McLaren Preview Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2011

November 5, 2011

clip_image001

2011 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

 

Lewis Hamilton

“I have some fantastic memories of the Yas Marina Circuit. I started from pole position there in 2009, and I led the race until I was forced to stop because of a brake issue. Last year, I finished second and set the fastest lap, so we head there looking to convert all that potential into a race win.

“I think we’ve got every reason to be confident for Abu Dhabi. This circuit should really suit the characteristics of our car – we should be able to capitalise on the layout to maximise the benefit of DRS and KERS, both of which are very strong on our car.

“Red Bull and Sebastian [Vettel] may have clinched both championships, but I’m still determined to end the season on a winning high. I’ve won two grands prix this year, and I’d love to double that by the end of the year! It would also be a great reward for everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.”

Jenson Button

“Abu Dhabi has special memories for me because it was my first race after I’d won the world championship in 2009, so it made racing that weekend a really fun and enjoyable experience – I remember I had a fantastic battle with Mark [Webber] and finished third.

“The Yas Marina circuit looks and feels spectacular and futuristic: it’s a unique place – the way the circuit changes from dusk to darkness is incredible, and must be an amazing experience for the spectators. The way it’s built, the grandstands are almost on top the action so everyone gets a great view.

“It’s usually been quite difficult to overtake here, especially last year, but I think that DRS will change all that. The back straight is one of the longest in Formula 1 so I expect to see a lot of action there. It would be great to see the new rules turn this circuit into a place where overtaking is more common and more exciting.

“Our car should suit this circuit so I’m very optimistic. We saw at the last grand prix that even though we didn’t have the ultimate speed to catch and pass Sebastian, we made him work hard for the win. Tactically, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ran a first-class race: I got all the right calls from the pit wall and the pit crew did a fantastic job. The championship may not be at stake any more but we’re still aiming to win races and put on a tremendous show.”

Martin Whitmarsh

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“The Indian Grand Prix two weeks ago was a unique achievement for Formula 1, and next weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi will be another pinnacle for the sport at probably the most futuristic and impressive circuit on the calendar.

“Jenson was quick and incredibly consistent in India, putting us in a position where we could be a little bit adventurous with the tyre strategy and put the leader under greater pressure. I know Lewis was disappointed with the outcome of his own race but that will not affect his preparations for the next challenge. He has an extremely impressive track record in Abu Dhabi, starting from pole position in 2009 and setting the fastest lap on his way to the podium in 2010, so I’m very confident that he’ll shine this weekend.

“At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes we approach every grand prix with one aim: to win it. So while we can never be entirely happy with finishing second, as we did in India, we can be satisfied that we maximised the technical package we had and look at ways to go one better for the next race.

“Even though we’ve secured second place in the constructors’ championship, and Jenson has a very healthy margin in second place in the drivers’ championship, the season isn’t over for us by any means. We’re continuing to bring new developments to our car and we’ll be fighting every bit as hard as we did at the first race in Australia back in March.”

Will There Be a New Lewis Hamilton in 2012?

November 3, 2011

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton was given a three-place grid penalty at the Indian Grand Prix for speeding past a yellow flag during free practice and he had yet another coming together with Felipe Massa during the race. His season has been plagued with collisions, mainly with Massa but also Kamui Kobayashi and even his team mate, Jenson Button.

Bernie Ecclestone commented: “In life you go through ups and downs, and I think he is just going through a bit of a rough period generally in his life. When life is easy you get lucky and everything goes well. When things start going wrong they start piling up and going more wrong. He will get out of it. I spoke to him here in India. He is great. He will be okay.” Regarding his collisions with Felipe Massa he said: “It is not intentional, is it? These things happen. It is just really strange that it always happens between those two.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s Team Principal, believes that Lewis Hamilton has brought much of the pressure on himself. “If you’re honest, the first driver you want to beat is your team-mate. We don’t hide from that and nor does Lewis or Jenson. They are there to beat each other and Jenson’s been on a run.

“Lewis is the great exciting driver he is but he’ll not like being beaten by anyone, least of all by Jenson. Even though outside the car they have a fantastic relationship but Lewis will not like being beaten by his team-mate. I don’t want him to enjoy being beaten by his team-mate. I want him to try and beat Jenson just as I want Jenson to beat Lewis.”

Lewis’s father, his ex-manager, supported his son commenting: “He’s turned a corner in everything he’s done, his lifestyle and his love of motorsport. You’ve not seen Lewis Hamilton yet, you’ve seen a young Lewis Hamilton. Now a new Lewis Hamilton is coming.

“There’s only so much that one person can take. Lewis is an extremely talented individual and I tell you what, most of us would not have been able to come back from what he has had to face this year. I think in Korea, he showed just how much of a champion he is, not just as a racing driver but as an individual.

“Let’s face it, he’s had a tough year, he’s faced a lot of criticism and yet still he comes back fighting and can produce results that he did last week. He’s an incredible man and an inspiration to so many people.”

McLaren Race Report Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 30, 2011

clip_image001

2011 INDIAN GRAND PRIX

 

“A very good result – and second place secured in the Constructors’ World Championship”

 

Buddh International Circuit, Sunday October 30

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-01

Started:            4th

Finished:          2nd

Fastest lap:      1m27.967s (+0.718s, 4th)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 18 and 46 (Op-Op-Pr)

2011 points:     240 (2nd)

“In terms of team effort, we did everything right today – our car just wasn’t quite quick enough to actually win.

“I got a good start, made up places on the first lap and then settled down to keep Mark [Webber] behind me for five or six laps. Eventually, I think we ‘broke’ his rear tyres, which enabled me to establish a gap. Then I could set about Seb [Vettel] – but it was very difficult to close him down.

“At the final stop, it was a risk going to the harder tyre earlier than Seb, but we had to give it a go and it worked pretty well as I was able to close him down by a further three seconds. My car felt really good: before Seb could find his rhythm on the Prime, I was able to get the gap down to 2.8 seconds, but it wasn’t quite enough.

“Still, this was a very good result for us – and I think we delivered the maximum possible. I loved the whole experience this weekend. And I think every driver will be excited about coming back here because it’s such a phenomenal circuit; fast and flowing with a bit of everything. It gets a big tick from me.

“The Indian people have really welcomed us to their country; I’ve never seen so many people smiling before. And the crowd has been wonderful. I hope that Formula 1 grows in India in the future and that we get an even bigger crowd here next year.”

 

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

Started:            5th

Finished:          7th

Fastest lap:      1m28.721s (+1.472s, 9th)

Pitstops:          Three: laps 16, 24 and 45 (Op-Op-Op & front wing- Pr)

2011 points:     202 (5th)

 

“The contact with Felipe [Massa] was just one of those things. I really didn’t feel like I was at fault – it was a racing incident.

“On the grid, just before the one minute’s silence, he and I were standing next to each other and I put my arm around him and told him: ‘Have a great race today.’ I’ve still got great respect for him.

“During the race, it felt like there was a vibration in the car through the right-handers: it felt like the floor was scraping on the ground, in fact. I was pushing as hard as I could, but couldn’t find the performance, so we’ll have to look into that.

“It’s been an eventful year, but there are more races ahead and I’ll try to score as many world championship points as possible in both of them. Jenson did a great job today, so clearly we were quick enough. I just need to try to pick up on that for the next race.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Jenson made a great start and then drove a brilliant first few corners, working his way from fourth on the grid to second by the end of the first lap.

“He followed that with a truly excellent race-long performance, managing tyre wear where necessary yet still managing to keep up impressive race pace throughout. He didn’t ever have quite enough race pace to mount a concerted attack on Seb, but he got the maximum out of his car and beat everyone else fair and square.

“Lewis had a frustrating afternoon, but recovered well from his coming-together with Felipe to score a very useful half-dozen world championship points. We don’t yet know whether contact with the Ferrari caused damage to Lewis’s car – other than to the nosecone, obviously, which we changed in the pits – but, as I say, as a result of the 24 world championship points that he and Jenson notched up today, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has now secured second place in the 2011 Constructors’ World Championship. It’s always our aim to go one better than that – to win – and second isn’t good enough – but we’re pleased to have consolidated that position nonetheless.

“Last but far from least, I want to say that I thought the 2011 Indian Grand Prix was a fantastic success: a glittering spectacle and a marvellous addition to the international sporting calendar. Next, we go to Abu Dhabi, and then to Brazil, and we at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will be doing our utmost to win both those grands prix.”

McLaren Qualifying Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 29, 2011

clip_image001

2011 INDIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING

 

“We’ve got good pace, but it’s going to be a long race”

 

Buddh International Circuit, Saturday October 29

 

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-01

P3

2nd 1m25.191s (0.367s) 15 laps

Qualifying

Q1 3rd                           1m26.225s (on Options)

Q2 5th                           1m25.299s (on Options)

Q3 5th overall*              1m24.950s (on Options)

* will start fourth

“The car felt great this morning but I couldn’t find any grip this afternoon, particularly on the Prime tyre. So we need to work out why we can’t find that balance because I want to try to improve things for tomorrow.

“I struggled with traffic all afternoon – it was difficult to find a clear lap, and, when I did, I’d taken too much out of my tyres already. On my final run, I saw Felipe [Massa] heading into the gravel as I came up to him. I definitely would have been quicker on that run, but I got into the yellow flag zone, saw his car, spotted the smoke and backed out of it a little bit. I definitely lost time in the sector – the data showed that I was 14km/h down in fact.

“I hope I can take the car I had yesterday, as opposed to the car I had this afternoon, into the race. It felt stronger on high-fuel during Friday running, so hopefully we can find that again tomorrow.”

 

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

P3

2nd 1m25.288s (+0.464s) 16 laps

Qualifying

Q1 8th                           1m26.563s (on Primes)

Q2 2nd                           1m25.019s (on Options)

Q3 2nd overall*              1m24.474s (on Options)

* will start fifth following three-place grid penalty

 

“To be able to split the Red Bulls on qualifying pace is something that everybody in the team should feel proud about. In fact, I’ve been really happy with my qualifying performance throughout the whole year – it’s been getting more and more consistent. On my last run, I was only a tenth down going into the penultimate corner, but I chose to abort the lap and save the tyres for tomorrow as it’s going to be a long race.

“It’s a little bit unfortunate to have a grid penalty, but that’s life. I think we’ve got good pace, but it’s going to be a long race. Still, with the long, wide straights and two DRS zones, overtaking should be easier here than it is at some of the other circuits, so I’m optimistic about what we can do around here tomorrow.

“I also think it’s cool that you throw up a bit of dust when you go off-line – that’s how racing should be: there should be grass and dirt when you go off the track.

“Finally, I want to say a big thank-you to the organisers. This circuit is smooth, fast and flowing. It’s beautiful, in fact; the facilities are fantastic and the people have been extremely welcoming. This is one of the best circuits in the world and it’s definitely a race people should come to visit.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Lewis drove very well in qualifying this afternoon, his best lap-time eclipsed by only that of Seb [Vettel], but he won’t start tomorrow’s race from the front row owing to the three-grid-position penalty he incurred yesterday morning.

“Jenson’s efforts were frustrated in the last moments of this afternoon’s qualifying session by yellow flags deployed as a result of Felipe’s accident, causing him to lift during what would otherwise have been a pretty quick lap.

“But this circuit is a great racetrack, our drivers are brilliant racers, and I’m sure that both of them will be aiming to score very heavily tomorrow. As a result, I expect the first ever Indian Grand Prix to be a fabulous race.”

Martin Whitmarsh Previews Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 21, 2011

clip_image001

Martin Whitmarsh

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

How important is the Indian Grand Prix for the sport of Formula 1?

“Certainly, every new venue we visit is important to the sport of Formula 1 and to our partners, many of whom have a considerable presence in India, and who are delighted by the prospect of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

“I think it’s important that the world championship is fully represented on the world’s stage – and a grand prix in India is certainly a very positive step. For Formula 1, the most important thing is to educate, nurture and cultivate our audience – I firmly believe that Formula 1 is the greatest sport in the world and I want us to spread that word across the whole Indian subcontinent.

“Secondly, we want to take Formula 1 to the people. I know that our partners such as Vodafone are already very actively engaged in this activity in India, but I think we’ve done the right thing by establishing the circuit close to New Delhi. Initial impressions suggest the track will be a good one, with particular regard paid to close and exciting racing. And I’m also told that the prospect of the grand prix is causing a great deal of excitement within the city and the country as a whole.

“So I think we’re doing everything right – and I sincerely hope we can walk away on Sunday evening having done a great job for the country and for Formula 1.”

What is the atmosphere like within the team now that both world championships have been settled?

“There’s not been a great distinction: we go racing to win, and, as I’ve said before, that’s the firm intention we take with us to all remaining races on the calendar. We’ve made some good progress recently with the 2011 car and we feel we have a car that can challenge for victory at all the remaining grands prix.

“While we’re winding down the development of the 26 and ramping up development of MP4-27, we still have a few more opportunities to track-test components and developments that can be carried over to next year.

“And we take plenty of positives away from the last two races: I think Jenson’s win in Japan and Lewis’s drive in Korea were two of the best performances of their respective careers. Both drivers are motivated to win and want to lead the team through these final few races and into the winter. There’s a lot of positive energy back at MTC, and you’re seeing that at the racetrack, too.”

McLaren Race Report Korean Grand Prix 2011

October 16, 2011

clip_image001

2011 KOREAN GRAND PRIX

 

“Two brilliant racing drivers – who never give up”

 

Korea International Circuit, Sunday October 16

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

Started:            1st

Finished:          2nd

Fastest lap:      1m40.459s (+0.689s, 3rd)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 15 and 33 (Op-Op- Pr)

2011 points:     196 (5th)

 

“This was one of my strongest races of the season. There was so much pressure from Mark [Webber] behind and it would have been so easy to make a mistake, lock up or go wide – but I’m really satisfied that I didn’t do so once. I believe that withstanding pressure is the mark of a world champion, and I think I showed that in today’s race.

“Our car started off reasonably well, but the front-end dropped away through the race. By the end, all the switches in the cockpit that could help me were adjusted to the maximum! The differential and front wing were at the maximum possible, and there was still nothing I could do.

“I was driving into corners with almost maximum lock and the car still wasn’t turning – so I couldn’t carry the speed through the corners, and that’s how Mark was able to catch me. It was only after the race that I discovered we had an issue with debris lodged in the front wing, and that’s probably what caused the understeer.

“This was a good, strong result for the team. The guys didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, so we should be proud of today’s result – but, man, it was hard!

“I really hope we can carry our continued momentum through the next three races. It feels good to be back.”

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-01

Started:            3rd

Finished:          4th

Fastest lap:      1m40.709s (+1.104s, 7th)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 13 and 34 (Op-Op-Pr)

2011 points:     222 (2nd)

“I don’t think I could have done much more than fourth today. I struggled to get rid of my understeer throughout the whole race, so fourth was a fair reflection of what the car was capable of today.

“On the first lap, I braked into Turn Three, but Felipe [Massa] went inside me and I got stuck on the outside and ended up losing quite a few places. At the end of the first lap, I was sixth, but I don’t think that poor first lap would have changed my result.

“Throughout the race, I didn’t have any front-end grip. I couldn’t get into the DRS zone either, so it was always tricky to try and close down the car in front when I lacked that straight-line advantage.

“I was passed by Nico [Rosberg] after my first pitstop when he ended up out-braking himself at the pit exit. The exit here is a bit unusual: if you leave the pits behind another car, then you’re probably going to be able to get ahead, because you get the benefit of the DRS into Turn Three. But Nico locked up out of the pits and ran wide, so I passed him, meaning he crossed the DRS line behind me and was able to use it to get past on the straight.

“I was able to nip back past pretty quickly and was able to close down on the battle for second between Lewis and Mark. But, towards the end of each stint, the front-end would drop away: I just couldn’t get close enough in the last sector. I added more front-end at the stops, but I had lots of understeer so I couldn’t get close enough to Mark [Webber] to use DRS. I think I only used DRS once in the entire race.

“Still, if this was a bad day, it wasn’t so bad!”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“I think Lewis’ drive today was utterly inspirational. He may be downplaying it, because he’s a perfectionist and he wanted to win, but to withstand such enormous pressure, for lap after lap, from a faster car, was a drive absolutely worthy of the great champions.

“His finishing position may only go down in the history books as another second place, but, make no mistake, this was a fantastic drive; beautifully assured and perfectly judged.

“To cap it all, the data showed that he was losing a significant amount of downforce from his front wing. After the race, we inspected Lewis’s front-wing and discovered that the left-hand slot-gap had become filled with congealed tyre rubber, doubtless a result of the marbles on the track.

“As a result, he was suffering with masses of understeer, which further hurts the tyres. In the circumstances, his was an absolutely fantastic drive because it would have been all too easy to have gone backwards when faced with such massive, and constant, pressure.

“Equally, Jenson posted another brilliant, measured drive. On Jenson’s car, too, we discovered after the race that he was also hurting from damage to his car – caused by a rock hitting the front wing. The resulting understeer doubtless also impaired Jenson’s ability to close down Mark in the track’s final sector, and therefore meant he was unable to mount a sustained attack in the DRS zone and secure third.

“Nevertheless, today showed that we have a very good racing car. But, more importantly, it showed that we have two brilliant racing drivers, who will fight from the start of the race to the end and who will never give up.

“Their spirited drives today are a just reward for the whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, who have spent the last fortnight away from their homes, families and friends. While we must all acknowledge the great achievement of Red Bull Racing in securing the constructors’ championship today, I also want to pay tribute to the efforts and sacrifices made by our whole team over these past two weeks. They enabled us to score 65 world championship points in the last two races – a total that now consolidates our position in the constructors’ championship. So, after two fantastic races in Japan and Korea, I want to say a heartfelt ‘thank-you’ to the whole team. There are three races remaining in 2011 – and I know I speak for everyone when I say we want to win all three.”

Button Signs Multi-Year Contract with McLaren

October 5, 2011

clip_image001

VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES BUILDS FOR THE FUTURE BY RE-SIGNING JENSON BUTTON TO NEW MULTI-YEAR CONTRACT

WOKING, SURREY, UK, 5th OCTOBER 2011

“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is delighted to confirm that it has re-signed 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button to a new multi-year contract. ‪

‪”Jenson’s re-signing is a move that will strengthen Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ long-term stability as it continues to grow and develop its race-winning form into further world championship successes.” ‪

Jenson said:

‪”I’ve never felt more at home at a team than I do at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

‪”I’ve won four of the greatest races of my life here, I’m currently lying second in the drivers’ world championship, and I feel that I’m driving better than ever.

‪”You can only achieve that with the right level of support – and I truly believe that the passion and determination to win are stronger here at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes than anywhere else.

“As a grand prix driver, those are incredibly powerful feelings to share and be part of, and they’ve only reinforced my desire to commit my long-term future to this team.

‪”I’ve made no secret of my ambition to continue winning races and world championships, and I fully believe this is the place where I can achieve those aims.

“We at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes know how to win, and we’re busy refining an organisation that will enable us to keep on doing that for years to come.”

Lewis said:

“It’s great news that Jenson has chosen to stay with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

“Jenson has been a great person to work with, and a genuine team-player, from the moment we welcomed him on board.

“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is a team with a unique and successful tradition in Formula 1, which I’m proud to be part of.

“It was the best moment of my career when I won the drivers’ world championship with this team.

“Jenson and I are as hungry and as ambitious as ever to win races and world championships in the future.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said:

‪“Jenson is a great driver and a great guy.

‪“In fact, I can safely say that he’s one of the most capable and respected drivers we’ve ever had, and I’m therefore absolutely delighted that he’ll continue to work with us into the future.

‪“He’s a considerable credit to this organisation, and I’m proud to be his Team Principal.

‪“I feel sure that he’ll now build on the considerable success he’s already achieved with us, and will be even more successful with us in years to come.

“I think he and Lewis say it better than anyone. Their comments show just how much they respect and trust each other, and they once again continue to prove what we as a team have always known: that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has the very best driver line-up in all of Formula 1.”

McLaren Preview Japanese Grand Prix 2011

September 30, 2011

clip_image001

JAPANESE GRAND PRIX – PREVIEW

 

Lewis Hamilton

“I love Japan, and the Japanese Grand Prix is one of the highlights of my season.

“This year, of course, we all travel to Japan extremely mindful of the consequences of the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the country earlier this year. I hope that the Japanese Grand Prix can successfully show the world that the country is strengthening and rebuilding itself after the terrible events of last March.

“As for the race itself, I think Suzuka will play to my strengths: it’s a track that really requires you to drive in an attacking way to be able to get a good laptime. It’s an uncompromising place. But that’s when the thrill of driving a Formula 1 car is at its highest; when you know you can’t afford a single mistake and where driving on the absolute limit is the only way to get the best time. In that sense, it’s a lot like Monaco, and maybe that’s why I like the place so much – it’s unique.

“I think we’re headed there in pretty good shape: we know that the Red Bulls will be strong – but we also have a very quick car, and we can make it work on different kinds of circuit.

“Suzuka is another reasonably high-downforce track, which should play to our strengths. The weather in Japan in the autumn is always unpredictable – we’ve seen before that it can be beautifully sunny and hot or extremely cold and wet.

“I’ll take any conditions as long as I can race hard.”

Jenson Button

“I consider Japan my second home – it’s a place that’s very close to my heart, and, obviously, it’s going to be a very emotional experience for me to be racing in Japan for the first time since the events of last March.

“I’m very proud that the Formula 1 world championship will put Japan on the world’s sporting stage next weekend: while the country is still collectively rebuilding itself, I’m deeply aware that sport can play a significant role in helping to restore hope and normality to communities that were torn apart by the earthquake and tsunami.

“And I think it will be a great race for everyone. In the last few races, I think we’ve shown that we have extremely good pace and that we’ve been the team most able to take the fight to Red Bull. On paper, I think it’s a circuit that will suit the Red Bulls, particularly in the high-speed sweeps that make up the first sector of the track, but I certainly don’t think people should under-estimate our package.

“We showed at Spa that we have a car that’s very effective in high-speed corners. We’ve also improved our straight-line speed and we have a more efficient rear-wing for qualifying, so I think we’re feeling positive about the weekend.

“For everyone who follows Formula 1, I hope we can put on a great race to bring further strength to the people of Japan. And to everyone in Japan, I say: ganbatte!”

Martin Whitmarsh

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Taking the long journey to Suzuka always reinforces the notion that we’re headed into the closing stages of the season.

“While there remains a mathematical, albeit slim, chance of Jenson securing the world championship, we realistically go into these last races with an undimmed resolution to win, and to ensure the world championship remains interesting, exciting and unpredictable for as long as possible!

“To that end, we’re still pushing ahead with the development of key areas of the MP4-26 – in particular, we’re focusing on areas where there will be significant carry-over of performance and learning into 2012. With the 26, the key areas of overlap development are the front and rear wings: any downforce we find this year can be carried over to the MP4-27.

“Encouragingly, we were able to successfully track-test our latest iteration of rear wing in Singapore, it proving sufficiently positive during Friday practice that it was deployed on both cars for the remainder of the race weekend. While there will be an inevitable shift of focus and deployment towards the new car, we still have enough momentum within the development system to ensure that we’ll still be introducing new parts through until the last few races of the season.

“Finally, McLaren has plenty of history in Japan – we’ve witnessed some incredible and unpredictable scenes involving our cars and drivers at both Suzuka and Fuji down the years – and, as a team, we’re all particularly proud to be going to Japan this year to play a sporting role in the redevelopment of a country that has endured terrible hardships and deprivation in 2011.

“It goes without saying that we will all be racing with the people of Japan in our hearts and minds next weekend.”

McLaren Singapore Grand Prix 2011

September 26, 2011

clip_image001

2011 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX

 

“The best possible result with the equipment we had”

 

Marina Bay circuit, Sunday September 25

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-04

Started:            3rd

Finished:          2nd

Fastest lap:      1m48.454s (1st)

Pitstops:          Three: laps 14, 30 and 48 (Op-Pr-Op-Op)

2011 points:     185 (2nd)

“I was being told throughout the race to look after the car and the tyres; the only time I was really able to push was in the last 12 laps, when I chased down Seb [Vettel] on the Supersoft tyre.

“I gave it everything – but, in the end, we didn’t quite have the pace to make up the gap. Still, I think we had the best possible strategy for both Saturday and Sunday, and I couldn’t realistically have asked for a better result this weekend.

“In fact, we didn’t make any mistakes this weekend and, as a team, I think we did the best possible job with the equipment we had. We need to improve a few things in our package, but I think Suzuka should suit us a little better [than Marina Bay].

“I’ve had a run of podium finishes recently, so I’d really love to finish one step higher at the next race!”

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

Started:            4th

Finished:          5th

Fastest lap:      1m50.832s (+2.378s, 4th)

Pitstops:          Five: laps 11, 13 (front-wing change), 15 (drive-through), 29 and 48

(Op-Op-Pr-d/t-Op-Pr)

2011 points:     168 (5th)

 

“Congratulations to Seb on a great drive – he drove fantastically all weekend.

“And well done to Jenson, too – he showed what was possible from our package by really getting the maximum out of it. He nearly brought home the victory too – so I’m encouraged that we can continue to challenge for wins for the rest of the season.

“I had fun picking off cars after my penalty, but it was frustrating to once again be down the field when I felt we had a car that could have challenged up at the front.

“For me, this weekend was a bit of a missed opportunity. As always, though, I’ll put it behind me – I’m already looking forward to Suzuka!”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

 

“Jenson drove a truly fabulous race yet again – and bagged 18 valuable world championship points as a result.

“He controlled his pace faultlessly, looked after his tyres brilliantly, and then attacked the Marina Bay circuit with total commitment at the end when aggression rather than circumspection was called for. But for a bit of bad luck in the form of a few backmarkers whom he encountered at precisely the inopportune moment, he could well have snatched a truly sensational victory.

“He’s now a clear second in the drivers’ world championship too.

“Lewis had a more frustrating day, but drove with great determination to finish fifth at the chequered flag, pulling off some fantastic passing manoeuvres in so doing.

“All in all, he had to make five visits to the pitlane – so, as I say, bearing that in mind, fifth place was a seriously impressive achievement.

“Next, though, we go to Suzuka, which is one of the great circuits on the Formula 1 calendar from a driver’s point of view.

“Both Lewis and Jenson will be aiming for ultimate honours there – as indeed they will in all the remaining races of the 2011 season.”

McLaren Qualifying Singapore Grand Prix 2011

September 25, 2011

clip_image001

2011 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING

 

“We’ve still got more pace up our sleeve”

 

Marina Bay circuit, Saturday September 24

 

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-04

P3

2nd                               1m46.108s (+0.027s) 17 laps

Qualifying

Q1 2nd                           1m46.956s (on Primes)

Q2 2nd                           1m45.472s (on Options)

Q3 3rd                           1m44.804s (on Options)

“We did a lot of work overnight, so the car is now working very well and we should be pretty happy with what we’ve achieved so far this weekend.

“Qualifying was a bit tricky in terms of getting the car to work in all three sectors. 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.

“It’s only a short run down to Turn One, but I’d still like to be at least second into the first corner, so as to be able to challenge Seb [Vettel] from early on.

“Lining up third also means I’ll be starting from the clean side of the grid. Tomorrow will be all about looking after the rear tyres: it’s a long race – the longest of the season – so it’s going to be hard and hot. A lot could happen tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

P3

5th 1m46.936s (+0.855s) 20 laps

Qualifying

Q1 3rd                           1m47.014s (on Primes)

Q2 8th                           1m46.829s (on Primes)

Q3 4th overall                1m44.809s (on Options)

 

“I had a pretty eventful time in all three qualifying sessions: in Q1, I damaged part of the floor on the kerbs and the mechanics did an absolutely fantastic job to get it fixed and the car turned around for the next session. So I want to say a big ‘thanks’ to the guys for pulling out all the stops.

“I’m still not entirely sure how I picked up the puncture at the end of Q2. I went over a kerb at Turn 10 and the tyre sensors detected a sudden loss of pressure. There are quite a few bolts hanging out of the kerbs, so I guess it could have been one of those, but we don’t really know.

“At the end of 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. But that’s racing, and sometimes these things happen.

“Fortunately, my first Q3 run had been very good. I reckon there was still a bit more time to come – I lost some time behind Fernando [Alonso], when I got within a second of his car in the final sector of the lap – so if I’d managed to get another run in Q3 I’d have probably been able to make up some time there.

“But, all in all, fourth place isn’t too bad – and, as I say, the most encouraging thing is that we’ve still got more pace up our sleeve. So, yes, I think the front row could have been possible.

“There’s only a short run down to Turn One tomorrow, which means it’ll be hard to overtake in the initial run down to the first braking point, so I think the race is going to be less about the start and more about looking after the tyres.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Jenson did a fantastic job to recover from what by his own admission was a difficult day at the office yesterday, to post the third-fastest qualifying lap today.

“In fact, he was a bit unlucky to be pipped by Mark [Webber] at the very end of the session, and he’d been looking good for a front-row grid slot until then.

“Lewis drove really well today too, and will consequently start from the second row alongside Jenson tomorrow.

“In fact, he may have been able to improve on that time, had he been able to put in an extra lap in Q3, but unfortunately we had an issue with our refuelling process. That, combined with a puncture and a randomly selected visit to the FIA weighbridge, both in Q2, made for a rather eventful afternoon for him.

“So, to sum up, we’re very confident that both our drivers will be able to mount robust and combative challenges in tomorrow evening’s race, and as always the Singaporean Grand Prix promises to provide enough floodlit drama to have Formula 1 fans glued to their TV screens all over the world.”

Next Page »

  • Recent Posts

    December 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Apr    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Categories

Tags

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-20156599-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();