Jenson Button, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2009

Changing conditions hinder Hamilton but help Button

Abu Dhabi GP qualifying analysisPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton wasn’t the only driver who failed to improve his time in Q3 – six others did as well.

Sebastian Vettel was one of only two drivers to set a better time in Q3 than in Q2.

But Jenson Button felt the changing conditions helped him get the most out of the McLaren.

Qualifying times in full

  • Hamilton was not the only driver who failed to improve his time in Q3. Of the nine drivers who set times, six did laps that were slower than their Q2 times, and Fernando Alonso matched his Q2 effort to one-thousandth of a second.
  • Vettel and Button were the only drivers not to be caught out by falling track temperatures between the two sessions.
  • “Q3 was very strange,” admitted Button. “There was less grip because it was a lot cooler on the circuit.”
  • Button said the changing conditions played into his hands, which is borne out by the times below: “The car was acting differently, which in some ways was a good thing for me because I didn’t get enough front end grip into the car. All weekend I’ve been struggling with a nervous rear. Finally when we go into qualifying I’ve got massive amounts of understeer, which is more in the direction I like, but in the tight section towards the end of the lap you need a reasonably pointy car and I didn’t have that.”
Driver Car Q1 Q2 (vs Q1) Q3 (vs Q2)
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’40.478 1’38.516 (-1.962) 1’38.481 (-0.035)
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1’39.782 1’38.434 (-1.348) 1’38.622 (+0.188)
3 Jenson Button McLaren 1’40.227 1’39.097 (-1.130) 1’38.631 (-0.466)
4 Mark Webber Red Bull 1’40.167 1’38.821 (-1.346) 1’38.858 (+0.037)
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’41.380 1’39.058 (-2.322) 1’39.058 (0.000)
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’41.592 1’39.623 (-1.969) 1’39.695 (+0.072)
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.120 1’39.420 (-1.700) 1’39.773 (+0.353)
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’42.605 1’40.554 (-2.051) 1’40.662 (+0.108)
9 Adrian Sutil Force India 1’40.595 1’40.205 (-0.390) 1’40.768 (+0.563)
10 Paul di Resta Force India 1’41.064 1’40.414 (-0.650)
11 Sergio Perez Sauber 1’41.311 1’40.874 (-0.437)
12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’40.955 1’40.919 (-0.036)
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1’41.737 1’41.009 (-0.728)
14 Bruno Senna Renault 1’41.391 1’41.079 (-0.312)
15 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1’41.386 1’41.162 (-0.224)
16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1’41.613 1’41.240 (-0.373)
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1’42.258 1’41.760 (-0.498)
18 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1’42.979
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus 1’43.884
20 Timo Glock Virgin 1’44.515
21 Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1’44.641
22 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin 1’44.699
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 1’45.159
24 Rubens Barrichello Williams

Team mate comparisons

Compare the best times of each team’s drivers in the last part of qualifying in which they both set a time.

  • Heikki Kovalainen out-qualified Jarno Trulli for the 15th time in the 17 races they have been team mates this year.
  • Daniel Ricciardo impressively out-qualified Vitantonio Liuzzi by half a second. The pair are tied 4-4 in qualifying this year.
  • Sergio Perez beat Kamui Kobayashi and is now 11-6 up this year.
Team Driver Lap time Gap Lap time Driver Round
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel 1’38.481 -0.377 1’38.858 Mark Webber Q3
McLaren Lewis Hamilton 1’38.622 -0.009 1’38.631 Jenson Button Q3
Ferrari Fernando Alonso 1’39.058 -0.637 1’39.695 Felipe Massa Q3
Mercedes Michael Schumacher 1’40.662 +0.889 1’39.773 Nico Rosberg Q3
Renault Bruno Senna 1’41.079 +0.160 1’40.919 Vitaly Petrov Q2
Force India Adrian Sutil 1’40.205 -0.209 1’40.414 Paul di Resta Q2
Sauber Kamui Kobayashi 1’41.240 +0.366 1’40.874 Sergio Perez Q2
Toro Rosso Sebastien Buemi 1’41.009 -0.153 1’41.162 Jaime Alguersuari Q2
Lotus Heikki Kovalainen 1’42.979 -0.905 1’43.884 Jarno Trulli Q1
HRT Daniel Ricciardo 1’44.641 -0.518 1’45.159 Vitantonio Liuzzi Q1
Virgin Timo Glock 1’44.515 -0.184 1’44.699 Jerome D’Ambrosio Q1

Sector times

Here are the drivers? best times in each sector.

Driver Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3
Sebastian Vettel 17.408 (1) 41.857 (1) 38.933 (2)
Lewis Hamilton 17.518 (5) 41.908 (3) 38.886 (1)
Jenson Button 17.429 (2) 41.905 (2) 39.297 (4)
Mark Webber 17.441 (4) 42.036 (5) 39.235 (3)
Fernando Alonso 17.440 (3) 42.078 (6) 39.297 (4)
Felipe Massa 17.536 (6) 42.304 (7) 39.714 (6)
Nico Rosberg 17.634 (8) 41.943 (4) 39.800 (7)
Michael Schumacher 17.758 (16) 42.412 (8) 40.088 (9)
Adrian Sutil 17.694 (14) 42.444 (9) 40.056 (8)
Paul di Resta 17.670 (11) 42.471 (10) 40.258 (10)
Sergio Perez 17.629 (7) 42.597 (13) 40.512 (12)
Vitaly Petrov 17.692 (13) 42.613 (14) 40.576 (13)
Sebastien Buemi 17.649 (9) 42.670 (15) 40.576 (13)
Bruno Senna 17.657 (10) 42.737 (16) 40.441 (11)
Jaime Alguersuari 17.670 (11) 42.557 (11) 40.755 (17)
Kamui Kobayashi 17.713 (15) 42.579 (12) 40.685 (15)
Pastor Maldonado 17.924 (17) 43.137 (17) 40.699 (16)
Heikki Kovalainen 18.139 (18) 43.472 (18) 41.290 (18)
Jarno Trulli 18.446 (22) 43.597 (19) 41.841 (19)
Timo Glock 18.314 (20) 43.975 (20) 42.186 (21)
Daniel Ricciardo 18.251 (19) 44.006 (21) 42.110 (20)
Jerome D’Ambrosio 18.358 (21) 44.043 (22) 42.298 (22)
Vitantonio Liuzzi 18.486 (23) 44.148 (23) 42.405 (23)
Rubens Barrichello

Speed trap

Here are the drivers? maximum speeds.

  • Toro Rosso have lost some of their straight-line speed advantage overnight, leaving Sauber the quickest car in the speed traps.
  • The different in the McLarens’ top speeds indicated Hamilton may be running less wing, which could help him take on the Red Bull’s in the race.
Pos Driver Car Speed (kph/mph) Gap
1 Sergio Perez Sauber 323.4 (201.0)
2 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 322.8 (200.6) -0.6
3 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 320.2 (199.0) -3.2
4 Pastor Maldonado Williams 320.0 (198.8) -3.4
5 Bruno Senna Renault 319.2 (198.3) -4.2
6 Vitaly Petrov Renault 318.9 (198.2) -4.5
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 317.7 (197.4) -5.7
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 317.5 (197.3) -5.9
9 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 316.9 (196.9) -6.5
10 Paul di Resta Force India 316.2 (196.5) -7.2
11 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 316.2 (196.5) -7.2
12 Adrian Sutil Force India 315.9 (196.3) -7.5
13 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 313.8 (195.0) -9.6
14 Felipe Massa Ferrari 313.4 (194.7) -10.0
15 Daniel Ricciardo HRT 313.0 (194.5) -10.4
16 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 312.8 (194.4) -10.6
17 Jenson Button McLaren 311.8 (193.7) -11.6
18 Mark Webber Red Bull 308.9 (191.9) -14.5
19 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 308.5 (191.7) -14.9
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 307.8 (191.3) -15.6
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus 307.6 (191.1) -15.8
22 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin 305.6 (189.9) -17.8
23 Timo Glock Virgin 305.0 (189.5) -18.4