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Whitmarsh: Button Monaco woe 'devastating' for mechanic

McLaren-Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh admits the squad was 'disappointed' by Jenson Button's early exit from last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix with a blown engine - adding that the mechanic whose 'human error' caused it is 'devastated'
Martin Whitmarsh has acknowledged that the mechanic whose 'human error' led to Jenson Button's premature retirement from the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix has been left 'devastated' by his oversight – as the McLaren-Mercedes team principal admitted that it is 'hard to accept' such things happening.

Defending F1 World Champion Button – world championship leader heading into the Monte Carlo weekend – was forced out of contention on only lap three in the glamorous Principality, when his engine blew as the result of a mechanic having left a cooling cover over his left radiator inlet, thereby inadvertently restricting airflow.

With the field running around slowly behind the safety car brought out for Williams rookie Nico Hülkenberg's early crash inside the tunnel, the Mercedes engine in the British star's MP4-25 duly began to overheat – and before long, the 30-year-old found himself helplessly taking an early bath, and with it relinquishing his advantage in the chase for the coveted crown to Red Bull Racing duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

“I think it's disappointing for everyone in the team, and devastating for the person responsible,” the Woking-based outfit's team principal Whitmarsh told SPEEDTV.com. “I know these things happen, but it's just hard to accept when it happens. Anyone who's involved with a team like this, when you're trying to do your best and you make a mistake and it contributes to something like that, it's devastating for them.

“It was something that's used in transport or the garage; it's a cooling cover, a water one, and it was left in, so the car went to the grid with no airflow. The car was cooked. You do what you can after, but you can't recover it. On a circuit like [Monaco], and with a safety car as well, you really can't recover from that sort of thing.

“These cars don't have fans – they rely on airflow – so if you deny the airflow, you're not going to live very long. An F1 engine dissipates 200kW of heat energy, and if you don't take the measures to do something about that, then it's over very quickly, unfortunately. You don't know what's going to fail, but we knew we were over temperature, and there's not much you can do at that point.

“Obviously people are monitoring temperatures, and at a race like that it's particularly critical anyway. Other parts under the engine cover would have been very, very hot, and it was a secondary failure rather than a primary failure of the engine.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Saturday Practice, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Friday, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal, McLaren Mercedes
Race, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 retires from the race
Race, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 retires from the race
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director.
Front suspension Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 

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Piercarlogassolini - Unregistered

May 20, 2010 1:31 PM

Now lets put what JB 'lost' into perspective. JB qualified 8th. No-one in front of him retired. MS got penaltied back. Alonso's opportunism leapfrogged him way above 8th People who, let's be honest, are more incisive overtakers than JB failed to acheive a single top-eight overtake on the track all race (after the first corner). JB would have followed the pack in making a conservative pit call (probably) Therefore, JB would have finished where he started. 8th. No great loss. The above logic wouldn't apply if it had been a motor race, but it was a procession so it does. Agree? Disagree?

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