McLAREN’S Jenson Button said he felt as if he was contesting a different category of racing to his rivals after struggling to 12th place in the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Briton has laboured at the wheel of a below-par car all season, but appeared utterly crestfallen at the end of a race in which the 2013 McLaren’s shortcomings were laid bare.
After qualifying down in 14th place, Button – the victor in Montreal just two years ago – improved just two places at the end of 70 racing laps.
The 2009 world champion finished a lap down on Sebastian Vettel and also had to play second fiddle to team-mate Sergio Perez, who himself was a frustrated 11th at the chequered flag. “I’ve never been so pleased to get out of a car,” Button told BBC Sport. “It wasn’t the best race for us as a team. This place normally treats us well.
“We got lapped – easily lapped – and it was like we were in a different category. We did different strategies on both cars but we just didn’t have the speed.”
Asked whether it would have eased his anguish to have taken his car into the lower reaches of the top ten, he said: “Whether it’s one point or two points, that’s not what we’re here to achieve. We want bigger things.”
Meanwhile, Mark Webber was unhappy with Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde after the two collided. The Red Bull driver was running third when Van der Garde, last at the time, collided with the Australian at the hairpin as he ignored the marshals’ waved blue flags.
At that stage, Webber was closing in on second-placed Lewis Hamilton, but instead of racing for the podium, he eventually had to content himself with fourth after also being passed by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.
The incident earned Dutchman Van der Garde a ten-second stop-go penalty for not only ignoring those flags, but also causing a collision.
“I don’t know what he was doing because we had a lot of blue flags up to the hairpin,” Webber told BBC Sport. “I rolled down the inside giving him plenty of time to make sure that I’m there and then, when I got to the apex, I got completely on the kerb trying to give him as much room as possible but in the end he kept trying to make the apex.
“I don’t know what’s going on with that but some guys maybe have too much concentration on driving the cars.”