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
Red Bull return to traditional colours (Tuesday March 3 2015)
Chilton makes move into WEC (Tuesday March 3 2015)
NEW 2015 F1 Prediction Competition is Go, Go, Go! (Tuesday March 3 2015)
So what have we learned from winter testing? (Monday March 2 2015)
Williams end winter testing on top (Monday March 2 2015)
Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top (Monday March 2 2015)
New Force India impresses on first showing (Monday March 2 2015)
Dennis denies car failure behind Alonso crash (Friday February 27 2015)
Williams top first day of final test (Friday February 27 2015)
Manor name first driver (Thursday February 26 2015)
Alonso released from hospital (Wednesday February 25 2015)
Alonso remains hospitalised (Tuesday February 24 2015)
Alonso airlifted to hospital (Monday February 23 2015)
Maldonado tops third day in Barcelona (Monday February 23 2015)
Red Bull on top on day two in Barcelona (Monday February 23 2015)
Maldonado tops first day in Barcelona (Friday February 20 2015)
F1 set for Qatar in 2016 (Thursday February 19 2015)
Wolff wants to wrap up Hamilton contract talks (Wednesday February 18 2015)
Raikkonen unfazed by uncertain future (Tuesday February 17 2015)
Force India to make Barcelona appearance (Monday February 16 2015)
Alonso just wants equality at McLaren (Friday February 13 2015)
Mateschitz pleased with Red Bull & Toro Rosso (Thursday February 12 2015)
Honda plan upgrades for next test (Wednesday February 11 2015)
Force India look set to miss second test (Tuesday February 10 2015)
Marussia push on with return (Monday February 9 2015)
Caterham's administrators to auction assets (Friday February 6 2015)
Force India block Marussia return (Friday February 6 2015)
Despite lack of running McLaren remain positive (Thursday February 5 2015)
Raikkonen and Ferrari on top in Jerez (Thursday February 5 2015)
Signs of progress for McLaren? (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Marussia to exit administration (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Sauber top third day (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Early struggles for McLaren Honda (Tuesday February 3 2015)
Vettel and Ferrari remain quickest in Jerez (Tuesday February 3 2015)
Hamilton set for contract talks (Monday February 2 2015)
Formula One teams hit the test track (Monday February 2 2015)
Bernie wants one wish (Friday January 30 2015)
Ferrari continue to beat the drum of F1 revolution (Thursday January 29 2015)
Force India looking to optimise wind tunnel time (Wednesday January 28 2015)
Could F1 lose German Grand Prix? (Tuesday January 27 2015)
Chilton lines up potential Indy Car switch (Monday January 26 2015)
New engines attract new fans (Friday January 23 2015)
Hockenheim to host 2015 German Grand Prix (Thursday January 22 2015)
Vettel's big gamble at Ferrari (Wednesday January 21 2015)
Honda allowed to make in-season changes (Tuesday January 20 2015)
Qatar bid for F1 scuppered? (Monday January 19 2015)
Spain and Austria to host in-season tests (Friday January 16 2015)
F1 introduce new Super Licence points system (Thursday January 15 2015)
More aggressive tyre strategy in 2015 (Wednesday January 14 2015)
Newey questions if anyone can catch Mercedes (Tuesday January 13 2015)
FIA confirm new virtual safety car procedures (Monday January 12 2015)
Robson swaps McLaren for Williams (Friday January 9 2015)
2015 Formula One Calendar (Thursday January 8 2015)
All change at Sauber (Thursday January 8 2015)
F1 teams to exploit engine rule loophole (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Korea dropped for 2015 (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Caterham's administrators will not fund testing (Tuesday January 6 2015)
Podromou is McLaren's master (Friday January 2 2015)
Long recovery for Ferrari (Thursday January 1 2015)
Red Bull Racing retain Buemi (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Bianchi's neurological status remains unchanged (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Talks to save Caterham continue (Tuesday December 30 2014)
Engine freeze is against the spirit of the sport (Monday December 29 2014)
Vettel had a great run at Red Bull (Friday December 26 2014)
Hamilton reflects on Rosberg rivalry (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Vergne joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Clear & Bell to swap Mercedes for Ferrari (Monday December 22 2014)
Trio depart Ferrari (Friday December 19 2014)
Ecclestone to propose v8 return (Thursday December 18 2014)
20 stolen Red Bull trophies recovered (Wednesday December 17 2014)
Gutierrez joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 16 2014)
Hamilton wins SPOTY (Monday December 15 2014)
Best option for the future is McLaren says Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
Dennis does not anticipate any issues with Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
McLaren confirm Alonso return (Thursday December 11 2014)
McLaren confirm Button on multi-year deal (Thursday December 11 2014)
Button stays at McLaren (Thursday December 11 2014)
Ricciardo surprised himself (Wednesday December 10 2014)
Red Bull factory ram-raided (Monday December 8 2014)
McLaren board meeting fails to decide (Friday December 5 2014)
Force India to use Toyata's wind tunnel (Friday December 5 2014)
2015 - Formula One's biggest season yet (Thursday December 4 2014)
FIA file report on Bianchi crash (Thursday December 4 2014)
Virtual Safety Car to get debut in 2015 (Wednesday December 3 2014)
Vettel completes first day at Ferrari (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Caterham could run old cars in 2015 (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Toro Rosso announce Sainz Jr for 2015 (Monday December 1 2014)
Williams announce Wolff as test driver (Monday December 1 2014)
Teams fail to agree on engine regulations (Friday November 28 2014)
Formula One scrap double points round (Friday November 28 2014)
Vergne announces Toro Rosso departure (again) (Thursday November 27 2014)
Problems for McLaren Honda continue (Thursday November 27 2014)
Successful season for Williams (Wednesday November 26 2014)
McLaren Honda manage 3 laps (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Caterham takeover complete 'in weeks' (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Ferrari announce third team principal of 2014 (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Audio: Abu Dhabi Recap (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Mercedes and Hamilton to re-open contract talks (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Alonso's new project will challenge Mercedes (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Force India confirm Perez place (Tuesday November 25 2014)
|7.||Push The Button||441|