Stoffel Vandoorne 'super glad' as long F1 points drought ends

Stoffel Vandoorne labelled himself “super glad” as his lengthy points drought came to an end with eighth at Formula 1’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Vandoorne scored at three of the opening four Grands Prix of 2018 but failed to reach the top 10 either in qualifying or race trim thereafter, as he and McLaren struggled.

Vandoorne was again knocked out in Q1 on Saturday but undertook a one-stop strategy to rise into the points, moving up to eighth when Daniel Ricciardo retired late on.

Mexican Grand Prix: Race Report | Championship Standings | Hamilton Feature

The result also bolstered McLaren’s prospects of retaining sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, as rival Force India failed to score.

“We put a lot of preparation into this weekend, and we knew it was possible to score points here,” said Vandoorne.

“I’m super glad to finish P8 and score some points. It is important for us for the Constructors’ championship. 

“Ultimately, we made the tyres last for one stop.

“After lap one we were last, so it was a great recovery, some good overtakes on track, which were very crucial.

“Making the tyres last and finishing eighth was a great result for me and also for the team to score some points for the constructors.”

McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso was an early casualty after his MCL33 suffered a water leak, ostensibly caused by the debris he picked up on the opening lap.

“I didn’t feel anything wrong with the car, but apparently some debris from [Esteban] Ocon’s car that was flying around hit our car in the wrong place and probably caused my DNF, which is one in a million case,” he said.

“I’ve been unlucky, and it’s okay as long as it’s not your mistake, in which case you take more time to get over it.

“These things happen, so let’s see if in the two last races we can have a bit more luck and see the chequered flag.”