Date:Monday March 19 2012
Lewis Hamilton's Saturday evening mood and Sunday evening mood couldn't have been more different.
After finishing second quickest in Free Practice 1 in a rain affected session, behind team-mate Jenson Button, the McLaren's then concentrated on set-up and analysis of the car during Free Practice 2 and both Hamilton and Button were well off the pace, 4 seconds slower than the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher.
McLaren didn't complete a whole lot of running while the track was slippery because the team didn't have many spare parts with them in Australia, but the team remained confident and that was confirmed on Saturday morning when Lewis Hamilton topped the timing charts in Free Practice 3.
That low fuel pace was then confirmed in qualifying when Hamilton stuck his McLaren on pole ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.
The McLaren's at this stage looked to possibly be in a class of their own, Romain Grosjean for Lotus was third quickest, the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher was fourth, with the two Red Bull's of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel fifth and sixth quickest over 0.7 seconds behind Hamilton.
“I’m massively proud of my team. We’ve been working incredibly hard throughout the winter: we’ve never given up, and everyone has just kept pushing and pushing. We’ve had some tough years, but everyone in this team wants to succeed: to be the best. I’m proud that I was able to do the job for them today.' Hamilton told formula1.com on Saturday evening.
'Today we showed that we not only have the most beautiful car in Formula One, but also the fastest! Of course, there’s still a long way to go tomorrow – looking after the tyres will be key - but we’re in the best possible position to have a strong race.”
So everything was looking positive for the 2008 Formula One World Champion, who was keen to put the 2011 season behind him in the best way possible, winning the opening race of 2012.
But that wasn't to be, poor traction away from the line gifted the advantage to Jenson Button and by the first turn, Hamilton was second.
That proved crucial because at the first round of pit-stops Hamilton had to play second fiddle to Button who had the choice of when to pit, that left Hamilton pitting one or two laps later than he would have liked, further extending the gap between himself and Button and pushing him closer into the sights of Vettel behind him.
When McLaren pitted for a second time, slick work enabled the team to change tyres of Button and Hamilton with no time delay at all, with Hamilton pulling in for his pitstop just as Button was pulling away.
But when lady luck isn't on your side then no matter how slick your tyre stops are you are going to miss out and when the safety car was called out for the stricken Caterham of Petrov, all the advantage was handed to Vettel who pitted the very next lap and was able to get in front of Hamilton where he then stayed until the chequered flag fell.
“Congratulations to Jenson and the whole team for such a great result today. While it’s a bit disappointing not to have been able to convert pole position into victory, I’m not downhearted - there are still plenty of races ahead and lots more opportunities to score points. I struggled out there a little - it wasn’t my day. But what’s most important is that we showed today that we have a very quick racing car - that’s a massive positive for the team.' Hamilton said after the race.
But while Hamilton might have claimed he wasn't downhearted his body language screamed otherwise.
He barely bothered to acknowledge the crowd when lifting his trophy, he barely joined in with the champagne celebrations on the podium and he barely joined in with the McLaren's post race celebrations.
But Hamilton is a winner and he is kicking himself for not being able to take a race winning car to the top step like his team-mate did [who also made it look easy], this is a different sort of frustration from Hamilton to what we saw last season, this is just the competitive side to a racer, disappointed not to have won and not many in the McLaren garage will be too disappointed to have a driver who is only happy when winning.
Date:Monday March 19 2012
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Red Bull will overcome problems, but when? (Monday March 3 2014)
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F1 Points in discussion (Friday February 7 2014)
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GP2's Russian Time team principal dies (Thursday February 6 2014)
Ferrari announce testing trio (Wednesday February 5 2014)
F1 team principals are a thing of the past (Tuesday February 4 2014)
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2013 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
Brawn retires from Formula One (Monday February 3 2014)
Schumacher 'in the process' of coming out of coma (Friday January 31 2014)
Boullier named McLaren Racing Director (Thursday January 30 2014)
McLaren duo killed (Thursday January 30 2014)
Video: Red Bull stutter in Jerez (Wednesday January 29 2014)
Video: F1 teams reveal 2014 challengers (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Video: 'Year of change' for Mclaren (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Alonso and Kimi target the title (Monday January 27 2014)
Final chance for Caterham (Saturday January 25 2014)
Boullier to leave Lotus for McLaren? (Friday January 24 2014)
Paul Di Resta makes Mercedes switch (Friday January 24 2014)
Pic & van der Garde in the cold (Thursday January 23 2014)
Caterham announce Kobayashi & Ericsson (Wednesday January 22 2014)
NASCAR boss makes F1 move (Tuesday January 21 2014)
Schumacher remains in coma (Monday January 20 2014)
Ron Dennis back in control at McLaren (Friday January 17 2014)
Pirelli confirmed until 2016 (Friday January 17 2014)
Ecclestone steps down (Thursday January 16 2014)
Lotus deal with Quantum dead (Thursday January 16 2014)
Ecclestone in the news in Germany (Thursday January 16 2014)
A unique situation for Formula One (Wednesday January 15 2014)
Changes afoot at Williams (Tuesday January 14 2014)
John Button dies (Monday January 13 2014)
Video: Tribute to Ayrton Senna (Monday January 13 2014)
Chilton holds on to Marussia seat (Monday January 13 2014)
The numbers game (Monday January 13 2014)
Kobayashi to return to F1? (Friday January 10 2014)
Schumacher travelling speed of 'good skier' (Thursday January 9 2014)
Sutil looking forward to Sauber challenge (Wednesday January 8 2014)
Lotus to miss first F1 test (Tuesday January 7 2014)
Fans hold vigil for Schumacher (Monday January 6 2014)
Schumacher remains critical but stable (Thursday January 2 2014)
Schumacher's condition shows 'slight improvement' (Tuesday December 31 2013)
Schumacher remains in coma overnight (Monday December 30 2013)
Schumacher in critical condition (Sunday December 29 2013)
Ferrari calls for F1 team summit (Friday December 27 2013)
Alonso makes his number selection (Thursday December 26 2013)
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Video: An F1 steering wheel - the driver's view (Tuesday December 24 2013)
Sauber confirm Gutierrez for 2014 (Tuesday December 24 2013)
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Video: Ricciardo wows 100 thousand in Sri Lanka (Sunday December 22 2013)
Video: Teenager Kvyat looking for easy adjustment (Saturday December 21 2013)
BBC & Sky carve up 2014 season (Friday December 20 2013)
Rosberg suffers 320km/h tyre blow out (Friday December 20 2013)
Hulkenberg was offered Force India return in March (Thursday December 19 2013)
Red Bull hit by two key departures (Thursday December 19 2013)
Massa bids final farewell to Ferrari (Wednesday December 18 2013)
F1 Video: Caterham passes 2014 crash test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Button looking forward to hilarious test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Sauber switch for Sutil (Monday December 16 2013)
Perez backing for double points plan (Saturday December 14 2013)
FIA approve F1 strategy group proposals (Friday December 13 2013)
Perez makes move to Force India (Thursday December 12 2013)
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Vettel brands double points suggestion as absurd (Wednesday December 11 2013)
Wacky Races (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Bottas looking forward to Massa challenge (Monday December 9 2013)
Video: Schumacher reviews F1 2013 (Sunday December 8 2013)
Red Bull confirm reserve drivers (Friday December 6 2013)
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