McLaren: Button brilliant, Hamilton frustrated
25 September, 2011
Sep.25 (McLaren) Drivers and team report on the Singapore Grand Prix, round 14 of the 2011 Formula 1 world championship, at Marina Bay Circuit.
Jenson Button: MP4-26A-04
“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
“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.”
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