Hamilton happy, Button not after bittersweet Spanish GP for McLaren

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday 13 May 2012.

Lewis Hamilton leads Jenson Button during the Spanish GP

May 14 (F1 Media) It was two differing stories at McLaren, after the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, as Lewis Hamilton professed himself satisfied with his run to eighth in the race while Jenson Button was disconsolate with ninth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh summed up race day in Spain for his drivers, “Jenson will be disappointed: he struggled with balance and grip all afternoon, and won’t be satisfied with the brace of world championship points that his ninth place delivered him.”

“Lewis, having started in 24th and last place following his qualifying penalty yesterday, drove an absolutely storming race to eighth place. Make no mistake about it, it was one of the most impressive races that Lewis has ever driven. His performance combined fabulous verve with commendable caution – and I’d go so far as to say that, rising above the frustration he inevitably felt, he’s inspired each and every one of us at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes with his stirring drive,” said Whitmarsh.

  • Speedo

    Yeah, now give him your full support and a performing car. Most importantly get the pit crew to get their act together. Lewis’ first pit stop was bungled again.. He went over a tool left in front of his left rear tyre and came down not so gently which had him confused and wondering which cost him additional 2 seconds before he took off. He definitely will deliver

  • alonsoforever

    Yeah, when it is the other way around with Button having a better performing weekend than Lewis, then there are alot of critics on Lewis.
    Nothing against Button, but he needs to stop wining about setup whenever lewis has a better weekend and get on with it. If Ferrari cannot stop Red bull this year then at least Mclaren should.

  • fools

    Yeah this pointing of his WW with his hands and gf gets annoying and looks like Button is struggling. I like Button but he does wine a bit. I agree with both below comments.

  • IAN WALKER

    that penalty for hamilton i feel was bit to much if anything loose few places but not sent to back he still provided fuel sumtion they needed i just wonder if other certain drivers would have got same the stewards should also let public know of rules governing most penalties so that we understand more and its for every driver if was driver in same position