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Button baffled by McLaren form
Jenson Button has been left baffled by McLaren's sudden loss of form that left the team looking like also-rans rather than title contenders in Bahrain.
Throughout the race Button and team-mate Lewis Hamilton appeared to be going backwards at times such was the performance - or lack of it - of their cars at the Bahrain International Circuit. Button could potentially have finished fifth but retired a lap from the end with a cracked exhaust and puncture.
Button was unable to take any positives from his race as he said: "There would have been if we had finished. If I hadn't have had the problem at the end then I'd be leading the championship. Even if I had finished there would still have been a negative because we weren't quick. So, no, there's no real positive to take from it."
Hamilton was forced to settle for eighth, with two bungled pit stops also contributing to him being knocked off the top of the drivers' standings by race winner Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull.
Despite the issues, McLaren were found wanting in comparison to Red Bull and Lotus, who had two cars on the podium for the first time since the 1979 Spanish Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean second and third respectively.
Button said: "One of our strong points has been the start, and in this race that didn't happen.
"Our race pace is normally very good, but it wasn't in this one; the pit stops weren't that special either, and our tyre deg (degradation) was higher than most, so all in all a very difficult day. We just didn't have anything."
Worse is that Button cannot figure out where it has all gone wrong since his season-opening win in Australia, especially on race days given McLaren have been strong in qualifying.
"In the race we were in a different category compared to Lotus and Red Bull," added Button. "Compared to the four guys in front they were a second quicker than us, and they haven't put a second on the car in the last two or three races.
"Something is working for them, and something isn't working for us, and I don't really understand."