| SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium, Sept 1
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium, Sept 1 Lewis
Hamilton chose the wrong wing for his McLaren at the Belgian
Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday and then got into more of a
flap trying to explain himself on Twitter.
The 2008 world champion qualified seventh, with team mate
Jenson Button on pole position, after opting to run an older
specification rear wing on his car instead of the latest one his
fellow Briton went with.
"Damn. Jenson has the new rear wing on, I have the old. We
voted to change, didn't work out. I lose 0.4 tenths (of a
second) just on the straight," he said on his Twitter feed soon
"Nothing I could do. Now it's about picking up every point I
can from there. Jenson should win easy with that speed.
"Can't change the car once qualifying starts. I hope Jenson
brings home maximum points. I'll try & support him," said
Hamilton before the tweets were swiftly deleted.
Asked about them, and why they had disappeared from his
account, Hamilton at first feigned ignorance and then explained
to reporters he wanted to "rephrase some things I said".
He then sent out a further tweet after the meeting, with
another acronym based on an obscenity he suggested his followers
could look up on Google if uncertain, that also subsequently
The 27-year-old arrived in Spa mourning a much-loved aunt
who died from cancer earlier in the week and some of his online
behaviour has raised eyebrows with references to rap music and
his 'homies' (friends).
American rapper and music producer Lupe Fiasco is also with
him in Belgium.
Hamilton said on Friday, when practice was rained out, that
it had been "easy to stray and think about events that have
happened over the past week" and he had been taking pictures and
tweeting to focus on other things.
The driver won the last race, in Hungary, before Spa and has
been quicker than Button generally in qualifying this season but
on Saturday he recognised he had got it wrong.
"Just this morning in P3 (third and final practice) I had
some instabilities with the wing, the new wing that we were
trying," said the Briton.
"At the time we had a relatively big gap between the Saubers
and the Red Bulls and the Ferraris and so we felt on our side of
the garage that we should try something to fix it."
That meant going with the wing the team had used in
Budapest, a tight and twisty circuit very different to the
high-speed, flowing lines of Spa.
Hamilton said the theory was the gap between the two wings
was not so great "but we proved ourselves wrong. It was
obviously the wrong way to go".
He said the decision had been made as a team.
Button, savouring his first pole since 2009 when he was at
Brawn GP, had complained in practice about the car's lack of
grip and balance but decided against any change of wing.
"I spoke to my engineers and we decided to stay where we are
because we thought with the sun out hopefully the circuit would
grip up," he explained.
"We thought it was the best option."
(Editing by Tim Hart)