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Button baffled by McLaren strategy

For some reason the McLaren team have failed to get things perfect for both drivers throughout the 2012 Formula One World Championship.

In fact, in a way you could even include the 2011 season in that little analogy as it's very rare that McLaren team have produced a car that suites both drivers over the past 18 months.

The car set-up and design either suites the smooth controlled style of Jenson Button, or the attacking, committed approach of Lewis Hamilton.

It seems to be a rare occurrence than both drivers are ever happy at the same time.

This continues into the pit-stops, if McLaren are making the right choice on tyres for Jenson Button, it would seem that Lewis Hamilton would not get a tyre strategy that suited him. If one driver gets the clean and quick sub 2.5 second pit-stops, the other would get a pit crew that falters and fails to get all four wheels on the car in less than 6 seconds.

Of course all of this is mere coincidence and one of the negative sides to running a team with two number one drivers.

But in Hungary, McLaren once again only managed to get it right for one driver.

Lewis Hamilton dominated the race weekend from start to finish, while Jenson Button had to battle a lot harder for his points in an identical car.

The speed was there, as demonstrated in free practice, but qualifying left Button further down the grid battling for position with Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari.

It still looked good for McLaren though as Vettel simply couldn't get passed the McLaren despite being quicker. As the double world champion moaned at his team to 'do something' over the car radio, McLaren did, switching Button from a two-stop strategy to a three stop.

This enabled Vettel to leap-frog him for position and subsequently ended Button's hopes of a podium.

The team very nearly made the same call for Hamilton, which would have resulted in him losing the race win and would have handed Lotus a one-two finish, but thankfully for him McLaren changed their mind back to plan A. But it was all too late for Button, who ended up finishing a disappointing sixth.

'I don't know what was going on there really, The weird thing was after the first stop I could still see the leaders so it was close, but we decided to go for a three stop and we were stopping early, and both times I came out in traffic and wondered why.' Button told Autosport Magazine after the race.

'The tyres were still in good condition and I think they were trying to jump the cars in front but we went straight back into traffic and that was it. Normally you pit and come out into clean air.

'Then we did that again later on in the race, so not a great race. Hopefully we will learn from this because it happened twice - I don't think we looked too good on strategy today.'


Button is now seventh in the World Drivers Championship, 41 points behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton and 88 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso.








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday August 1 2012

Time: 11:00AM

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