F1: McLaren boss disappointed at leaving Monaco Grand Prix empty-handed

Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren  garage [Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com]
Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren garage [Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com]
LEAVING Monaco empty-handed wasn't good enough for Lewis Hamilton's team boss at McLaren.

World champion Hamilton crossed the line outside the points in 12th spot on Sunday and McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen didn't even finish the Monte Carlo race.

Martin Whitmarsh, the team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, was frustrated at the outfit's failure to pick up a single point around the twisty street circuit, a track that should have suited the MP4-24.

"To leave Monaco without having scored world championship points is clearly disappointing, especially since our car was very competitive here," said Whitmarsh.

"Our pace in both sessions on Thursday, and on Saturday morning, demonstrated that very clearly.

"Even so, after Lewis's troubled qualifying, there was little he could do from the back of the grid.

"Monaco is a notoriously difficult circuit on which to overtake, even with a decent performance advantage over the cars ahead.

"Nonetheless, Lewis drove very hard all afternoon, which is typical of his never-give-up attitude."

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton
Whitmarsh added: "As for Heikki, he was driving a strong race that would have netted him a very welcome points finish, when he entered the Swimming Pool just a little too fast, unloaded his car's rear-end and couldn't quite catch it.

"But that's Monaco: when you're pushing hard, it's very unforgiving, as Lewis also showed [in qualifying]."

The McLaren chief tried to find a plus points to take to Istanbul for the Turkish Grand Prix after a disappointing Sunday on the Mediterranean coast.

"Overall, then, the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix was a race that could and should have gone a lot better for us," said Whitmarsh.

"But the reality is that both our cars showed genuine pace, so there are also plenty of positives for us to take forward from here.