2011 Indian GP team review
Another penalty and another collision with Felipe Massa was par for the course for Lewis Hamilton in 2011.
|Lewis Hamilton||Jenson Button|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’24.474 (-0.476)||1’24.950|
McLaren drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Pit stop 1||Soft 22.53s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 27.193s|
|Pit stop 3||Hard 22.172s|
Hamilton got his weekend off to a bad start by collecting a three-place penalty in qualifying after the stewards he had failed to slow down sufficiently while passing a yellow flag at the end of the first practice session.
Relegated from second on the grid to fifth, he slipped behind Felipe Massa at the start. He may have been put back three places in the grid but in the opening laps he did not seem to have the pace to challenge for a podium finish.
Hamilton’s attempt to pass Massa at the inside of turn five on lap 24, which ended in the pair making contact, was not his first such move. One lap earlier Massa had covered the inside line as Hamilton had gone to the outside looking to pass.
After the collision Hamilton admitted he’d tried to back out of the move because it didn’t look like Massa was going to give him space. Despite that the pair still made contact and Hamilton had to pit for a new front wing.
He said it was, “just one of those things. I really didn’t feel like I was at fault.” The stewards agreed and gave Massa a penalty.
Having fallen to ninth, Hamilton spent several laps behind Jaime Alguersuari, struggling to get a run on the Toro Rosso on the long straight. He finally got through at turn one.
However he was unable to catch either of the Mercedes and finished seventh.
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.092s|
|Pit stop 2||Hard 21.838s|
Button was happy with his car’s performance in the final practice session, but struggled in qualifying. He had to do a run on soft tyres to ensure his progress to Q2, which meant he could only do one run in Q3.
But Felipe Massa went off in front of him during that effort, bringing out the yellow flags. Button said he backed off – he was tenth-fastest through the sector where Massa crashed – and neither he nor anyone else was penalised for going too quickly.
Without the delay he might have qualified better than fifth. Even so Hamilton’s penalty promoted him to fourth.
He made further progress on the first lap, moving up to second: “The start off the line didn’t feel that good but I think there is such low grip off the start line.
“Then I was able to get Fernando [Alonso] into turn one. I think he went a little bit deep and I knew I had to get a good exit out of turn three. It is such a long straight.
“Got a good exit, was in Mark [Webber]‘s tow and when you are in that situation where there is a car behind you can’t do anything about it. He covered the inside, did the right thing, but I had enough speed to go around the outside and carry the speed.”
He resisted pressure from Webber in the opening laps to hold the place. But although he pitted before Sebastian Vettel at both stops and closed on the Red Bull, he never looked like getting into the lead.
2011 Indian Grand Prix
- Vettel voted Driver of the Weekend for third time
- Rate the race result: 2011 Indian Grand Prix
- Massa’s crash and more fans’ videos from the Indian Grand Prix
- 2011 Indian Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Herbert explains Massa’s penalty: “He knew where Hamilton was”
- Vote for your Indian GP driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel never troubled for 11th win
- McLaren: Another race to forget for Hamilton
- Ferrari: Massa runs afoul of kerbs – and Hamilton
- Mercedes: Drivers’ points gap shrinks as Rosberg loses out
Image © McLaren