March 18, 2008

Buttongate will not go away.

I thought we had put to rest the theory Hamilton tripped himself in Brazil last season, pushing "the wrong button" and causing his gearbox to go into "blue screen of death" mode but the story will just not go away that easily.

Even someone who perhaps should know better (or read Axis more often) like Marc Gene is still putting that theory out there. On his blog at referring to the Heikki Kovalainen pit limiter incident he believes it " ...amazing that Mclaren has done nothing to correct a problem which cost Hamilton so much in Brazil".

Before you dismiss this as partisan however, consider his next point which is that "on the Ferrari, the pit speed limiter will only engage in low gears and never when the car is at full throttle". Kovalainen was well past the last turn apex and presumably at full throttle when he, as the official story goes, pressed the speed limiter.

Some smoke there...


  1. I thought the same thing when I read what Gene had to say. But if you compare the two incidents Kovalainen took much less time to get the car going at the correct speed again (because he only had to de-activate the pit lane speed limiter) but Hamilton took a lot longer, presumably because he was going through the process of restarting the transmission electronics as McLaren explained afterwards.

    But there's a lot of bad feeling towards Hamilton and McLaren and I should think some people can't bear to imagine nothing sinister is going on. I suppose it doesn't help matters that, after Interlagos, one journalist made up a quote from Hamilton claiming he had made a mistake.

    And of course there wouldn't be this whole confusion if McLaren would just let people listen to their radios like most of the other teams do.

  2. I would say that I'm surprised Mclaren would design a speed limiter that can be engaged at full throttle. If that is NOT the case then that makes Mr. Kovalainen the ultimate "take one fro the team" player!

  3. Wouldn't speed limiters be standardized this year with the new ECU?


  4. good point. Then we either have to call BS on the "I pushed the limiter" story or BS on the Mclaren button placement.

    Think about it: "I went to take a tear off and accidentally pressed the pit lane speed limiter..."

    ...hmmmm riiiight.

  5. Yeah that's like saying, "I tried to blow the horn and accidentally put it in Reverse."



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