McLaren 'a long way away' from leaders

Autosport

McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button say their car is now a long way off the lead pace and that major steps forward are needed if they are to stay in the title fight.

The British duo could only finish eighth and 10th in their home race at Silverstone.

Asked where he felt his car stood compared to the winning Red Bull, Hamilton replied: "A long way away. But we'll keep working and hopefully try and catch up.

"We are still in the fight, but unless we find a lot of time, it's going to be hard to stay in the fight."

Button came through from 17th on the grid to salvage a point in 10th, but said racing in the midfield had underlined McLaren's deficiencies.

"It's not just the Red Bulls and the Ferraris that are quicker than us, a lot of cars are," he said.

"Our car doesn't feel too bad, but everyone else's must feel really good, because they're a lot faster than us. I was racing the Williams and the Sauber, and you see areas where they're able to put the car and get away with it, and make mistakes and get away with it. I don't understand how they're able to do that.

"The Sauber is quicker in high-speed corners than us, the Williams is quicker in low-speed corners. It's tricky. We don't seem to be exceptionally strong anywhere at the moment, and we did think we would be here. It's a high-speed circuit and we did think that was one of our strengths."

Hamilton said he had a similar feeling after being passed by Michael Schumacher's Mercedes late in the race.

"Today we were very, very slow in the low-speed corners and Michael came past me and he was really quick in the high-speeds," he said. "My car doesn't feel that bad, but theirs must feel awesome."

Hamilton is now 37 points behind leader Fernando Alonso in the standings and is in fourth position, while having only scored seven points in the last six races, Button is down to eighth in the championship, 79 points adrift. But he shared his team-mate's hope that McLaren was capable of recovering.

"There will be a lot of unhappy people here, but we're one of the best teams in the world and we can fight through this," said Button.

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