Hamilton: “Jenson was able to switch the tyres on extremely well”

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Melbourne, 2012Lewis Hamilton says he wasn’t able to ‘switch his tyres on’ as quickly as his team mate was in Australia.

Hamilton admitted Jenson Button was able to get up to speed much more quickly at the start of the race and after the restart.

Hamilton said: “After the race in Australia, it was difficult to understand exactly what happened. I was generally happy with the car all weekend, but just lacked a bit of pace compared to Jenson in the race.

“Afterwards, I sat down with my engineers and we went through all the data. There was a small issue with the clutch at the start: it wasn?t my fault, but we now understand and know how to improve in the future.

“My race pace was pretty much identical to Jenson?s, but he was able to switch the tyres on extremely well, which explains how he was able to pull a gap so quickly at the start and also after the restart.”

The Australian Grand Prix lap times chart shows Button was almost a second faster than Hamilton on the first flying lap of the race.

Hamilton added: “It?s encouraging and reassuring to understand the reasons for our race pace in Australia, and it puts me in a really positive frame of mind for the race in Malaysia. Plus, it always helps to be back in the car only five days after the last grand prix ?ǣ you move on so quickly.”

Button said the team’s winning start to the year will spur them on for the season ahead: “to come away from race one with such a positive result ?ǣ Vodafone McLaren Mercedes took pole, fastest lap and the victory ?ǣ is a huge relief for the organisation.

“But it?s also incredibly motivating: we know we have a great car but we?re not going to sit still with it. We have ambitious plans to develop the car and I know that everybody back at Woking is working hard to bring new components to the track, and that all our mechanics and engineers are flat-out to ensure that we maximise the package that we have this weekend.

“I think everybody knows that we are a relentless organisation; we can develop a car as well ?ǣ if not better than ?ǣ any other team. The difference this year is that we?ve started with a winning package; the challenge will be to maintain that, and I know that?s something we?re all really looking forward to doing.”

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix


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72 comments on Hamilton: “Jenson was able to switch the tyres on extremely well”

  1. UKFan (@) said on 21st March 2012, 23:33

    Hamilton must be feeling that hes always a step behind, he isnt reacting as quick as his teammate, last year Button was able to understand perfectly how to manage his race and this year it seems that hes being able to do that again, Hamilton was over aggressive last season and was under aggressive last race I just hope that Hamilton can be able to become a good loser understand quickly want he need to be victorious again and just carry on.

  2. matthew said on 22nd March 2012, 7:59

    some of you ppl are talking nonsense.
    first of all both drivers were in fuel saving mode from early in the race which means hamilton wasnt able to push hard and attack.
    also mclaren pitting lewis so late cost him 4 seconds.
    also lewis doesnt really have a problem with the tyres,neither did he last season,he just kept crashing into drivers.
    and ppl saying lewis is depressed are completely wrong,he was just unhappy after the race because of how the race went.
    ppl need to remember lewis got mclarens last win last season,and jenson got mclarens first win in 2010,so ppl need to calm down and watch what happens in the next few races.lewis being slow off the line is very rare,and losing a place because of the safety car wont happen very often too.
    i expect lewis to get pole in malaysia,and get off to a good start in the race and win it.
    now i personally dont like whitmarsh,and i have noticed that they tend to mess up hamiltons strategy to help button.and im sure they have let button pit before lewis in the past even when lewis was the lead driver.
    ive never seen them let lewis pit first tho when buttons been the lead driver.

    • GameR_K (@gamer_k) said on 22nd March 2012, 9:28

      and im sure they have let button pit before lewis in the past even when lewis was the lead driver

      Let me guess, 2010 Australia and 2011 Hungary and both were for slicks. Can you please do Lewis a favor and not paint him as the the ‘Dumb-driver-who-can’t-make-tyre-choices’?

    • McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 22nd March 2012, 11:01

      Your post was going so well until the conspiracy theory at the end…

      Simple fact – Lewis needs to watch and learn to up his game and beat Button, who has clearly developed as a driver since his move to McLaren.

  3. kenneth Ntulume said on 22nd March 2012, 11:52

    I am with you. Am amused! and chuckling at how just after this one race certain people that detest Hamilton have gotten a “chance” of a lifetime to claim Button superiority.
    I Am full of confidence that Hamilton is going to totally obliterate that negativity!
    He has 20 races to do it….CAN NOT WAIT.

    Button will never be a match for an obviously supreme Lewis Carl Hamilton

  4. Batman (@batman) said on 22nd March 2012, 16:04

    I don’t understand. What is Jenson doing exactly that helps him “switch on” tyres at a faster rate than Lewis? How does one go about switching on tyres? As you can tell by now, I haven’t the slightest about the technical side of F1..I just love to watch it, but a little insight on the technical side of things would make it even more fun.

  5. OOliver said on 22nd March 2012, 17:06

    @Mathew
    I agree with you completely, although liking or disliking Withmarsh is your personal choice.
    Both drivers are very capable. The team needlessly puts Hamilton under pressure consistently.
    I repeat again, the team is not extracting the maximum from both drivers.
    Vettel won his 2010 championship because Mclaren didn’t try to win races when Hamilton was giving Vettel good competition. Instead they were focused on pitting at equal intervals and driver equality.
    The moment Hamilton was on the verge of falling out of contention last year, Mclaren had already shifted attention to Button.
    The way Withmarsh was so thrilled at the gap between Button and Hamilton, despite the fact Hamilton just got a DNF at the last race, you would have been forgiven for thinking Button had just won the championship.

    I said last year, the best thing for Lewis, was a move to Williams. Because right now, the team will take credit for his victories “Lewis wait a few more laps till his tyres are old before you try and overtake him ‘Vettel’ …”, then blame him for any mishap, “Hamilton was unable to create a gap as he was told to”…despite releasing Hamilton just behind Button with Button holding him back while he trid to create a gap.

    A criticism of Withmarsh doesn’t imply a dislike or belittling of Button or his achievements.
    Button has shown he is a very good driver. And Withmarsh has made him very very comfortable, with absolutely no pressure. All the pressure has been shifted to Lewis’ shoulders.
    If only Anthony was still your manager, he would have fought for full equality. Turkey 2010 should teach a driver about trust.

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