Whitmarsh says downforce loss issue cost Hamilton in the Korean Grand Prix

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that Lewis Hamilton lost about 10 points of downforce early in the Korean Grand Prix because of an unidentified problem

Whitmarsh says downforce loss issue cost Hamilton in the Korean Grand Prix

The British driver has started from pole position but was overtaken early on by Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel, who went on to open a gap that allowed him to enjoy a quiet race from the front.

Vettel won the event by 12 seconds over Hamilton, who had to do his best to keep Mark Webber at bay to maintain second place.

Whitmarsh, whose team had looked as favourite for victory since Friday, said Hamilton was hit by a loss of downforce that cost him valuable time during the race.

"We had a reasonable launch, we had a shocking first lap and after that we appear to have lost some front downforce," explained Whitmarsh. "Whether that is damage or debris or something else caught in the front wing, so Lewis lost about 10 points of downforce, which meant it was a bit of a handful.

"In those circumstances we were not fast enough today but the stand out drive has to be Lewis because I think who would have said with 30 laps to go he had a car behind him that was at that point of the race quicker, he had a powerful DRS and Lewis should take a lot of satisfaction from this weekend.

"To take pole was good and given the circumstances in the race, that was a truly fantastic race from him. So congratulations to Red Bull but Lewis did an outstanding job and made what was a fairly gripping race for us, he will not be satisfied by not being first but professionally he should be satisfied with the job he did this weekend."

Whitmarsh said Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button, who dropped from third to eighth on the opening lap, was also having a similar issue.

The team boss described the first lap as "shocking" and said it is something the British squad will have to analyse.

"During the race we are concentrating, but during the first stint we could see a loss and when I asked what it is, quantify, it - I was told 10 points," he added.

"I don't know whether there was damage, whether we have got some rubber in the slot of whatever, but in fairness Jenson was losing front downforce as well so it is something.

"We had a shocking first lap and we need to understand that - maybe there is something we are doing wrong on the first lap but that is not the first time we have had a shocking first lap, to come around second and eighth after the first lap is not quite what we had in mind."

shares
comments
Ferrari warns over future of FOTA if RRA issues are not sorted

Previous article

Ferrari warns over future of FOTA if RRA issues are not sorted

Next article

How Wickens won Renault's big prize

How Wickens won Renault's big prize
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021