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McLaren shoulders blame for Button's performance

ESPN Staff
June 12, 2012 « Silverstone Young Drivers Test under threat | Schumacher 'won't lose faith' in Mercedes »
Jenson Button had to three-stop on his way to 16th place © Sutton Images
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Martin Whitmarsh believes McLaren was to blame for Jenson Button's poor performance in the Canadian Grand Prix.

While Lewis Hamilton became the seventh winner of the season to take the lead in the drivers' championship, Button struggled to 16th place - eventually being lapped by his team-mate. Whitmarsh, however, said a failure to do certain set-up work during a reliability-affected Friday practice left Button with an uncompetitive car.

"Jenson is a great racing driver, but we served him badly over the weekend," Whitmarsh is quoted by Sporting Life. "His rear tyres were completely shot because we didn't long-run with his suspension set-up on Friday. That was our fault. We didn't give him a car he could perform in.

"Looking at what is happening with the rear tyres I think the car was excessively hard on them. It was killing the tyres. But we have a lot more data, so we will sit with the engineers and do more analysis. He is a super-smooth driver and we just didn't give him a car he could do it with. We have to get it right."

Whitmarsh added that he didn't expect Button's confidence to be dented and is targeting victory in Valencia next weekend.

"He has a smart head on his shoulders, he is strong minded and he will keep his head up. He is capable of coming back, and I hope he does. He could be the first driver to repeat a win this season."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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