MONTMELO – Jenson Button has made no secret of his frustration after struggling to a 16th place finish in what proved to be a difficult Spanish Grand Prix for McLaren.
The team arrived at the first European race of the season with a raft of updates for its car, and looked capable of scoring points after qualifying in 13th and 14th place on Saturday.
However, its race failed to live up to the high hopes. Fernando Alonso was forced to retire after suffering a rear-brake failure, whilst Button limped home in 16th place, and explained after the race that it was scary to apply too much power when driving the car.
“Friday the long runs were good, but yeah, it was pretty scary to drive,” Button said. “Every time I touched the throttle, it just snapped. I am sure there is something wrong there.
“The problem is in the low-speed [corners] and you just get wheelspin immediately. In high-speed, it is very scary. As soon as you touch the power, the rear end is gone and it snaps immediately.
“It isn’t a gradual snap like you usually get, it is very weird. Something we have got to look at.”
After yet another non-score, McLaren’s point-less streak has extended to five races, marking its worst ever start to an F1 season.
Button rather cynically said that he did not expect the team to score points at all if its struggles continued in this fashion, but was pleased with what had been achieved across the course of the weekend.
“After today, I don’t think I expect points at all this year, but hopefully it was an off day,” Button said. “It didn’t feel right.
“The weekend had been reasonably good for us and I’ve been happy with how the car has been, but was like flicking a switch in the race. Not the easiest and it was from the word go, it is not in terms of a balance issue because I also had understeer in the car. We have got to look at it.”