Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lewis: We went slower as others went faster

Saturday 6th June 2009

Lewis Hamilton is a bit confused after witnessing his MP4-24 lose pace while his rivals' cars were going quicker.

McLaren may have been the pace-setters on Friday afternoon in Turkey but it was a different story on Saturday as Hamilton and his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen failed to get into the top ten in qualifying.

In fact Hamilton even failed to get into the top 15 as his MP4-24 lacked both grip and pace.

"What can I do?" Hamilton told the BBC.. "I did the best job I could, just like the team; I had no grip - I think if you could see my on-board you will see I'm sliding everywhere.

"It has just got slower and slower throughout the weekend as the track has got hotter.

"It looked great yesterday but this morning it didn't look fantastic. I don't think we should rush anything, it's better that we take our time to refine it. It's not like we can claw back 60 points - we will bounce back next year."

He added: "We anticipated this weekend would be a bit like Barcelona and that looks like being the case."

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh also found little to smile about on Saturday afternoon as Hamilton wasn't the only McLaren driver to struggle with Kovalainen qualifying P14.

"At the risk of stating the obvious, today's qualifying session was a pretty disappointing one for us," he said.

"Having said that, we didn't allow our pace yesterday to cause us to be unduly optimistic about our prospects for today and tomorrow, simply because we'd been aware for some time that our car wouldn't perform particularly well on the Istanbul Park circuit's higher-speed corners.

"Even so, with hindsight, perhaps we should have run Option tyres for Heikki's second run in Q2 - some drivers did so and went faster as a result. On the other hand, other drivers stayed on Primes for their second Q2 runs and posted quick times on them.

"The fact is that, such is the level of competitiveness all through the field in modern-day Formula 1, it's very difficult to get into Q3 if your car is in any way sub-optimal."

Source : Planet F1

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