MONACO - Cracks are appearing in the McLaren Formula One team, as drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are getting increasingly exasperated at being hampered by poor pit stops and race strategies.
The British team, whose season has been stuck in reverse gear since their season-opening win in Australia two months ago, had another wretched day at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
Button spent 70 laps stuck behind Heikki Kovalainen and when he did attempt to overtake, injudiciously, he collided with the Caterham car and spun out of the race.
Hamilton finished fifth and lost out to both Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel when Ferrari and Red Bull produced faster pit stops, reported The Guardian.
A dejected-looking Hamilton said: "I really dislike going backwards. My start was one of the worst in a long time. I don't know what my team was up to there.
"It's quite an easy thing we do, we do thousands and thousands of practices, it should not be a problem. In the pit stop I lost quite a lot of time, not being able to keep up with Alonso, and then Seb got me through his pit stop.
"We haven't had a Grand Prix weekend where something hasn't gone wrong."
The Briton also complained about a lack of communication with his team, and was particularly annoyed to lose out to Vettel as he came out of the pits.
He said: "I wasn't really informed. I didn't have the information to say Sebastian was going to get me. I could easily have pushed.
"Those are communication things which you work on. I just have to ask them next time to give me more info.
"I'm driving as well as I've ever driven. I'm not making mistakes at all and it feels great. I can feel comfortable now leaving the track and knowing that I couldn't have done any more.
"It's just unfortunate the car wasn't quick enough. But we are a great team and we will meet next week and see where we can improve the car."
Hamilton also complained that people on the pit wall were dropping debris on his head several times during the race.
The 27-year-old said: "The guys hold the pit boards over the track, and two or three slips fell out and hit me in the front of the helmet.
"I was like, 'Guys this is getting ridiculous' as they kept dropping them and dropping them."
Button's season, on the other hand, has gone into serious decline since winning the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Since finishing second in the third event in China, the Briton has struggled to score points - managing just two in three races and slipping to seventh in the drivers' championship.
He said: "If someone places their car well and has good exits - from corners - it's very difficult. That's part of racing, but it's so frustrating when you are so much faster than the car in front.
"It comes from a bad qualifying and being unlucky at the start. Hopefully we'll have our day soon."
The one consolation for McLaren is that, with different winners in every race so far this season, no one is getting away at the top of the drivers' championship table.
But there are signs that Ferrari and Red Bull are beginning to muster the sort of consistency that has been so elusive for the British team.
Said team principal Martin Whitmarsh: "Cars are never quick enough and stops are never short enough, in my experience. Jenson is struggling a little bit with tyre energy. We were trying to get the tyres to run as long as we could as we were waiting for rain.
"You're never satisfied but I think Lewis is scoring points at every race. He's keeping his head and doing a very good job. It's anyone's to play for.
"We, Lewis and Jenson can win this year's championship."