McLaren looked quick in practice but it all went wrong in qualifying. A damage limitation exercise on Sunday ensured they brought home some points, but much more should have been possible this weekend.
|Jenson Button||Lewis Hamilton|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q1)||1’52.211 (-0.839)||1’53.050|
|Average race lap||1’41.184 (+0.258)||1’40.926|
The McLaren drivers’ late appearance in Q1 gave them little time to get a clean lap in. Button at least managed to set a time quick enough for Q2 – unfortunately he got his car stuck in the gravel on the very next lap.
Button, like Fernando Alonso, found the outside line at turn one offered little grip and fell behind Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa at the start. Alonso passed him too shortly afterwards, and although Button re-passed the Ferrari driver he took an early pit stop and completed a 47-lap stint on the same set of tyres.
He had little grip by the end of the race and Massa was able to take eighth place off him in the closing stages.
Hamilton spun on what turned out to be his only chance to get a lap done in Q1 on intermediate tyres – consigning him to 20th on the grid.
He set about making his way to the front of the field in characteristic Hamilton fashion, passing several cars and breaking clear of the chasing group of Massa, Alonso and Button. But he overstepped the mark by weaving on the straight to keep Vitaly Petrov behind and was fortunate not to get a penalty.
After his pit stop he closed quickly on Adrian Sutil. But despite being able to lap two seconds quicker, and with the McLaren’s F-duct providing a useful boost to his straight-line speed, he couldn’t get past the Force India.
2010 Malaysian Grand Prix