Button says McLaren form is “embarrassing”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Jenson Button, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013In the round-up: Button thanks his fans for support after admitting McLaren have fallen short this year.


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McLaren form “embarrassing” – Button (BBC)

“It’s a little bit embarrassing because we’re not doing a very good job at the moment. We are doing everything we can. Thanks for the support from the fans.”

Perez thinks running in Q3 hurt race (Autosport)

“I think we are paying for doing laps in Q3. We gained positions, but in the end, towards the end of the race we lost quite a lot.”

Tycoon pays ??1m for Lotus F1 stake (The Telegraph)

“Andrew Ruhan, one of Britain?s most successful property investors, has bought a 2% stake in the Lotus Formula One team for an estimated price of ??1m.”

Next couple of months key to title race, says Domenicali (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“From now up to the end of July you may see one or two big steps of development, and no more. And then I?d say some teams will be forced to try to start work on the new car. I think it?s really a crucial part of the season.”

Hamilton suffers as Mercedes drop from the top (Reuters)

“It’s got to go down as one of the worst races I’ve had for a long, long time.”

Brawn seeks cure for tyre woes (Sky)

“We did everything we could from beginning to end to manage the tyres, but we have to got look at how we use tyres in the race and maybe [make] dramatic changes.”

Looking for more than one point (Toro Rosso)

“We had planned to three-stop them, but in the end, like the vast majority, we four stopped, as the degradation took hold. Once Daniel got his car handling a bit more to his liking, by tweaking wing angles and tyre pressure at the pit stops, he put in a feisty drive, passing a few cars and then doing well to hold off a hard-charging Gutierrez in the closing laps to end up one place ahead of where he started.”


Comment of the day

Various alternatives have been suggested to the current tyre situation – what about having more than one tyre supplier?

Tyre war is not the solution. I was happy with second part of 2012 and 2011 season. Pirelli pushed too hard. Tyres are not suppose to last an entire race but drives should be able to make at least one third of race on a set of new tyres.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Stephen and Mclarengal!

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On this day in F1

The first ever round of the world championship, held at Silverstone on this day in 1950, produced a dominant one-two-three finish for Alfa Romeo. The only one of their four drivers not to see the flag was Juan Manuel Fangio, who dropped out with engine trouble.

Here’s some colour footage from the race. Look out for Baron Emmanuel de Graffenried’s pre-race jig for the benefit of ‘B Bira’ – Prince Birabongse Bhanuban of Thailand (Siam at the time):

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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145 comments on Button says McLaren form is “embarrassing”

  1. baldgye (@baldgye) said on 13th May 2013, 7:29

    I still don’t know how Martin Whitmarsh still has a job, in the last 3-4 years McLaren have been terrible, be it horrible strategy, poor development of the car or and inability to do competitive pit stops. Last year they had the fastest package and two of the fastest drivers and they failed to win either championship… This season they are struggling to stay in the points…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th May 2013, 9:09

      @baldgye – Replacing Whitmarsh right now would be the worst thing McLaren could possibly do. Their techncial side is in disarray, with Paddy Lowe leaving and a car that doesn’t seem to respond to anything the team or the drivers do to it. Deliberately going through a management shake-up whilst trying to solve all of their problems is an unnecessary complication.

      It’s a bit like introducing new parts onto a car. Say a team bring a new front wing and a new rear wing to a race. They won’t just stick both wings on the car at once. They’ll put the front wing on the car and test it. Then they’ll put the old front wing on and replace it with the new rear wing, and test that. Then they’ll know how the wings work individually, so they can put both wings on together and work out how they behave together.

      So if changes are needed to McLaren’s managerial structure, then they will have to wait until once their technical re-shuffle is sorted out.

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 13th May 2013, 16:51

      (@baldgye) I think we should start a petition to bring back Ron Dennis. Whitmarsh is a nice guy, and intelligent. But a team principle needs to be more than just a ‘nice guy’ and PR machine – just look at where that got RB in relation to their drivers. Mclaren needs a firm hand and focussed direction, which it seems to increasingly lack.

      • Nick (@nick101) said on 14th May 2013, 8:37


        I think we should start a petition to bring back Ron Dennis

        Really? And why is that exactly?

        Oh, I know! Is it because when he handed the job of team principal to Whitmarsh it had only been 10 YEARS since he guided McLaren to a WCC??

        That must be it! Yes, let’s bring Ron Dennis back – clearly much better than Whitmarsh.

  2. Button hasn’t got that extra zip to be a phenomenal driver. He was outpaced by Hamilton( now this guy is full of that zip) and now from past two races he is being pushed very hard and arguably outpaced by a comparatively new driver Perez. Perez on the other hand is another driver with a lots of potential zip but needs to iron out his drive a bit!

    • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 13th May 2013, 8:03

      …and yet he scored more points than that “zull of zip” lad… sigh…

      • @gwenouille coz Whitmarsh was tired of Button moaning after the race!

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 13th May 2013, 16:07

        Check out the qualifying stats. Button scored about the same points because he never bins the car and is very disciplined in following strategy. Problem is that not binning the car is not the same thing as finding out where the limit of the car performance is so you can evaluate the effect of your updates and the general quality of your design.

        • Nick (@nick101) said on 14th May 2013, 8:39

          Problem is that not binning the car is not the same thing as finding out where the limit of the car performance is so you can evaluate the effect of your updates and the general quality of your design.

          Yes, true. That must be why McLaren sorted their 2009 challenger so quickly! Well done Hamilton!! You’re the bomb! Only took you 10 RACES to get it on the podium!

    • Chema Carrasco (@chemakal) said on 13th May 2013, 9:37

      My thoughts. And Perez was told to hold position by the we-always-leave-our-drivers-race team

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th May 2013, 8:20

    There’s no point F1 drawing up complex penalty points systems if GP continues to tolerate Jonny Cecotto Jr. driving into people.

    I imagine that Cecotto’s behaviour on the circuit has not gone unnoticed, and that if he tried to get a seat in Formula 1, team principals would be very mindful of it. Any penalty points system would force him to life his game if he wanted to last more than about four races.

    I would also like to believe that, if adopted by Formula 1, the penalty points system would also be applied to GP2 and GP3. When Grosjean and Maldonado were in the wars last year, a lot of people pointed to the kind of on-track behaviour that is considered acceptable in GP2 as one of the leading causes. A penalty points system would work there just as well – if not better – than it would in Formula 1.

  4. brny666 said on 13th May 2013, 9:13

    Interesting I didn’t hear as many people complain about Merc pace after last race where the situation was exactly the same albeit with Rosberg going backward instead of Hamilton. People just assumed Hamilton was better and out-drove Rosberg, yet now everyone complains as son as Lewis looses out.
    Lets be clear, I don’t like the tires but I though it was more telling of the current situation that RB told Vettel to let Kimi go and and not fight him rather than Hami going backwards in an inherently compromised car.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 13th May 2013, 16:15

      Fair point. I think that people view HAM as a known quantity for pace and ROS as an unknown, seeing as his main competition was Opa Schumacher. Rosberg is a very quick driver. The W04 is very unpredicatable, aside from its intemperate use of tires. It can make either Rosberg or Hamilton look foolish or like a hero, sometimes at varying points in the same race. It also seems to have a problem with fuel consumption or fuel tank size, which didnt come up yesterday but has been a constant issue, which has also required the drivers to do a lot of coasting.

      To me the real wackiness of the situation was seeing Vettel hounded by a Marussia right after Kimi blew by him. At that stage, in fact Chilton was the fastest car on track. I’m sure he was not happy about having to coast through several corners behind Vettel.

  5. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 13th May 2013, 9:36

    McLaren need to do something quick. Because it is embarrassing that not only are they slower than Force India, and possibly Toro Rosso as well, but they were a good 3-6 tenths slower than they were in quali this time last year, and that is absolutely ridiculous. With the car they had in Brazil, they could easily be in the mix of the Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus in qualifying, which would give them a far better chance in the races.

    Unless working out this current car has some great significance in developing future cars, then just drop it and go back to the other car. It’s probably too late to salvage a Championship, but some podiums and wins would be welcome at least, compared to fighting for minuscule points.

  6. gDog (@gdog) said on 13th May 2013, 10:22

    That is THE BEST F1 video ever.

    The warm up spark plugs, the straw bails, the pit stops, the music, the royal family. Just brilliant, all of it.

    30 second pit stop, with refuelling (from a bucket). Awesome.

    • colin grayson (@lebesset) said on 13th May 2013, 13:13

      I first saw that video at the cinema the week after the race , thought it far better than the film my parents took me to see , can’t even remember what that was after 63 years !
      didn’t actually get to see a race for another 10 years !
      cars going at over 100mph , unbelievable !
      and on pirelli tyres as well

  7. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 13th May 2013, 11:56

    I think the issue is a complex one, and it’s easy to make panic knee-jerk reactions. I really hope that Pirelli think very carefully about any changes they make to the current tyres – teams have already invested lots of time and money into making their cars work with these current tyres, so if a change were to fundamentally affect which cars were most effective on the tyres, then it would become a bit of a farce. What F1 really needs to avoid doing is making changes to the formula which seem to be aimed directly at manipulating the relative competitiveness of the field.

    The oft quoted soundbite from Hembery is that if the tyres were more durable then Red Bull would be running away with every race. But this doesn’t sit well with me. It sounds a lot like what he’s saying that they’re artificially hobbling the team which has built the best car. Is that what we really want F1 to be about? If we no longer want a constructor to be able to win by virtue of having done the best job of building a car to the regulations, then why don’t they just turn it into a spec series and be done with it?

    Pirelli should be neutral, not gearing their tyres towards or against certain teams.

    The other problem though, is that with DRS, the speed differential created by tyre drop-off never culminates in genuine battles on the track, because overtaking is made so easy. There’s now no point in trying to defend against a driver behind, not just because the leading driver needs to conserve tyres, but because DRS creates ‘overtakes’ which are simply impossible to defend against. Some of the most exciting battles I’ve ever seen are ones where the position never changes, but with the following driver trying desperately to get past and being robustly and skilfully defended against.

    We’re lucky that right now, we have arguably the strongest field of drivers ever to appear on the same grid. This is being wasted though. What’s the point in having fast, skilled drivers, when their speed is only required for one single qualifying lap over the whole weekend, and their racecraft skills are utterly redundant thanks to DRS? What’s the point in teams spending millions trying to out-develop each other, only for a tyre manufacturer to come along and say “sorry, your car is far too fast, so we’ve designed our next generation of tyres specifically to make your car slower than other people’s”?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th May 2013, 13:07

      Where is the evidence that Pirelli specifically designed their tyres to disadvantage certain teams? The final compounds were developed months before the teams started testing cars, so it would be very difficult for Pirelli to devlop tyres to target the performance of individual teams.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 13th May 2013, 13:31

        The quote I’m referring to has been reported quite a lot, but obviously doing a search for news articles for Paul Hembery talking about tyres is bringing up more hits than I’m able to search through to find the exact one.

        But in a nutshell, he said that without the high degredation of the tyres from 2012 onwards, Red Bull would be winning races by 20-30 seconds or so. This was a response to a question criticising the tyres for ruining the race. Which I’m not sure they’re doing, but it’s certainly possible to interpret his words to mean that they have designed a tyre which seems to deliberately hobble the fastest team on the grid.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 13th May 2013, 13:51

        I wish I could find the exactly quote. I may well have read something into it which wasn’t there, and I’m happy to accept it if that is the case.

        But the fact remains, you have a grid full of drivers who are being asked to drive at a level well below their ability, where the skillsets they’ve built up as professional racing drivers, and the skills which we as viewers tune in week after week to see on show, have been rendered largely redundant. Thanks to changes in the formula which have resulted in races which are decided almost exclusively by tyre management, and how effectively a driver is able to hit the delta time worked out by the team’s strategists.

        To me, the point of stratgic racing is about choices, and about risk vs reward. So perhaps you have one driver who drives conservatively and makes two stops, while a rival may decide to drive flat out for most of the race, and do three stops. And the excitement of that is in seeing which is the best approach. However, that option of driving mostly flat out seems to have been more or less completely removed from GP racing now, because the tyres are so delicate that there is absolutely no reward in driving hard and taking more stops.

        I’m not going to be one of those people saying that Pirelli are killing the sport, by any means. I’ve defended them lots of times in the past, and I want to point out that this situation is still preferable to the bad old days of Bridgestone processions. What I am saying, is that they’re two ends of the spectrum, and the perfect balance lies somewhere inbetween. I want to see strategy and tyre degredation, but I also want to feel like I’m seeing the best drivers in the world showing off their skills

  8. James (@jaymz) said on 13th May 2013, 18:07

    Lotus are only worth fifty million GBP?

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