European F1 Grand Prix 2011: Race Report - Lewis 4th, Jenson 6th (VMM)


Valencia, Spain, Jun 26, 2011

- MP4-26A-03
- Started: 3rd
- Finished: 4th
- Fastest lap: 1m42.947s (+1.095s, 6th)
- Pitstops: Three: laps 12, 24 and 42 (Op-Op-Op-Pr)
- 2011 points: 97 (4th)

“I got a poor start and lost out to both Ferraris.

“After that, it was a long race – the team asked me to stay out for as long as I could, and I was pushing all the way, but I struggled with oversteer and to be honest didn’t feel totally comfortable with the tyres.

“To be able to finish fourth is still a good result though – and 12 points is a decent haul after the last two races – so I can’t really complain. However, in terms of performance, we weren’t as quick today as we’ve been in the last three races.

“But I want to say a big thank-you to the team for some amazing pitstops today – we’ve really made some positive improvements in that area and it’s really appreciated. So, thanks again, guys.”

- MP4-26A-04
- Started: 6th
- Finished: 6th
- Fastest lap: 1m42.340s (+0.488s, 3rd)
- Pitstops: Three: laps 14, 30 and 48 (Op-Op-Op-Pr)
- 2011 points: 109 (2nd)

“I got a reasonable start, but the field bunched up into Turn Two and I was stuck on the outside, where I lost out to Nico [Rosberg]. I didn’t have enough straightline speed to be able to overtake him easily, but I braked really late and got him into Turn Two, which I don’t think he was expecting. That was the highlight of the race for me.

“I had decent race pace after that, and I pushed the Option tyres for as long as I could. Then halfway through the race I lost KERS Hybrid, which hurt me not only on corner exits but also under braking. So it wasn’t a fun race, all told – but, given the way the car felt, it’s a pleasant surprise to finish only eight seconds behind one of the Ferraris.

“Nevertheless, we’ve got a bit of work to do before Silverstone.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Some you win, some you don’t.

“Lewis and Jenson both lost positions at the start, while some of their rivals made excellent getaways. That left our drivers in pretty heavy traffic, and it’s always difficult to look after your tyres when you’re following other cars at close quarters.

“Having said that, Lewis and Jenson both drove well this afternoon – Jenson hampered by a KERS Hybrid failure – and the result was a useful haul of 20 world championships points.

“Next, the Formula 1 circus travels to the UK for the Santander British Grand Prix, which is Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ home race. We had the fastest race car in Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Montreal, but we didn’t have the fastest race car here in Valencia today. However, you can take it as read that we’ll be working flat-out over the next 10 days to do our utmost to ensure that we have as fast a race car as we possibly can for Silverstone.”

* Official photos and report courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

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