McLaren’s barren run finally over as Button earns 4 points

May 24, 2015, 10:36 AM
From left, soccer star player Cristiano Ronaldo, McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, of Spain, model Ca...
From left, soccer star player Cristiano Ronaldo, McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, of Spain, model Cara Delevingne and McLaren driver Jenson Button, of Britain, pose during a photo call at the MacLaren pits prior to the start of the Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 24 2015. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
(AP Photo/Claude Paris)

MONACO (AP) — It shows how far McLaren’s confidence has fallen that Jenson Button’s eighth place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday was greeted almost like a win.

McLaren’s worst ever start to the season meant it had failed to score a point in the opening five races, despite boasting two former world champions in Button and Fernando Alonso.

“It’s been a positive day for us. We were hoping to score a point today, and we scored four. I certainly didn’t expect to finish eighth,” said Button, the 2009 F1 champion. “I’m really happy for the team. We’ve worked hard to get into this position.”

While those points will be a boost to flagging morale, the team is still struggling since making the transition back to Honda engines.

Two-time F1 champion Alonso failed to finish Sunday’s race because of an overheating issue, two weeks after also dropping out during the Spanish GP.

Alonso has not won a race since the Spanish GP two years ago — driving for Ferrari — while Button’s last win was also McLaren’s last, coming at the season-ending Brazilian GP in 2012.

“We need a win, but this is a great stepping stone,” Button said. “We’ve made progress every race but when you score points people notice. There are a few things we need to work on.”

Alonso has been a somewhat despondent figure this season. The Spaniard encountered some early problems in the race when he was handed a five-second penalty for nudging into the side of German driver Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India.

That penalty ended up being irrelevant as Alonso retired for the third time in five races this season, having missed the season-opening Australian GP in March as a precautionary measure as he recovered from a concussion in pre-season testing.

“It’s frustrating because we could have had both cars in the points for the first time this season,” Alonso said. “We need to keep improving the car to ensure these sorts of things don’t happen again.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Penguin Air

Other Drop Down

FILE – In this July 25, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speak...
Arizona Sports

Trump hosts Women’s British Open as Park resumes slam quest

Inbee Park resuming her quest for the career Grand Slam. Teenage prodigy Lydia Ko seeking that elusive first major. Michelle Wie going for victory with an injured left foot.
7 years ago
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, right, motions to Democratic Reps., from left: Peter Barca; ...
Arizona Sports

Wisconsin Assembly approves Milwaukee Bucks arena deal

The Wisconsin state Assembly voted Tuesday to spend $250 million in public funds on a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, a deal that both Republicans and Democrats lauded as good for the state and city.
7 years ago
FILE-In this Nov. 13, 2014 file photo former PGA golfer Charlie Sifford sits in the dining room in ...
Arizona Sports

Family of late black golf great accused of $1 million theft

The son and ex-daughter-in-law of late black golf pioneer Charlie Sifford were indicted Tuesday on charges they stole more than $1 million from him.
7 years ago
Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during a practice round for the Quicken Loans Nat...
Arizona Sports

Michelle Wie limps into her next major

that matched her best result of the year -- she developed a bone spur in her left foot that she attributed to the hilly terrain of Lancaster Country Club.
7 years ago
Lexi Thompson holds the trophy after winning the Meijer LPGA Classic golf tournament Sunday, July 2...
Arizona Sports

Golf’s youth movement means 30 is the new 20

a major -- from an otherwise remarkable record. Ko had never missed the cut in her career until that week at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. A month later, she was never in contention at the U.S. Women's Open.
7 years ago
Tiger Woods smiles as he answers a question during a news conference prior to the start of the Quic...
Arizona Sports

Tiger Woods running out of chances to salvage season

Tiger Woods knows he's played poorly over the past two years. Now, he's facing the prospect of an early end to his season.
7 years ago
McLaren’s barren run finally over as Button earns 4 points