Jenson Button was left to rue human error which forced him out of the Monaco Grand Prix - marking the first time this season that the defending champion has failed to score.

The McLaren man qualified eighth on the grid in the principality but was forced to pull off during the first Safety Car period when his car started to overheat.

That issue was caused by a cooling cover being left on the left-hand side pod before the Briton left the pits to head out onto the grid, with the slower speeds behind the Safety Car meaning that there wasn't enough cool air running through the engine to prevent it overheating.

"That was extremely disappointing," he said. "I knew after the formation lap that there was a cooling cover left on the left-hand sidepod, where the radiator is. We thought everything was going to be okay, and it would probably have been fine if we hadn't had a safety car. My car quickly began to overheat and I started losing engine power, so I turned the engine off pretty sharply because the last thing I wanted was to leave engine oil on the racing line.

"Today was just one of those days. It was human error, a mistake, and that's all there is to it. I'm still only eight points behind the lead of the drivers' championship and we head to Turkey feeling confident that we'll be more competitive there."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh admitted that the issue had been nothing to do with Button himself and was down to an error within the team.

"Jenson's afternoon was very disappointing one for him, through no fault of his own," he said. "Human error caused a cooling cover to be left off the left-hand radiator on the lap to the grid - and, despite our best efforts to recover the situation, the components underneath the car got too hot, and Jenson was forced to switch the engine off when a small fire developed."

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