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GP Week : Issue 221
Much has been made of the fact Jenson Button scored in the Monaco Grand Prix. True, it was the first time McLaren had scored points in 2015 - and the first time a McLaren Honda had scored points since Gerhard Berger won the 1992 Australian Grand Prix - but it wasn't entirely due to increased competitiveness of the McLaren car. Throughout the weekend both Fernando Alonso and Button had shown glimpses of pace, as they had during most race weekends to date. The difference in Monaco however was that that pace translated into laptime come Saturday afternoon, an area where to date both McLaren drivers have struggled with the knockon of difficult races battling at the wrong end of the midfield. If ever there is a place where qualifying is important it's Monaco, so for Button to end up 11th was promising. Realistically though it was 13th given both Williams struggled. In normal circumstances we would expect both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa to be much faster that the McLaren's, but around Monaco they struggled for pace. So too did Sauber, though its pace is typically much closer to that of the McLaren. Button's eighth place would therefore be tenth at a 'normal' circuit and with a competitive Sauber team to deal with there's no guarantees it would scrape the last championship point. Points in Monaco were therefore a welcome reward for a team which has struggled so far this year but it by no means signals an upturn in performance. It would be a brave man who puts his money on either Button or Alonso repeated the effort in Canada McLaren still has a long way to go. 28 GPWEEK.com // 28 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MONACO PARTNERS: mcLaren flatters to deceive