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As his team loses further ground to Red Bull and Ferrari, Jenson Button claims the MP4-27 is the worst car McLaren has given him since he joined the team.
In the wake of a winning streak of three races, since Singapore McLaren has struggled, with both cars finishing only twice in five outings.
While his teammate was left unable to convert pole into a win, retiring after 19 laps with a fuel pressure problem, Button valiantly continued, bringing his car home fourth.
With two races remaining and the title fights reduced to a two horse race, the 2009 world champion is hoping for an improvement next year.
"This car hasn't suited me as well as McLaren's last two," he told the Guardian. "Since I've been here this has been the worst year. It's been tricky, even on good weekends. We've had a problem pretty much every weekend, lately. We need to stop it. I don't get it."
Referring specifically to the Abu Dhabi event, a race his teammate looked destined to win after dominating pretty much every practice session and qualifying, the Englishman said. "The weekend was weird. Friday was good, Saturday morning was good but qualifying and the race wasn't amazing. It wasn't horrendous but it wasn't amazing.
"We've got to try a few new things with the set up," he continued. "I'm not happy with where it is at the moment. But hopefully next year will be perfect.
"Next year is exciting but we've still got two races where we want to do well in. We still want to get Ferrari in the constructors', but it's 22 points now, which is quite big. We need some good points in the next two."
Unwilling to cause controversy ahead of his move to Mercedes, a team where he might discover things are no better, the Brackley outfit having gone four races without scoring a single point, Lewis Hamilton was not quite as critical, though he admitted that reliability had been poor.
"It's twice in the last five races," he said. "And the cars, apart from India, have had problems in all five. In Singapore we had the gearbox failure, at Suzuka a rear rollbar malfunction, before qualifying and in the race, and in Korea a rear rollbar failure. Then we had India, which was fine, and then here. So that's four hardcore difficult weekends.
"I've been on pole position seven times this year," he continued. "I have only won three times. In the other ones we've had failures and issues with pit stops and so on. If my car was as reliable as Sebastian's or Fernando's I would be right up with them now. But the team is strong and they will always bounce back."
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