Hamilton second while Button struggles

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F1 Grand Prix, GP South Korea, Korean International Circuitkr

Lewis Hamilton made the best of a difficult race and finished second as he moved up from his starting position thanks to the Red Bulls failing to finish. Jenson Button on the other hand was struggling with his car all day and failed to make a big impression. He finished out of the points.

Lewis Hamilton, MP4-25A-02:
Started: 4th
Finished: 2nd
Fastest lap: 1m50.430s (+0.173s) 3rd
Pitstops: One: on lap 31 (Ext-Int)
2010 points: 210 (3rd)

“At the start, I just wanted to get out there. I love racing, and I thought it was safe enough – 17 laps spent running behind the Safety Car isn’t good for the spectators, and it’s not fun for the drivers either. Additionally, I felt it had easily dried up enough for us to start racing – so I’m glad we did.

“It was very tricky out there, particularly at the end. It was pitch black, I couldn’t see much and my tyres were finished. It was a big surprise to see both Red Bulls go out. Fernando [Alonso] drove really well, but I’m very happy to have scored some points after a couple of disappointing races.

“However, ours still isn’t the fastest car: I was losing a lot of time to Fernando, particularly in the final sector. But I’m sure we’ll be working flat-out to fix that back at the McLaren Technology Centre before we head to Brazil

“We’ve got two races ahead of us – we have more coming for the car, and the guys back at the factory are doing a great job. Everyone is really enthusiastic and is pushing as hard as they can. The championship definitely isn’t out of reach – we can still do this.”

Jenson Button, MP4-25A-01:
Started: 7th
Finished: 12th
Fastest lap: 1m52.193s (+1.936s) 11th
Pitstops: One: on lap 28 (Ext-Int)
2010 points: 189 (5th)

“I just didn’t have enough grip today. I was really struggling with locking fronts as soon as I touched the brakes; every time I braked for a corner, I went straight on because I couldn’t stop the car.

“Also, I lost three or four places when Adrian [Sutil] decided to drive me off the circuit – I don’t know what he was thinking. Even without that, though, I didn’t really have the pace today.

“In my view, for sure, the race should have been stopped earlier than it was – it was way too dark to race a Formula 1 car in the conditions we witnessed at the end of the afternoon.

“To win this championship, I’ll now have to rely on the cars in front of me failing, so today was a pretty disappointing day, all in all.”

Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes:
“Today’s race was an incredibly challenging one for all the drivers – they had to battle variable grip and poor light – and as such it was easy for them to make mistakes. That being the case, the fact that neither of our drivers made any truly significant errors all afternoon is a telling testimony to their supreme ability.

“Even so, it’s almost always the case that, after a race as difficult and as eventful as today’s was, all drivers tend to look back on the odd key moment and wish they’d played it ever so slightly differently.

“Nonetheless, Lewis’s second place was the result of a typically combative drive, and the 18 world championship points it netted him have lifted him to well within striking range of the drivers’ world championship lead with just two grands prix to go.

“As for Jenson, we’ll have to debrief his strategy carefully, but perhaps we could have given him a better afternoon. Suffice it to say, at this stage, only that his first set of tyres were badly worn and we therefore had to change them when we did. His race was a bit of a struggle thereafter, though.

“Going forward, we remain in contention for both the constructors’ world championship and the drivers’ world championship, and we’ll continue to push as hard as we can throughout the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, and until the last metre of the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix too, in our efforts to emerge victorious in both those title chases.”