he has got 18 poles in his short carreer, and suddenly he had to wait 27 races for his next one. It’s been a while. I think he was shaking in front of the camera when he got out of the car, there had to be some very strong emotions going on inside his helmet.

      It had to be especially hard for him when he saw Vettel going 0.5s faster out of nowhere, sometimes with just one Q3 lap. Surely Lewis was questioning his speed and capabilities after over a year of such struggle. Now he has beat him fair and square, finally, with a ballistic lap, i would be beside myself with joy. He must be thinking that this marks a turnaround now.

      • David BR (@david-br) said on 15th October 2011, 14:43

        +1 Exactly what I thought. Not taking the helmet off, he was clearly feeling the emotion. This combination of subdued or restrained and performing well is a good sign, it shows he’s maybe beginning to fight back with some determination and concentration.

  7. Eggry (@eggry) said on 15th October 2011, 7:30

    I selected Button as pole in prediction championship but it doesn’t matter. Vettel finally defeated!!(at least in qualifying)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th October 2011, 7:33

      Initially I had Hamilton, but I changed it to Vettel in reflection of how qualifying went so far this year.

      Not often I have been this happy and satisfied with getting it wrong :-)

    • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 15th October 2011, 7:37

      Thats what I’m talking about baby! Just kidding, but since it was close many times already I’m quite delighted it finally happened. Good for Vettel to save a set of tyres but none of us know how the tyres will last, could have been good, could have been a waste. I hope Hamilton can stay ahead of Vettel for as long as possible (either until the end or long enough to get others ahead).

  8. Tricky (@tricky) said on 15th October 2011, 7:32

    Well done Lewis, now I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow.

  9. DT (@dt) said on 15th October 2011, 7:32

    Great lap from Lewis. Glad to see his old form come back again. He looked subdued though. wonder what is going through his mind after all the stick he got from the media. It certainly looks like the teams will be busy with multiple strategy scenarios. Looking forward to it. It will be great for Lewis mental stability if he does win the race.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th October 2011, 7:38

      And just that last thought is probably what is keeping Hamilton from being too exited right now!
      Quite understandable he wants to keep his expectations low and win it tomorrow to rebuild the confidence into the winter season.

    • panache (@panache) said on 15th October 2011, 7:50

      Subdued is the perfect word to describe Hamilton after getting his first pole of the season.

      I really don’t know what to make of his subsequent reaction. Throughout his career in the spotlight he has always been a very emotional and passionate driver who wears his heart on his sleeve.

      This is one of the things I like most about him so on one hand I hope dearly that he was not masking his genuine emotions and on the other I’m worried for him if he is truly not happy with this result.

      If he appears despondent straight after securing the only non-Red Bull pole position of the season then what is there left for him to enjoy in F1?

      • DT (@dt) said on 15th October 2011, 8:17

        I don’t think is unhappy with with result. He’s probably thinking, i hope i can win the race as well and shut my critics up!

    • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 15th October 2011, 8:56

      Lewis has said as much himself. His head hasn’t been in the right place. He’s got it there this weekend so far. He’s probably just following the same tactics that brought this on. Keeping focused, keeping his feet on the ground.
      I think he may well be starting a process of reinventing himself.

      For all the trappings of being at the top of your game in a premier sports series it can have a powerful impact on the psyche. You just need to slip a little and everyone piles in with punches and blows. It’s a mentally harsh environment to keep on top. It’s another reason why drivers of top 10 calibre are few and far between.

      No, I enjoyed seeing the continued focus on the prize that matters. 1st part, done! 2nd part – bring it on!

  10. Jolene (@jojof1) said on 15th October 2011, 7:32

    Great lap from Lewis! I worry that we didn’t see the normally excited Lewis getting out of his car and in the post race interviews. Has his spirit already been broken? That would be a real shame. Woohoo, go Hami!

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th October 2011, 7:33

    I wouldn’t go reading too much into this. We’ve seen drivers come from behind on the grid in the past, and Hamilton’s latest run of results doesn’t exactly promise too much.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 15th October 2011, 7:48

      PM; you mean into Hamilton’s pole; or his demeanor AFTER the pole?

    • Harvs (@harvs) said on 15th October 2011, 7:48

      im not supprised you say that, you have been very critical of hamilton in the past and although he gets pole, you still can congratulate him. even if is just pole and no win or points even, just relish the fact that its not a red bull on pole since a very long time ago.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th October 2011, 8:09

        Oh, I can. And I do. But I’m not getting carried away with it.

        • DT (@dt) said on 15th October 2011, 8:20

          I’m sure you would get carried away with a long comment if he’d clipped the rear of someone’s car with his front wing

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th October 2011, 8:23

            And I’m sure you’d respond with an equally-long comment about how it wasn’t really Hamilton’s fault, but rather that the blame should rest with the driver in front – let’s say Sebastian Vettel – for being in Formula 1 when he’s clearly not talented enough to be.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 15th October 2011, 8:27

            I think you both are getting too carried away with long comments on whether or not the other would post a long comment

  12. Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 15th October 2011, 7:34

    I could hear the sighs of relief from the Ham fanboys all the way down here in Oz. At least he’ll be well away from MAS.

  13. mikeycool said on 15th October 2011, 7:35

    He most likely just didnt want to get too excited as he knows its all to do tomorrow. I’m sure his recent form is making him an extremely cautious head in terms of expectations and optimism. If i was lewis and I know that my team mate is outracing me almost comfortably this year, I would take that pole with a pinch of salt also. Lets hope i’m wrong and he runs away with it. But honestly, I wouldnt say he is favourite for the race despite P1. Simply because of recent form.

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 15th October 2011, 7:48

      Agree with you on all your points, but he just RB’s string of poles. He should enjoy the moment, that’s about all I say.

    • panache (@panache) said on 15th October 2011, 8:03

      I think this is a fair assessment from a sports psychology perspective especially given how his high expectations have played against him earlier in the season, most notably during the Monaco race weekend.

      Crucially though, tempering his expectations and optimism shouldn’t take anything away from the delight of achieving his first pole position of the season, so his very subdued reaction is quite baffling.

  14. hamizors said on 15th October 2011, 7:36

    italian tv;
    tv host: can you tell us of the new rear wing?
    alonso: i am sixth.
    tv host: *long pause* ok, can you tell us more?
    alonso: i am telling you. *awkard silence*

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 15th October 2011, 7:43

      That’s hilarious.

      And don’t you mean, new front wing?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th October 2011, 7:44

      He had a new rear wing as well?

      He gave a similar interview to the BBC when asked about the new front wing.

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 15th October 2011, 7:55

      Fantastic!

    • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 15th October 2011, 8:03

      Lets see how it goes in the race. If he finishes sixth then I’d say this asessment is pretty much spot on.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 15th October 2011, 8:10

      Haha! He’s getting similar to Kimi not just fancy hat as well as interviews!

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 15th October 2011, 8:32

      Wow, he really was consistently not amused with his qualifying result! It must be hard for him and Massa, knowing they don’t have the car to go for higher than 5th and 6th unless others make a mistake; then hope for good start and some luck (Massa not having much of it) to get to podium.

      And new wing not working not giving confidence in new 2012 car really being the revolutionary quick car, just aggressive (but possibly in a wrong way).

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th October 2011, 8:36

      Not a helpfull new part then … ? Nice conversation.

    • Renner (@renner) said on 15th October 2011, 10:54

      He transforms slowly into Kimi

      • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 15th October 2011, 11:19

        If for no obvious reason Massa starts to beat him in the races until Alonso gets fired and replaced with Vettel the transformation will be completed.

      • guido (@guidof1) said on 15th October 2011, 13:34

        come on, i think alonso is really trying very hard and driving his best. he is getting his ferrari higher than it belongs every single race. that should be a lot of credit to him. i dont think massa is out of luck i think he is not a top driver, not even remotely.
        in my view it is perfectly understandable that alonso is so annoyed because there was a lot of expectation about how this revolutionary 2012 spec new front wing would perform and it turns out that it is not much of an advantage and both ferraris are still on their familiar 3rd row. “what can you tell us about the new wing??” well its useful isnt it??

        • guido (@guidof1) said on 15th October 2011, 13:35

          i meant useless, sorry

        • Mike (@mike) said on 15th October 2011, 13:57

          I don’t agree on the wing being useless. He’s had good pace up until he messed up the final lap. And it’s only then that Massa was ahead.

          Also… I think Rener was being humorous… Just in case… like maybe you didn’t notice.

  15. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 15th October 2011, 7:41

    Finally Something for me to cheer about on a Saturday!

    Why is Lewis all childish and moody though? Come on man lighten up, you just beat Seb on a Saturday! Manage a smile!? They said he was emotional, i don’t buy that.

    • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 15th October 2011, 7:50

      Why is Lewis all childish and moody though?

      You call it childish, others call it introspective. Either way, give the guy a break. I’d like to see how you’d cope with the amount of (VERY public) criticism he’s been getting lately.

  16. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 15th October 2011, 7:44

    Greatest qualifying we’ve had this year?

  17. sngt2 said on 15th October 2011, 7:45

    Qualifying has become a farce.. Teams are sacrificing pace in quali for the race, Jensen is a great bet for a win, considering the high degradation, and i think that alonso will be flying past massa for a podium fight. Can’t wait.

  18. F1fanNL (@) said on 15th October 2011, 7:48

    Stunning lap from Vettel once again, don’t know what he was doing in a McLaren though. Nice pole nonetheless.

    Seriously though, excellent qualifying. A shame Vettel got held up by Di Resta but I don’t think he lost 3 tenths there, maybe a tenth or so.
    Good to see Hamilton on pole and fastest through all qualifying sessions. Surely this should be a nice start of getting back in the groove. It was a bit strange to see him so emotionless after the race though, perhaps McLaren replaced him with a T-1000….

    Vettel did well by once again outperforming Button in the faster McLaren proving he is indeed a qualifying specialist like Senna was.

    It will be interesting to see what RBR’s tyre strategy does for them in the race. Hopefully they can stay close to the McLarens and make the race exciting and not like Suzuka where they wrapped a nice big bow around the victory and handed it to Button.

  19. Oliver said on 15th October 2011, 7:49

    Well Mclaren can can still wreck his race as is their wont lately. Button will still get priority treatment.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th October 2011, 7:59

      By saying Button has “priority treatment”, I’ll just read that as Button has “had the upper hand” still, Hamilton’s in a good position to close the ponts gap tomorrow.

      • mattr said on 15th October 2011, 8:20

        no buttons been getting treatment ever since his 2 dnfs in a row.ppl forget that after the first 10 races lewis was ahead of button having finished ahead of him 7 out of 10 times.probablty would have been 8-2 if it wasnt for his bad luck in quali in monaco.but after those 2 dnfs the team seemed to focus alot more on getting things right for button.
        today tho,things were back to normal,hence the quali result.but i still expect them to mess his strategy up,or a pistop.

        • JOMcL said on 15th October 2011, 8:43

          I agree. Lewis’ side of the pitwall is always massively messing up, more than Jenson’s side…

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th October 2011, 9:44

          He finished ahead 7-3 up until Germany, but since then, Button has driven better. The last 5 races can’t just be swept under the carpet because you claim Button’s had better treatment. As I said, Hamilton could well end that run tomorrow.

        • Randy (@randy) said on 15th October 2011, 14:29

          Rubbish.

          By your logic McLaren’s pit crew thinks “Ok, we know how to make the cars faster in the race, so we’ll apply this treatment to Jenson and deny it to Lewis, just so Jenson would feel better. Yeah, that’s great idea, let’s not make one of our cars as fast as possible even though we can do it.”. Cheers and applause ensued.

          Just how long you’ve been watching this sport?

        • ob1kenobi.23 (@ob1kenobi23) said on 15th October 2011, 21:36

          Lets be PC. Should that not be toilet break.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th October 2011, 8:49

      Why should Button get any priority? Hamilton is up front, so he will have first choise of pitstop.
      They might be on slightly different strategies to better fit either of them and maximize their chances.
      But I do not think McLaren would be less happy to see Hamilton win it then they would be if Button jumped him and Vettel to win it. On the contrary, having Hamilton win will be good for the team spirit and their drivers confidence.

      They will be looking at getting Hamilton and Button on the top 2 steps of the podium. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • The team has nothing to gain by giving priority treatment. The drivers championship is over and all that matters now is the constructor’s point. Hamilton 1st, button 2nd or 3rd and vice versa will amount to the same points to the team.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th October 2011, 9:54

      Button will still get priority treatment.

      Care to provide any examples of that being the case earlier this year?

      • Oliver said on 15th October 2011, 11:22

        But the priority treatment started since last year and has been debated on this site in it’s various guise.
        How many instances have Hamilton’s chances of winning a race been messed up by Mclaren as they pit Button when they could have given Hamilton priority, all to ge Button into the higher points positions when he finds himsef starting from 10th position.
        Abu Dhabi last year, they could have used the under cut for Hamilton but no.

        You have most of the race data Keith, and if Hamilton is running ahead, he hardly gets the optimised pit call all in the name of equality.
        But I noticed the team didn’t make any attempt to use the under cut for Hamilton in Japan, rather they kept him out too long as Button was giving the optimum pit window.
        Button has done a better job this year but also, the team has been more sympathetic to his cause than they have Lewis.

        Withmarsh has over done his equality thing to the extent that Hamilton is being handicapped.
        Withmarsh wants Button to be the one to win the driver’s championship in a Mclaren.
        And the best way to boost Button’s confidence is if he is beating or is very close in performance to Hamilton.
        That is why even when Hamilton wins a race, he first praises Button for an oustanding driver finishing 3rd or 4th then recognision of Hamilton’s performance is an after thought.

        He is also the first to blame Hamilton for anyhing that happens that you wonder if he is being forced to retain him as a driver.

        Button and Hamlton are the best pairing I can think of, Withmarsh is the one harming their potential. Oh even I hear Button calling himself the team leader. Nice.

        • JOMcl said on 15th October 2011, 11:37

          Whitmarsh did not mention Hamilton in his interview to the BBC (at least I did not heard it). I found it strange to not praise his driver much more after how he defended him from critics…

          I am not sure the team favour Button. I rather think it is the race engineer of Lewis that screws up. I never understood why McLaren re-shuffle the team after 2008 anyway …

          • Oliver said on 15th October 2011, 13:52

            I wasn’t talking about this qualifying bt in general.
            He has a habit of openly criticising Hamilton that the BBC team race there at the slightest hint of any issue.
            Regarding Hamilton’s race engineer, either he is inept or is deliberately kept out of the decision loop. He often gives Hamilton a conflicting information to that Button gets. All we har from Withmarsh eventually is that the engineer was under the wrong impression.
            How can that be if they have their race strategy meetings. Plus they never listen to the driver and easily misinterprete his car issues.
            I have never seen a team place obstacles in the path of their driver than Mclaren seem to do frequently.

          • JOMcl said on 15th October 2011, 14:06

            yes i agree with what you said!
            Was it in Malaysia last year when team decision about tyres ruined Lewis’ race?
            What has to be observed is that Hamilton gives his best in every quali. When he fails in quali it is almost because of the team (Monaco while failing to put a “banker” before Perez’ accident and then letting him in the pit lane with an engine getting the heat, Japan and failing to warn him about the time – like RBR did today with Vettel indeed – just to name a few). Race’s accidents always seems to be the result of missed quali (but for Spa)
            McLaren is not the same since Ron left :( An experienced team like McLaren should be like redbull operation-wise.

        • chandra70007 (@chandra70007) said on 15th October 2011, 15:43

          Exactly true. The problem is not the drivers, but Whitmarsh. He praises Button just for a podium finish, but if Lewis wins he praises the team/car. Miss Ron a lot.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th October 2011, 16:07

          You have most of the race data Keith

          And having paid close attention to it, and all the practice and qualifying data all year long, and throughout last year when they were also team mates, I see nothing to support this claim that Button gets favourable treatment or Hamilton unfavourable treatment.

          For example:

          the team didn’t make any attempt to use the under cut for Hamilton in Japan

          Given how quickly Hamilton’s tyres went off in the first stint they would have to have brought him in on lap five. So by lap 16 he’s run out of super soft tyres and is facing doing two-thirds of the race on the slower compound and making at least one extra pit stop than he actually did. Obviously not a credible strategy.

          The ‘undercut’ was never going to save Hamilton’s race. Of course, Hamilton did pit before Button at the end of the first stint – the only time in the race when they were racing for the same position – but his tyres were already gone by then.

          There’s no mystery why this was. You could see from the data on Friday Hamilton wasn’t getting the same life out of his tyres Button was. It’s been the case at several races this year, and no amount of nice words from Martin Whitmarsh is going to make one iota of difference to that.

          None of the claims of favouritism I’ve seen have any basis in fact. Most of them come from the fact that when McLaren speak to the press they prefer to stress the positives in their performances – and most of those is recent races have come from Button’s side of the garage.

  20. Mike (@mike) said on 15th October 2011, 7:51

    Lewis (finnally) did what he does best. Fantastic.

    Part of me feels sorry for Vettel. He did put in a fantastic lap. Pity about the Force India.

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