Hamilton upbeat but Button annoyed by Kovalainen
27 May 2012 – McLaren was unable to make the podium in Monte Carlo, despite Lewis Hamilton starting the race from third. Frustration levels were even higher for team-mate Jenson Button, who stopped with a puncture after spinning in the Swimming Pool Complex.
“I had a pretty poor start – I didn’t understand why that happened – and I was lucky not to get caught up in the first-corner crash,” explained Hamilton, whose day ended in fifth place.
“During the race, I struggled in the low-speed corners and found looking after the rear tyres tough. To make them last as long as we did, while trying to keep up with the pace of the guys in front, was one of the trickiest things I’ve had to do in a race.
“I lost time at my pit-stop and gave away a place to Fernando (Alonso) and then Sebastian (Vettel) was able to get past me after he made his own stop. After that, it was impossible to overtake. Today wasn’t the best result for me – I really dislike going backwards in a race – but I think I got everything I could out of the car.”
After being squeezed out at the start by Kamui Kobayashi’s airborne Sauber, which had been clipped by the spun Romain Grosjean, Button found himself trapped behind the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen – where he remained when exiting the pits.
“At the start, Kamui almost landed on top of me because he’d been launched off someone else,” said the 2009 winner, who has now failed to score points for three out of six races. “Then I almost got stuck at the exit of Sainte Devote, but I just managed to squeeze through.
“After my stop, I got caught behind Heikki (Kovalainen) – we weren’t really fighting, but if you position your car in the right place around here then it’s impossible to overtake. That’s quite frustrating when you’re so much quicker than the guy in front. Finally, I had a look up the inside of Turn 15, we touched and I had a puncture. Game over.”
As a result of today’s finishes, Red Bull has increased its points advantage.