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McLaren miss out on celebrations

ESPN staff
December 22, 2013
Jenson Button had three wins in 2012 © AP
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McLaren didn't manage a podium finish throughout 2013. Was this their worst season ever? asked Michael from Birmingham

It's true that Jenson Button's fourth place in the last race of the season, in Brazil, was McLaren's best performance of a disappointing season. They were fifth in the constructors' championship, their worst finish since 1981 (sixth), although they were also fifth in 2004. (Technically they were unplaced in 2007, after being disqualified for a rules infringement; but apart from that they were first). It was a major comedown after four wins in 2012 for Lewis Hamilton, and three for Button.

It was actually the first season in which McLaren had failed to produce a podium finish since 1980, when their best performances were two fourth places, by John Watson in America (Long Beach) and Canada. Watson also provided their only podium in 1979, when he finished third in the season-opener in Argentina.

The first McLaren car appeared on the F1 grid in Monaco in 1966, driven by team founder Bruce McLaren. He managed two points finishes that season, and a fourth place in Monaco in 1967. Fittingly, McLaren recorded the team's first win - and first podium finish - when his own car took the chequered flag in Belgium in 1968. Denny Hulme added two further wins for McLaren later that season.

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