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
Blog: Monaco Preview (Thursday May 26 2016)
Pirelli announce tyre selections for Monaco (Wednesday May 25 2016)
F1 teams cover good mileage in test (Tuesday May 24 2016)
F1 Prediction Comp open for round 6 (Monday May 23 2016)
Who will win in Monaco? (Monday May 23 2016)
Arrivabene receives vote of confidence (Friday May 20 2016)
Magnussen penalised for collision with team-mate (Thursday May 19 2016)
Merc boss declares neither driver at fault (Wednesday May 18 2016)
Red Bull threw Ricciardo's win away (Tuesday May 17 2016)
Lauda slams Hamilton (Tuesday May 17 2016)
Seven score race wins in Spain (Tuesday May 17 2016)
Stars align to gift Verstappen maiden F1 win (Monday May 16 2016)
Mercedes duo crash (Monday May 16 2016)
Blog: Spanish GP Report (Sunday May 15 2016)
2016 Spain GP - Race (Sunday May 15 2016)
Blog: Barcelona Qualifying (Saturday May 14 2016)
2016 Spain GP - Qualifying (Saturday May 14 2016)
2016 Spain GP - FP3 (Saturday May 14 2016)
2016 Spanish GP - FP2 (Friday May 13 2016)
2016 Spanish GP - FP1 (Friday May 13 2016)
Haas and Sauber get new Ferrari engines (Thursday May 12 2016)
Blog: Barcelona Preview (Wednesday May 11 2016)
Renault have big plans for Spain (Wednesday May 11 2016)
Pirelli announce driver tyre choices for Spain (Tuesday May 10 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 5 (Monday May 9 2016)
Who will reign in Spain? (Monday May 9 2016)
McLaren are making solid progress (Friday May 6 2016)
Sainz believes penalty was harsh (Friday May 6 2016)
2016 has lacked ultimate thrill for Rosberg (Thursday May 5 2016)
Red Bull Racing dump Kvyat and promote Verstappen (Thursday May 5 2016)
Bottas content with Russia finish (Thursday May 5 2016)
Hamilton braced for further penalties (Wednesday May 4 2016)
What was Sebastian to do? Fly? (Wednesday May 4 2016)
The messiest start of Kvyat's career (Tuesday May 3 2016)
Ecclestone fires warning shot to teams (Tuesday May 3 2016)
Hamilton in 'no doubt' he could have won in Russia (Monday May 2 2016)
Rosberg record setting in Russia (Monday May 2 2016)
Russian roulette (Monday May 2 2016)
Blog: Russian GP Report (Monday May 2 2016)
2016 Russia GP - Race (Sunday May 1 2016)
2016 Russia GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 30 2016)
2016 Russia GP - FP3 (Saturday April 30 2016)
2016 Russia GP - FP2 (Saturday April 30 2016)
2016 Russia GP - FP1 (Friday April 29 2016)
Hamilton has one eye on retirement (Friday April 29 2016)
Horner praise for Renault (Thursday April 28 2016)
Booth returns to Formula One (Thursday April 28 2016)
Ferrari bring major upgrades to Russia (Thursday April 28 2016)
Alonso believes he's still the best (Wednesday April 27 2016)
Hamilton can re-use China engine (Wednesday April 27 2016)
What tyres have been selected for Russia? (Tuesday April 26 2016)
Blog: Sochi Preview (Tuesday April 26 2016)
Who will win in Russia? (Monday April 25 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 4 (Monday April 25 2016)
Wolff backs Hamilton to close gap to Rosberg (Friday April 22 2016)
Pressure from the top mounts at Ferrari (Friday April 22 2016)
Red Bull's wings no longer clipped? (Thursday April 21 2016)
Vettel concedes it was just 'a racing incident' (Thursday April 21 2016)
Hamilton is the benchmark says Rosberg (Wednesday April 20 2016)
Grosjean slams 'idiotic' Ericsson (Wednesday April 20 2016)
Ricciardo is all smiles (Tuesday April 19 2016)
Hamilton philosophical after race to forget (Tuesday April 19 2016)
Four take maximum points in China (Monday April 18 2016)
Embarrassed Vettel slams Kvyat (Monday April 18 2016)
Lady luck continues to shine on Rosberg (Monday April 18 2016)
Blog: Chinese GP Report (Sunday April 17 2016)
2016 China GP - Race (Sunday April 17 2016)
Blog: Shanghai Qualifying (Saturday April 16 2016)
2016 China GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 16 2016)
2016 China GP - FP3 (Saturday April 16 2016)
2016 China GP - FP2 (Friday April 15 2016)
2016 China GP - FP1 (Friday April 15 2016)
Kimi positive over Ferrari improvements (Thursday April 14 2016)
There is a question mark on Sauber's future (Thursday April 14 2016)
Kick in the goonies for Hamilton (Thursday April 14 2016)
Good things can happen for Renault (Wednesday April 13 2016)
Has Hamilton lost his spark? (Wednesday April 13 2016)
Blog: Shanghai Preview (Wednesday April 13 2016)
Tyre chaos in China? (Tuesday April 12 2016)
No change to F1 prize money until 2020 (Tuesday April 12 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for Round 3 (Monday April 11 2016)
Who will win in China? (Monday April 11 2016)
Pirelli announce driver tyre choices for China (Friday April 8 2016)
F1 drops elimination qualifying format (Friday April 8 2016)
Red Bull and Renault building bridges (Thursday April 7 2016)
Ferrari deserve larger slice of the pie (Thursday April 7 2016)
Haas targeting points from every race (Wednesday April 6 2016)
Missed opportunity for McLaren in Bahrain (Wednesday April 6 2016)
Turn 1 crash was racing incident says Hamilton (Tuesday April 5 2016)
Mercedes seeking fix for poor starts (Tuesday April 5 2016)
Defending champ scores zero points (Tuesday April 5 2016)
Vettel unconcerned with Ferrari engine woes (Tuesday April 5 2016)
Rosberg equals Sir Stirling Moss (Monday April 4 2016)
Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 4 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - Race (Sunday April 3 2016)
Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 2 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 2 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - FP3 (Saturday April 2 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - FP2 (Friday April 1 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - FP1 (Friday April 1 2016)
|7.||Push The Button||477|