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F1 NEWS 

McLaren confident title challenge not slipping away despite more disappointment

Lewis Hamilton, McLarenMcLaren remains confident that its title challenge is not slipping away, despite more disappointment for its drivers over the Monaco weekend.

Lewis Hamilton ended up a frustrated fifth in the race, while Jenson Button's miserable run of form continued as he retired after struggling in the midfield.

Although conceding that Monaco had not delivered everything that it had hoped for, team principal Martin Whitmarsh felt there were still plenty of reasons to feel positive about its chances over the remainder of the campaign.

"We were not quite quick enough and it did not quite go our way in the race," he explained. "With one lap to go we were within three seconds off the leader, but on this track if you have a lot of cars between you and the leader it is very difficult to do anything about it.

"You are never satisfied in F1, but Lewis is scoring points at every race, he is keeping his head and doing a very good job. This title is still anyone's to play for. We, Lewis and Jenson, can win this year's championship."

Hamilton remains in strong contention for the title as he is just 13 points behind leader Fernando Alonso, but Button is much further adrift after scoring just two points in the last three races.

Button is struggling to find a good set-up for his car, and it is likely that efforts will be ramped up by the team ahead of the Canadian GP to make changes to the way it operates to help him.

"I think he is struggling a little bit with tyre energy," said Whitmarsh about Button. "In this race he spent his time behind someone all the way through.

"We had him on the prime tyre, he was looking after his tyres and he ran it long. It was one of those tricky races that ended sadly with a puncture."

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