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Motor racing-Button says he exaggerated McLaren's woes

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By Alan Baldwin

MONACO, May 20 (Reuters) - Jenson Button presented a less gloomy picture of McLaren's Formula One prospects on Wednesday, 10 days after he openly doubted whether the misfiring former champions would score any points this year.

"As you might have noticed, I was very outspoken," the Briton said of comments made in Spain 10 days ago when he finished 16th and was lapped.

"When emotions are running high you always exaggerate things. It was a tough race for me in Barcelona," he told reporters in Monaco.

"It was good to have the test three days later, also in Barcelona, to really put everything right. The car felt much nicer to drive, much more consistent, especially on the long-run pace."

McLaren, six races into a new partnership with Honda, have yet to score a point in their worst ever start to a season for the sport's second most successful team.

In Spain, the 2009 world champion had told reporters: "After today, I don't think I expect points at all this year.

"The first 30 laps...were the scariest laps of my life."

Button tested parts for Monaco, the showcase race of the season, after the Spanish Grand Prix and said it had gone well and he was much happier.

"You could see how far we have come since February, as a whole team but especially Honda and the Japanese side of the team," he said of the test.

"There was so much more confidence within and (I was) really happy to complete the amount of laps we did but also to do a lot of very useful work. It was a really good day and hopefully we can carry that through to this weekend."

Button's team mate Fernando Alonso, a double world champion and two times Monaco winner, has already predicted that McLaren will score points this weekend.

The Spaniard was similarly confident at his home race but retired with a brake problem. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

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