Lewis Hamilton’s failure to finish in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix came hot on the heels of McLaren team-mate Jenson Button’s retirement with a fuel pick-up problem while he was running second at the Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton looked on course for his second win on the bounce as he led from pole under the lights of Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit, only to see a gearbox failure end his hopes of success and leave the English driver 52 points behind the championship leader, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
The double failure has left McLaren languishing 38 points behind Red Bull in the Formula One constructors’ championship, and Button believes it is a situation that his team must get on top of if they are to claw back that gap.
“It is affecting us in the constructors’,” said the Somerset-born driver, who finished second to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in Singapore.
“It is such a shame because the team in every other area are doing such a good job. But two failures in two races is not what McLaren are about, so we have to solve these issues and move forward.
“The pace of the car is there, so that’s why it is tough as well. We know we are throwing away a lot of points – 43 in the last two races – so, yes, it is pretty tough.”
Button is now 75 points adrift in the title race but, like Hamilton, he is not throwing in the towel just yet.
“Neither of us are in a very good position, but it doesn’t matter how far you are behind, if it’s still possible, it’s still possible, and I’ll give it everything,” he said.
“You don’t see tennis players who are two sets down saying: ‘Game over, I’m not going to win any more’.
“So we’ll give it everything to the end, and we love racing as well, we fight every race we go into, and that’s what we’re going to do for the rest of the year.”