Spanish GP: Jenson Button says McLaren's form is 'embarrassing'

Fernando Alonso celebrates winning his home Grand Prix

Jenson Button says McLaren's current form is "embarrassing" after another difficult weekend, this time at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona

The 2009 world champion dropped from 14th to 17th at the start before finishing in eighth place, one place ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez.

Jenson Button

"It's a little bit embarrassing because we're not doing a very good job at the moment," said the Englishman.

"We are doing everything we can. Thanks for the support from the fans."

McLaren are enduring one of their worst starts to the season in their recent history, with hopes of a first constructors' title since 1998 fading by the race.

The team are sixth in the standings, 102 points behind leader Red Bull after five races. Their best finish so far came in China in April, when Button was fifth.

In the drivers' championship, Button and Perez are 72 and 77 points respectively behind leader Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull.

McLaren made major design changes to their car for 2013, while most of their rivals took a more evolutionary approach, but the new car has suffered from a lack of aerodynamic downforce.

"We've got a lot of work to do," added Button, 33, after the race in Barcelona, won by Fernando Alonso. "There's a lot of useful information to go through from the new parts on the car and we've got some other parts coming for Monaco, too."

Although Button was unable to challenge for the big points, he took some consolation from the way the team's strategy helped him rise from 17th after the first corner to eighth at the finish.

"I got a bad start, dropping back to 17th, and I was in a whole world of pain right then," he said. "I just couldn't get any tyre temperature.

"It was a slow lap to grid for some reason. The leader can dictate pace and, when a Mercedes is dictating, it's very slow. It works for them but not for us.

"When we moved to the harder of the two tyre compounds after the first stop, the balance was much better. I overtook a Mercedes and beat some cars we didn't think we would.

"It's not fantastic, but to get through to eighth shows a good job by the team in terms of strategy."

Perez, 23, rued the decision to go out in the final part of qualifying rather tactically not set a time to save tyres.

"I'm a bit disappointed," said the Mexican. "We didn't maximise the full potential of the car. I think we paid for what we did in qualifying by going out in Q3. We lost laps on the tyres there - and that really affected us.

"Our car is still improving, and I think we can do a slightly better job at Monaco. After that, I hope we'll be able to gradually close the gap to the cars in front of us over the next few races."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: "We scored six points today and we aren't satisfied with that.

"Nonetheless, to score points with both cars in what was a decidedly technical race is a very creditable achievement and constitutes a solid platform from which to move forwards from here on in."

Spanish Grand Prix, day three

Sunday, 21 April:
Race: 12:10 BST live BBC One and 13:00 on 5 live, live text commentary online. Highlights BBC Three 19:00.

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