Failure to solve pit-stop problems adds to McLaren's embarrassment

 

After the dreadful mess up in qualifying, which cost Lewis Hamilton his brilliant pole position after they failed to put in sufficient fuel, the last thing McLaren wanted were further embarrassments during their pit stops. But Lewis Hamilton lost time in his first one, on the 14th lap, after running over the left rear tyre that had just been removed from his car.

McLaren had already conducted an intensive investigation after the Bahrain GP into the problems that beset Hamilton twice there, and Jenson Button once in China.

"We looked at every single pit stop in slow motion," Button said. "We could see that the rear jack man can blind the guy who is waiting to change the left rear wheel."

He revealed that the mechanic who used to wield the tyre gun on the left-hand side, the source of the problems, had been changed for the last stop in Bahrain: "It's a massively tense moment. There's all the guys waiting to change your wheels and it's especially tricky for the guy on the front jack. You think, 'I really don't want to overshoot this, but I want to make it as quick as possible'. It's tricky, approaching him at 100 kmh, when there is just noise everywhere."

Martin Whitmarsh, the team boss, added: "Lewis didn't actually lose too much time; it was just a bit of tyre-to-tyre contact that briefly made the car jump in the air. It looked worse than it was."

Hamilton's elapsed pitlane time in that stop was 22.1sec, against Button's three stops of 20.3s, 21.5s, and 20.2s, but his second was much slicker at 19.1s. He finished eighth, right on Nico Rosberg's tail, after a brilliantly controlled run, and explained that it was damage limitation at its best.

"It was an incredibly tough challenge," he said. "I was one of the few to do a two-stop strategy, and people are always commenting how aggressive my driving style is, so I think today I proved them wrong. I was really surprised to see my soft option tyres last so long. It was just unfortunate that we didn't quite pip the drivers ahead through the stops."

All of Button's stops went perfectly, but the Englishman was forced to admit that he'd had a race to forget: "I'm normally good at looking after the tyres and being consistent. But I couldn't keep heat in the tyres and just had massive understeer whenever I was in traffic."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor Ezra Miller who stars in the film 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' poses for a portrait session during the 39th Ghent Film Festival on October 18, 2012 in Ghent, Belgium.
arts + ents
Voices
Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrives at the Rochester by-election count
voicesIs it any wonder that Thornberry, Miliband, and Cameron have no idea about ordinary everyday life?
Sport
sportComment: Win or lose Hamilton represents the best of Britain
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsene Wenger reacts during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Swansea
footballMan United and Arsenal meet on Saturday with both clubs this time languishing outside the top four
News
i100BBC political editor Nick Robinson had a lot of explaining to do
News
A girl plays on a Sony 'PS Vita' portable games console
news
Life and Style
Nappies could have advice on them to encourage mothers and fathers to talk to their babies more often
newsTalking to babies can improve their language and vocabulary skills
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines