Vandoorne says blue flag penalty did not really hurt overall result


Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team - Austrian GP 2017. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Stoffel Vandoorne feels there were many positives for the team to take away from this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, despite finishing out of the points on Sunday.

The Belgian was frustrated at finishing down in twelfth place, but felt positive at the pace they were able to show throughout the weekend.

“I’m actually a little bit disappointed with 12th – if you look at the pace we had throughout the race, I think points just might have been possible today. And that’s very encouraging.”

There were no technical issues for the McLaren driver this weekend, another plus point for the Woking based squad, and the car felt good. When it came to the crunch however, even though the Belgian was able to close up on other cars, he was never quite able to make a pass on them – an all too common occurrence for the McLaren boys this season.

“Our weekend has generally been quite positive – we had no problems, our pace has been reasonable, and I felt very comfortable with the car. Unfortunately, I was stuck behind some cars and it was impossible to overtake – but that’s how it is for us at the moment.”

Vandoorne received a drive-thru penalty for ignoring blue flags for at least two laps, after Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was heard complaining about the McLaren driver over team radio, but despite the somewhat harsh penalty being applied, the Belgian does not feel this would really have changed where he finished the race.

“I got a penalty, but we had to try something, and I don’t think I really lost a lot in terms of the overall result.”

Although he finished out of the points this weekend, Vandoorne is buoyed by the car’s performance, and is looking forward to another strong weekend at the British Grand Prix, in a week’s time

“It’s a shame we didn’t score points today, but our pace all weekend has been a positive for the whole team”