MONTREAL, June 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian Grand Prix has been a happy hunting ground for McLaren but Sunday’s race marked a low for the British Formula One team.
At the same Montreal street circuit where McLaren had produced four of the last five winners, there was only disappointment.
For the first time in 65 races, a span dating back to November 2009, the once-invincible team failed to claim a single point after both drivers finished outside the top 10.
“It was a weekend that I think we will try and quickly forget,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.
“Qualifying was poor and then in the race, looking back at it with the data we’ve got, we made mistakes. We weren’t quick enough, that’s the starting point. But I think we should have been able to get into the points.”
The surprise was not so much the team missed out on the points in an already difficult season for them, but the manner in which they did. Neither car was involved in a crash as both finished, just way behind.
Mexican Sergio Perez finished 11th and 2009 champion Jenson Button was 12th, both a lap down on Red Bull’s race winner Sebastian Vettel.
Even in qualifying, the team were unusually slow, failing to advance to the last session for the 10 fastest cars.
“We’ve won the last three here. This weekend nothing’s really gone right,” said Whitmarsh.
”The car isn’t quick enough but we could have done a better job than we’ve done.
“Both drivers are driving well, but we’re not giving them quite the car that they need to go out and get the job done.”
To try and save time after the disappointment of qualifying, Button gambled on a one-stop pit strategy but the Englishman said it made no difference because the car was just not up to speed.
The Briton hoped the car would be better for his home race, the next up at Silverstone, but conceded that there were unlikely to be any quick fixes.
“We got lapped today and easily. So (there‘s) a lot of work to do and it’s very difficult to know where to look,” he said.
“It’s a big gap. We do have some things for Silverstone which are positive. We tried them here and they didn’t work for this type of circuit. But they should help us set the car up a bit easier in Silverstone.” (Reporting by Julian Linden, editing by Alan Baldwin)