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McLaren Strategy Conflict?


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#1 BillBald

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:12

A great race by Lewis, and a great victory against the Red Bulls. But I have a suspicion that behind the scenes there was a big argument going on between the two sides of the McLaren garage, for much of the race.

We didn't hear much of the McLaren radio during the race, a pity as I think it might have been rather interesting.

One clue is that MW has said that they were initially going for 2 stops, while Lewis has said that it was always his intention to do 3 stops.

Another clue is that Jenson did another lap, after he got the call to pit, at the end of the first stint.

My guess is that Lewis' side of the garage were saying 'we have to pit now to cover Rosberg' while Jenson's side were saying 'it doesn't matter, Rosberg will be making an extra stop, we have to make a longer stint now to minimise the final stint on primes'.

I suspect that Jenson himself may have been heavily involved in this argument, and this might have been the distraction which led to Jenson going into the wrong pit.

In the 2nd stint, it's clear that Jenson still thought that he was on a 2-stopper. He drove just fast enough to keep Massa behind him, and he must have been very surprised and disappointed when this turned out to be a very short stint. At this point, I assume that Lewis' side of the garage had won the argument.

In the second half of the race, Lewis drove like a man who felt he was finally on the right strategy, while Jenson drove like a man who felt his race had been fatally compromised.

So why didn't McLaren just give both drivers the strategy they wanted? Well, I think they might have anticipated some criticism if they pitted Lewis first, and he then used the undercut to get ahead of Jenson. Especially after they have made a big thing of equal treatment for their drivers, in contrast to you-know-who.

Personally, I don't think they should have let this consideration interfere with running the best possible race for both drivers. If Jenson ran a 2-stop and it didn't work, well they would have learned something. And in fact a properly-timed 2-stop might have worked better for Jenson anyway.

Edited by BillBald, 20 April 2011 - 23:31.


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#2 Clatter

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:22

A great race by Lewis, and a great victory against the Red Bulls. But I have a suspicion that behind the scenes there was a big argument going on between the two sides of the McLaren garage, for much of the race.

<snip>


How can we possibly discuss whether they should have been given the strategy they wanted when we don't know that they weren't? Your post is pure guess work, not facts.

#3 peroa

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 13:40

How can we possibly discuss whether they should have been given the strategy they wanted when we don't know that they weren't? Your post is pure guess work, not facts.


Of course it's guess work, 90% here is, but he does make a good point and it's not like totally irrational.
After seeing LH's interview with jake pre-race and LH's statements after this race I think that he is not really that far off.



#4 BillBald

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 00:34

How can we possibly discuss whether they should have been given the strategy they wanted when we don't know that they weren't? Your post is pure guess work, not facts.


I'm not a McLaren insider, so I don't have access to any facts which are not already known to most on this forum.

I was providing an explanation for a series of events which, to my mind, needed explaining.

Firstly Jenson failing to pit when expected, and then going into the wrong pit. Both of those events are fairly rare, and taking the two together, I don't think that's ever happened before. The famous 'Freudian slip' is about making a mistake and showing people what you really want to do. It's almost as though Jenson didn't want a new set of tyres when he was told to take them.

Then there was the very short 2nd stint, after both drivers had been very conservative in their use of the tyres, neither Jenson nor Lewis pushing at all. That makes no tactical sense. Either you go flat out and use up your tyres and then pit, or you take it easy and conserve them to run a long stint. Are you saying you find nothing unusual there?

After the strategy switch with the early 2nd stop, you can see a big change in Jenson's driving. Up to then his laptimes had been very consistent, and he seemed to be able to look after his tyres pretty well. In the last 2 stints, his laptimes are very up-and-down, and he wore his tyres out well before the end of the stint.

If seems that McLaren are failing to understand that, when you undermine your driver by overriding his preferences, the outcome is going to be a less confident and less focussed driver. I'm not claiming that only Jenson has experienced this, a similar thing happened in Malaysia when Lewis was given primes instead of the options he was asking for.

In both cases, it may have seemed to McLaren that they knew better, but it's questionable whether the outcome was really any better. Would Lewis' result in Malaysia really have been any worse if he'd been given the damaged options? Would Jenson really have finished further back in China if he'd been left on the 2-stop strategy? (Bearing in mind that Vettel and Massa were up there on a 2-stop).

If Lewis had struggled on the options in Malaysia, or Jenson with the 2-stop strategy in China, they would have learnt to respect the team's decision-making capabilities. Instead we had Lewis publicly complaining, and while I don't think we'll hear that from Jenson, I suspect his relationship with the team will not have been improved.



#5 Dunder

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:37

From his comments on Saturday, I think it is quite clear that he wanted to go for a three-stopper in China. The fact that the teams' data showed a two-stopper to be optimal and that they went into the race with that being the plan is NOT that important. What is important is that they were able to red what was happening and make the call to switch to what turned out to be clearly the right way to go.

I see no case for Button being unhappy about being switched to a 3-stopper and if he was he is wrong to be. As it was he did a 20 lap run on the prime tyre and suffered a severe drop-off in laptimes in the last 5 laps. With a 2-stopper that last stint would have needed to be even longer.

As far as Malaysia goes, I think it is impossible to comment. We forumers simply have no idea how damaged the flat-spotted option was and what effect it would have in terms of laptime and durability.

All the teams are still learning about these tyres and it is clear that wear predictions are no more than educated guesses at this point, that goes for the drivers too. As long as that remains the case, flexibility and the ability to pre-empt or react to events on track is the most important thing.

#6 MonzaF1

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:48

A great race by Lewis, and a great victory against the Red Bulls. But I have a suspicion that behind the scenes there was a big argument going on between the two sides of the McLaren garage, for much of the race.

We didn't hear much of the McLaren radio during the race, a pity as I think it might have been rather interesting.

One clue is that MW has said that they were initially going for 2 stops, while Lewis has said that it was always his intention to do 3 stops.

Another clue is that Jenson did another lap, after he got the call to pit, at the end of the first stint.

My guess is that Lewis' side of the garage were saying 'we have to pit now to cover Rosberg' while Jenson's side were saying 'it doesn't matter, Rosberg will be making an extra stop, we have to make a longer stint now to minimise the final stint on primes'.

I suspect that Jenson himself may have been heavily involved in this argument, and this might have been the distraction which led to Jenson going into the wrong pit.

In the 2nd stint, it's clear that Jenson still thought that he was on a 2-stopper. He drove just fast enough to keep Massa behind him, and he must have been very surprised and disappointed when this turned out to be a very short stint. At this point, I assume that Lewis' side of the garage had won the argument.

In the second half of the race, Lewis drove like a man who felt he was finally on the right strategy, while Jenson drove like a man who felt his race had been fatally compromised.

So why didn't McLaren just give both drivers the strategy they wanted? Well, I think they might have anticipated some criticism if they pitted Lewis first, and he then used the undercut to get ahead of Jenson. Especially after they have made a big thing of equal treatment for their drivers, in contrast to you-know-who.

Personally, I don't think they should have let this consideration interfere with running the best possible race for both drivers. If Jenson ran a 2-stop and it didn't work, well they would have learned something. And in fact a properly-timed 2-stop might have worked better for Jenson anyway.


I think your argument has merit but it also shows just how much a lottery racing has become. I reckon Hamilton winning was as much a surprise to McLaren as anyone else.

Its all about collapsing tyre performance and just as Hamilton won he could also find himself on the compromised end of tyre performance as did all the people he passed so easily next time.

I recommend reading Mark Hughes column in this week's Autosport. It is essentially a sad comment on the prevailing situation in f1.

Anyone cosidering the Chinese Grand Prix as "one of the best races" and all that silliness either have no idea what real great grands prix races are or will enjoy f1 becoming even more of a carricature.

Edited by MonzaF1, 22 April 2011 - 01:50.


#7 pingu666

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 03:04

its not a lottery, thats daytona and talladaga:p

and having tyres that degrade or fall off a cliff isnt fake, that happens in sportscars, specialy in gt2 where theres intense compertion and competing trye manufacterers (michlin, dunlop, falcon, hankook and sometimes yokahama)

theres also the question of how good pierreli could produce a tyre if they where in compertion, and historicly (recentish) there not on the same level as michlin

#8 teejay

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 03:53

How would have 2 stops been the best way for Jenson when he could barely get home on 3 stops?

#9 AlexS

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:17

That's what they were expecting before race it seems.

#10 peroa

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:21

How would have 2 stops been the best way for Jenson when he could barely get home on 3 stops?

It's not so much about what was the better strategy, it's more about team dynamics and the planning before/during the race.
LH said that since the first meeting with the engineers the plan was to go for 3 stops while MW said they where going for 2 stops initially and changed to 3 stops.

One can only conclude that 2 stops was probably JB's side favorite strategy.

So, if Martin is smart he will let both sides of the garage do their own thing, but that's probably wishful thinking since it it would compromise equality.


#11 ImDDAA

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 09:20

Interesting - but I really think that every team is having trouble predicting how these tyres will react at each track and the teams that will be successful will be the ones who can adapt and react to the changing conditions.

Hamilton had a bad race and fell back on his primes in Malaysia because he is a tyre destroyer and can't work the new tyres. He won in China because he had a clear tyre advantage and these tyres are a total lottery and he rode his luck. This logic has been employed in most threads where I see the tyres mentioned. It seems that Button destroyed his tyres in China so we're left in a situation where we have no idea what lies behind tyre performance, but I assume that a true picture will emerge over the coming races.



#12 Bonaventura

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 09:31

It's not so much about what was the better strategy, it's more about team dynamics and the planning before/during the race.
LH said that since the first meeting with the engineers the plan was to go for 3 stops while MW said they where going for 2 stops initially and changed to 3 stops.

One can only conclude that 2 stops was probably JB's side favorite strategy.

So, if Martin is smart he will let both sides of the garage do their own thing, but that's probably wishful thinking since it it would compromise equality.

IMO Buttons strategy blunder was the turning point of the race.
For whatever the reasons, he did not what he was told from McLaren (Whitmarsh), despite he got the better strategy for this race

Perhaps this lead McLaren to the decission, to support Lewis approach, which turned out to be the better strategy with hindsight
Perhaps it was a turning point at Mclaren about their equality philosophy and the way they regard their drivers, about who can make the "right call"

Button was beaten at every aspect in the race from Lewis, despite having the advantages (first call, better start pos., perfered strategy) on his side at the start of the race.

#13 BillBald

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:02

How would have 2 stops been the best way for Jenson when he could barely get home on 3 stops?


Look at the much bigger variation in his lap times, and you can see how his driving deteriorated after the strategy switch. He's driving like a man who thinks his team have messed up his race, he's completely lost all his focus.

What is particularly relevant is that within the first couple of laps, in both the last 2 stints, he clearly pushes very hard, which he must know is not a good idea on these tyres.

Even if he couldn't make it to the end on 2 stops, he could have had a final stint on options. Webber showed us that wasn't so bad.

Edited by BillBald, 22 April 2011 - 10:27.


#14 Grundle

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:38

I am noticing some friction between the two drivers
firstly lewis comments that he has outqualified his team mate in both races, then after Jenson outqualifies him says he sacrificed his pace for the race
then Jenson defies orders and sits 1 lap later knowing lewis has to make one more lap on dying tires. Not the first time jb has put himself before the team, it wont be unnoticed

#15 alframsey

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:43

A great race by Lewis, and a great victory against the Red Bulls. But I have a suspicion that behind the scenes there was a big argument going on between the two sides of the McLaren garage, for much of the race.

We didn't hear much of the McLaren radio during the race, a pity as I think it might have been rather interesting.

One clue is that MW has said that they were initially going for 2 stops, while Lewis has said that it was always his intention to do 3 stops.

Another clue is that Jenson did another lap, after he got the call to pit, at the end of the first stint.

My guess is that Lewis' side of the garage were saying 'we have to pit now to cover Rosberg' while Jenson's side were saying 'it doesn't matter, Rosberg will be making an extra stop, we have to make a longer stint now to minimise the final stint on primes'.

I suspect that Jenson himself may have been heavily involved in this argument, and this might have been the distraction which led to Jenson going into the wrong pit.

In the 2nd stint, it's clear that Jenson still thought that he was on a 2-stopper. He drove just fast enough to keep Massa behind him, and he must have been very surprised and disappointed when this turned out to be a very short stint. At this point, I assume that Lewis' side of the garage had won the argument.

In the second half of the race, Lewis drove like a man who felt he was finally on the right strategy, while Jenson drove like a man who felt his race had been fatally compromised.

So why didn't McLaren just give both drivers the strategy they wanted? Well, I think they might have anticipated some criticism if they pitted Lewis first, and he then used the undercut to get ahead of Jenson. Especially after they have made a big thing of equal treatment for their drivers, in contrast to you-know-who.

Personally, I don't think they should have let this consideration interfere with running the best possible race for both drivers. If Jenson ran a 2-stop and it didn't work, well they would have learned something. And in fact a properly-timed 2-stop might have worked better for Jenson anyway.

Surely if Jenson wanted a different strategy to Lewis they would have given it to him, and vise versa? I don't understand why they both had to be on the same strategy and why they would argue about it, if Jenson felt the 2 stopper was best option then he would have done a 2 stopper. Looking for a fire where there is no smoke imo

#16 peroa

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:45

Surely if Jenson wanted a different strategy to Lewis they would have given it to him, and vise versa? I don't understand why they both had to be on the same strategy and why they would argue about it, if Jenson felt the 2 stopper was best option then he would have done a 2 stopper. Looking for a fire where there is no smoke imo


maybe he wanted to do a 2 stopper to beat his 3 stopping team mate, but the "board of the mighty pitwall" overruled him mid race.


#17 R2D2

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:53

maybe he wanted to do a 2 stopper to beat his 3 stopping team mate, but the "board of the mighty pitwall" overruled him mid race.

The "mighty pitwall" probably noticed his lap times indicated that he'd reach "the cliff". I think Massa stood out as seemingly coming in a little early for tyres (from his lap times).

#18 alframsey

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:54

maybe he wanted to do a 2 stopper to beat his 3 stopping team mate, but the "board of the mighty pitwall" overruled him mid race.

Again why would they do that? If a driver is adamant that a certain strategy is best surely the team will listen to him, after all it is he who drives the car and can feel grip levels etc.

Anyway I think this is all irrelevant as it turns out 3 stopping was the way to go, ha Jenson 2 stopped he would have struggled to finish 4th. Whoever made the call (Jenson or the team) it was the right one

#19 BillBald

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 14:05

As far as Malaysia goes, I think it is impossible to comment. We forumers simply have no idea how damaged the flat-spotted option was and what effect it would have in terms of laptime and durability.


Presumably if the team could have shown Lewis that the tyres were unusable, he wouldn't have still been annoyed, a week later, about being given the wrong tyres.




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#20 BillBald

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 13:48

The "mighty pitwall" probably noticed his lap times indicated that he'd reach "the cliff". I think Massa stood out as seemingly coming in a little early for tyres (from his lap times).


These are Jenson's laptimes in his 2nd stint (before he was switched to 3-stop strategy):

15 2:04.610
16 1:43.959
17 1:43.816
18 1:43.254
19 1:42.612
20 1:42.983
21 1:42.790
22 1:42.779
23 1:42.818
24 P 1:46.504

Apart from a quick lap 19, and a very slightly slower lap 23, the laptimes are gradually falling, reflecting the decreasing fuel load. No sign at all of 'falling off the cliff'.

Even if it was right to switch to a 3-stop, this pit stop was too early for Jenson.








#21 Dunder

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 13:54

These are Jenson's laptimes in his 2nd stint (before he was switched to 3-stop strategy):

15 2:04.610
16 1:43.959
17 1:43.816
18 1:43.254
19 1:42.612
20 1:42.983
21 1:42.790
22 1:42.779
23 1:42.818
24 P 1:46.504

Apart from a quick lap 19, and a very slightly slower lap 23, the laptimes are gradually falling, reflecting the decreasing fuel load. No sign at all of 'falling off the cliff'.

Even if it was right to switch to a 3-stop, this pit stop was too early for Jenson.


Similar to Hamilton's second stop in Malaysia.
In China, I presume Button would have wanted to pit ahead of Hamilton who was only 2 seconds behind him at that stage.



#22 R2D2

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 14:17

Apart from a quick lap 19, and a very slightly slower lap 23, the laptimes are gradually falling, reflecting the decreasing fuel load. No sign at all of 'falling off the cliff'.

I don't think you can look at the whole lap times and make that judgement. The 'cliff' is apparently so bad that they don't want to get anywhere near it, and they'll know how the sector times (and maybe even finer timings) relate to this, with feedback from the driver about contributory driving errors.

#23 PassWind

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 14:22

What was the track temp compared to the Fri and Sat?

#24 simplyfast

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 14:25

It's not so much about what was the better strategy, it's more about team dynamics and the planning before/during the race.
LH said that since the first meeting with the engineers the plan was to go for 3 stops while MW said they where going for 2 stops initially and changed to 3 stops.

One can only conclude that 2 stops was probably JB's side favorite strategy.

So, if Martin is smart he will let both sides of the garage do their own thing, but that's probably wishful thinking since it it would compromise equality.


How would allowing both sides of the garage to run their own races compromise equality?
I would have thought making one side do what the other side wants to do would compromise equality far more.

#25 oetzi

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 14:41

How would allowing both sides of the garage to run their own races compromise equality?
I would have thought making one side do what the other side wants to do would compromise equality far more.


Running different strategies would be more likely to create a perception of inequality.


#26 femi

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 14:45

Running different strategies would be more likely to create a perception of inequality.


This equality crap pisses me off.

#27 oetzi

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 14:49

This equality crap pisses me off.


Don't blame me guv, it's McLaren who are always talking about it.


#28 undersquare

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 15:05

Presumably if the team could have shown Lewis that the tyres were unusable, he wouldn't have still been annoyed, a week later, about being given the wrong tyres.


Yeah I agree. I think back to Fuji 08 when he put the mother and father of flatspots on at T1 but still passed Massa on them.

#29 Bonaventura

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 15:11

Yeah I agree. I think back to Fuji 08 when he put the mother and father of flatspots on at T1 but still passed Massa on them.

Lewis had flatspotted his tyres quite proper, as he overtook Nico at China , (you could see it at the vibrations on the onboards)
but he was still able to drive very fast on them
Perhaps the options from Malaysia were not that bad.

Edited by Bonaventura, 24 April 2011 - 15:11.


#30 corf

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 16:35

All hell would of broken out if they were on different strategies and it turned out Jenson's was better. We would have had another Lewis strop after the race and the reaction on here would have been taken to the next step. We have already had threads about favouritism, I would of expected it to move onto another level.

Mclaren are on a hiding to nothing if they put their drivers on different strategies and due to this there may be many races where neither drivers are on the best strategy for them.

Edited by corf, 24 April 2011 - 16:36.


#31 BillBald

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 16:48

Running different strategies would be more likely to create a perception of inequality.


And it seems to be the perception which matters to McLaren.

In reality, if you insist on the same strategy for 2 different drivers, one of them is going to be happier than the other.

Equality should just mean that you don't have a situation like Massa and Alonso in Germany, when the team orders were clearly in favour of one driver and at the expense of the other.


Edited by BillBald, 24 April 2011 - 16:53.


#32 BillBald

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 17:02

This equality crap pisses me off.


Clearly 'femi' isn't short for 'feminist' ! :p



#33 oetzi

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 17:15

And it seems to be the perception which matters to McLaren.


Yep

In reality, if you insist on the same strategy for 2 different drivers, one of them is going to be happier than the other.


Or both of them could be unhappy. If McLaren's drivers can't work with their engineers and decide on a strategy that suits them from the available information without throwing a strop if they pick wrong, then perhaps they need to look at themselves. Or the team needs to look at them.

Equality should just mean that you don't have a situation like Massa and Alonso in Germany, when the team orders were clearly in favour of one driver and at the expense of the other.


One of the few sane things Tony Blair said was that thing about giving people equality of opportunity rather than trying to guarantee equality of outcome.




#34 bauss

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 17:22

Clearly 'femi' isn't short for 'feminist' ! :p

nope, African name

#35 BillBald

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 01:13

In China, I presume Button would have wanted to pit ahead of Hamilton who was only 2 seconds behind him at that stage.


Yes, of course, if they were going to be on the same strategy. But was it a strategy which Jenson wanted?



#36 Dunder

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 02:30

Yes, of course, if they were going to be on the same strategy. But was it a strategy which Jenson wanted?


In my first post in this thread, I said there was nothing to suggest otherwise. Do you disagree?

Edited by Dunder, 25 April 2011 - 02:31.


#37 BillBald

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:20

OK, it seems to me that McLaren finally allowed Jenson to run his preferred (one less stop) strategy in Turkey. As I've stated above, I believe that he wanted to do the same in China, but the team insisted on an extra stop.

At this point in time, it looks like a mistake, with Jenson only finishing in 6th, when an extra stop would have gained him at least 1 and maybe 2 places (if the strategy switch was early enough).

But I'm inclined to think that the upside far outweighs the loss of points. In all probability Jenson will decide, after reviewing the race, that it's best to be on the same basic strategy as the other leading runners. The alternative strategy has its problems, especially if the car is not quite fast enough to pull clear of the Renaults. And the hard tyres just don't last long enough.

What is most important is that, by listening to Jenson and making him feel part of the decision-making process, McLaren enabled him to raise his game. In Turkey, he didn't look like the same driver we saw in China, he was altogether more determined, and pulled off some great overtakes. The strategy was wrong, but there was nothing wrong with Jenson's driving.

I think this could be a turning point in Jenson's season.



#38 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:43

Funny, Ted Kravitz showed in the BBC post-race bit that the strategy was more or less fine but Button lost time on his own.

#39 Kraken

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 14:10

Funny, Ted Kravitz showed in the BBC post-race bit that the strategy was more or less fine but Button lost time on his own.

His last stint was too long. He wanted to stay out longer in the others to make that one more reasonable but McLaren were concerned about the levels of traffic he would have come out in.

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#40 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 14:17

He seemed to think it was the earlier stints.

#41 Dunder

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 14:25

Funny, Ted Kravitz showed in the BBC post-race bit that the strategy was more or less fine but Button lost time on his own.


At the time of Hamilton making his 3rd stop (the one where he lost 14 seconds), a normal stop would have brought him out ahead of Petrov, Massa and Button.
Button would therefore have already been behind Hamilton on track despite having made a pitstop less.

It is hard to believe (understatement) that this was due to him just having been slow.


#42 Bonaventura

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 16:26

At the time of Hamilton making his 3rd stop (the one where he lost 14 seconds), a normal stop would have brought him out ahead of Petrov, Massa and Button.
Button would therefore have already been behind Hamilton on track despite having made a pitstop less.

It is hard to believe (understatement) that this was due to him just having been slow.

Yes very hard, if you consider, that Buemi on the same strategy finished only 9 sec behind him, in a TorroRosso

#43 Dunder

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 17:52

Yes very hard, if you consider, that Buemi on the same strategy finished only 9 sec behind him, in a TorroRosso


Fair point. :up:
There are some mitigating factors though.
Just mentioning the final gap to another car will rarely tell the whole story (e.g. Hamilton finished 40 seconds behind Vettel on the same strategy).

As an aside Buemi had a very good race. The STR appears to be very gentle on the tyres when you consider his last two stints were 17 and 18 laps respectively and that there is very little in the way of drop off towards the end of them.

#44 BillBald

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 19:01

Funny, Ted Kravitz showed in the BBC post-race bit that the strategy was more or less fine but Button lost time on his own.


Ted showed nothing of the kind.

He pointed out that Jenson's laptimes were mostly not good in his 2nd and especially 3rd stints, but failed to point out that Jenson was in traffic for most of that time.

It was only in the final stint that Jenson had a clear track ahead of him, but that was too late - he had to take it slowly because he was trying to make it to the end without another stop.

The strategy didn't work out. Maybe if he hadn't had the bad luck to drop behind the slow Renault (due to a pitstop delay), it would have worked out a little better, but it clearly wasn't the right strategy on the day.




#45 techspeed

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:20

OK, it seems to me that McLaren finally allowed Jenson to run his preferred (one less stop) strategy in Turkey. As I've stated above, I believe that he wanted to do the same in China, but the team insisted on an extra stop.

Both drivers were intending to only have 3 stops, it wasn't "Jensons preferred strategy", it was what McLaren had worked out beforehand what would be the fastest strategy for both drivers. Hamilton had to change to 4 stops due to wearing out his tyres prematurely, not because it was planned that way from the start.

Button was nowhere because of a combination of McLaren calling him in too early, leaving him having to nurse the hard tyres for too many laps to the finish, while Button was driving too slow in the middle stints. Ted Kravitz after the race pointed out that Button was capable of driving faster if he wasn't trying to look after the tyres and considering his lap times at the end of each stint and the condition of the tyres that came off either Button should have been left out longer or he should have gone faster in the middle stints. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

#46 peroa

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:25

Both drivers were intending to only have 3 stops, it wasn't "Jensons preferred strategy", it was what McLaren had worked out beforehand what would be the fastest strategy for both drivers. Hamilton had to change to 4 stops due to wearing out his tyres prematurely, not because it was planned that way from the start.

Button was nowhere because of a combination of McLaren calling him in too early, leaving him having to nurse the hard tyres for too many laps to the finish, while Button was driving too slow in the middle stints. Ted Kravitz after the race pointed out that Button was capable of driving faster if he wasn't trying to look after the tyres and considering his lap times at the end of each stint and the condition of the tyres that came off either Button should have been left out longer or he should have gone faster in the middle stints. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.


Firmly planning a strategy before the race doesn't really work this year, you gotta make it up as you go along.



#47 Dunder

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 09:53

Firmly planning a strategy before the race doesn't really work this year, you gotta make it up as you go along.


That seems to be the case.
In Turkey, I think only Hamilton and Rosberg were 'forced' to do 4-stoppers. The front 3 simply reacted to developments and covered their options.

There probably will be cases where that backfires but it hasn't happened yet, not at the front anyway.


#48 Gareth

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:39

Not sure I agree. To me, firmly planning the right strategy is still clearly the best bet. Rosberg in China got more out of his strategy (IMO) than Hamilton or Button did, because it was a designed 4 stop rather than a moved to one.

Once you shift from a fewer stop strategy to more, the chances are you're either: (a) (if doing it out of choice) running more laps in a stint than is optimal for the revised strategy or are pitting with more life in your tyres than is optimal; or (b) (if doing it out of necessity) have done a lap (or part lap) after hitting the cliff.

Remaining flexible is, of course, a plus and is definitely more important in this season's F1 than it has been for a long time. But getting the strategy correct from the off is still the best bet. In order: getting it right with what you plan > moving to the right strategy > sticking to the wrong one.

#49 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:51

Ted showed nothing of the kind.

He pointed out that Jenson's laptimes were mostly not good in his 2nd and especially 3rd stints, but failed to point out that Jenson was in traffic for most of that time.


I must have imagined the bit where Ted leaves the McLaren motorhome and lowers his voice to begin critiquing Button's claim that it was the fault of the strategy.

#50 BillBald

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 15:10

I must have imagined the bit where Ted leaves the McLaren motorhome and lowers his voice to begin critiquing Button's claim that it was the fault of the strategy.


I think you imagined that I didn't already reply to your post.