McLaren promises to investigate pitstop problems
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, April 22nd 2012, 18:00 GMT|
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has promised his drivers there will be a full investigation into its pitstop procedures to ensure that mistakes are ironed out in the future.
Just one week after Jenson Button's hopes of victory in China were dashed by a slow final pitstop, Lewis Hamilton experienced two pitstop errors that pushed him down the field to a disappointing eighth in Bahrain.
At the first pitstop, the wheel nut pegs did not engage properly with the holes in the rim, while at the second stop the nuts cross-threaded.
With the left rear wheel gun man having been involved in the two troubled pitstops, the team elected to change him for the final stop - but Whitmarsh insisted that he had no hard feelings about what had happened.
"We'll review lots of things but I don't think it's a criticism of him as an individual," he said. "He's taken it very badly and it's our job to support to him at the moment.
"Firstly you have got to say that any guy who volunteers to be a gun man in a team like this is a brave guy, and that's one of the reasons I have just been speaking to him now, because I know how hard he is being on himself at the moment.
"These guys are all mechanics and they don't get paid extra for doing it. They put themselves in the firing line and under an enormous amount of pressure, so naturally I'm very protective of them because they deserve my protection.
"They're brave, they volunteer for it, they try hard and they know the pressure they are under. But we have got to look at the equipment, we have got to look at the process, we have got to look at the approach. So it's disappointing."
Lewis Hamilton was frustrated by the pitstop situation - especially because it cost him valuable points at a time when he locked in a tight championship battle.
"I have no idea what went on but I was hoping the second time I came in I wouldn't have that problem," he said. "I was hoping that it would be a good pit stop but it was exactly the same, if not a little bit longer, than the previous one.
"There was a lot of ground lost today. But we still picked up some points so I have got to be happy with that.
"There should be [an inquest] because we gave away a lot of points today which championships are lost through. So we have to try and make sure we pick up on them for the next race because we can't afford to lose points like we did today."