SAO PAULO, Nov 24, 2013 (AFP) - Jenson Button saluted his McLaren team on Sunday after he and Sergio Perez rescued some pride from a dismal season by claiming fourth and sixth places in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Briton and the Mexican, who is replaced in the team next season by Dane Kevin Magnussen, lifted the team's morale after their worst showing overall for three decades.
McLaren ended 2013 without a single podium finish for the first time since 1980, but thanks to Button avoided the ignominy of missing out on the top four for the first time since 1966.
They progressed from 14th and 19th on the grid respectively at Interlagos.
"It was an amazing job by everyone," said Button. "It seems that we work better when we don't actually do any practice in the dry...
"In the simulator, this always felt like a very special track for us. I'm pleased with fourth, it's almost the third that we came here aiming for.
"We needed this at the end of the year - especially for myself, I've had a rough time in the last few races.
"Things happened to different people in the race, but you take it because it happens to you too."
Perez felt that more was possible. He had lost five places on the grid due to a gearbox change on Saturday,
and had to ease off to save fuel while catching Nico Rosberg's Mercedes for fifth.
"Unfortunately, from where we started, it was a long way through. We were unlucky to lose those five places," he said.
"But we recovered well. I struggled to do more and I had to save fuel at the end of the race so I couldn't attack. I was praying for more rain, but it didn't come."
Team chief Martin Whitmarsh said: "Both drivers did a great job, made great starts and had great races. Jenson's overtaking of three cars in one move made me think 'ooh we are back racing again' which was great.
"We did not give Jenson Button a good enough car this season. He has done really well, but we all have to be better next season."
The race was Button's British record 247th start.