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Motor racing-Button wonders whether McLaren will score this year

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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA, May 10 (Reuters) - Jenson Button questioned whether struggling McLaren would score any points this season after a Spanish Grand Prix he ranked among the scariest of his Formula One career.

McLaren have started their new Honda engine partnership without a point in five races, making it the worst start to a season for the sport's second most successful team after Ferrari.

"After today, I don't think I expect points at all this year," 2009 world champion Button told reporters with a nervous laugh after finishing 16th and lapped at the Circuit de Catalunya.

His Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso, who had said before the race that he felt Sunday could bring McLaren their first points of a troubled season, retired before the halfway mark with brake problems.

However, despite Button's pessimism, team principal Eric Boullier insisted that points were possible even in the next race.

"In two weeks' time we'll be in Monaco...we'll be aiming to score world championship points on May 24th," he said in a team review of the race.

Button, who had qualified 14th, made clear that just getting to the finish had been an achievement on Sunday.

"It was pretty scary to drive. Every time I touched the throttle, it just snapped. I am sure there is something wrong there," he said.

"Hopefully, today was an off day. It didn't feel right. It was like flicking a switch in the race. Not the easiest, and it was (like that) from the word go," he added.

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

Alonso said his car's brakes had failed on the lap before he was due to pit, and despite coming in at slow speed he overshot the mark and almost took out the front mechanic with the jack.

The team said the stop had been a precautionary one to examine the rear of the car, and mechanics had subsequently found a visor tear-off strip covering the right-rear brake duct.

The Spaniard still put on a brave face: "Things are coming together. We're still a long way off the front and need to take bigger steps," he said.

"This has been a disappointing day, but the team will investigate what happened, and we'll come back stronger in Monaco."

McLaren, eight times winners of the Spanish Grand Prix, have not won a race since 2012. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

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