McLaren lose ground in Monaco Grand Prix

RETIRED - Jenson Button suffered a premature end to his race

RETIRED - Jenson Button suffered a premature end to his race

THE NARROW streets of Monaco churned out a sixth different winner of a thrilling F1 season as McLaren lost ground in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship.

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth having qualified third, while team-mate Jensen Button was forced to retire in lap 70 after a collision with Kamui Kobayashi resulted in a puncture.

The set-back sees McLaren drift further behind Red Bull-Renault in the constructors standings with Hamilton also losing ground on championship leader Fernando Alonso, who finished third behind Nico Rosberg and eventual winner Mark Webber.

The other teams are picking up serious pace, too. We can’t let them pull away from us – but we’re a fantastic team, we’ll knuckle down together, and we’ll really push on now

Hamilton, who’s pitstops continue to cause him trouble, said: “I had a pretty poor start – I didn’t understand why that happened – and I was lucky not to get caught up in the first-corner crash. During the race, I struggled in the low-speed corners and found looking after the rear tyres tough.

“To make them last as long as we did, while trying to keep up with the pace of the guys in front, was one of the trickiest things I’ve had to do in a race.

“I lost time at my pitstop and gave away a place to Fernando Alonso, and then Sebastian Vettel was able to get past me after he made his own stop. After that, it was impossible to overtake.

“Today wasn’t the best result for me – I really dislike going backwards in a race – but I think I got everything I could out of the car.

“We came away with some points, and there are many more races ahead, but we’ve definitely got some work to do because, race by race, we’re struggling to keep up with the leaders.

“The other teams are picking up serious pace, too. We can’t let them pull away from us – but we’re a fantastic team, we’ll knuckle down together, and we’ll really push on now.”

A disappointed Button, who sits seventh in the standings on 45 points, added: “Today’s result stems from a poor qualifying performance and being unlucky at the start. Also, when you start from the mid-grid, you’re more prone to incidents.

“It wasn’t my day today – but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.”

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