Monaco GP team-by-team: McLaren

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A strange oversight led to Button’s retirement early in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Jenson ButtonLewis Hamilton
Qualifying position85
Qualifying time comparison (Q3)1’14.637 (+0.205)1’14.432
Race position5
Average race lap1’56.397 (+31.554)1’24.843
Pit stops01
Monaco GP lap times: McLaren (click to enlarge)

Jenson Button

Not on Hamilton’s pace throughout the weekend and his efforts in qualifying were impeded by Felipe Massa, who Button caught on a quick lap.

An unusual mistake at McLaren led to his early retirement:

I knew after the formation lap that there was a cooling cover left on the left-hand sidepod, where the radiator is.

We thought everything was going to be okay, and it would probably have been fine if we hadn’t had a Safety Car. My car quickly began to overheat and I started losing engine power, so I turned the engine off pretty sharply because the last thing I wanted was to leave engine oil on the racing line.

Today was just one of those days. It was human error, a mistake, and that’s all there is to it.
Jenson Button

Compare Jenson Button’s form against his team mate in 2010

Lewis Hamilton

Fifth place on the grid was probably better than the MP4-25 deserved at a track which did not play to the car’s strengths.

Hamilton only set the tenth-fastest race lap and was noticeably struggling for pace at the end. So much so that he wasn’t leaving Fernando Alonso behind at that great a rate despite Alonso having spent longer on his tyres.

McLaren’s radio communications revealed they were concerned about brake temperatures during the race.

Compare Lewis Hamilton’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Monaco Grand Prix

    Browse all 2010 Monaco Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    19 comments on “Monaco GP team-by-team: McLaren”

    1. A bit surprisingly consider McLarens statistics for Monaco where they won more then any other team that their car would be so off that 5th was the best they could do in both race and quali.

      1. It seems to be down to the characteristics of the car. This was one of the tracks they looked forward to last year (only for Hamilton to crash in qualifying), this year it could be one of their weakest venues.

        1. I suppose Bahrain showed that the Mclaren struggled through the twisty second sector. The F duct probably plays to fast tracks more, and their long wheelbase won’t help at Monaco.
          However, I didn’t know that they looked forward to this race last year. Wasn’t the MP4-24 seriously lacking in downforce? I thought Monaco was a high downforce track, as shown by the RBs!

          1. Monao isn’t a high downforce track, it’s a track you want lots of downforce for. The reason the two aren’t one and the same is because Monaco is so slow that generating aerodynamic downforce is much more difficult. What a car needs is good mechanical grip, which the MP4-24 (and BGP001) had last year. In the quest for downforce this year, McLaren have made their car suit stability in fast corners at the expense of speed out of slow ones.

            Red Bull have done so well here because the RB6 is a downforce-producing machine, and isn’t as weak as the RB5 was for mechanical grip, maybe because they’ve had to make less sacrifices in design for that downforce than McLaren have.

            I am, of course, mostly guessing!

    2. michael bradshaw
      17th May 2010, 17:17

      they went to a longer wheel based car for this year(like many teams) and that seemed to be the Ferraris issue in past years so maybe that’s why Hamilton and button struggled in Monaco.

    3. Isn’t it funny how last years Mclaren, the MP4/24, struggled on fast corners but managed slow Monaco corners whereas this years MP4/25 can cope with the fast bends, but struggles with slow corners.

    4. I would assume BUT power was already down from the very start of the race because he was in 10th place by the end of the first corner.

      1. I wouldnt blame it on his power. He just isnt great at starts

        1. From what I saw, his get off the line wasn’t too bad, but he got caught on the outside at St. Devote and moved down order from there, as did everyone else on the outside of that corner.

    5. If Ron were still here things would have been different.
      McLaren has not been fast at Monaco because they switched to black wheels.
      With the original silver wheels they showed at the car presentation, the car would have more grip in the slow corners, specially when the tyres are starting to wear off.

      1. I love this theory.

        My car has way more grip when I’ve washed it.

      2. interresting theory… Maybe merc should paint there wheels highlighter yellow :)

        1. but then they’ll have trouble getting heat into the tires (tyres for you folks across the pond).

        2. chrome wheels would be nice for Merc

    6. Come on Keith… the lap that Felipe spoilt wasn’t going to be glorious, surely? It didn’t look it on the live timing, or maybe my Ferrari Fan brain isn’t remembering the board clearly for that point in the proceedings ;-)

      Interesting that the stewards penalised a driver that overtook a Ferrari, but not a Ferrari that potentially blocked a mediocre lap from Button.

      Perhaps Maclaren were trying to even out Jenson’s home advantage?

      1. To be honest, I thought Felipe would be penalised for that.

    7. Jenson’s lap during which he was held up was not going to be a pole-position lap by any means, but I think it would have been better than his ultimate qualifying position.

      I’m a huge Jenson fan, but his starts are not the best, and I think he gets a little too cautious about traffic going into the first corner and ends up losing positions for the sake of car/race preservation. I think this is especially true after spending so much time at the back of the pack during previous seasons.

      1. Very true. There is definitely room for improvement there. He really is too cautious, in his overtaking too I feel. He shouldn’t loose 3 places in the first lap of a reputedly overtaking-hostile GP !

    8. Let us spare a thought for the mechanic responsible for not taking out the radiator cover on Jensons car.

      According to his bos he is “devastated” by it.

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