Button: I overreacted to Hamilton’s overtake

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Jenson Button has admitted that he overreacted to Lewis Hamilton’s overtake during yesterday’s German Grand Prix, having initially called his approach to the race “strange”.

Fighting back from 20th position on the grid, Hamilton made light work of most of the field when charging through, but could not find a way past Button at first.

The two then made contact at the hairpin, with Hamilton losing his front wing endplate in the clash. He dropped back and appeared to wave his hand in apology to Button before passing one lap later. Lewis said after the race that he thought Jenson would let him through, but JB thought otherwise.

“Why would we let anyone through?” Button mused. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but a lot of drivers take that line to get a good exit.

“I think the problem with Lewis is he expected me to let him past. I don’t think I’m the only person he drove into today.

“It’s strange, when the car is that much quicker you’d think you wouldn’t get into those kind of fights – but there you go.”

However, after looking at the incident properly, Button admitted that he overreacted.

“After watching the race back think I overreacted with my feelings about Lewis’s move,” he tweeted. “I can understand why he thought I was giving him room.

“Amazed we both got around the corner!! F1 put on a great show today and long may it continue!”

Hamilton eventually finished the race in third place, with Button being classified eighth at the flag.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.