Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Error-Strewn McLaren Must Get It Together, Says Button

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Error-Strewn McLaren Must Get It Together, Says Button

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie

JENSON BUTTON has called on his McLaren team to cut out the mistakes to have any hope of closing the gap on Red Bull in the world championship. McLaren endured a dire weekend at the British Grand Prix, which reached its nadir when Button limped out of the pits and the race without his right front tyre properly attached as Fernando Alonso romped away to victory.

The team also misjudged Lewis Hamilton's fuel load and ordered him over the team radio to start conserving supplies as early as 15 laps from the finish. "We've got to make sure we limit the mistakes as it's one mistake after another at the moment," said Button. "Hopefully we'll learn from this and won't do it again."

Button came in for his third and final pitstop of the race still targeting a podium finish but a mix-up between the mechanics saw him released back into the race by the McLaren lollipop man before the wheel nut had been fastened on his front right tyre.

For the 2009 world champion, it continued his miserable run in front of his home crowd at Silverstone where he has failed to finish on the podium now in 12 attempts.

Without the error, Button is confident he could have broken his duck in front of a capacity 120,000 crowd.

"I really think we could have beaten the Red Bulls," he said. "I think we could have challenged them. We could have jumped Mark Webber but I couldn't do it with three wheels on my car."

The result saw Button tumble from runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel's closest challenger to fifth in the title race and nearly 100 points behind the defending champion.

Button is now level on points with team-mate Hamilton, who had a better race after a diabolical qualifying session in which the wrong tyre choice by the McLaren team saw him languishing in 10th place on the grid, his worst qualifying performance since the Malaysian Grand Prix last year.

He made up three places off the start line and just held on to fourth place following a thrilling late duel with Felipe Massa, which saw the pair touch on the last corner.

But Hamilton, who has been linked with a move to rivals Red Bull in recent weeks, bemoaned the fact that McLaren are just not competitive enough at the moment. …

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