|© AP Photo/Mark Baker
Trailing by 47 points in the championship, a retirement at the first corner of the Belgian Grand Prix was not the only worry for Lewis Hamilton after he was found to reveal his team’s sensitive data on Sunday.
The McLaren driver had posted the eighth fastest time in qualifying while teammate Jenson Button captured pole position at Spa-Francorchamps, with Hamilton pointing out that his set-up was a disaster.
Before the race started, Hamilton posted the telemetry data on his Twitter page comparing the two McLaren drivers' lap from qualifying, which suggested Button was significantly quicker on the long straights than his compatriot.
The tweet was later deleted, as were his earlier updates after qualifying where Hamilton posted expletives when summing up his session.
McLaren though was understandably unhappy about Hamilton’s disclosure as a result.
"I've had several engineers approach me and comment on it. It wasn't great," technical director Paddy Lowe was quoted saying by Reuters.
"But in reality it wasn't great more in the sense that we don't share data with the world. The actual data in there is not going to be of any great use to any of our competitors, I would say," he reckoned.
"It's a mistake that Lewis made, he understands now. It was a genuine mistake on his part, he didn't really appreciate the nature of that information if not the specifics,” he pointed out.
"The engineers don't like to see that because we spend our lives trying to keep things secret and it's more what it represents than what was actually given away," Lowe added.
The 27-year-old driver’s afternoon went from bad to worse, after Lotus’ Romain Grosjean crashed into him ahead of the first corner of the opening lap, denting his championship hopes.
“It’s been a difficult day for me - my race was so short that I didn’t even break a sweat out there,” Hamilton said. “I don’t really want to talk about the start - I think everyone saw what happened - it’s just a shame. This wasn’t a great day for my world championship hopes either, but I certainly won’t be giving up.”