McLaren endure bleak day at one of their happiest hunting grounds

McLaren mechanics - the body language says it all

McLaren mechanics – the body language says it all

Over the years the Canadian Grand Prix has been a happy hunting ground for McLaren but this year’s edition of the race marked a low for the legendary Formula 1 team.

At the same Montreal street circuit where McLaren has produced four of the last five winners, there was only disappointment.

For the first time in 65 races, a span dating back to November 2009, the once invincible team failed to claim a single point after both drivers finished outside the top 10.

“It was a weekend that I think we will try and quickly forget,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

“Qualifying was poor and then in the race, looking back at it with the data we’ve got, we made mistakes. We weren’t quick enough, that’s the starting point. But I think we should have been able to get into the points.”

Sergio Perez leads Jenson Button during the race

Sergio Perez leads Jenson Button during the race

The surprise was not so much that the team missed out on the points in an already difficult season for them, but the manner in which they did. Neither car was involved in a crash. Both finished, just way behind.

Mexican Sergio Perez finished 11th and 2009 champion Jenson Button was 12th, both a lap down on Red Bull‘s race winner Sebastian Vettel.

Even in qualifying, the team were unusually slow, failing to advance to the last session for the 10 fastest cars.

“We’ve won the last three here. This weekend nothing’s really gone right,” said Whitmarsh.

“The car isn’t quick enough but we could have done a better job than we’ve done.

Jenson Button with Sam Michael on the grid before the race

Jenson Button with Sam Michael on the grid before the race

“Both drivers are driving well, but we’re not giving them quite the car that they need to go out and get the job done.”

To try and save time after the disappointment of qualifying, Button gambled on a one-stop pit strategy but the Englishman said it made no difference because the car was just not up to speed.

The Briton hopes that the car will be better for his home race, the next up at Silverstone, but conceded that there were unlikely to be any quick fixes.

“We got lapped today and easily. So [there's] a lot of work to do and it’s very difficult to know where to look,” he said.

“It’s a big gap. We do have some things for Silverstone which are positive. We tried them here and they didn’t work for this type of circuit. But they should help us set the car up a bit easier in Silverstone.” (Reuters)

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  • Junior Johnson

    Maclaren has some reely big problems mostly they have too problems what are Martin Witmarch and Sam Mikeils.They should fire these too guys as soon as they get to work on Monday morning.is it true that every were were Mikeils goes goes wrong he went to williams well I dont have to tell you what happens there now he goes to the once before great
    maclaren and when he wipes his boots there he leaves his mess he walks around

  • Junior Johnson

    Oh wait more problems there too.I forgot to mention Witmarch always smiling as the boat is filling up with water he even says his pilots were amazeing and reely they dont even finish in points why is this amazeing?its his folt maclaren dont have best pilots like other teems I want to ask my brother to smack that smile on witmarches face off!

  • Jonathan

    If your tool is not quite right, you can’t perform.

    Jenson Button, with a smirks when asked about Michael Schumacher, how do you feel now? Beaten by a in-experienced teammate for so many races!!!

  • Not Bernie

    McLaren, at the moment, don’t have the best drivers.

    Button is a nice chap, but he’s never been a quick driver. Just one who can steadily put in lap after lap in a good car.

    Perez still hasn’t shown potential; he might surprise us, probably not.

  • Fletcher

    Can’t really blame Whitmarch. Hindsight says they should have designed an evolution of last years car rather than starting with a clean sheet of paper. What really is/was McLarens downfall is when Ron Dennis let go/slip by his fingers of the great Adrian Newey. Same with Williams. You want McLaren on top fire the whole design team and hire James Key and give him what he wants. McLaren will be back on top. Oh fire Sam Micheals cause he is just about as useless as a lame d++k in matting season.

  • Hawk

    I cant imagine Lewis struggling as much as these guys are struggling and for as long.. they are simply not good! A good driver gives the designers and engineers direction; and he does not have to say anything much… the data. now McLaren have too many variables to look at key of which is the driving! with a good driver, driving ceases to be much of a variable.

  • Stoner

    @Junior Johnson
    You forgot the mention the 3rd and 4th problem, Perez and Jenson.
    Perez is a stupid idiot, not fast, and really a bad reputation for the team
    Jenson is a good guy, but he is not fast either, he is just a good team player
    They need a good designer, bring back Ron Dennis and get some really good and fast drivers who can push the car to the limit
    They had that in Mika, Kimi, Lewis.