Claiming a P6 and a P10 are usually not something to write home about for McLaren, but the team are happy to leave Monaco with nine points.
After three consecutive races without picking up any points, they looked set for another tough race in Monte Carlo with Kevin Magnussen qualifying P8 and Jenson Button down in P12.
However, the pair impressed with Magnussen, Button and Kimi Raikkonen battling Nico Hulkenberg for P5 during the latter stages of the race. However, the Dane was clipped by Raikkonen and he eventually had to settle for P10.
Button, though, kept the pressure on Hulkenberg, but he ended up finishing behind the Force India driver.
“This was a typical Monaco Grand Prix – it was messy out there; people were making mistakes; there were cars all over the place; you had to stay focused; keep up with the pack, and look after the tyres, using them when necessary,” he said.
“For the entirety of my final stint, I looked after my tyres and dropped back into the clear air behind Kevin. Then it was just about pacing myself to the end. I couldn’t quite get past Nico [Hulkenberg] at the end – he was struggling with his tyres, but whenever I pushed, I struggled as well, so I couldn’t make it stick. In the closing laps, we had a good little battle, but it’s so tough when you’re shoved up behind another car. It’s difficult enough as it is, but when you can’t really see anything because there’s a car in front, it’s even more difficult. This wasn’t a bad result for us – I just wish I could have picked off Nico at the end.”
Rookie Magnussen, driving in Monaco for the first time, had an eventful afternoon, but was disappointed that he only ended up P10 after running so high for so long.
“Despite a lot of things going against us today – the long hold due to traffic at my pitstop, the unsafe release in front of me in the pitlane, and the engine issue – I can draw a lot from the fact that our car felt really good,” he said. “That’s a real positive: it might be hard to see from the outside, but things are moving forward within the team. There were lots of little issues – Jean-Eric’s team probably didn’t calculate his release properly – it’s never the driver’s fault – it’s just one of those things that happens.
“And it was a pity I didn’t get to finish the battle with Nico [Hulkenberg]; I’d been saving my tyres in the expectation that Nico would struggle, but then I had a problem with my power-unit, which dropped me back. I’m still not really sure what happened with my car at the end of the race. And I didn’t see what happened with Kimi – I went to the inside to block his entry into the hairpin, but he chose to make a move anyway. It’s hard to overtake here, but he tried and it didn’t work. That’s racing.”