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#201 BillBald

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 18:05

Well, they didn't follow my advice, did they? :)

 

I said that they should start on primes, of course as it turned out Jenson pretty-much did, running only 4 laps on the options. The problem was, after replacing the wing he was some 40 seconds down. Ricciardo was the only one to actually start on primes, and it wasn't a bad choice at all. He lost one or 2 places to faster cars on options, but gained them all back (and more) when those cars pitted.

 

Running in the mid-field with options was not really a good idea, even without the collision it was going to be hard to make progress without wearing out the tyres very quickly. In a McLaren, you don't go sailing past other cars, even when the other car is a Williams.

Jenson didn't have a very good setup for overtaking, but it turned out he had a reasonable setup for defending. Perez had more straight-line speed, but I didn't see him gaining many places on the track. And after just 10 laps, he was in the pits for primes.

 

More by luck than anything, McLaren are pulling a reasonable gap to Force India. But I don't feel that the strategy is helping very much, although it was a good move to leave Jenson out on old tyres instead of pitting him under the safety car. Without the second safety car, though, I suspect it might not have turned out quite so well.



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#202 BillBald

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 19:27

I'm still puzzling about the decision to start the race on the supersoft tyres. It's not that unusual for McLaren to make a rather strange decision, but in Korea it was every car except Ricciardo.

 

What's the benefit to a midfielder of starting on such a fragile tyre, possibly ruining them even more quickly by trying to overtake, then pitting after a handful of laps and ending up fighting with the Caterhams?

 

Was it all about the safety cars (which were not a big surprise)?

 

Maybe all the teams ran the option tyres at the start, so they wouldn't be forced to run them later. A safety car at the wrong time could easily leave you with an overlong stint on options. But on the other hand, on a light fuel load and with a more rubbered-in track, the options should perform better anyway. Ricciardo wasn't doing too badly before he had his brake failure.



#203 Lights

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 19:32

I don't think there was a particular advantage for either strategy, and if there was it was masked by the safety cars. That really made this race so unpredictable that sadly I don't really know what to think of McLaren's strategy. But it's true that there are just always safety cars around here.



#204 BillBald

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 13:04

Jenson actually did some long runs today!

 

That should put them in better shape for deciding how many pitstops they will need to do.

 

This is a track where it's going to be especially difficult to overtake. Strategy will be very important. They need to get the guys into clean air.

 

The best way of doing that is to go onto the contrary strategy, start on primes and run long. That's the strategy which has consistently given the best results this year, but they haven't used it since Hungary. It seems that they keep hoping that the car will be able to qualify at the front and run with the leaders. But in reality, they don't quite have enough pace, and they get stuck behind a slowish car each time. If that happens here, they won't score well.



#205 WitnessX

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 19:08

..strange, in FP2 they are right down almost at the bottom on the speed trap. I think they are running high downforce which may be better for the tyres, also its going to be cooler the rest of the weekend. Thats probably why the difference between the option and the prime is not so big ( the extra grip doesn't help much against the drag). It'll be interesting to see what they end up with tomorrow,



#206 BillBald

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 20:22

..strange, in FP2 they are right down almost at the bottom on the speed trap. I think they are running high downforce which may be better for the tyres, also its going to be cooler the rest of the weekend. Thats probably why the difference between the option and the prime is not so big ( the extra grip doesn't help much against the drag). It'll be interesting to see what they end up with tomorrow,

 

Yes, not only are they nearly at the bottom, but they are some 13 kph slower than Vettel who is fastest. STR, Ferrari and Force India are also right up there.

 

I imagine that changes might be made tomorrow, but they maybe decided that with the 28's fairly poor traction, overtaking is going to be next to impossible anyway, so they should go for the best possible laptime.

 

That makes it all the more important to get the strategy right, of course.



#207 BillBald

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 12:22

I really thought that Suzuka would be Jenson's chance to get a good result. All through qualifying, that seemed to be confirmed.

 

But as soon as I saw that Jenson was doing a lap in Q3, I knew that he'd blown it. Now Jenson actually starts at a disadvantage to Perez, one place behind on new tyres.

 

10th on the grid, starting on used options, with almost the slowest car in a straight line.

 

Why is there no-one on the pitwall who is thinking clearly? Don't they want to finish the season ahead of Force India and Sauber? Is that battle a little bit beneath them?

 

:confused: :confused: :confused:


Edited by BillBald, 12 October 2013 - 12:27.


#208 WitnessX

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 15:04

... I'm not sure....

 

I think they have gone for the "Lotus" method. Lots of downforce which protects the tyres (see Lotus/Korea). 

 

The trick is that because they know they can run longer stints with less degradation they can undercut the other cars around them.

 

If you have less tyre degradation it means that you have better traction compared to the other cars and are then you are able to pull out a healthy gap before you get in the DRS zone.  Since Suzuka only has one DRS zone which is downstream from a chicane it should be ok... (famous last words!)



#209 BillBald

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 15:44

So you are expecting a short first stint followed by 2 long stints on primes?

 

Problem is, stopping early will most likely drop them into traffic, as happened last year. Undercut depends on dropping into free air. And even with good downforce, the 28 won't have Lotus-like deg.

 

My guess is that Di Resta at least will do a long first stint, and will score good points if he keeps it on the road.



#210 WitnessX

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 16:48

I'd guess a classic 2 stop, pitting when a slot appears at the back, I expect a safety car or two exactly at the wrong times.



#211 BillBald

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 21:07

I'd guess a classic 2 stop, pitting when a slot appears at the back, I expect a safety car or two exactly at the wrong times.

 

If the McLaren can stop less often than some of the cars in front, it can gain some positions. Overtaking is not an option at Suzuka unless the opponent allows himself to be 'ambushed'.

 

I'm pretty sure that starting on the primes would be better. That should normally guarantee a period of 'free air' in which some serious progress can be made. If you start on the same tyres as the cars in front, what happens if they are slow but impossible to overtake, like Ricciardo in Monza, or Hulk in Korea?



#212 Buttoneer

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 23:19

Just a reminder that this thread is not for discussion of what strategy might be good for a race - we have the race thread for that - it's to discuss whether the strategy calls made were in hindsight, reasonable or correct.

 

Otherwise it's just yet another version of the car thread the race thread the driver versus thread.  Lets wait and see how the race goes and then use this to praise or condemn as appropriate.



#213 midgrid

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:17

I wasn't following the strategy too closely today, but I did notice that both drivers had slow pitstops due to wheels not coming off properly.

Edited by midgrid, 13 October 2013 - 10:17.


#214 BillBald

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 23:46

I wasn't following the strategy too closely today, but I did notice that both drivers had slow pitstops due to wheels not coming off properly.

 

Yes, it's surprising that it's started happening again after a long period with no real problems.

 

I wonder if there's been a design change.



#215 BillBald

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 00:01

Not a great race by any standards.

 

Jenson admitted that he made a mistake by taking off some front wing, with the idea of looking after the rear tyres better. In fact that change only made the car worse. But I suspect that he wouldn't have made that mistake if he didn't think he was going to struggle in the first stint, due to being on used tyres vs Checo and all the following cars.

 

It's a complete mystery to me why McLaren keep running in Q3, even though it never gets them higher up the grid, and always just leaves them in worse shape for the race. They weren't making that mistake earlier in the season.

 

It almost seems as though, because they have slightly closed the gap in terms of outright quali pace between the 28 and some of the leading cars, they now think that they should start behaving like a top team. But in reality they seem to have been overtaken by Sauber as the 5th fastest car, and they will need to be very smart to stay ahead in the championship.

 

It's possible that it's actually the drivers who want to have a go in Q3, when they've earned the right to do so. It must be pretty frustrating to just sit around doing nothing, or to do a very slow lap, as Jenson did in China. But if that's the case, there should be someone with the common sense and authority to say no to them. There have been times in the past when Vettel struggled for quali pace, and he was not allowed to run in Q3 and spoil his chances in the race.



#216 Force Ten

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:32


It's possible that it's actually the drivers who want to have a go in Q3, when they've earned the right to do so. It must be pretty frustrating to just sit around doing nothing, or to do a very slow lap, as Jenson did in China. But if that's the case, there should be someone with the common sense and authority to say no to them. There have been times in the past when Vettel struggled for quali pace, and he was not allowed to run in Q3 and spoil his chances in the race.

I think too it's the drivers, their ego to be more prescise. "I can do it, I can do an Alonso and put the car on sixth" must be quite prevalent in their minds.



#217 Lights

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:44

It wasn't that obvious for Jenson not to run in Q3. Somehow I expected him to get a little more out of the bag, but there wasn't any left. McLaren might simply not know this either.

 

I also don't know if it has a really big effect to run. Jenson looked awful in the beginning but that had apparently more to do with his setup than his tires.



#218 trogggy

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:59


It's a complete mystery to me why McLaren keep running in Q3, even though it never gets them higher up the grid, and always just leaves them in worse shape for the race.

2 tenths faster would have seen him start 7th.  That's why.

When you're miles away there's obviously no point.  But when it's close enough that you think there's a possibility...

If there was an obvious advantage to starting on the harder tyres it might be different.



#219 BillBald

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 15:29

It wasn't that obvious for Jenson not to run in Q3. Somehow I expected him to get a little more out of the bag, but there wasn't any left. McLaren might simply not know this either.

 

I also don't know if it has a really big effect to run. Jenson looked awful in the beginning but that had apparently more to do with his setup than his tires.

 

 

2 tenths faster would have seen him start 7th.  That's why.

When you're miles away there's obviously no point.  But when it's close enough that you think there's a possibility...

If there was an obvious advantage to starting on the harder tyres it might be different.

 

If Jenson had been about 5th or 6th in Q2, I would say a run in Q3 was justified. But IIRC he was 9th, having done 2 runs with almost exactly the same time. He'd clearly reached the limit of the car.

 

Even if he'd started 7th, having hammered the tyres to get there, that would not be better than starting 10th on new tyres. This is the MP4-28, not a Red Bull or a Lotus, or even a Ferrari. Jenson obviously knew he had made a mistake in running, and tried to compensate for it. That's why he messed with the setup.

 

It's not just this one race. The last time I can recall Jenson not running after making it into Q3 was Germany. This is a big change in policy compared to earlier in the season, and it's no co-incidence that recent results have not been brilliant. The best recent races were Hungary, where Jenson didn't make it to Q3, and Spa, where weather conditions meant there was no penalty for running in Q3.

 

Maybe pressure from shareholders, and possibly from Ron Dennis (who seeems to have been present at most of the recent races) has led to the team being reluctant to behave like a midfield team by using midfield tactics. But a midfield car is what they've got, and they need to accept the reality and make the best of it, otherwise it's hard to see how they can stay ahead of Sauber this season.



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#220 WitnessX

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 15:32

Yes, it's surprising that it's started happening again after a long period with no real problems.

 

I wonder if there's been a design change.

 

From what I can see its more likely to be the rear-right mechanic not quite pulling in at the correct angle, jamming and then panicking which makes things worse.

I'd guess some body-builds are more useful for this job (short trunk, long arms?) -

 

<Perfect F1 mechanic>

 

Perhaps one of the new signings Martin has mentioned that would raise headlines?


Edited by WitnessX, 14 October 2013 - 17:28.


#221 WitnessX

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 15:35

I think too it's the drivers, their ego to be more prescise. "I can do it, I can do an Alonso and put the car on sixth" must be quite prevalent in their minds.

 

I don't think in this case its ego. I think they just love the job (or at least that part of the job). It must be like being the reserve at a football match.



#222 BillBald

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 17:54

From what I can see its more likely to be the rear-right mechanic not quite pulling in at the correct angle, jamming and then panicking which makes things worse.

I'd guess some body-builds are more useful for this job (short trunk, long arms?) -

 

<Perfect F1 mechanic>

 

Perhaps one of the new signings Martin has mentioned that would raise headlines?

 

It would look good on Tooned.

 

Come to think of it, the mechanics depicted on Tooned are not all that different...



#223 BillBald

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 23:16

Jenson fastest through speed trap, but surprisingly slow in first sector. That suggests the gearing is rather too high, and downforce is minimal, so the car may be capable of being faster. Sergio not quite as high on top speed, looks like a better compromise, but might still find more laptime with more downforce.

 

The problem with trying out radical stuff, is that it leaves less time for getting it sorted when they revert to a more normal setup. but the attempt is still worth it.



#224 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:01

Nice lap from JB, I hope they use the softs to get into q3 then sit it out and start on mediums.



#225 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:06

Good job Jense, that should do it.

 

11 min: Button, in P2, is told: “Fair to say that’s a stunning time on a used set. But we're going to prepare the car for another run on a used set of options.”


Edited by Lazy, 26 October 2013 - 09:08.


#226 mlsnoopy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:07

Looks like the "radical" set up is working. To bad it's the end of the season.



#227 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:31

Why are they setting times on mediums in Q3?



#228 mlsnoopy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:32

To bad that they ran out of tyres. 



#229 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:35

It looks like JB used used options for both runs in Q2, so he should have 2 new sets left for the race.

 

I thought the medium was the preferred race tyre, are they planning a radical strategy with 2 stints on softs?



#230 Peter Perfect

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:41

Looks like the "radical" set up is working. To bad it's the end of the season.

I wasn't aware they were using the radical set-up.  :confused:

Indian GP: Button says radical set-up changes not working - http://www.autosport...t.php/id/110854

Why do you think they are? What evidence have you seen? Can you post a source?



#231 Lights

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:42

It looks like JB used used options for both runs in Q2, so he should have 2 new sets left for the race.

 

I thought the medium was the preferred race tyre, are they planning a radical strategy with 2 stints on softs?

 

They said they would do a 2nd run on new tires, what intel do you have that they were used tires?



#232 Lights

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:43

I wasn't aware they were using the radical set-up.  :confused:

Indian GP: Button says radical set-up changes not working - http://www.autosport...t.php/id/110854

Why do you think they are? What evidence have you seen? Can you post a source?

They tried some radical settings in FP1, didn't get the results they wanted and reverted back to normal settings.



#233 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:44

They said they would do a 2nd run on new tires, what intel do you have that they were used tires?

 

 

Good job Jense, that should do it.

 

11 min: Button, in P2, is told: “Fair to say that’s a stunning time on a used set. But we're going to prepare the car for another run on a used set of options.”

Autosport text, I'm presuming that's a radio message.


Edited by Lazy, 26 October 2013 - 09:44.


#234 Peter Perfect

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:44

Button a bit down after Q3 wishing they used the softs to get further up the grid. Sounds like he's not altogether comfortable on the hards but it may turn out to be the best race call. Think only Checo and Webber are also on hards in the top ten.



#235 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:48

Yeah, but if you're going to use mediums, why bother setting a time?



#236 Lights

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:50

Autosport text, I'm presuming that's a radio message.

 

I heard 'new set of options', why would they set another lap on a used set of options? It was already a great lap according to them.



#237 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:51

Maybe Autosport got it wrong.



#238 Lights

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:51

Yeah, but if you're going to use mediums, why bother setting a time?

Because every weekend in Q3, the McLaren pitwall is convinced they can magically be up there to fight with the frontrunners.



#239 WitnessX

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:56

I heard 'new set of options', why would they set another lap on a used set of options? It was already a great lap according to them.

 

Agreed ..."...new set of option tyres" is what I hear.



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#240 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:59

So we're looking at 2 stops, used prime, new prime, new option.



#241 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:00

Because every weekend in Q3, the McLaren pitwall is convinced they can magically be up there to fight with the frontrunners.

I'm going to apply for the job.



#242 10e10

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:39

I expected more, but if I look at the bigger picture, I expected a lot more from all the season... Let's see where we finish the race tomorrow.



#243 Lazy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:14

Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me they used one prime and one option in Q1, used option and new option in Q2 and used primes in Q3.

 

So they have 2 new sets of primes and 1 new set of options.

 

They set a time in Q3 so they have to start on the used primes.

 

They only way that makes sense is if they are planning 3 stops: used prime, new prime, new prime, new option. Shortish 1st stint and cane it the whole race.



#244 BillBald

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 13:25

Good job Jense, that should do it.

 

11 min: Button, in P2, is told: “Fair to say that’s a stunning time on a used set. But we're going to prepare the car for another run on a used set of options.”

 

At that stage in Q2, they wouldn't have had another used set of options, unless they were allowed to use the tyres from FP3.

 

Jenson started a run on new options, but I think they aborted it as they realised Jenson's time on used options was (just) good enough.



#245 BillBald

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 13:55

They just couldn't resist doing that pointless run in Q3, could they?

 

This must be the most puzzling quali ever for McLaren. They've already been torn apart on this forum, but I feel like I want my say, even though I'm a bit late to the party (it was hard enough to wake up for FP3 & quali, I'm not going to start posting as well).

 

They had a car which was fast enough to get into Q3 on a single set of used options, but they decided not to try for a good grid position, when this was probably the only race this season where they had a chance of starting in the top 5.

 

OK, they wanted to start the race on primes. That in itself would be fair enough, I think that in quite a few recent races they should have started on primes - NEW primes.

 

Is there anything positive to say? Well, they seem to have found a good compromise between straight-line speed and laptime, so maybe this one won't be a complete disaster. But it could have been so much better.



#246 BillBald

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 13:56

I'm going to apply for the job.

 

It's pretty clear to me that you are over-qualified.



#247 Paul Parker

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 14:46

They just couldn't resist doing that pointless run in Q3, could they?

 

This must be the most puzzling quali ever for McLaren. They've already been torn apart on this forum, but I feel like I want my say, even though I'm a bit late to the party (it was hard enough to wake up for FP3 & quali, I'm not going to start posting as well).

 

They had a car which was fast enough to get into Q3 on a single set of used options, but they decided not to try for a good grid position, when this was probably the only race this season where they had a chance of starting in the top 5.

 

OK, they wanted to start the race on primes. That in itself would be fair enough, I think that in quite a few recent races they should have started on primes - NEW primes.

 

Is there anything positive to say? Well, they seem to have found a good compromise between straight-line speed and laptime, so maybe this one won't be a complete disaster. But it could have been so much better.

 

 

If McLaren wanted to start on the harder tyres then they should at least given their drivers the maximum possible time to get them warmed up properly in Q3, especially Button, as it was he only had one flying lap to set a time when he typically needs 3/4 laps.

 

Who is in control on the ground? Subjectively speaking if there is somebody actually in charge at the races it seems that they are too often making the wrong decisions.

 

Or is everything ultimately dictated by mission control back at the UK base?

 

 



#248 BillBald

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 15:37

 


If McLaren wanted to start on the harder tyres then they should at least given their drivers the maximum possible time to get them warmed up properly in Q3, especially Button, as it was he only had one flying lap to set a time when he typically needs 3/4 laps.

 

Who is in control on the ground? Subjectively speaking if there is somebody actually in charge at the races it seems that they are too often making the wrong decisions.

 

Or is everything ultimately dictated by mission control back at the UK base?

 

 

 

It should have been clear from Q1 that the car wasn't very good on the primes, at least for a quali lap - hopefully it will be good in the race. They couldn't even get through to Q2 on the primes, FFS!

 

So running primes in Q3 was absolutely out of the question, it should not have been considered even for a moment.

 

Did it happen a bit like this?

The drivers wanted to use options in Q3 to get as high up the grid as possible. The team thought it would be better to start on primes. So they 'compromised' by getting the drivers to do the Q3 run on primes.

 

Who IS in control? That's a good question.



#249 Force Ten

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 16:24

So they 'compromised' by getting the drivers to do the Q3 run on primes.

The worst of both worlds. Always a good way to approach things.



#250 Force Ten

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 16:31

Yeah, reading the quotes, the two morons drivers seem to be hell bent on racing EACH OTHER so all sense goes out of the window regarding the big picture.

 

Team-mate Sergio Perez qualified right in front in ninth place, the Mexican regretting the decision to use another set of tyres just to fight Button.

"It looked like a fight between the McLarens, as Fernando [Alonso] was three tenths away and I don't think I could have found that," he said"