Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button admitted that fourth and sixth places in the Turkish Grand Prix were very disappointing results, with Hamilton frustrated with himself for a first-lap error and Button regretting his strategy.
Hamilton was attacking Mark Webber for third when he ran wide at Turn 3 on the opening lap and fell to sixth. He felt the time lost fighting back from that mistake – and the damage he caused to his tires in the process – were the most costly delays in a race that also featured a slow second pit stop.
"It was a disappointing day on my behalf, I would say," Hamilton admitted. "Not one of my best races. I got a pretty decent start but then lost a lot of ground at Turn 3. I got stuck behind Jenson and damaged my tires trying to get past so I pitted. I had to pit way too early at my first pit stop I think, and then at one of the stops we lost a lot of time. But in general I was already behind from Turn 3."
Hamilton felt the pace he showed later in the race proved he could have finished higher but for his early delay.
"I felt that I recovered reasonably well considering how much time I lost throughout the race," he said. "I feel quite happy with the way the car was behaving. I just apologized to the guys – they worked as hard as they could. We were definitely able to do better today."
Button had been on course for fourth on a three-stop strategy until he was passed by Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – both on fresher tires from a four-stop plan – in the closing laps.
"I think most people were probably on my strategy initially, but because most of them damaged their tyres in their first stint, they changed their strategy. We didn't," said Button.
He did not feel that stopping three times was a mistake in itself, but that McLaren should have run longer early on and made the final stint shorter.
"We didn't leave the tires long enough," Button suggested. "The tires were still good at the end of every stint, but we came in. We should've stayed out for longer because it made the last stint just impossible – just too many laps."
Button admitted there was nothing he could do to fend off Hamilton and Rosberg at the end.
"You're not racing anymore," he said. "You're a sitting duck. It's unbelievable, the difference in speed."