McLaren: Another collision, another penalty for Hamilton

2011 Singapore GP team review

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Lewis Hamilton’s troubled season continued in Singapore after another collision with a rival.

Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button
Qualifying position 4 3
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’44.809 (+0.005) 1’44.804
Race position 5 2
Laps 61/61 61/61
Pit stops 4 3

McLaren drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61
Lewis Hamilton 124.841 117.452 116.933 115.442 115.347 115.268 114.993 115.446 116.511 118.763 126.045 139.334 124.824 139.272 125.744 130.988 114.525 113.867 114.328 115.284 115.676 114.928 116.555 115.565 114.994 113.744 114.575 114.442 138.057 160.249 125.624 122.074 127.058 116.596 119.272 116.214 114.291 113.325 113.189 111.623 111.702 111.69 112.795 113.007 113.368 113.503 114.416 124.756 133.334 112.778 112.257 112.805 112.066 110.832 112.765 112.411 111.633 112.262 113.816 113.585 115.484
Jenson Button 119.507 116.428 115.779 115.41 115.43 115.484 115.104 114.991 115.285 115.282 115.604 115.68 116.511 124.378 135.594 114.354 114.155 114.356 114.322 114.322 114.063 114.107 114.917 114.114 114.702 115.713 113.876 113.6 114.059 146.125 159.646 166.74 159.95 116.023 112.181 112.873 112.246 112.201 112.017 111.984 111.712 111.698 111.665 111.908 112.123 111.987 112.647 120.256 132.904 110.4 111.441 111.061 109.293 108.454 108.704 108.712 109.001 109.153 111.929 111.22 113.113

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Singapore, 2011
Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Super soft 30.142s
Pit stop 2 Soft 33.456s
Pit stop 3 Super soft 30.706s
Pit stop 4 Soft 29.876s

Hamilton described his qualifying session as “eventful”. He damaged part of the car’s floor in Q1 which was repaired for the next session.

He picked up a puncture in Q2 when he ran over debris from Kamui Kobayashi’s crash and didn’t have enough fuel in Q3:

“We had an issue with the refuelling process – we couldn’t get enough fuel into the car quick enough. In the end, we just ran out of time, so I couldn’t fit in my final run.”

McLaren request that Hamilton be allowed to change his damaged tyre before the race but were denied, costing him a set of super soft tyres. In the event, that was the least of his problems.

Hamilton made a good start but cautiously backing out of a lunge down the inside of Mark Webber cost him – he slipped down to seventh and then to cap it all was passed by Michael Schumacher heading into turn seven.

On lap four Schumacher ran slightly wide at turn five, Hamilton pressed his DRS button and he was past the Mercedes much more quickly than he had been in Monza. The next time by he took the sister car of Nico Rosberg.

It took Hamilton four laps to get within range of Felipe Massa. The pair pitted together on lap 11 and Hamilton came out right behind the Ferrari.

He had a look on the outside of Memorial corner and was in the process of pulling back behind the Ferrari when he carelessly clipped Massa’s right-rear tyre with his front wing, damaging both.

Unusually, McLaren kept him out for a lap with the left-hand portion of his front wing completely destroyed. They then switched him to the soft tyres with the intention of keeping him out as long as possible.

The stewards handed Hamilton a drive-through penalty – a straightforward and non-controversial decision given that he had wrecked Massa’s race. He served it on lap 16.

When the safety car came out Hamilton had done 16 laps on his soft tyres and the team decided to switch him to super softs so he could attack in the final stint.

This he did, passing Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg and Paul di Resta in succession to take fifth.

He had to repeat the process having made a final stop for another set of tyres on lap 48.

Massa claimed Hamilton ignored him in the media area afterwards. The Ferrari driver was seen interrupting a television interview with Hamilton to sarcastically tell him “good job, well done”.

Hamilton does not appear to have made any comment about his latest collision at the moment, making only passing reference to it in his remarks after the race.

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Jenson Button

Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Singapore, 2011
Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 30.169s
Pit stop 2 Soft 29.921s
Pit stop 3 Super soft 30.305s

Button out-qualified Hamilton for the fourth time this year but was concerned about tyre temperatures: “We’re putting a lot of heat into the tyres – so if we push hard in the first sector, we lose rear-end grip by the third sector.

“It’s difficult trying to find that balance, but I think we got reasonably close to it this evening.”

Button, who took medication for dehydration and a stomach complaint before the race, easily out-dragged Webber to take second place at the start – and held the place for every lap of the race.

He dropped back from Sebastian Vettel early on and although he gained some ground during the safety car period, he lost more time passing lapped cars.

Kamui Kobayashi proved particularly troublesome, earning himself a drive-through penalty after badly delaying Button

Button found more time than Vettel in his final stint on super soft tyres and cut Vettel’s lead from 12.7 seconds on lap 52 to 6.5 on lap 57.

From that point the gap between them varied wildly as they passed through large clumps of lapped cars.

Button started the final lap 6.5 seconds behind Vettel and ended it just 1.7 behind – the narrowest the margin had been all race.

He had some complaints about traffic after the race, but stopped short of saying it cost him a potential win: “If you look at the time at the end of the race, I was 1.7s behind Sebastian. I lost more than that behind Kobayashi but I’m sure Seb would have been driving at a different pace if he knew I was four seconds closer.

“The traffic that we had today is disappointing, I would say and it’s something that we need to concentrate on for the next race because I spent over a lap behind Kobayashi.

“There was no reason for him not to let me past, he had a clear circuit in front and I was lapping him, so very, very frustrating and something that we need to resolve for the future.”

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

2011 Singapore Grand Prix

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    Image © McLaren, Singapore GP/Sutton

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    145 comments on “McLaren: Another collision, another penalty for Hamilton”

    1. There’s nothing to say other than Jenson was the better Driver this Weekend,Great Drive & Final Charge.Lewis needs to get it together and this is not the first time coming from a McLaren fan we’re not expecting ‘recovery drives’ from him,We’re expecting him to be faster than if not as fast as Jenson & be Vettel’s Main Challenger.Whats happened to him since Hungary?

      1. Your post sounds like you’re trying to get the names of power ballads into it.

    2. I believe the stewards are being consistent. In Malaysia, Alonso lost his front wing against the back of Hamilton’s car, and it didn’t effect Hamilton, but Alonso still received a penalty.

      1. streetfightingman
        26th September 2011, 20:21

        I agree. It was the first thing that came up in my head when the Hamilton once again wrecked, that it would be sad if he didn’t get a penalty.

      2. That’s a fair point, not many people will pause to reflect upon that.

        Perhaps though, we should be questioning why penalties are given out so freely in modern day Formula One.

        1. yeah neither alonso or lewis should get a penalty for an error IMO.

          penalties should be used for stupid pointless mistakes and purposely calculated moves that put another driver at risk.

          1. you claim lewis should not get a penalty for an error and then contradict yourself by saying “penalties should be used for stupid pointless mistakes” which is what hamilton did.
            hamiltons penalty was right as he caused “avoidable contact” which resulted in another drivers race being ruined.

            1. Plus, how would it look if Hamilton didn’t have to serve a penalty and rejoined the track way in front of Massa after they both had their mandatory pit stops…

              Not exactly fair I would say.

              It’s wrong when the victim of an accident pays a much higher penalty than the perpetrator. It shouldn’t matter if it’s on purpose or not.

        2. why didnt mark webber get a penalty for doing EXACTLY the same move at the same corner last year and putting hamilton out of the race?

          1. The two incidents were completely different as I’ve already explained to you once but you appear to have ignored:


            1. Keith I’m going to have to diagree with you on this one. In the earlier post you described the incident as ‘Webber and Hamilton were side by side – racing incident’, when clearly the videos will show that Hamilton was ahead of Webber going into the corner, which is why Webber’s right front tyre contacted Hamilton’s left rear.

              For me, I can understand why they gave Hamilton a penalty this weekend, he caused an accident that affected another driver; but I will never understand how Webber got away with it last year. I’d love, for example, to see an overlay of Webber/Hamilton – Singapore 2010, with Hamilton/Maldonado – Monaco 2011. It’s not difficult to see why Hamilton often feels targetted by the stewards.

            2. Keith, your love for Red Bull is blinding you to facts, last year Webber punted Hamilton off the road, pure and simple, if Hamilton had done that to Webber he would have got a penalty and you know it.

            3. The incidents were different, sure. Hamilton was aborting an attempted pass but couldn’t control the wheels from locking up as he braked to match Massa (braking very heavily into the corner) and ‘wrecked Massa’s race’ [© Copyright Maranello 2011, though they don’t explain how Hamilton recovered to 5th and how Massa would have achieved much better than where he ended up anyhow].

              Webber, though, wasn’t level but ‘challenging the corner’ alongside Hamilton, but behind. The reason he should have got a penalty, maybe, was that had Hamilton’s McLaren not been there to ‘brake’ him, his velocity into the corner would have sent him completely off-track, which indicates he came into the corner too fast, therefore producing an ‘avoidable incident.’ Whether he did so recklessly, knowing he was almost entirely likely to collide with Hamilton, is meaningless now.

              As for the example of Alonso being penalized for colliding with Hamilton, interesting that the latter also picked up a penalty simultaneously for supposedly weaving earlier, whereas we’ve seen numerous examples of other drivers weaving this season, including Vettel off the line, and escaping punishment. You can’t convince me FIA are consistent in relation to Hamilton, at all.

            4. +1 Keith

              I definately would not want to be on track racing with those stating it was Webber’s fault.

            5. JSC and Anthony_MR are right here, there is no way Webber and Hamilton could be described as “side by side” in last year’s incident. Webber carried far too much speed into the corner, and attempted a barge through. Lewis was at worst guilty of closing the door. Lewis was careless this year, but he was far less careless than Webber was last year.

              The penalty is for “causing an avoidable accident”, not “causing a specific type of accident where the cars are a given value of y inside each other’s axle”. Webber caused an avoidable accident last year and should have been punished.

          2. Webber didn’t get a penalty because he was on the inside for the corner, and had no where to go, Lewis turned into him and didn’t give him enough room. If anything, it was Lewis’ own fault.

            1. I believe Webber’s car comes with a brake pedal. If Hamilton had run into Webber’s left rear tyre into turn one at the start of the race on Sunday he would have gotten another penalty. Instead, he slowed down, conceded the corner, and lost 3 places in the process. Webber should have done the same last year.

            2. No, no brake pedal last year in Webber’s car.

          3. It wasn’t the same move. Webber had nowhere to go and Hamilton just turned into him. It was a racing incident because they both were to blame. Webber should probably have bailed out, and Hamilton shouldn’t have taken the turn that tight.

            1. It was clearly Hamilton’s fault.

              A few laps later in that race Kubica showed how Hamilton should have done it.
              Kubica tried to pass (Sutil?) on the outside towards turn 7 but saw the other wasn’t going to yield. So, Kubica gave enough room, made the corner and the pass.
              There was no touching, no blocking, just a clean pass.

          4. Sorry for not seeing your first reply Keith! I still think if you’d have swapped Webber and Hamilton around last year then Hamilton would have got a penalty – they clearly were not side-by-side and Webber could have braked to avoid the collision, just like Hamilton did at the start of the 2011 race as he was up the inside of Webber.

            I still think it was right that Hamilton was given a penalty this year, but Webber should have got one last year. Thanks for the discussion, though!

            1. Yes, both Webber last year and Hamilton this year deserved a penalty or neither, simple as that.

            2. Sorry for not seeing your first reply Keith!

              That’s alright I realise it’s not always easy with the site as it is at the moment. Something I plan to change in the future.

    3. these results were typical of their 2011 seasons. jenson’s race-craft has been outstanding this year, while lewis seems to be an implosion in progress.

    4. Keith, pretty sure Button started the final lap 6.5 seconds BEHIND Vettel.

      1. Indeed he did! Corrected it.

    5. It is amazing how Hamilton recovered from accident and penalty. But Button definetely drove better. He’s now fast as Hamilton except qualifying.

      Speaking of accident, even Hamilton paid his mistake, I understand Massa’s anger either. He has been suffered from Hamilton too frequently this year.

      1. As much as I was angered with Lewis or crashing, his race from then on was incredible, and he passed many cars with ease and quickly.
        I lost some more respect for Hamilton this weekend, but that al went to Button who was superb at the end.
        Anyway, Button beat Hamilton four times on 14 in qualy, and Massa beat Aloso two times on 14, so I can’t see all the fuss about Massa’s poor qualifying, he has often been very close (not to take away rom Button, he’s been great this year).

        1. I don’t see the fuss in Lewis’ charge from the back of the field – in fact I don’t see why many people fuss so much about a driver in clearly the top 3 fastest teams come from the back of the field to finish in the top 5-7 places. Lewis set the 4th fastest lap time and is average lap times (accident/penalties aside) was within the top 6 placings. Lewis finished at the bottom out of the top 3 teams (Massa aside because of their collision and Massa’s inability to drive fast. LoL).

    6. “Carelessly clipped Massa’s tyre …” .. look again at the footage. His tyre was locked up and smoking. That’s the point where you’re a passenger, not a driver. “Careless” is an unfortunate choice of word.

      1. Carelessly late&hard braked? I don’t think he tried to destroy Massa’s tyre but it doesn’t mean he was careful.

      2. His tyre was locked up and smoking.

        And whose fault was that?

        “Careless” is a deliberate choice of word.

        1. Keith, Is it time to come up with an “accident scale of intensity” like Richter scale for earthquakes?

          1. Perhaps we should have a “frickter scale” that’d measure how much of a “fricking joke” Hamilton’s driving is in each incident.

            1. You’re mean! :)

              So “Freakest accident of the Week-end” is HAM’s? I’d pick Schumacher’s :)

            2. Tom M in Australia
              27th September 2011, 8:07

              lol! love the frickter scale.

            3. Ha! Very good idea :D

              Made me laugh.

              Everyone will end up hatin’on Lewis though.

      3. streetfightingman
        26th September 2011, 20:22

        The inside, unloaded wheel was slightly locked up. You’re not a passanger at all. You’re still in control.

        1. Then you’ve not had to brake hard in a road car to avoid someone. If your tyres are skidding you do not have anywhere near the same amount of control than if they were properly gripping the tarmac. That’s just physics.

          1. Yes, please Franton, lets take that analogy further.

            If that happens, and you hit someone in front, who do you (or the police in case they are nessiccary) put down as responsible for the incident? Exactly, the person who was to close and could not stop before hitting someone.

            1. Correct. As Keith keeps saying, the fault lies with the car behind. BUT – consider the speeds they are doing. Consider that the drivers can’t see their own front wings. And consider that the car behind and outside (Hamilton) is relying on the other car’s braking and turn in point being consistent. If Massa braked a little sooner or harder than Hamilton expected, or turned in a little tighter, then his car would not be where Hamilton expected it to be. Hamilton no doubt wanted to come out of the corner inside of Massa, and he had to make his decisions for all of this several seconds earlier. His misjudgment was only a couple of inches – the cars had the lightest of taps. Add to this mix the fact that Massa detests Hamilton and will do his utmost to both make it hard for Hamilton and make it look like Hamilton makes mistakes (as per Monaco- the replay stills show the hairpin incident was 100% Massa’s fault yet he managed to be perceived as the victim). The lesson Hamilton needs to learn is that when passing Massa he should give him double room and leave an extra margin of safety.

            2. @Brit, If you are right that it is the car behind that is at Fault. Then Webber should have received the penalty last year.

            3. Sorry buddy, it’s not that straightforward. The car in front can be guilty. Let’s call front car “car 1” and back car “car 2”.

              If “car 1” suddenly slows down in a fast lane and “car 2” fails to stop the car before hit “car 1” it cannot be blamed. Your assumption qualifies everybody in a crash in chain as guilty, which is not correct.

            4. @Jcost

              Actually on the road and in law you are incorrect, the car behind is to blame no matter how hard the car “car1” breaks / slows down.

            5. @W-K: Agreed. Or neither should have been. One of the points I was trying to make in my original post is that these errors of judgment are tiny, and sometimes based on one driver’s expectation (formed several seconds earlier) of what another driver might do or what his line might be. Once you’re committed, you’re committed. But if that other driver doesn’t quite go where you expected him to, a collision can occur. My other point was that Massa is very good at changing his line and braking point in a corner so that any collision looks like it was the other person’s fault.

          2. His outer wheel was locked. In cornering this has WAY more grip than the inner wheel. Could be as much as 3 times more grip in fact.

      4. losing control of the car does not absolve the driver of responsibility. “careless” is a very appropriate choice.

      5. He was on the outside and turned in on Massa without scrubbing off enough speed beforehand.

        Locked brakes or otherwise, he caused an avoidable collision by turning in too early in an attempt to stay as close to Massa’s rear wing as possible.

        There’s no two ways about it, he made a careless error of judgement.

      6. his tyre wasn’t locked up and smoking. The incident happened while accelerating out of the corner. He was just trying to cut back and traction better than Massa and he just misjudged the move.

      7. He had the runoff ahead o him, unlike Webber last year; Massa occupied a minimal part o the track on his left, and braked late to repass Hamilton, who braked early and turned ignorin what Massa was doing, when slightly turning the wheel or accelerating a bit might have saved both’s races.

      8. It is funny how Hamilton fans argued quite loudly that Hamilton was in complete control when he was ‘hooning’ in Australia or doing 180’s in the middle of a busy racetrack in Hungary but now when he has a tiny puff of smoke from one of his front tires he is completely out of control and just a passenger! He was careless driving into the back of Massa, in fact Hamilton this year has been an absolutely dreadful racecar driver.

        1. LMAO – COTD. Love it! The fact is you’ve got a really strong defender in Massa and a really strong attacker in Lewis – and the fact they have little respect for each other adds more fuel to the fire. Lewis made a poor judgement thinking he needed to get an early jump on the switch back given there is a short distance to the next corner – just lacking the patience really. He should’ve held back until he got to the DRS zone to make the move, in that way it wouldn’t hamper his overall race progress. Just look at Alonso – he knew Webber was going to take him and it was inevitable, but intelligently he let Webber through with minimal interruption to his own pace and hence he managed to get 4th spot from a car that really should have been 5th or 6th.

      9. “His tyre was locked up and smoking. That’s the point where you’re a passenger, not a driver.”

        That’s the problem with tyres, when the driver ask them to supply more friction than is available, they don’t like it and react angrily, throw their toys out of the pram and even have a fag. They should have had the penalty, not Hamilton.

    7. Button started the final lap 6.5 seconds ahead of Vettel and ended it just 1.7 behind – the narrowest the margin had been all race.

      If only Button was ahead by 6.5 seconds going into the final lap :)

      Good write-up, the lap time chart makes for interesting viewing.

      Judging by the lack of variation, or to put it another way the consistency of Buttons lap times in his second and third stints, he hadn’t yet pushed the tyres to their limit when he came in to pit. Is that a fair assessment?

      Button said himself after the race that the last stint was the first time in the race where he was allowed to push instead of managing tyres.

      The speed at which he was reeling in Vettel seemed so rediculously fast that I was convinced at the time Vettel was struggling to control the margin.

      Would he really allow Button to close the gap to within 3.7 seconds at 2 seconds per lap that late in the race, considering he brilliantly managed to sustain a comfortable margin of 12+ seconds for the bulk of the race beforehand?

      Personally I don’t think so and even in the press conference Vettel’s comments about having the situation under control seemed to be delivered tentatively to me.

      Is it not possible that Vettel’s immense pace throughout the early and mid stages of the race combined with the Safety Car closing his initial gap led to him being compromised on fuel, forcing him into a heavy fuel saving mode where he could no longer match Button’s ultimate pace as Button let it rip with everything in his car set to achieve peak performance?

      Perhaps I’m just clutching at straws, but Button’s late race charge got my pulse up with the nostalgia of Canada bristling in my mind.

      1. I reckon that was the thinking in the McLaren pit.

      2. Red Bulls issues with their KERS being on the limit with cooling might have been part of the reason as well.

        It certainly made it worthwhile for Button to have a go at putting up a bit of pressure to see if anything gave way in the Red Bull in front.

      3. Agreed…

        I suspect that there must be fuel-savings/KERs-preserving/”don’t push it to hard, you’ve got a safe lead Seb” things going on or the McLaren’s are just much faster on low fuel, because there have been several races in a row where the Seb’s lead has been well eaten into.

        Of course, if the McLaren’s were that much faster on low fuel, I’d expect that they wouldn’t be a half second behind in quali every time.

        1. BTW, forgive my superfluous apostrophes there in “McLarens” :)

    8. “The stewards handed Hamilton a drive-through penalty – a straightforward and non-controversial decision given that he had wrecked Massa’s race.”

      I don’t remember Webber being handed a penalty last year in the same corner, in a very similar situation when he not only wrecked Hamilton’s race but also put him out of it, dashing his championship hopes in the process too.

      This time Hamilton’s case of unfair treatment is very strong, McLaren should take the opportunity to use it in favour of Lewis. The ‘how’, is up to them.

      1. That is right Shrieker, we did not see Webber and Hamilton in a similar situation last year at that corner.
        Different situation, different punishment.

      2. “a very similar situation” ?

        Considering you say MW put himself out of it, I guess you don’t remember the move very well.

        1. Webber had risked it to regain his position, caused contact and took out a competititor in the process. It’s obviously very similar.

          “not only wrecked Hamilton’s race but also put him out of it” Not “himself”, “him”.

          1. I think you summed up the difference pretty well. The Webber incident was Mark trying to regain a position. In the Massa incident he never got past. Whether Mark deserved a penalty or not is one thing however to use that as a comparison to show how Lewis is mistreated is wrong.

    9. Button has definitely gone up in my estimation. When he join Mclaren, I thought Lewis was going to thrash him but he’s difinitely proved himself as a good driver. well, with the number of years experience under his belt, that is what we all expect from him i guess.

      1. + 1.

        But it is still clear, to me, that Lewis will beat him the day they get them cars capable of winning championships.

        1. I see it the opposite way around but even so it’s pure speculation at this point.

          Button is outperforming Hamilton on race pace in addition to consistency of results and has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to play the long game with strategy to his benefit.

          Hamilton on the other hand attempts to go flat out from lights to flag and hopes for the best with the tyres, relying more heavily on his team to make vital heat of the moment strategy calls.

          If Mclaren supply their drivers with a car that is in a class of its own at the front then a qualifying discrepancy of 2-3 tenths won’t have as large an impact on Button as it currently does.

          The drivers would likely secure front row lockouts for most races, meaning Button only has to outrace Hamilton to win over the course of the season.

          Button is also widely regarded as being more sensitive to an unbalanced/difficult car than Hamilton is. This is not a belief I hold, though surely if true then Button would stand to benefit more than Hamilton if they are given a car that is exceptional.

          1. Good points on your post. But will Button win a WDC relying on tyre nursing? I don’t buy that.

          2. lewis has been nowhere near his best this season,but theres still 5 races left.if lewis drives anywhere near his best level in those 5 races he can easily finish 2nd in the championship.your forgetting the gap is only 17 points despite his terrible season.and it wouldnt even be that big if it wasnt for that puncture he got.he would have gone quicker on his second run,and probably qualified in second place.
            i wonder what ppl will say if lewis does actually finish the season with more points than button?considering the fact ppl are saying buttons been great this season and lewis has been poor.

    10. Wasnt Massa ahead of Hamilton after the drive through? Haven’t seen the replay but pretty sure he was.
      A lot of comments saying how his race was “wrecked” by Hamilton, but he needs to take some responsibility himself for not being able to get past 2 Force Indias. Hamilton managed 5th quite comfortably, Massa had plenty of time to get back into the top 6.

      1. You’re maybe forgetting that Massa entered the pits with the flat rear tyre which took him forever to get to the pits. That was considerable amount time lost.
        Nevertheless, slow Ferrari and Massa driving 1 second slower laps from Alonso is what wrecked his race.

    11. While Lewis did a great job recovering to fifth, how good is that McLaren, Vettel and his engineers just seem to get the RB7 spot on, where as McLaren seem to compromise themselves one way or another. They do know how to build fast cars, just struggle making use of it. Sam Michael could make a difference on that front next year. Lets see!

    12. It’s a shame that the title of this article is not Button’s great weekend, but Hamilton’s poor one.

      Geting bored of this now, let’s celebrate the good for a change instead of the bad.

    13. Go Mclaren! Go Button! Go Hamilton! There would be nothing else to to talk about if not for Hamilton, vettel’s leisurely sunday evening drive to the win has been somewhat cast aside.

      Massa is a slow coach and tried to blame his woes on Hamilton. For sure, his days in a Ferrari are numbered. I wonder why no one question perhaps Massa went into turn 7 a tard too slow and Hamilton, a true racer that he is, was just getting on with his job of providing us with his usual thrill.

      The penalty against Hamilton was an absolute joke but he did well to recover and finished 5th. That still didn’t go down well with all his haters who continue to chuck out drivel upon drivel. Massa trying to get things personal with Hamilton was just so disrespectful to say the least.

      Lest not forget the way the race unfolded, maybe things would have been different if mclaren had not make a mistake with Hamilton’s refuelling during qualifying, maybe things could have been different if Webber had not fluffed his start and crowded out Hamilton going into turn one.

      It’s all going well for Button at the moment and Hamilton is having a rough time and bad luck this season. All these talk of this driver is better than that driver is sheer nonsense, we all know who is the real deal. I wonder which drivers today would Vettel not have chasing him down at a track somewhat difficult to pass. Hamilton would certainly be one of them. Will Hamilton wait till the last 5 laps to start racing? Surely not. He’ll be back for sure. Thanks.

      1. +1 Good post.

      2. A couple of points about your comment on Button. I think it was nearer 10 laps than 5 and besides Button was managing the rears as the McLaren had apparently been suffering with them going off quickly when used hard as Button mentioned after qualifying. There is more to racing than “MAX POWER” at all times – a point that Lewis occasioanlly seems to forget when he has a rush of blood to the head as much fun as it is to watch!

      3. Nothing else to talk about if not for Hamilton? Grow up. There are 23 other drivers on the grid.

        1. I am yet to do the math, but I think thread’s mentioning Hamilton have more comments than others, Am I right Keith?

          1. +1 I noticed it too.

    14. Whitmarsh is claiming that McLaren are going to try to deny Vettel clinching the championship at Suzuka.

      Given current form, looks like they’ll need to have Hamilton ram Vettel off the road to prevent him scoring that final point…

    15. I think Massa should attempt concentrate on how he is going to become a race winning driver again, which I severely doubt he is capable of doing at the moment.

      All that Hamilton ‘ruined’ was perhaps a 4th place for a sore loser of a driver who is still bitter about 2008 and who is going to be deservedly sacked by Ferrari at the end of this season.

      1. Why bring all that into it? Fact is Hamilton DID ruin Massa’s race. Whether it makes a difference for his future or how good a driver he is, is irrelevant.
        Facts are facts. Criticizing Massa for who he is won’t change that.

    16. “The Ferrari driver was seen interrupting a television interview with Hamilton to sarcastically tell him “good job, well done”

      Why don’t you call it like it happened? He was seen roughly grabbing Hamilton. I doubt if Hamilton did the same thing it would be deemed simply as “interrupting”. It’s pity that, when he’s not on the anti-Hamilton bandwagon, that he’s not got the same guts to stand up to his team mate and team boss. Lucky he didn’t get a punch in the gob.

      1. As I think I’ve said once already this weekend, I’m not getting into a he-said-she-said on the Hamilton-Massa thing because I don’t want to be a teacher in a primary school playground.

        1. Well, I couldn’t hear what was said exactly either, but I it did certainly not look like a tap on the shoulder but rather like a push by Massa, before he ran off to not have a discussion. Sad really.

      2. He ROUGHLY GRABBED him!?! OMG!!! What a total non-story. Handbags at dawn. Not even.

    17. Lewis will drive the way he wants to regardless of criticism from fans, pundits or other drivers. He will attack every chance he gets, knowing that he could win or lose miserably. He will continue to drive on the edge because that’s who he is. It not a pretense, it is his personality; brilliant but flawed.
      Personally, as much as I would like for him to win and be on the podium more, I would not want him to change his driving style to emulate Jenson or anyone else in formula one.
      People who are risk takers or who identify with them understand the likes of Hamilton and would be crushed to see him give up his identity in the car. People who are pragmatic or who tend not take risk have a difficult time with drivers like Lewis.
      Personally, I can’t remember but one exciting race (Canada this year) where he was not in the midst of the fight for a close win or lose ( think spa in 2008 and 2010, Turkey 2010,Singapore 2009, and the fair fight with Schumi at Monza) to name a few.
      Let’s face it, the man can flat out drive a car and his only peer at this time is Alonso.

      1. I agree, Hamiton should keep his agressive style, keep taking risks at every corner, make great overtakings, crash into others, take penalties, win headlines but not WDCs.

        1. When you have the fastest car and starts (almost) always in pole position you don’t need to overtake or take risks. It’s a much more comfortable situation.

          1. Still, even when the car has been on terms, like in Hungary and Belgium, he failed to take his opportunities through making errors.

      2. Agreed, this season with the immense superiority of the Red Bulls the only (if minimal) option to win was to risk a lot as Lewis did. Alonso, Button and Webber will probably be over him but won’t win the WDC either.

        1. You’re right but there’s a certain limit in every thing. I think Alonso, Button, Webber a pushing a lot and take risks too but they seem to know the limit which cannot be said of Hamilton. The fact that he doesn’t have the fastest car at the moment and can’t really fight for victory doesn’t mean that he should push the gas pedal to the floor and crash into everything. Unfortunately Lewis can’t distinguish the line between “going for the gap” and “no brainer” driving.

          1. Only a driver knows his own limits because he establish and test them. If he is good, he will push beyond them at the chance that he might succeed ( Alonso around Schumacher at 130r in 2006, Webber around Alonso in at Eau Rouge this year, and Hamilton re-passing Button at turn one in Turkey last year). If any of those overtakes fail is it “no brainer” driving or simply a pass that did not work?
            We have not seen Button take such risk so we can’t put him in the same category of driver. However, he is as competitive as all of them but does not approach racing the same way.
            Vettel, driving a car that is a clear half second faster than his nearest rival, can’t be judge with any of the aforementioned drivers. Driving from the front in clean air with a far superior car does not tell a story about a driver’s true skills.

            1. Vettel, driving a car that is a clear half second faster than his nearest rival, can’t be judge with any of the aforementioned drivers.

              Her mentioned Webber, and if you’re right about that figure, plucked from thin air, then Webber’s skills are not up to much.

    18. The amazing thing about this race, vis a vis Hamilton is that, despite dropping to 20th due to the combination of wreck and and penalty, the only person who finished ahead of him but didn’t start there is Alonso, who had passed him at the start along with a throng of others. I’m surprised there is not the Valencia-vintage howling that the penalty was sufficiently severe in the circumstance and that he effectively “got away with it.”

      1. On the other hand, had HAM been a bit more patient with passing Massa, the pace he showed seems to indicate it lost not just Massa a good result, but also lost Hamilton a good shot at third or even second place in the race. Something to remember next time for him, I’d hope – this wasn’t being stuck behind Schumacher for most of Monza, a few laps would have lost him time, but not that much!

    19. The more mistakes Hamilton do on track the more a good driver Button is becoming!

      1. The more mistakes Hamilton do on track the more a good driver Button is becoming!

        You meant that due to Lewis’ mistakes Button seems better. I like both mcLaren drivers as individuals and as a team, and I wish others recognise this. Lewis is faster but Button is safer, a great combination for McLaren to win the Constructors.

        1. I completely agree, they are two completely different drivers.

          What I think Lewis needs to do is end this season on a high note, get the media off his back so can solely focus on his driving for 2012.

          With little rule changes moving into the 2012 season, I think there will be some more close driving without red bull dominating they way they have this year.

          1. I think I didn’t put the words right,what I wanted to mean is Hamilton making mistakes will just help Button score more points & good results.See the mistakes Lewis made in Hungary,Belgium & Singapore now think who scored the most points among all this behind Vettel?

            1. Was Lewis in front of Button in any of the races mentioned so Jenson could benefit from his troubles?

            2. @ Klaas

              Yes In Hungary & specially in Belgium Lewis was ahead of Button before he made mistakes.

    20. The major topic over penalties nowadays is whether stewards are being consistent or not but they way they hand out reprimands and penalties you would think that drivers consistently sought a way to take out other drivers on purpose. Why can an incident not just be that, a racing incident. Hamilton never planned to carelessly drive his front wing to Massa rear wheel and I’m positive Schumacher didn’t plan to put himself out the race.

      These incidents will happen, it’s called racing and in Formula one overtaking and defending is like a game of chess restricted to a very small time frame. These people are not robots and majority of the time these decisions are made in a fraction of a second.

      For me, I would be happy if they scrapped in race penalties as it just now feels that they hand them out to just make headlines and race more interesting when it now feels ridiculous that they hand out so many.

      1. Agreed.

        This is the elephant in the room.

        I agree with Hamilton’s penalty only in light of all the other penalties (like Alonso’s in Malaysia) that demand it’s handed out for some semblance of consistency (no question, the instant I saw it, that car 3 would get a penalty for that, especially given that his victim’s car was bright red). But, of course, Alonso’s penalty in Malaysia was a joke and so are a lot of others, including Schumacher’s in Singapore.

        The nature of F1 is that competition takes place on a knife edge, by design. You put cars and drivers under stress in close proximity in a sauna and it’s called racing, like you say. If someone – like Alonso in Sepang or Lewis this weekend – misjudges slightly and breaks his front wing, then he has already suffered a whopping time loss to lap slowly and replace the wing. He’s his own worst enemy and that should be enough. It’s really immaterial whether someone else suffered too because the job of race stewards is not to micro-manage every race outcome and make sure that nobody ever suffers at the hands of another. Race stewards have tried to take the role of the fairness police in an unfair world. If there was a serious suggestion that any of these drivers made contact on purpose or cynically, then they can rule on that, but it’s clear in all 3 cases that they didn’t and it was just the way things unfold sometimes when you compete.

        In Fuji in 2008, Hamilton got a penalty for braking slightly too late in the first corner and running wide. This is the definition of a self-policing error – he lost time and lost several positions because that’s what happens when you come in too hot and make a mistake. One or both Ferraris was also pushed wide but that was primarily because Kovalainen did the same thing, and it shouldn’t even matter in any case – it’s racing and someone typically overcooks it at turn 1 in every race. You have a mentality now where race stewards think they have to penalize every error, for its own sake, as if errors are not an integral part of the deal, and as if they can be eradicated without destroying the competition altogether. They should penalize cheating, gaining an unfair advantage or actions that really put the safety of others at risk (like Schumacher in Hungary). There’s no need to penalize someone who just misjudges something slightly in the heat of competition and pays a price for it.

        Last year in Singapore, Webber misjudged an attempt at a re-pass on Hamilton and drop-kicked Lewis from the race, one of several such moments from Webber during 2010. He didn’t get a penalty (even though he continued undamaged) and that is fine with me, because it wasn’t malicious and it’s just the way things go sometimes. On a different day (like Montreal this year), it’s the other way around and Webber comes off worse. There really is no need to get stewards involved and what you have now is a cycle where every decision depends on how over-zealous the stewards were in a previous decision.

        Aussie V8 Supercars and NASCAR have fewer penalties than this and they’re driving big lumps of steel which don’t even suffer if you ram the guy in front of you. F1 cars have front wings that break if you breathe on them, and suspension that only works under specific designed loads, so there’s already sufficient incentive for drivers to avoid crashing into each other. We legislate things like DRS, KERS and tyres which fall off a cliff after a dozen laps, in order to create big speed disparities between cars, passing, re-passing, and close racing. And then we punish anyone who attempts a pass that doesn’t work 100%. In Monaco, Lewis put a pass on Schumacher at Ste Devote that was widely applauded, and an almost carbon copy of the same move on Maldonado that resulted in contact, owing to geometrical differences you’d need a sextant to measure – probably just down to the response of the defender in all honesty. The first move went unchallenged and was the legendary stuff that F1 is made of (and the reason we still go to Monaco), and the second got a penalty – living proof of the fact that the difference between a great move and an action worthy of a penalty is now razor thin in the eyes of race stewards.

        BTW, I have no idea how I came to be called Floatyboat. That was never my login but my original name doesn’t work and that’s what I get if I ping the site for my login credentials.

        1. I agree with your assessment of this over regulation of a race. All the talk about Schumacher racing style at Monza was another example of pundits and stewards getting too involved in a race. Hamilton knew what he was up against trying to get around Schumi and we were afforded a rare opportunity to watch two masters at work.
          I am a Hamilton fan, but I am glad Daly did not get to see what was going on a penalty would have ruin the most entertaining part of the race.

          1. Exactly – I’m also rooting for Lewis but didn’t want to see Schumacher penalized for their race at Monza. It was a good fight. Perhaps once (before Lesmo 1) he overdid the blocking, and at Ascari there was a risk that his moves back to the line would constitute two blocks given that Lewis was getting overlap, but he was warned about it and didn’t do anything blatant enough or repeated enough to warrant the stewards stepping in, in my view.

            To be fair to Daly, when he came on the F1 Debrief show this weekend, he opined that as someone who hates blocking and thinks it sets a terrible example to the junior ranks, he thought Schumacher stepped over that line, but his primary point (and it amazes me that this is a question in 2011) was that the grey area concerning whether a move back to the racing line is admissible still needs to be cleared up. He said that the definition of a “one move” block was discussed between the stewards before the Monza race and it really wasn’t resolved by the time they were done. This is a very fundamental thing for F1 to have left open, and Daly is right that everyone needs some clarity – if a race steward can’t answer the question, then who can? My personal view is that allowing two moves (the second being back to the racing line) makes blocking too easy and if you block once, even if it compromises your next corner entry, then you shouldn’t be at liberty to move fully back and block a second time. But that’s my opinion and if the FIA was clear about it, either way, then we wouldn’t have this big furore.

      2. They talked about this on the BBC Practice coverage a few times earlier in the year.

        Apparently Pre-Season the drivers asked the FIA to investigate everything regardless of how small an incident it was & to also be more strict with penalty’s.

        Through the year its been discussed in GPDA meetings & the drivers have continued to ask the FIA to continue to do this.

        I think that if the drivers felt the FIA were going to far or penalty’s were incorrect or inconsistent we’d be hearing about it, The fact they don’t say this seems to suggest the drivers are happy with how the FIA/Race stewards are handing things regarding investigations & penalty’s.

    21. Button, who took medication for dehydration and a stomach complaint before the race, easily out-dragged Webber to take second place at the start – and held the place for every lap of the race

      After Button’s pitstop at the end of Lap 48, he was 3rd with Alonso 2nd was he not? (Alo hadn’t pitted)

        1. Here’s a screenshot I took right after Jenson pitted on Lap 48 (Vettel already was on Lap 49 as Button was rejoining the track):

        2. I looked back; JB pitted on the end of Lap 48 and filtered out behind Alonso. Alonso pitted at the end of the next lap and filtered back into 3rd; so I think Jenson never crossed the line in 3rd, possibly? But he was at one point 3rd on track.

    22. Button has really upped his game this season, he seems very comfortable with the car at the moment and we know that with this his talent shines though. It’s interesting that the McLaren drivers went with completely different set ups in Free practice (FP3 was it?)Jenson’s setup seemed faster. I wonder if, due to his greater experience, Jenson is leading the development of the car more than Hamilton. Perhaps he is able to give the engineers more feedback whereas Hamilton has more ability to drive around problems with the car.

      1. lewis was faster than button on his first run,but button had a second run to go faster,lewis didnt.if he had of,he would have qualified in second.this is common knowledge.

        1. Yeah there’s no denying that Lewis is a faster Driver, I’m just wondering if Jenson is leading the development of the car more?

    23. A bit off topic, but had one of the best day of my life, got to watch lewis hamilton doing do-nuts in his Mclaren 2008 F1 car. This was an event organized by vodofone today here in Bangalore, India. It was the first time, me seeing a F1 car live and it was AMAZING!!! the revving sound of the F1 car made goosebumps on me and my hairs were literally standing! Whoa what an experience….
      Lewis started with his F1 car, then gave rides to lucky contest winners in a Mercedes AMG. Thank you vodofone and Lewis for making today one of the most memorial day in my life….cheers

      Here is a link to a video from my cell phone cam…

        1. Keith, i am not able to see my link even after posting it twice….
          any way paste this in new tab for my video-

          1. oops! sorry got it…. was doing it wrong…

    24. Hamilton is not just a world champion, he’s a potential all-time legend, and that’s why these wasted seasons provide such acute frustration for him.

      A man capable of humbling a mighty talent like Alonso in his rookie season, and winning the title in only his second year in the most heroic of fashion, delivering some of the finest wet-weather wins in F1 history along the way.

      His driving at the moment is not wild, it’s just a little rough at the edges.

      He hasn’t been endangering rivals with crazy swerves or zero-percentage moves, he’s just had a couple of races where he’s slightly misjudged where the extremities of his McLaren are, with costly consequences for his points tally.

      But if he really was the whirlwind of chaos his critics are claiming, there would be more than 16 points (barely a third place) between him and his apparently flawless and heroic team-mate Button – but there are not.

      Hamilton hasn’t lost the plot, hasn’t become a menace and isn’t being blitzed by Button.

      I again repeat, Hamilton is not just a world champion, he’s a potential all-time legend, capable of dominating this era with his sparkling talent.

      1. You’re eluding to that Lewis could potentially become an all-time legend; he landed a drive in one of the top teams in the start of his career – he hasn’t proven of what it takes to win a race in a mid-field car. Vettel has shown that he can win a race in a Toro Rosso – which was a mid-field car (Monza 08), Jenson has proven he could win a race in a mid-field car – Honda (Hungary 06). Lewis has proven he can win in a top 3 car. When he starts winning in something close to the current Williams, or Lotus, then he’ll have a chance at being one of the greatest like Senna.

    25. Hamilton punctures Massa’s tire during a clumsy moment: Penalty

      (2010) Webber, cooking in a bit too hot, deranges Hamilton’s LR corner after Hamilton makes a pass on the outside, even leaving him room at the apex. Hamilton retires, Webber gets no penalty.

      Having watched the last few seasons it seems to me there are times when the rules and penalties are not applied evenly to all drivers.

      Hamilton’s style makes him very exciting to watch. He has the highest highs, and probably the lowest lows due to his bold aggressive racing style. Honestly F1 would be quite boring without him.

      1. Jenson slid into Alonso in Canada and spun him out before going on to that magnificent victory. I can’t tell you why that was deemed less serious than Lewis’s contact with Massa at the weekend.

    26. i hope whitmarsh doesnt expect lewis to help button.
      i want lewis to battle for that second place because he’s very capable of getting it.and vettel will win the championship,anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded=whitmarsh.

      1. I think Whitmarsh would be expecting Jenson to be helping Lewis get his head screwed on properly and help McLaren finish on top of the Constructors Championship.

        Judging by the results so far (using facts rather than unfounded so called “common knowledge”) it seems that Jenson doesn’t require Lewis’ help.

    27. Hi all,

      Can anyone provide Lewis and Massa’s average entrance/exit speed for the corner where they collided? I’d like to know if there were any significant differences to how they approached/exited the corner.


    28. If last year’s collision between Webber & Hamilton was Webber’s fault they why did all the other drivers & pretty much all of the broadcasters agree it was Hamilton’s fault?

      People sitting infront of a TV judging those sorts of incidents won’t have a clue on what its like to drive an F1 car through that corner in that situation.

      The other drivers will & all said the accident was caused because Lewis didn’t leave enough room for both he & mark to make the corner without contact.

      I’d value the opinion of an F1 driver more than I would any of us sitting at home simply watching.

      1. No commentator really said it was Hamilton’s fault. Just that, considering the damage done to his title hopes, he could’ve avoided being hit by Webber’s dive down the inside if he had ran a bit wider. Because Hamilton might have avoided a collision doesn’t absolve Webber of his lunatic lunge. If a champion boxer was KO’d by a punch he normally would’ve dodged it would be fair to blame him for hanging his chin out but it wouldn’t make sense to say he was responsible for throwing the knockout blow. Of course this difference flies over the heads of the anti-Hamilton brigade.

      2. all the other drivers & pretty much all of the broadcasters agree it was Hamilton’s fault

        I certainly don’t remember many – if any – of the drivers voicing an opinion on it. They rarely do if they’re not the ones involved.

    29. Unless it’s bad reporting by Autosport, Hamilton is really behaving badly off-track. He has just been reported as saying about his run-in with Massa: “I was able to just ignore it and move on.”
      How can he ignore a penalty and still learn to become a more mature driver?

      1. Shows he has the mindset to win more titles. A penalty is a penalty, served and done with. What point in dwelling on it anymore after you’ve served it ? The answer is “no” and he displayed it in his recovery drive.

        1. Ignoring something is not the same as “not dwelling” on it. To ignore means “refuse to take notice of” or “leave out of consideration” or “shut your eyes to something.”

          But then again, maybe Hamilton is re-inventing the English language at the same time he’s re-inventing the best way to win the world championship?

      2. He did not ignore the penalty, he did his drive through and got on with it. All the way back to 5th.

    30. The problem Hamilton has is that he has a ‘reputation’
      with the stewards, much in the same way as some footballers do with referees. If you notice, its always the same players getting booked, even on occasions when they may or maynot have been at fault.
      I am not making excuses for Lewis! His move on Massa was clumsy, and blame for it lays at Hamilton’s door. One wonders if Lewis’ comments at Monaco this year have only further damaged his relationship with race officials, even though sometimes Hamilton on occasion does get the rough end of the stick.
      However, F1 over the years have always clamped down hard on the overly aggressive type race car drivers. Juan Pablo Montoya springs to mind, as does Aryton Senna. I agree that the sport has added danger to it when drivers push a little ‘too far’ on occasion, but the paradox is that is what makes F1 exciting to watch.
      I have to admit I was bored watching the Singapore Gp at times. Lewis probably did most of the overtaking that I saw, and at the end of the day, that is my main reason for watching, to see the best drivers in the world go wheel to wheel.
      As with all racing, risky overtaking moves when they work are amazing. Vettel’s move on Alonso at Monza was one of those deals that, had it failed, could have
      ended in disaster. A marshall in 2000 was killed at that same spot following a bad move from a Jordan driver, for example. It goes to show just how much of a challenge these men face everytime they race.
      With Hamilton though, I fear this is more than just a dip in form. He can continue to preach that this is how he has always raced, on the limit, but the fact is it is costing him championships at the moment. One only has to look at Jenson Button, who is currently the only driver even close to Sebastien Vettel in the championship. He has kept his head down all year, stays out of the limelight, and makes good decisions during grands prix. He is reliable and consistent, something that Hamilton has not been. He has been more Montoya than Schumacher this season, but still every bit as entertaining as he was way back in 2007 when he started.
      As for Massa I feel sorry for him. He faired well against Raikkonen at Ferrari, better than most expected from a driver who used to see more armco barriers than podiums when he was at Sauber. That has not been the case since Fernando Alonso became his team mate, add to that his near fatal shunt in 2009, and you have a driver desperately on the back foot.
      He may, despite the Hamilton incident, have not got a
      podium finish at Singapore. However, these days a good points finish is a result to Felipe. To see that evaporate following his tussle with Lewis would have tipped most people over the edge, and its worth remembering that.
      As for Ferrari replacing Massa, its important to remember Hockenheim last year and the clear message Ferrari sent to the racing world. Alonso is there main man, their true hope for another championship. Ferrari know, as do we, they only need a solid number two next to the Spaniard.

    31. Louis Hamilton missed winning the F1 Championship in his rookie year for one reason: Louis Hamilton. It’s been about the same since 2008. Fewer mistakes means a better chance at the Championship….except for Vettel, that is.

    32. I believe that when this season ends everyone will have the opportunity to truly assess how the rules changes affected the drivers. For those of us who have followed the sport for more than 30 years it is clear that the change to tires, DRS and Kees have played well to some, and not so well to others. Notice that in most cases most drivers are competing more with their own teammates than with anyone else. This is not a big deal for the lower teams but it is for those that offer parity to their drivers. All of the top teams have shown their strengths and weaknesses despite changes over the season. The Ferrari is a great car, it has good mid range performance which seems to drop off at the end. The red bull seems to be great for the first 2 thirds of the race, drops a bit near the end, but can hold it’s own thanks to raw mechanical and aero grip. The mcLaren seems to be a bit sluggish for the first half and tends to pick it up on light fuel loads. This means that they must stay very close to have any chance of a good finish.

      What I see in this season, outside of the excessive penalties, is that all of the drivers, with the exception of Vettel, trying to make the best of their hands over the weekend. It seems that Lewis has had to work a bit harder to get himself into position to be competitive at the end. Button, for whatever reason has been a bit lucky, but he has made that luck and taken full advantage of it. Unlike last years car which was built a bit more around Lewis, considering that Jenson was not then a part of the team, this years car seems to work well for both. Alonso has the full ear of Ferrari but there car just does not show any special pace. The red bull has evolved a bit around Seb, but the car works well in all areas. Webber has not been a big challenge, but he does keep the others honest.

      This is the first season for the new rules and I am sure that there will be changes. Some drivers will have the chance to evaluate how changing their approach will make life easier for them. Those Like Lewis, kind of caught up in the moment will be able to step away and realize that there are other ways to win races.

      1. Absolutely right about how someone makes their luck. People argue that Lewis was lucky to win the WDC in 2008 – but at the end of the day it’s how you convert them. You have a series of good luck and bad luck and it’s how you recover from the bad and convert from the good. Luck has nothing to do with incidents that you are at fault or the fact that your actions got you into the situation – you took a gamble and you lost.

        Jenson and Lewis’ cars are actually slightly different in that each use different brakes and I heard some commentator was saying even the front wings are different. The fact is McLaren is able to accommodate for two different driving styles and it’s taken Jenson (and McLaren) to come up to speed in what combination is the best for them. Lewis on the other hand has pretty much set in stone what he likes and hence has the ability to extract everything out of the car. From this we see a big performance increase from Jenson and not so much from Lewis. Jenson is coming out on top at the moment as he doesn’t take the level of risk that Lewis does and due to his experience, Jenson tends to strategise his races rather than just going all flat out and having to get a call from the team to start conserving the tyres/fuel/brakes etc. Lewis is certainly faster a majority of the time and is reflective of his pace in qualifying, but he just doesn’t know how to maximise the full potential of his car over a full race distance.

    33. Lewis is a huge admirer of Senna and has cited Senna’s most famous quotes – “…And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver…”. The problem is that Lewis sometimes refuses to believe in non-existent gaps and his level of skill in pulling off a passing move in those gaps are far from what Senna sees as the norm.

    34. Oh, I just knew that the tyre locking up would be some peoples saving grace. Give it up, its embarrassing.

      Great race from Button. No one can complain about the back end of the season being boring if he keeps up those kind of performances. Well done to him.

      Unfortunate for Hamilton, it was a genuine mistake. He could not have been seen to carry on his race unimpeded, so the drive-through was appropriate.

      1. As halifaxf1fan posted,

        It is funny how Hamilton fans argued quite loudly that Hamilton was in complete control when he was ‘hooning’ in Australia or doing 180′s in the middle of a busy racetrack in Hungary but now when he has a tiny puff of smoke from one of his front tires he is completely out of control and just a passenger!

        … yes that is quite an embarrassing excuse – something that IMO not even Lewis himself would buy into.

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