Jenson button is baffled by McLaren's poor show at British Grand Prix
Jenson Button admits he is at a loss to explain McLaren’s poor performances as his wait for an elusive British Grand Prix podium finish continued.
The Frome Flyer was well off the pace all weekend at Silverstone, starting 16th on the grid after qualifying 18th, only benefiting from other drivers’ penalties following his failure to progress through first qualifying, before having to settle for a tenth-placed finish yesterday.
Team-mate Lewis Hamilton also found the going tough as he trailed home in eighth, 36 seconds adrift of race winner Mark Webber.
“To qualify 18th and finish tenth is not great, but it’s not bad either,” said Button, who is now 79 points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso after a sorry run of results.
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“I think, as a team, we just weren’t very quick. For Lewis to finish eighth and for me to finish tenth proves we just don’t have the pace.
“It’s tricky because we don’t seem to be exceptionally strong anywhere at the moment.
“We thought we would be (strong) here because it’s a high-speed circuit and that’s one of our strengths, but even then, there were cars better than us, like the Sauber.
“I don’t know what we’re doing wrong. We don’t have a very different looking car to most and it’s surprising how many teams are just quicker than us.
“There wasn’t a point in the race where I thought we did the wrong strategy, really.
“We didn’t make any mistakes and I gave everything, so I was surprised to be that far down. Our car doesn’t feel too bad, so everyone else’s must feel really good because they are a lot faster than us.
“We wanted to put on a show for them (the fans), but we couldn’t, so sorry for that. Hopefully we will next time.
“The great thing is, we drove slow round the in lap and still got a massive amount of support and cheering, even though we got a poor result.”
Hamilton also bemoaned McLaren’s lack of pace after being unable to make an impact.
McLaren had been bullish ahead of the British round of the championship, believing upgrades to the MP4-27 would lead to a strong performance on home soil.
But when asked how far the team are behind Red Bull, Hamilton said: “A long way away, but we will keep working at it and hopefully catch them up.
“It wasn’t a special race, to be honest. I wish we could have done more for the fans – we tried as hard as we could, but we just didn’t have the pace.
“I don’t know why. I think I was in the lead at one point, so I don’t understand how you can be there and then go all the way back to where I started, but I pushed all the way and did everything I could.
“I was flat out right to the end, but, for some reason, we didn’t have any speed.”
Hamilton also said he would take a look at the strategy McLaren used for him.
Hamilton started on the hard compound tyre and took the lead when those ahead of him stopped, but as his tyres started to go off Alonso easily caught and passed the McLaren. But Hamilton felt he could have stayed out longer, even though he was substantially slower than the leaders immediately before his stop.
He said: “From what I can understand it must have been okay, but I will have to look at it afterwards to see how the strategy panned out.
“In the first stint my tyres were still good and I was almost holding on to Fernando on quite old tyres, so maybe a one stop (strategy) would have been possible, I really don’t know. We did everything we could but it was a really tough race for us, really tough.”
Neil Rose at