Hamilton calls for McLaren upgrade
Team once again lose pace and points in the pits
Last Updated: 27/05/12 6:25pm
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button might have kept their cool after a disappointing Monaco GP but tough questions are being asked of the McLaren team after they once again failed to convert their qualifying pace into race points.
In the words of Sky Sports F1 pundit Ted Kravitz, the Woking outfit were "out-paced and out-strategised" by their rivals as Hamilton was relegated from third at the start to fifth at the finish in Monte Carlo while Jenson Button was lulled into a frustrated and futile race-ending move on Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen.
"Button leaves here very, very unhappy and McLaren are unhappy. They are not performing and they don't understand why," reflected Sky Sports' Martin Brundle. "It's not like the drivers are throwing it off the road or the car is breaking down, they've lost their edge on pace and are falling behind."
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Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren Team Principal, described his outfit's afternoon in the Principality as "difficult which didn't quite work out for us", with an all-too familiar points-costing pit-stop costing Hamilton dear. The 2008 World Champion's one and only stop was measured at being 0.6 seconds slower than that of Fernando Alonso when the Ferrari driver jumped his former team-mate, while the tardy stop proved doubly costly when Vettel snuck back on track just in front of Hamilton.
However, it's the loss of the race-winning pace that McLaren had at the start of the season that was particularly bothering Hamilton when he spoke to the press after another disappointing afternoon.
"I really dislike going backwards," he complained. "The team have definitely got some work to do because we are falling behind race by race. The others are picking up some serious pace. If we're not lucky then it will fall away from us."
Nor was Hamilton happy about the debris which fell into the MP4-27 from the pitwall on a couple of occasions during the race.
"When some of the teams...it might have been Ferrari or Red Bull, I'm not sure...put their signboards out, some of the slips they put in to tell you what lap you are in fell out and twice they hit me and ricocheted off my helmet. I said 'this is getting silly, someone do something', but nothing was done and a few more were dropped later in the race."