Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

McLaren: Another race to forget for Hamilton

2011 Indian GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Another penalty and another collision with Felipe Massa was par for the course for Lewis Hamilton in 2011.

Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button
Qualifying position 5 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’24.474 (-0.476) 1’24.950
Race position 7 2
Laps 60/60 60/60
Pit stops 3 2

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
Lewis Hamilton 99.326 95.036 94.083 93.294 93.888 92.746 92.208 92.132 91.958 91.712 91.72 91.719 91.541 91.629 91.279 93.9 109.323 90.514 90.52 90.501 90.194 90.59 92.157 99.694 114.358 91.064 90.586 90.85 90.82 91.347 90.022 91.116 89.474 90.081 89.735 89.287 89.44 89.757 89.741 89.017 89.138 89.61 89.323 89.84 91.764 110.49 89.701 89.161 89.17 89.103 89.561 89.366 89.579 89.461 89.476 89.775 88.776 88.721 88.885 89.926
Jenson Button 96.184 94.478 93.436 92.981 93.631 92.133 91.806 91.421 91.476 91.275 91.07 91.033 91.03 90.926 90.927 91.003 90.676 92.967 107.378 90.762 90.435 90.031 90.273 89.826 89.795 90.49 90.054 89.795 89.714 90.094 89.452 89.454 89.264 89.437 89.572 88.828 88.995 88.94 89.455 88.523 89.263 89.044 88.674 88.702 88.884 91.206 107.604 88.683 88.663 88.547 88.454 88.645 88.436 88.641 88.233 88.121 88.139 88.937 89.572 87.967

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Start tyre Soft
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.

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Jenson Button

Start tyre Soft
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.

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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