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GP Week : Issue 184
For a team used to dominating north of the u.s. border, it was a painful sunday afternoon for McLaren. Not only were they lapped by eventual winner sebastian Vettel, but drivers sergio Perez and Jenson Button were left to fight outside the points. Speaking after qualifying, Button was obviously hoping for a repeat of his 2011 form, which saw the Briton recover brilliantly in changeable conditions from last place to take victory on the final lap. “ We weren't as competitive as we thought we'd be, and 14th obviously isn't the place where I want to start,” said Button on Saturday. “But the good news is that you can overtake around here. A race in mixed conditions tomorrow would be good for us." But McLaren’s gamble on a high downforce set- up in qualifying proved to be a double whammy in the race given Montreal’s long straights. Adding to their woes was a double DRS zone configuration – leaving both Perez and Button sitting ducks. Opting for a one -stop strategy proved fruitless for Button, who couldn’t get the team’s strategy to work despite sticking to the target lap times set for him by his race engineer. Making a bad day worse, the 2009 world champion was forced to pit after losing pace dramatically on lap 25. He eventually finished in 12th behind two -stopping team- mate Perez. Speaking after the race, Button was not one to mince his words. “I've never been so pleased to get out of a car,” he said. “It was quite painful out there today. I went for an upside down one -stop today with super-soft tyres first and then mediums. It wasn't planned but we thought we'd give it a go. I thought it was working until we came on to the circuit and we were behind everyone else. “ We've got a lot of work to do. But I think we proved today that it didn't matter what we did with the car today, we were out of the points. That was very painful as it's a circuit that is normally very good to McLaren.” McLaren now find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of being locked in a Mercedes customer battle with Sahara Force India as the head-scratching at Woking continues. Oh Canada! McLaren struggles at favourite circuit 30 GPWEEK.com // 30 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> CANADA