McLaren: Button leads Hamilton home again

2011 Italian GP team review

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Jenson Button brought home the best result for McLaren for the third race in a row.

Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button
Qualifying position 2 3
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’22.725 (-0.052) 1’22.777
Race position 4 2
Laps 53/53 53/53
Pit stops 2 2

McLaren drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53
Lewis Hamilton 120.534 142.512 139.432 91.376 90.548 91.605 89.834 89.581 89.576 89.53 89.465 90.024 90.323 89.1 90.043 90.948 89.428 92.664 106.703 88.95 88.362 88.679 88.682 88.998 89 88.328 87.79 88.762 87.711 87.638 87.63 87.746 88.464 91.404 105.781 87.505 87.738 87.906 87.106 86.941 86.903 87 86.756 86.891 87.088 87.168 87.29 86.655 86.615 86.867 86.969 86.187 86.853
Jenson Button 122.823 142.958 137.74 92.47 91.846 90.353 89.833 89.741 89.497 89.04 89.064 89.418 89.912 89.182 89.789 89.684 92.075 105.66 88.628 88.466 88.194 88.354 88.166 87.941 87.689 87.63 87.942 87.6 88.242 87.999 87.54 87.716 91.634 104.973 88 87.758 87.602 87.538 87.274 86.993 86.939 87.063 87.462 86.937 87.181 87.115 86.98 87.034 86.956 86.855 86.771 86.207 87.298

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, McLaren, Monza, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 22.083s
Pit stop 2 Medium 21.876s

Hamilton was fastest on Friday and could have made it through Q2 using only medium tyres. But he elected to play it safe and do a run on softs to ensure his pssage to Q3.

He shared the front row with Sebastian Vettel but said he could not have beaten the Red Bull driver, whose efforts he heaped praise on: “Sebastian was mega quick today.

“It looked like we would be quite competitive throughout the weekend but today in that last lap, that was untouchable for me.”

Hamilton’s performance in the race was decidedly conservative. He fell behind the flying Fernando Alonso at the start, then lost another place when the safety car came in.

He was busy warming his tyres up and keeping an eye on Michael Schumacher when Alonso bolted towards Parabolica. “They caught me napping,” he admitted afterwards.

Schumacher passed the McLaren easily on the run to the Rettifilio. Hamilton, running with comparatively low top speed in order to remain competitive with Sebastian Vettel, was literally powerless to re-pass the Mercedes, which was clearly quicker in a straight line.

Hamilton got past at the Rettifilio on lap 13 but didn’t defend the outside line at the Curva Grande – perhaps a little wary following his crash in Spa – allowing Schumacher to re-take the position.

Three laps later he took a look at the inside of the Curva Grande but Schumacher stuck to his line, obliging Hamilton to back off, allowing Jenson Button through into fourth. Moment later Button swept around Schumacher at Ascari which must have left Hamilton fuming.

Schumacher came in at the end of the lap, denying Hamilton a chance to pit before him and gain the benefit of fresher tyres. With Button now the leading McLaren, he came in next, meaning Hamilton couldn’t respond for another lap.

When Hamilton finally made his first stop on lap 18 he fell back behind Schumacher once again.

Hamilton continued to throw all he had at the Mercedes, finally making it by on lap 27 as Schumacher had a poor run down to Ascari.

He began catching Alonso once both of them had switched to the medium tyres. From 8.3 seconds behind on lap 37, Hamilton began the 53rd and final tour one second behind the Ferrari.

Hamilton had ended his 2009 race at Monza in the barriers taking to make a pass on the last lap, but there was to be no repeat of that this time. He had his DRS open as they blasted from Lesmo 2 down to Ascari but it was too little, too late to get on the podium.

Having questioned whether Schumacher had made too many defensive moves on the team radio during the race, Hamilton offered no criticism of his driving afterwards:

“We were a little bit slow on the straight today, which meant it was hard to get past Michael, who was faster along the straight even when I had my DRS activated.

“I had to really fight Schumacher, but the fact that I finished ahead of him meant everything was okay. That’s racing.”

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Monza, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 21.66s
Pit stop 2 Medium 22.095s

Button tested new, low-drag parts in FP1 but discarded some of them in the afternoon session.

He said he was happier with the car on Saturday but aborted his final run in Q3, certain it was not going to be better than his initial effort: “I didn’t get a great first sector and I just carried that all the way through the lap so I was a tenth-and-a-half down.

“I knew through the last corner, the previous lap was perfect through there, so I looked down at the speed and just pulled into the pits knowing that I was a tenth-and-a-half off my best.”

A problem with his clutch caused a poor start in which he lost places to both Ferraris and Michael Schumacher. At the restart, Mark Webber passed him as well.

Webber’s collision with Massa left Button clear to attack Schumacher and Hamilton. This he did very successfully on lap 16, passing the pair of them within four corners.

During his second stint Button drew closer to Alonso, then began to drop back as the Ferrari had its usual strong end to a stint. But once they switched to the medium tyres Button was on the attack.

Alonso struggled to get traction out of the Rettifilio chicane on lap 35 and Button pounced, diving up the inside at the Curva Grande to take second place and his third podium finish in a row.

“On the whole, the team’s done a great job this weekend,” said Button, “but it’s the little problems that are frustrating.

“If you have one of those, then you’re not going to beat Red Bull and Sebastian. Hopefully, we’ll have no problems at the next race because if we can get everything together then we can challenge for a win.”

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

2011 Italian Grand Prix

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    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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    111 comments on “McLaren: Button leads Hamilton home again”

    1. Hamilton needed a good solid result for his confidence, and he got that. I think Schumacher knew that Hamilton wouldn’t try anything silly and that encouraged him. Now Lewis has racked up a finish I expect to see him back to his old self in Singapore.

      I’ve been more and more impressed with Button this year. I don’t understand how he managed to pass Schumacher so quickly, it was so easy. I’d guess that Schumacher half let him past so that he could concentrate on Hamilton.

      1. You mean, Spa/Canada 2010 -spec Lewis, or old as in… Spa 2011 spec Lewis?

        1. In many respects, both “specs” are the same. The only time I’ve ever seen Lewis really change his style was yesterday. He was far less aggressive and I think this was simply down to his wanting to finish.

          I expect him to be back to his aggressive self in Singapore.

          1. He needs to keep an eye on Mark Webber in Singapore, this time ;)

      2. Higher top speed?

      3. If you look at the replay Schumi has his whole car over the inside kerb when Button passes him.

        I think Schumi realised his tyres were too shot to bother continue fighting, and the move was a banzai (he may not have realised it was Button and not an uber-frustrated Lewis), so he opted to stay out of the way.

        Also as noted Jens had an excellent run out of Lesmo 2 on him, most likely due to his tyres retaining grip having not bothered to fight to pass for several laps.

      4. Agree with you on Hamilton, as for Button passing Schu, according to Brawn he had just been on the radio there and Schu missed a gear change!

        1. The slow/missed gear change happened when Hamilton passed him.

          1. yeah, you are right, my mistake.

      5. “I’ve been more and more impressed with Button this year. I don’t understand how he managed to pass Schumacher so quickly, it was so easy.”

        That an easy one, Button had a higher top speed (than Hamilton) and Schumacher had lost a bit of pace with the battle with Hamilton, he knew Hamilton was no longer there and got caught napping.

        1. also button was braver to try to outbrake shumi in that turn. he later said it was one of his bravest overtaking attempts, he did it perfect giveing “a cars margin and a bit” on the apex and forcing schumacher to cut over the curb as he would have thought button was going to turn in on him and crash. button made a perfect move, he could easily have outbraked himself but did it perfect.

          1. Yes, I noticed Schumacher also dived over the inside curb to avoid the crash. I.e., what say Webber didn’t do in Singapore last year. It was a Hamilton-like move by Button, i.e., a little bit genius and little bit mad. Good on him.

    2. I think what happened with McLaren was that they were all set up to race Vettel but ended up racing Schumacher early on and then proceeded to stick to a Plan A that quickly showed itself to be ineffective. By the time they won that race there was time only to race Alonso. That’s assuming they had an answer for Vettel anyway.

      1. Absolutely agree. Vettel was staggering but he was helped by having Alo and Schu being obstacle courses for Mclaren and Mclaren taking so long to pass and deal with them.

      2. Yes, prepared for the wrong fight.

    3. Button is more complete (read better) driver, than Hamilton.

      1. Which is why Hamilton beat him in the WDC last year? :S

        1. Heidfeld beat Kubica in 2007 and 2009, would you say he is better than Kubica?

          Off the point, but still… you can’t judge on a single years standings.

          I think they are both very good drivers and in many respects, equal, though Hamilton is noticably better than Button at certain aspects of racing and vice versa.

          1. My point exactly. Hamilton/Button must be one of the most capable and complimentary driver pairings ever… When it goes to plan.

            1. Agreed, probably the best driver line up. How much further ahead would Button be without his retirements not of his own making. Irrespective of how this championship ends up its 1 – 1 in my book.

      2. Ha ha good one, as a limou driver – maybe, racing driver – be serious.

      3. His style of driving will hardly win a WDC.

        1. another WDC

          1. I don’t know, as it has been pointed out, other than his two recent retirements Button has been on the podium a lot lately.

            He is more aggressive in his driving while still maintaining his smooth approach and it is reaping dividends.

            Since the cars changed massively in 09, he has been the 2nd best driver after Vettel.

            Vettel: 17 wins
            Button: 10
            Hamilton: 7
            Alonso: 6
            Webber: 6

            Vettel: 30 podiums
            Button: 23
            Hamilton: 18
            Alonso: 18
            Webber: 25

            1. Including 2009 isn’t fair if you want to compare Button to Hamilton.

            2. And if McLaren had`nt left the bung in the sidepod in Monaco, and Vettel had`nt took him out in Spa, he would have beat LH in last years WDC. I hope he beats him this year.

            3. You forgot not securing his wheel properly after a pit stop.

    4. As clean and impressive as Vettel’s drive to the win was, I’d have to give Button the nod for star of the race. Pretty good stuff.

    5. “Button leads Hamilton home again” what?

      1. It’s just a title. Calm down.

      2. What do you mean “so what”? It’s a heading. The fact is that Jenson Button beat Lewis Hamilton. As he did in Belgium and Hungary. Hence “again”.

        1. Didn’t really in Belgium though, for Hamilton not making it to the finish at all :-P

      3. It’s a fact.

      4. So nothing… you clicked on it, read it, got intrigued, commented, even got some responses – mission accomplished, great job Keith!

      5. It’s the headline because it’s so odd. Hamilton is by far the better driver, but whatever he does this year it doesn’t work.

        When he goes for agressive then he gets rammed by a rookie and penalized as a result. When he tries to play it safe it doesn’t give him anything either.

        Whereas everything seems to just fall into place for Button. Button drove an utterly abysmal race in Canada. Betting on the weather as again, but this time it didn’t work. He even rammed his team mate into the wall and he doesn’t get a penalty because “he didn’t see him”. Yet 5 safety cars later and (ramming off yet another major opponent) and he’s in the better car for the last 15 laps to take the win.

        It does seem like Hamilton is suffering from the Raikkonen 2008 fever. What’s the point of giving it all in a car that’s not realisticly going to give you the win?

        1. What are you on about abysmal race in Canada ??? I was watching the live timing, and it went unnoticed by Brundle and Coulthard, and yourself, but JB was consistently the fastest man out there all afternoon ! As I write this its coming back to me, he came through from the back how many times ??? Abysmal ? AMAZING !

      6. Obviously, Keith chooses headlines and angles his writing voice in a manner that tries to incite that certain percentage of his audience. If you look at the voice of the report, though factual, it is definitely skewed. You can’t pay attention to this. You just have to read the assessment, take for what it is and look forward for the next outing. It’s just journalism.

      7. Another Hamilton bashing article Kieth? Give us a break!!

        1. I criticise drivers when I think they deserve criticism and I praise them when I think they deserve praise. If you disagree with me, by all means tell me why and I’m happy to have a conversation on the facts. But I’m not impressed by whingeing.

          1. It’s sarcasm mate! Ive read alot recently on you apparently “bashing Hamilton”.
            Jeez, that’s a big horse, now get off it..

            1. You can’t expect to write ‘sarcasm’ like that in an online form and not have it taken literally. If that wasn’t what you meant then fair enough, and my previous comment doesn’t apply. But next time make it obvious if you’re being sarcastic – this wasn’t even ambiguous.

            2. Don’t stand down. This is an article written to incite opinion. Unfortunately, most of that opinion is in the form of bashing. Hamilton is doing things this season to get the raft of writers who find the need to take advantage of his popularity by highlighting his shortcomings over and over again. Soon this will be PlanetF1 all over again.

              Nevertheless, call a spade a spade. Don’t back away from that.

        2. Another Keith bashing. Give us a break!!

          1. Will I get berrated for F1Fanatic favouritism if I said this should be COTD?

            1. Nope, applauded…

    6. hamilton is a rare driver that is getting worse with experience. His best year without a doubt was 2007 when he beat alonso most of the time. At that point you coul feel that he was the most talented driver to arrive since ayrton senna. But nowadays he seems more like nigel mansell. A very fast driver with lots of talente but prone to making mistakes.
      Button is looking better against him that alonso did in 2007, but jenson is facing “mansell” while alonso had to face “ayrton”.

      1. sums up my view of Hamilton this season really.

      2. I totally agree with you. It’s hard to believe but Lewis as a rookie was like Mr. Consistency (apart from the last 2 races) and now after 5 seasons in F1 he’s become THE crash-kid. He reminds me more and more of Raikkonen in 2008.
        And don’t ever make analogies between Lewis and Senna. With all do respect to Hamilton but I think it’s an insult towards Senna to put Lewis at the same level with him, Ayrton was a much much better driver racer, I would think the best.

        1. And here comes that line again: don’t even mention Senna, or start thinking about comparing A.Senna with some other driver, this is FORBIDDEN.
          A.Senna is God, never made mistakes, etc…

          Are you serious ? “don’t ever make analogies” ?

          1. Maybe I didn’t use the correct word there – “analogies”. The idea was not make Lewis equal to Senna.

        2. Guess who held the title of crash-kid last year……Sebastian Vettel!!

          1. Unlike Hamilton this year, Vettel had the title of World Champion last year.

      3. Very nice assessment @kowalsky

      4. I think Lewis wants to go faster than his car is capable of.
        Give him the redbull and he’ll make very few mistakes like Vettel.
        Button is doing great and collecting great points, hats off to him!

        Hamilton’s best answer is a strong end of season and take the vice championship wich I’m sure he can.

      5. Utter nonsense kowalsky, please list said mistakes – chronologically if you may – so we can compare objectively with other drivers and perhaps help to erase your delusions.

        1. you are entitled to have a different opinion. Mine is written clearly above. And some fans seem to agree.

    7. Also glad to see Button beat Lewis…. Nice guy vesus not nice guy. Also always cheering for Nico R…. R & R

      1. What makes you say Hamilton is not a nice guy?

        1. pure ignorance

        2. One doesnt have the face that fits the public profile…

    8. It’s so nice to see Button really on it this year. I’m rating him higher and higher as races go by.

      The way he races is superb. He’s mixed his smoothness with glimpses of aggression, like at Spa. When he needs to overtake, he does it and makes it work.

      Even more impressive he’s taking the most out of the Mclaren. And it’s been like this for a while now!

    9. Ok so answer me this, who would have the upper had out of the current Jenson Button who most agree is in the driving form of his career against a fully firing, head in the right place and content Lewis Hamilton (circa late 09, mid 2010)?

      No contest for me every time…

      1. Your last statement is pretty crucial there. Sure that would be Lewis for me; but the problem is right now his head’s not in the right place

        1. Bring back Anthony Hamilton

    10. I’m delighted to see Button driving so well this year and finally getting the recognition he deserves. On balance his overall performance this year is second only to Vettel in my opinion, closely followed by Alonso.

      As for Hamilton, it’s increasingly becoming clear that his immense talent and blinding pace can’t sufficiently compensate for several increasingly obvious deficiencies in his driving.

      Whilst Vettel continues to improve on seemingly every facet of his driving, Hamilton if anything seems to be performing worse over time.

      I also can’t help but think that as the more experienced and articulate driver, Button is garnering increasing support behind the scenes at Mclaren to lead them down a development path which is geared towards his own feedback more than Hamilton’s as an “unofficial” team leader.

      It’s crunch time for Hamilton and he needs to step up his game before he finds himself without a leg to stand on.

      1. Would disagree that Button has been second only to Vettel this year, Alonso is ahead of him in what has been for the season a far inferior car even to the Mclaren

        People are getting a little carried away with Jenson at the moment I feel, BBC’s fanatic coverage of helps like Itv did with Hamilton

        1. The fact that Button is behind Alonso championship-wise is down to the two car-related retirements in Britain and Germany that simply weren’t his fault – costing at least 20 points. Alonso has suffered no such misfortune.

          1. Apart from being rammed off the road by Jenson Button in Canada.

            1. +1

              Woulda, shoulda, coulda

            2. I wouldn’t say Alonso’s DNF in Canada was misfortune, nor was it out of his control as Button’s DNF’s have been.

              It’s interesting that you mention this incident as ultimately it was this which led me to rank Button above Alonso in terms of performance so far this season, albeit only just.

              Alonso took himself out of the race by trying to stick it around the outside heading into a tight chicane. This is essentially what Webber tried to do to Massa at Monza with a similar outcome.

              Had Alonso yielded he could have went on to win the race in Canada but instead it was Button, despite coming out of that collision badly himself.

      2. All this stuff is being said about Hamilton now after his recent run of poor form and luck, yet its only a few races ago that he was utterly sublime in Germany and everyone was raving about him. I remember last year Vettel got an absolute bashing after crashing in Turkey, and again in Spa, then went on to win the championship and dominate this the following season.

        Form is a real thing that affects performers across all sports. Look at Wayne Rooney last season, he couldn’t buy a goal, his touch was appalling, he even admitted himself that he thought he’d lost it. Then look at him this season, two hatricks in two consecutive games. Was he not the same great player last season as the seasons before? Of course he was- he just wasn’t in form. Form is temporary, class is permanent and Hamilton is off form as much as Button is on form. And as soon as Hamilton is back in the groove again it wont take long for everyone to proclaim his brilliance once again.

        I think to an extent he is blighted by mis-perceptions about his great debut season. As mentioned somewhere above, some people talk about him beating Alonso “most of the time” which he didn’t. They tied on points and Alonso beat Hamilton several times throughout the year. Not to take anything away from him that year, but suggestions that he is getting worse over time are rubbish. Last year when he led the championship all that time he drove the best in his career, and he has produced some stunning drives this year as well. He has just lacked that consistency which served him so well in 07. I personally think that the change to slicks has not favoured him, i think he was able to handle the slippery grooved tyres better in relation to the other drivers.

        When all is said and done though, Alonso still labels him as the fastest driver in formula 1 and i think the opinion of a double world champ who has raced alongside him deserves to have his opinion taken very seriously. And moreover, F1 would be a far less exciting place without him.

      3. Here’s an interesting article I found last night which is relevant to my speculation about Button garnering increasing support behind the scenes at Mclaren:

    11. Mclaren opted again for a higher downforce set-up like what they had at spa. Yes they are quick but in my observation they suffer massively on a heavy fuel load at the start. More downforce + full(heavy)fuel load they suffer with top speed in circuits like spa and monza.

      But in the middle of the race they seem to make it work since the fuel goes down which helps their top speed. Maybe they should tweak it a bit so they wouldn’t suffer at the start?

      Whitmarsh said mclaren was fastest Yes they were fast, but to be fast at the last segment of the race is good but at some point it would be hard to catch the leader if he was able to pull a gap during the first half or 3/4 of the race?

    12. I don’t see whey (referring to comments) that we need such a vitriolic comparison of the two drivers. I am one of Button’s biggest fans, and I am more than happy to see his results of late being a genuine reflection of his ability and deserving of a decent drive. He overtook 3 WDC to put himself in P2. Not bad.

      I’m not a Hamilton fan, but I think he’s racier than Button, and yet I also believe Button is a great overtaker as has been proved in the last few races.

      For me Alonso and Hamilton are better racers but Button does not chase cars down like Lewis because he knows it isn’t always worth it. he knows if he looks after his tyres the car in front will fade and he will catch, it happens almost everyrace.

      Button took a Schumacher and Lewis that had ridden their tyres to death chomping at the bit to get the upper hand. This race, the HARE lost out. It happens.

      1. Nice comment. I do agree and share your view.

      2. Maybe it works a bit like this: Hamilton’s high risk strategy works fine when McLaren have the most competitive car (or equal) and means he beats Button over the season -. When they’re a bit off the leading pace, it’s 50-50 whether risky or driving safe works best. When they’re a lot off, the advantage seems to tip in Button’s favour.

        That said, Hamilton’s big weakness seems to be a lack of concentration when things aren’t perfect. His Monza drive this year reminded me of Interlagos last year where he was really mediocre too (relatively of course!). But you can’t be a really great driver and let that happen. I kind of fear that discipline is beyond Hamilton, he just seems to get bored when he’s not with a chance of winning.

        1. Hopefully next year we get to see who’s best in a dominant car:)

    13. Jenson’s hit a rich vein of form recently, which is great to see. He deserves the plaudits he’s been getting. But he needs to be careful what he wishes for in regard to being crowned McLaren team leader. That easy-going, affable style he’s trade-marked will go out the window if he’s unable to stay on top of Hamilton. A team leader who is consistently out-qualified by his number two will become a laughing stock.

      It was telling after the race how Jenson seemed almost more delighted with his performance than the winner was with the victory. It showed how much beating Hamilton means to him. Lewis, on the other hand, seems despondent with anything less than the win. I think that says a lot.

      Along with Jenson’s fine drives, the most interesting facet of this championship now is how Hamilton will deal with this crossroads in his career. Will he remain a mercurial driver, capable of occasional greatness? Or will he step up to challenge what is already looking like the start of ‘the Vettel era’?

    14. As a measure Jenson’s season… if Jenson and Lewis had a ‘him or me’ arguement who would get the ‘boot!’? I think Maclaren would rather have Jenson on board now

      1. Rubbish!

        Jenson has 2-3 years at best whilst Lewis has 10 left at the top.

        Would you rather have a driver is happy to just beat his teammate or a driver who is only happy when he is winning?

        Jenson will never win another WDC again for one simple reason – He isnt fast enough to

    15. I think jenson is obviously doing a better job in races this year so is getting more of a backing off mclaren at the moment and maybe updates that they are bringing for the car are better for him than Hamilton and I think he’s getting a little frustrated by that at the moment

      Also he must be questioning his position within the team as mclaren are reportedly ready to offer a huge contract to button to stay for the rest of his career as a driver and then stay on as ambassador after driving would Lewis see this as mclaren favouring button over him ? I guess we need to wait until he gets offered a new contract to see if it’s better than buttons or not.

      I found it strange also that he needed encouraging on the radio to try and catch alonso one thing most people will agree on like him or not is that he always drives at 100% especially with alonso on front of him

    16. Hamilton has clearly lost some confidence in his usual style of driving, and he can’t be at all happy with what happened in Monza. Can’t believe that he and his engineers thought that having the car hitting the limiter so early on the straights was a good idea! Even if he had got ahead of Vettel, he would have been a sitting duck anywhere on the first lap because Vettel’s car was faster with much the same short gearing set up. Play to your strengths for heavens sake (Merc engine)!

      Vettel, F1 WDC 2011

      1. They probably realised that even in Spa, running their usual set-up, did not favour them. If you can’t beat RBR, join them!

    17. Keith, here’s another view on the Hamilton-Schumacher incident DC and MB were talking about

      I personally think Schumacher crossed a line there

      1. From this view Hamilton was much more alongside that the other angles suggested. I think from this view it’s a clear and blatant chop which warranted investigation.

      2. Sorry, but Michael did not turn right to block Hamilton, he turned right to take the racing line, which he is entitled too as he was ahead.

        Hamilton tried to do what he always does, stick his car down to the inside and bank on the other driver to back off. He did that to Maldonaldo and Massa in Monaco and to Michael here. His move on Kobayashi on Spa was also dependent on Kobayashi playing safe. If you want to go back, look at Monza 2008, where he drove Glock off the road or at Germany 2008, where he drove Massa off the road.

        Hamilton needs to realize that other drivers now know his tactics and fight back to him. Gone are the days where only Hamilton was the racer.
        Just look at the replays of Maldonaldo and Massa incidents at Monaco and today’s replay with Schumacher, Hamilton fans would like to believe that the other driver turned into Hamilton, but the fact is that Hamilton put his car in a disappearing wedge every time.

        1. That’s not the racing line, watch MSC in the previous 5 laps.

          I’m not saying MSC was wrong, but that wasn’t the line he normally took, definite defending rightly or wrongly.

    18. For all Hamilton’s denials that he’s in a slump or that his aggressive driving style is doing more harm than good, I found it pretty telling that the team had to encourage him.

      Equally telling was the way Hamilton had a thirty-lap grudge match with Schumacher, but Button passed him on the first attempt.

      When you look at Hamilton’s results, he’s never been beaten by his team-mate. 2007 was the only year someone actually came close to beating him; he and Alonso tied on points, but Hamilton placed in front because he had had the more-recent win. Otherwise, he beat Kovalainen by 45 points in 2008, by 27 points in 2009, and he beat Button by 26 in 2010. Button’s current lead might be just 9 points with six races to go, but I do believe the last time Hamilton’s team-mate was in front of him in the points was at the 2007 Bahrain Grand Prix – his third race. He and Alonso were tied on points at Monaco in 2007, but Hamilton remained in front for the rest of the season. Hamilton is in a position he’s never been in before, and combined with his frequent visits to the stewards (though he’s been clean for two races now) and the increased public scrutiny of his driving, it’s all combining to take its toll on him.

      1. Button led the championship outright after winning the Chinese GP in 2010, and held that lead after finishing 5th in the next race in Spain (where LH crashed 2 laps from home). So that point is inaccurate – but I do still see where you’re coming from; no team-mate has put so much pressure on him so deep into the season.

        1. Hamilton didn’t crash it was a mechanical failure, get your fact right.

          1. Button is doing a great job and has always been under rated IMO.

            The best driver pairing in F1.

    19. Obviously every driver wants to beat their team mate – it’s what you’re measured on. With LH & JB they get along quite well and I don’t think LH would be as aggressive in beating JB as he would with FA. Kovalainen just couldn’t keep up no matter what. I think LH respects a team mate that shows equal respect back to him. It’s also easier for them to get along as they’re both British. LH can see that he can learn from JB’s ability in changing conditions and is enjoying the friendly rivalry. The pair of them are unlikely to deliberately ruin each other’s race strategy – like what FA did to LH and what Villeneuve did to JB when they were at BAR.

    20. Button have shown this year what a driver he is,there are some people who think he is the least deserving WC well for them Button may seems to have an answer.

    21. I’m a Hamilton Fan, but i have to say he has really disappointed me this year. We all know he is fast, he has the talent, but if some poor traits make him change to what we saw in Italy- a tame, scared of going to the limit driver- he is finished. Everyone fails and makes mistakes. Italy’s Hamilton, however, didn’t have that “fire” in his driving. And a cunning Button is slowly swallowing him and turning him into a second tier driver. Hamilton’s main difference with Senna is that he lacks the determination to win. Butto coming out and “defending” Hamilton is the sort of condescending move that puts him above Hamilton in the team’s structure. He’s the big boy, the leader defending te team. Senna never allowed that from Prost. Hamilton needs to concentrate o developing the car, on talking with the technicians, of learning to understand the intricacies of the technical side. Vettel is actually, from what I’ve seen, maturing to become this individual- a true great, someone that can win world championships and create championship winnin teams.

      1. (Keith, sorry, my previous post was not properly written (in an iPhone). This one is the same but with what I wanted to say)

        I’m a Hamilton fan, but i have to say he has really disappointed me this year. We all know he is fast, he has the talent, but if some poor races make him change to the Hamilton we saw in Italy- a tame, scared of pushing to the limit driver- he is finished. Everyone fails and makes mistakes. The best drivers have their bad moments.Italy’s Hamilton, however, was not, to me, a great driver having a bad moment, but of an average middle of the pack driver that doesn’t have that “fire” in his driving, which is something I normally associate with Button. And a cunning Button is slowly swallowing him and turning him into a second tier driver with his charm and understanding of the political and backstage workings of the sport. Button is a much “smarter” driver than Hamilton. You can see that on his tire choices and strategies, as well as on the way he talks to the media. Button coming out and “defending” Hamilton is the sort of condescending move that puts him above Hamilton in the team’s structure. He’s the big boy, the leader defending te team. Senna never allowed that from Prost. Hamilton’s main difference with Senna is that he lacks the determination to win and the mental structure to respond to the pressure of what is formula 1. Hamilton right now is in a moment of his career were he is either to become a great like Senna, or a Montoya, Raikonnen, etc, which were great talents but couldn’t cope with the whole F1 “world” and its intricacies. Hamilton needs to concentrate o developing the car, on talking with the technicians, of learning to understand the intricacies of the technical side. Vettel is actually, from what I’ve seen, maturing to become this individual- a true great, someone that can win world championships and create championship winnin teams.

        1. You have summed that up perfectly, Lewis will either be a multiple WDC in a few years time or racing in Nascar

        2. Very nice post Sergio! I think you really have a point there.

    22. My take on the simplicity of Button passing Hamilton ans Schumacher was purely opertunistic.

      Button passed Hamilton because Schumacher had forced Ham to back off buy squeezing him on to the grass. So he lost momentum and Button cruised passed.

      He passed Schumacher because of the extended fight with Hamilton had worn out his tyres and had little fight left. Hamilton had done all the hard work of wearing Schu down and again Button cruised passed. Remember Schu pitted just after that. His tyre were gone.

      Button didnt do anything special, he just waited for the other two to have issues. Its clever but not special.

      1. There is a difference between emptying the bullets at once and waiting for that 1 shot to take you opponent down. “Not special”,YES :P

    23. I’m a fan of JB, but also respect LH who is an exciting driver to watch. I just wish JB could improve his starts (and qualifying of course!), then who knows he could actually be challenging for some more victories. Seems like most races he is down to 5th or worse at the end of the first lap. Difficult to beat Vettel and win races like that.

    24. To be honest I love both Jenson and Lewis,and I am a Mclaren fan,it’s that Hamilton is just a lil bit better,last year if Hamilton wheel didn’t fail one lap to go at the Spanish Grand Prix he would have been Champion.I think that with a better car(i hope it’s going to be next year),that both of them can be Champions,it’s just the little things will separate them :D

    25. as Ferrari/Alonso fan i consider Lewis Hamilton the only driver on the grid almost in the same level of Fernando Alonso and for those who say that “button is more complete driver than hamilton” with all my respect i think they do not understand formula1.

      hamilton makes mistakes sometimes because of his driving style he’s a manipulator driver (late breaking+over-steer) and he’s always taking risks & pushing the car on it’s limit

      button rarely makes mistakes also because of his driving style very smooth on the tyres always takes corners with the under-steer without risking anything

      Hamilton is the kind of drivers that if he gets a poor chance of overtaking he’ll make the move he’s driving into a disappearing gap Button no even when he had a good chance he’ll make the move only if he’s 100% sure

      Finally i think that the real difference between LH & JB lies in the way think(mentality) Button when he comes 2nd,3rd… in qualifying or in the race always he’s satisfied and congratulating the winners.. Hamilton when he does not come 1st he’s always frustrated

    26. I have refrained from posting anything about Hamilton for some time now but, didn’t Hamilton have Senna etched on the back of his overalls this Saturday? I don’t know what he is trying to convey. He is Lewis Hamilton, not Ayrton Senna. Just because he drives a McLaren and wears a yellow helmet doesn’t make him Senna. He should concentrate on what he is rather than trying to become something he is not. 2007 was a very tough year for me to choose my favorite driver because I was torn between Hamilton, Kimi and Alonso. Nowadays I don’t even bring him in the equation. On a bright note, his press interaction after the race was very refreshing. If only he could have done that after Monaco.

      1. I think people take his comment in Monaco to seriously. He was making a Joke it was not intended to be a serious racial slur, but it was not the smartest joke to make, mostly because most of the world did’nt get it. It was the sort of joke him and his friends use amongst themselves

        On the Senna thing, I think he had something to do with the Senna movie, Lewis is in the credits at the end of the movie, but i went past to quickly to see why.

    27. The poster who said Hamilton get bored when is not in front and with a chance to win is spot on.

      Hamilton is a champion, champions do not settle for 2nd best, he will rebound and come on top of JB, iam 100% certain. JB didnt convincingle beat LH in any of their races point one.

      1. So, by your logic Button shouldn’t settle for anything less than 1st either, right? There are two WDC’s at McLaren remember!

    28. A good race from Button, taking advantage of the Hamilton and Schumacher situation was sublime.

      It was good to watch such a long battle between drivers. In the age of DRS (not that I’m against it) it was unusual to see such a lengthy battle. More like that might just keep the less fanatic amongst us tuned in until the end of the season.

    29. Button on his prime form is only nine points ahead of Lewis, on his worst season (even winning two races). That’s the difference between them.

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