McLaren-Honda's F1 form is starting to hurt, says Jenson Button

Jenson Button has conceded the McLaren-Honda partnership's lack of results this Formula 1 season is now starting to hurt

McLaren-Honda's F1 form is starting to hurt, says Jenson Button

With Button and team-mate Fernando Alonso both retiring from the Singapore Grand Prix with gearbox issues, McLaren has now recorded four double retirements in a single F1 campaign for the first time in 20 years.

At a circuit where the team had hopes of being more competitive, it came away empty handed for the 10th time in 13 races.

"It was a difficult day for us, a difficult weekend," Button said. "We thought we'd be more competitive, but we weren't.

"We'll look over what we did, what we should have done and where we're going to go from here, and look forward to the next weekend.

"But yeah, it's hurting a little bit, and I think for the whole team it's tough.

"They are still doing a mega job - they are pushing flat out in Woking and Japan, and that won't stop. It's just we're not improving as fast as we'd like.

"This was a race where we could have got into the points, but every car except the Manors could have got into the points if they were lucky, so that's not a big enough target really."

Button criticises "strange" Maldonado

Asked how long he could stay patient, the 35-year-old replied: "I don't know, but I'm not alone, it's a team effort.

"We know it's not good enough right now. We just have to keep pushing."

Next up is Honda's home race in Japan, and on its own circuit at Suzuka, where Button knows McLaren will receive strong support during what is likely to be another tough weekend given the layout.

There has also been strong speculation that Button will choose the Japanese GP weekend to announce his retirement from F1.

"I feel the fans will be very supportive," he added. "They always have been.

"I went there with the [Honda] Earth car [in 2007] and they were very supportive. It's been a tough year this year, but it's still nothing like that year.

"I'm looking forward to it. I always love Suzuka, even though I don't think it's going to be the best race for us.

"But we'll get a lot of support there, it's Honda's home circuit as well, they own it, so I'm really looking forward to that support, and the Japanese fans are always fantastic.

"There are few places you go in the world where you have a full house, and you so look forward to seeing a full grandstand and the support you get from the fans.

"I think every driver looks forward to it, but especially driving for a Japanese manufacturer."

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