Lewis Hamilton suggests Jenson Button will revert to the same rear wing as him
McLarens ran with different levels of rear downforce during P2
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 24/11/12 12:46am
As observed by pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz during Sky Sports F1's live coverage in Brazil, Button appeared to be running with a skinnier rear wing on his MP4-27 during the afternoon's running.
While Hamilton set the overall pace with a lap of 1:14.026, Button's equivalent medium-tyre run was eight tenths of a second slower and while he was six kilometres per hour faster than anyone through the speed trap, on the flip side lapped he seven tenths slower than the sister car through the downforce-dependent middle sector.
Speaking immediately after the session, Hamilton confirmed that Button had wanted to try out the lower-downforce configuration but understood that his team-mate had "struggled" on the later long runs. He therefore he expected Button to run with the same wing as him come Saturday.
"We've got two different wings that are very similar," he told Ted.
"That's the wing he used in Belgium, and the wing I think we used in Monza, and it's the wing that's quite competitive in some areas, opposed to the wing we've been using elsewhere, like the last race.
"So he wanted to test it. I think he was quite competitive on the primes [tyre] and then he struggled in the second one for some reason and then on the long runs he said he struggled. So perhaps he'll come back.
"But this track is all about downforce. The more downforce you can stick on the better because it's all the midfield [of the lap] that really kills the tyres.
"So I'm sure he'll come back my direction."
On more than one occasion during first practice in particular, Hamilton was heard complaining over the radio that his tyres were overheating.
He reiterated that feeling to Sky Sports News, although did concede that McLaren's competitiveness over the long runs was strong nonetheless.
"It's so hot here and the track temperature I think ten degrees or something like that in the last session," Hamilton told Rachel Brookes.
"You're just sliding around and it's like the tyres are almost melting as you're going around, just so hot.
"But our runs are still pretty good though. The laps are so fast, obviously with 1:14s, so with my long run I thought we'd only done ten 10 laps maybe but I actually done 15, 16 laps. So it's not too bad."
However, while valuable for Saturday's expected dry qualifying hour, there is a strong chance that Hamilton's impressive start at Interlagos may be academic come the race given heavy rain showers at forecast for Sunday.
"In the rain it [tyres] shouldn't be such a problem. It's going to be difficult for everyone as it's always tricky here particularly," the 2008 World Champion added.
"But in these conditions I think we stand a good chance."