Abu Dhabi, Monday: McLaren have revealed that yesterday’s disappointment at seeing Lewis Hamilton retire from the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was relieved somewhat by their ability to put the faulty component on the British driver’s car to use.

Broke: Hamilton after qualifying

The former world champion had started the race from pole position, having set the pace throughout the weekend, but struggled with a failing rear brake as the race unfolded and eventually had to retire after ceding the lead to Sebastian Vettel at the first round of pit stops.

However, Hamilton’s early bath was not completely devastating for the team, who extracted the overheated component from the car and used it to fire up the team’s post-race barbecue.

“We’re actually quite grateful to Lewis for cooking his brakes,” team principal Martin Whitmarsh told the media. “In the spirit of conserving energy, which will be a big factor in the sport’s future, we decided to re-use the overheated brake discs by putting them to use in the barbecue. It was an excellent way to round off the season and we’re pleased to report that the burgers tasted better than ever before.”

Ron Dennis, returning to the McLaren pit after his “voluntary” retirement from the team’s F1 division earlier this season, expressed his “activity in the satisfactory centres of the brain” with the catering.

Hamilton’s early retirement also meant that the barbecue could be moved forward by approximately an hour, so that the team were already eating and enjoying themselves by the time the team’s second driver Heikki Kovalainen pulled into the garage at the end of the race. “What? We have a second driver?” a bewildered Whitmarsh exclaimed.