McLaren hurting after dismal showing in Monaco

Race retiree Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren. Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday 27 May 2012.

Jenson Button walks back to the McLaren pit garage after retiring from the Monaco GP

May 28 (F1 Media) Fifth place for Lewis Hamilton and a DNF for Jenson Button at the Monaco Grand Prix  saw McLaren slip further behind Red Bull Racing at the top of the 2012 Formula One Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 makes a pit stop. Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday 27 May 2012.Red Bull Racing now lead McLaren by 38 points, having added 37 in Monaco with victory for Mark Webber and a fighting fourth place for Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton trailed Vettel home in fifth, and Button, after a torrid afternoon, retired in the closing stages.

Hamilton did not get off the line well but managed to retain his third position in the melee caused by Grosjean’s spin. However he lost out in the pit stops, being passed by Fernando Alonso immediately, and later by Vettel after the German ran much longer in his first stint.

“My start was one of the worst I’ve had for a long time,” confessed Hamilton. “After that I don’t know how long my pitstop was but I lost quite a lot of time and just wasn’t able to keep up with Alonso, and then Sebastian got me through his pitstop…and then it’s impossible to overtake.”

“It wasn’t frustrating…it wasn’t the best result – but this is motor racing and yeah, I really dislike going backwards. Nonetheless we still came away with some points and there’s many, many more races ahead of us. We just have to try to keep our heads up and keep pushing.”

Lewis Hamilton on the grid before the start of the the Monaco Grand PrixHamilton’s afternoon was much better than that of team-mate Button. Starting 12th, Button took avoiding action at the first corner, running wide at Ste Devote. He was 14th at the end of lap one and unable to make much of an impression. Starting on the soft tyre he was able to run longer in the first stint that those around him but could not make progress. After his stop he came out behind the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen, still in 14th. He had a late-race spin trying to barge by the Finn and then retired after that collision with damage and a puncture.

“At least I didn’t have to do the last eight laps and feel the pain for even longer,” said a wry Button after the race. “If somebody places their car well and has good exits, it’s very difficult to pass – that’s part of racing. But it’s so frustrating when you’re so much quicker than the car in front. It’s just one of those things. It all comes from bad qualifying and being unlucky at the start. But that’s because we qualified so far back. You’re more prone to incidents. I got stuck at the outside of Ste Devote and couldn’t’ come back from that.”

“This year’s Monaco Grand Prix won’t go down as one of the most triumphant in McLaren’s glorious Monte-Carlo history,” added team principal Martin Whitmarsh. His team has triumphed 15 times at the Principality.

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