Stoffel Vandoorne believes some of his better performances have been overlooked this season after receiving attention for his eighth-place finish in the Mexican Grand Prix.
A solid start to 2018 saw Vandoorne pick up points in three of the first four races, but the Belgian struggled as McLaren became less competitive and had not scored a point since the fourth round in Azerbaijan. Mexico saw a return to the top 10 with an excellent drive to eighth, and while proud of his performance Vandoorne says other good drives have gone unrewarded.
“There have been really good races a couple of races ago, but everyone notices because we were awarded points,” Vandoorne said. “Very happy with the performance (in Mexico) — Lap 1 we were last and we had to make a great recovery. We had some good overtakes on track. We made the tires last. We attacked when we had to. With the preparation we put into this race with the team we knew it was possible to score points.
“In practice we didn’t look super competitive but as always when we get to the race we are more competitive. Super glad to finish P8 and score some points. It is important for us for the constructor’s championship. Now I have to enjoy the last couple of races.”
Vandoorne’s result was a welcome one for McLaren after Fernando Alonso again retired early on after getting some debris lodged in his car, but the Spaniard says there were still positives to take from his final Mexican GP.
“Retiring is always bitter, of course, but regardless of how the day was going to end up — maybe I would finish eighth or ninth, maybe just 12th — the biggest memory I would take was the support of the fans here in Mexico,” Alonso said.
“Incidents like this happen in every race and there’s nothing we can do now. So I’d rather focus on what a magic day it was. Sometimes you can be at the front, sometimes you cannot, depends on the pace you and your car has, but when you cannot really even take part in the race that’s more frustrating. But there are still two races to go, so I can only hope they’ll be better than this one.”