MONTREAL, June 11, 2011 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated by his car's lack of pace after qualifying in a disappointing fifth position on Saturday for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old McLaren driver was half a second adrift of pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and unable to match the pace of the improved Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
The 2008 world champion said he did everything he could to improve the performance of his car, but that despite his best efforts he was in no position to challenge Red Bull or Ferrari.
"We are just very slow this weekend. It appears that the other guys have maybe made a step forward, but I really don't know," said Hamilton.
"We're still not in the worst position, but I would like to be higher up.
This was just the maximum the car was able to do. This weekend we're just lacking speed. I don't think I've ever driven the car so hard in my life, really.
"I was just on such a ragged edge. I think I even touched the wall at one point. I tried to use the tow of another car because we're so slow on the straight."
Hamilton added that the McLaren's form had stagnated and that Vettel and Red Bull were moving out of their reach.
"Vettel's gone, he's on his way. They're very, very hard for us to catch at this rate.
"But I'm still positive and I'm still hopeful. I don't know when we've got anything coming, but I really, really hope sometime soon we'll have something positive come to the car.
"We didn't really come with any upgrades, the car's not really progressed a lot. While we've been bringing a lot of different updates every now and then, they're not making the car faster generally.
"So we've been at a bit of a standstill for a while. The guys are working as hard as they can, and it's just a matter of time."
Button agreed McLaren lacked pace and said he felt he had exacerbated the situation with mistakes on his best lap in Q3. "It's always frustrating when you're not quick," he said. "We didn't have
the pace that we thought we would.
"We always knew that our race pace was better than qualifying, but we're surprised to be where we are.
"My last run was looking really good, and then I just over-drove really, starting locking up and losing time. A lot can happen here, this is a circuit where you can overtake. We've just got to hope that our race pace is better than our qualifying."