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McLaren race reports – 2011 Italian GP

Jenson Button: “It’s nice to have fought my way back through to second – but it’s frustrating to have had a problem at the start with the clutch, because it cost me dearly. I dropped back to sixth, then, at the restart, I had no way of keeping Mark [Webber] back, because his straightline speed was so strong, so I slipped to seventh. Obviously, that enabled the leaders to get a long way out in front, and I was delayed by a further four or five seconds when Mark and Felipe [Massa] tangled in front of me at Turn One. After that, I was able to get my head down and passed Lewis and Michael [Schumacher] within the space of about five corners, which was really satisfying. After that, I set about closing down Fernando [Alonso], it was great to be able to secure second because we got some good points for the team. On the whole, the team’s done a great job this weekend, but it’s the little problems that are frustrating: if you have one of those, then you’re not going to beat Red Bull and Sebastian [Vettel]. Hopefully, we’ll have no problems at the next race because if we can get everything together then we can challenge for a win.”

Lewis Hamilton: “It was a good race: I finished and I got some points, so I can’t really complain. At the restart, Michael [Schumacher] was on my outside; I was looking at him in my mirrors, then, all of a sudden, the guys ahead had gone, so I missed an opportunity to slipstream Sebastian [Vettel]. So they caught me napping. We were a little bit slow on the straight today, which meant it was hard to get past Michael, who was faster along the straight even when I had my DRS activated. I had to really fight Schumacher, but the fact that I finished ahead of him meant everything was okay. That’s racing. The support we’ve had in Italy – the weather, the fans – has all been incredible and I’m really looking forward to coming back here again next year. I doubt it’s still possible to beat Sebastian for the title, but we’ll keep pushing. For now, I’m looking ahead to the flyaways – they’re going to be exciting and I’m really focused on getting some more wins for the team.”


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