McLaren mechanic devastated by error

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says the mechanic responsible for Jenson Button's early exit from the Monaco Grand Prix is "devastated" by his mistake.

Button's defence of his Monaco GP crown lasted barely two laps after the unnamed mechanic left a transport cap over his left radiator inlet at the start of the race and caused his engine to overheat.

"I think it's disappointing for everyone in the team, and devastating for the person responsible," Whitmarsh told "I know these things happen, but it's just hard to accept when it happens.

"Anyone who's involved with a team like this, when you're trying to do your best and you make a mistake and it contributes to something like that, it's devastating for them."

Whitmarsh admits Button never stood a chance once the airflow into his car was blocked.

"It was something that's used in transport or the garage," he said. "It's a cooling cover, a water one, and it was left in. So the car went to the grid with no air flow. So the car was cooked. You do what you can after, but you can't recover it. On a circuit like this, and with Safety Car as well, you really can't recover from that sort of thing.

"These cars don't have fans – they rely on airflow – so if you deny the airflow, you're not going to live very long. An F1 engine dissipates 200kW of heat energy, and if you don't take the measures to do something about that, then it's over very quickly, unfortunately. You don't know what's going to fail, but we knew we were over temperature, and there's not much you can do at that point.

"Obviously people are monitoring temperatures, and at a race like this it's particularly critical anyway. Other parts under the engine cover would have been very, very hot, and it was a secondary failure rather than a primary failure of the engine."

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