2011 Brazilian GP team review
Jenson Button confirmed his runner-up place in the championship after finishing third in Brazil.
|Lewis Hamilton||Jenson Button|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’12.480 (+0.197)||1’12.283|
McLaren drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.099s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 20.396s|
|Pit stop 3||Medium 20.681s|
Hamilton admitted he “just wasn’t quite quick enough” in qualifying and took fourth on the grid behind Button.
He fell behind both the Ferraris during the race and was shaping up to pass Felipe Massa when his gearbox failed: “It occurred quite early on – I was having problems with first and second – and it meant I started losing quite a lot of time and Fernando [Alonso] and Jenson were able to pull away from me.
“The problem meant I stopped being able to make good, clean gearshifts. Then I lost seventh, and then the whole thing just let go.”
|Pit stop 1||Soft 22.005s|
|Pit stop 2||Medium 21.038s|
|Pit stop 3||Medium 21.583s|
Button ended his string of poor qualifying performances at Interlagos – he’d averaged worse than 14th on the grid in his last five appearances.
He was slightly disappointed not to be on the front row: “My quick lap was pretty ragged.
“I was pretty aggressive on the throttle, which you have to be to be fast around here. That’s not normally my style, but it was definitely quick and in fact I crossed the line thinking I’d be farther up the grid than I eventually was.”
Button seemed happier on the harder tyres all weekend and came under pressure from Alonso at the start of the race while on softs.
Alonso eventually passed him at Ferradura: “Fernando got the run on me out of turn five, got alongside me and I picked the wrong line, because that lap [was] when Michael [Schumacher] had his puncture and there was rubber all down the inside (of the track).
“I didn’t know what it was, whether it was part of a car, so I couldn’t risk just driving straight through it, and I couldn’t pull to the left because Fernando was there. So I had to back off early and pull in behind. I would say he was gifted the position quite easily.”
His tyre problems forced him into the pits soon afterwards: “I pitted earlier than expected. I really struggled on the tyre that I’ve been struggling with all weekend and strangely, I couldn’t look after the tyre, I really struggled with degradation, especially at the rear end, which was a little bit of a shock.
“But for me, the problem in the first stint was Fernando, he pushed me very hard, and when someone’s doing that, you have to drive a little bit harder, so I was pushing the tyres pretty hard.”
After two stints on soft tyres he switched to the mediums – unlike his rivals, running two stints on the harder tyres: “That helped me chase Fernando down in the final stint and pass him out of turn three.
“Ideally, I wanted to get him into turn one, because it’s more fun to pass someone without using DRS.
“But I set him up and got him out of turn three after getting a good run along the straight.”
His 12th podium finish of the year confirmed Button as the runner-up in this year’s championship.
2011 Brazilian Grand Prix
- Sutil voted Driver of the Weekend for Brazil
- Vettel “definitely affected” by gearbox problem – Webber
- 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for Brazilian GP driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Gearbox glitch hands win to Webber
- McLaren: Button wanted to pass Alonso without using DRS
- Massa makes 100 Ferrari starts but no podium
- Ferrari: Alonso slips back on medium tyres
- Mercedes: Two-stop strategy leaves Rosberg vulnerable
- Force India: Sutil equals best result of the year
Image © McLaren