Differing emotions at McLaren

By on Sunday, May 13, 2012

Photo credit: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton professed himself satisfied with his run to eighth today while Jenson Button was disconsolate with ninth.

Having started from the back of the grid, Hamilton was the only driver to run a two-stop strategy. He used it to good effect and climbed into the points by the chequered flag. In contrast Button, starting tenth, failed to make an impression on the race and could only advance one position. “I’m quite happy with that: the team did a great job and it was the best I could do,” said Hamilton, who had initially qualified on pole only to be excluded from the qualifying result for failing to return his car to park fermé.

“I didn’t know where I was when I was making my way through at the beginning. I was really surprised to see my option tyres last so long. It’s a little bit unfortunate we didn’t pip a few drivers ahead through the pitstops but nevertheless I had a good race, and a good fight with lots of people.”

Hamilton is often thought of a driver who does not conserve his tyres well. He argued today’s performance should have that reputation reassessed. “It was an incredibly tough challenge, and I’m told I’m the only one to do a two stop strategy. People are always commenting how aggressive my driving style is, so I think today I proved them wrong.”

One place behind it was a pensive Jenson Button who acknowledged that he had not had a good race or a good weekend. “We kept following other people’s calls on pitstops, which I think you have to do in that position, but it probably wasn’t right. We kept getting stuck in traffic. All in all it wasn’t quick enough anyway. I thought we might be looking at a slightly better result but not a lot better.”

Button’s travails with the handling of his car, which plagued him on Saturday, continued on Sunday. “From the word go I really wasn’t that comfortable in the car and I couldn’t get it working… I’m just personally disappointed with how the car felt underneath me – but it’s something I need to solve myself and find something that suits me a bit better… it’s not just one end. I feel like I have very low grip all the time. Hopefully we’ll solve it for Monaco because it’s a circuit I love.”

Hamilton and Button fell to third and sixth respectively in the Driver’s Championship while McLaren lost a little ground to Red Bull Racing in the Constructors’ Championship. Sebastian Vettel’s sixth position, while disappointing for Red Bull Racing, was enough to increase their advantage. They now lead McLaren 109-98.

Source: FIA

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