Senna and Button – worst weekend performances of the year?

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    I don’t have all the info yet, but it seems that Button and Senna have hit rock bottom this weekend. I’m still waiting for some comments by them and the team, but they looked incredibly incapable the whole weekend. Any thoughts?



    They sure gave early-season Massa a run for his money.



    I bet Jenson Button is massively regretting not going to the Mugello test. The tyre experience he could have gained there seems to be costing him dearly now.



    I have no idea what happened to Senna in the race, admittedly he didn’t look on the pace all weekend, but I’d expected him to have finished further up than he did.

    Nothing however can quite eclipse the ignominy of being lapped as your team-mate goes on to victory…



    They’ve both been equally weak since Bahrain/Spain. Which is pretty gutting as they’re two of my favourite drivers.


    Force Maikel

    Verry bad weekend from both of them, it makes you forget schumi is the lowest scoring driver of the season so far! If you had told me that during the 2000-2005 era I would have laughed at you (big time!). Senna is one of my favorite drivers but he needs to step up to the plate fast or els Bottas will be driving the number 19 car. Button is an established value, he’ll get over it but can give up Championship hopes I think


    Akin Aslan

    well i don’t think it has something to do with tyres for Button, I think it has something to do with his pace he got lapped by Hamilton, and for Bruno as much as I like the guy he just hasn’t the pace to be now In F1.



    Not great for them but Senna stands out more for me. He was stuck behind Caterham for like 90% of the race, what’s that all about?!



    Nothing new about Senna. There are so many talented drivers like Bottas and Wickens, who deserve that seat far more than he does. Button however, is a huge shock. Seriously, how on earth can you be this slow when your teammate won the race? He finished where, 16th and a lap down? Whatever is happening to Jenson?



    Both were simply awful today,

    Senna has spent a few races around Petrov and Kovalinen while his team mate has been around the top 10 or winning in spain. I’d give him to mid season but right now he’s the 1st guy i’d see out of F1, To think he replaced Rubens and kept Sutil out of a drive.

    Jenson. What is his problem? If he could get a better result from qualifying, Top 5 he wouldnt be trying different strategys and being on the back foot before the race kicked off. After that every tyre choice he made in the pits was for the wrong tyre at the wrong moment. Hamilton showed McLarens couldnt do a 1 stop But even taking that in his pace after his 1st stop was awful.



    It’s pretty galling what’s happening to Button, as he is a driver whose head sinks when things aren’t going well, especially when he doesn’t appear to have any control over his own destiny, as seems to be the case here. I don’t know what he has to do, but I think stringing together a decent weekend and getting into the top 5 could be enough.

    To be honest, I’m not surprised at what’s happening with Senna, and it’s merely a reflection of the team which, like its drivers, is horribly inconsitent. Maldonado went from winning in Spain to crashing on the first lap in Monaco, and Senna had one good drive in Malaysia but has been annonymous ever since. That they are taking drives from drivers like Sutil and Bottas is criminal, but as is always the case in F1, money does the talking.



    I think it’s more shocking for Button at the moment. In the last 3 races, Hamilton should have 2 wins and possibly a 3rd if not for team errors, and Button off his own back has failed to score at all.



    The McLaren was good till Bahrain, at Shakir both HAM and BUT was off the pace. After that, they had a nosejob, and voila Lewis can go fast and conserve the tyres at the same time, while Jenson is slow, and still his tyres are falling apart.
    My guess is the nose messed up the CoG and made the car oversteery. Last night Ron Dennis said at an interview that Button haven’t forgot how to win, just something wrong with his car. Also mentioned that he was using different suspension compared to Hamilton. I think they both get the same treatment at McL, but the new nose works for Hamilton, while it causes Button to struggle.

    If I was in charge I would risk an FP or weekend and try to put back the old nose on Jensons car, and see how he is doing with it, if he is all right, then give both cars the same upgrades. I know the upgrades wouldn’t work the same on both cars, but I would rather have constant 8-9-10th places with a car, with constant no scores.
    My other solution would be giving him more ballast, just to set the balance right, I know it would be a handicap, but same here I would rather have constant 8-9-10th places with a car, with constant no scores.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    I don’t think Button’s problem is the balance of the car. I suspect it might be the way downforce is applied to the car.

    When the MP4-27 was launched, it had a tongue-like chute under the nose. It sort of scooped up the passing air and dumped it onto the front splitter. But the Barcelona upgrade with the upturned nose did away with the chute, and instead seems to be channeling air over the suspension components and steering arm.

    The difference between the Melbourne and Barcelona designs is that the Melbourne parts kept the downforce confined to the centre line of the car. But the Barcelona design spreads the downforce evenly across the sides of the centre line. This might sound like a better solution, but Barcelona parts are pushing the tyres down by having the air flow over the suspension array. I suspect that’s why Button isn’t getting any grip – the way the downforce is applied is eating away at his tyres. This is a problem for him, because he has always used the weight of the car to manage his tyres. That’s why he’s so gentle on them, because he can balance the weight of the fuel against the life of the tyre. But here the pattern of downforce has changed, and is putting more stress on the tyres.



    @bag0 the new nose did two things:
    a) raised the frontal CofG
    b) let more air into the diffuser.

    raising CofG at the front would have the effect of a lazier car – ie less responsive to inputs. Having more air in the diffuser would also mean more rear downforce and basically more stability. There’s nothing in there that (to what I can see) causes oversteer.

    Personally I think he needs more practice time with the new nose to really find a setup that suits him. I think the revised aero map caused by the nose has altered the dynamics of setting up that McLaren – and Jenson is still setting the car up based on what he used to know.

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