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Stable direction at McLaren? Button very early when changing tires

McLaren
Jenson Button early when changing tires
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L ewis Hamilton improved his training defeat against Jenson Button in the first Curve out again. The 2008 world champion was faster than Button on soft tires. On lap 13 there were five seconds between the two McLaren drivers. One lap later, Hamilton pitted to change tires.

Button steadily increases the lead over Hamilton

In the next lap, Button had a 13.3 second lead over his team-mate. Although Hamilton initially benefited from the fresh set of tires of the hard compound, Button was able to increase the lead to 14.9 seconds by lap 21 (see table below).

At this point, Mark Webber was 18.0 seconds behind. He was the focal point of the McLaren strategists. The Australian was ahead of Button before his tire change. McLaren wanted to guide his driver past this with a cleverly timed pit stop.

Button early in the pits without need

Although Button was still moving at a considerable pace at the front despite his worn, soft tires , McLaren pitted the defending champion on lap 22. That raises questions. Button lap times ranged between 1:19.1 and 1:19.5 minutes. Hamilton was 0.1 to 0.3 seconds slower per lap. Webber even lost half a second per lap on the McLaren. There was still no sign of a negative trend for Button.

A lead of 17 seconds would have been enough to stay ahead of Webber. Button already had it in his pocket. The same cushion would have been enough to pull past Hamilton. On lap 21 Button was only 2.1 seconds away from this requirement. So doable. And if Button had suddenly seen a negative development in lap times, there would still have been time to call him to the pits immediately.

Whitmarsh denies stable management at McLaren

Then it turned out the question of whether McLaren was not interested in taking Button past Hamilton. Hamilton is the better placed man in the World Cup. McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh denies that: 'Jenson's opponent was Webber. His lap times began to stagnate, while Lewis has shown that the hard tires were a little faster once they were run in. There was also traffic in sight for Button he may have left time behind. '

However, the same applies to Hamilton. While on front runnerButton waited to lap Adrian Sutil, Hamilton ran into Timo Glock's Virgin. Critical voices said after the Grand Prix: 'McLaren also controls its drivers, they just do it much more skillfully than Ferrari.'

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