A failure by a McLaren mechanic to remove a radiator intake blank was identified as the cause of Jenson Button’s lap 2 retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix.

Button retires The device – installed typically in qualifying to improve the car’s aero efficiency and engine power for a short period, typically at the expense of cooling – was not removed when Jenson sat on the starting grid, and it cause his Mercedes-Benz engine to go pop on just the second lap of the race in Safety Car conditions.

By contrast, team-mate Lewis Hamilton drove a hard-fought race to finish fifth, despite battling with high brake wear.

The 2008 race winner qualified and finished fifth, having pitted earlier than planned to maintain track position over the progressing Fernando Alonso, who had started from the pit lane but was storming through the field.

"I had quite a good start and was challenging the guys in front of me to get third, but it was just impossible," Hamilton said after the race.

"I just looked after the car and tried to get the points; you just can’t overtake here, especially if the guys are just as fast as you.

"I am sure we are able to catch them later but we have to be satisfied with this result."

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.