|© AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky
Having failed to register a single podium this season, McLaren is enduring its worst campaign in nearly two decades and it could get even worse as the team may struggle to just score points in the remaining races.
The British team’s 12-race podium drought so far is its worst since 1995, when Mika Hakkinen finished second at the Italian Grand Prix in the 12th race of that season.
This year’s edition of the race at Monza was also the 12th of the championship but the team scored only a solitary point with Jenson Button’s tenth place finish. McLaren hasn't finished higher than fifth place all season.
Teammate Sergio Perez, meanwhile, could surpass the worst start for a McLaren debutant should he fail to finish in the top three in the next three races.
Incidentally, it was in 1995 when Mark Blundell, in his first year with the Woking-based outfit, didn’t feature on the podium until his 15th race for the team.
With seven races to go, the team isn’t getting its hopes up for the rest of the season admitting that scoring points now may get even tougher.
“Obviously, the fight at the sharp end of the championship means that the top three or four teams are still pushing hard to develop their current cars, whereas some of the others are looking more towards 2014,” Perez said. “That means that it’s getting slightly harder to score good points in the remaining races.”
McLaren is currently fifth in the championship with 66 points, only five ahead of Force India, with its team principal Vijay Mallya predicting a close fight between the two squads.
“The good news is that McLaren still aren’t that far ahead,” Mallya said. “They only scored one point in Monza, so they are definitely catchable. We need to perform better ourselves, that’s very clear.”