Stoffel Vandoorne: “I’m pleased that I didn’t make any mistakes”

Stoffel Vandoorne became the first Belgian to score points in Formula 1 since 1992 as the stand-in McLaren-Honda driver drove a strong and composed race to claim tenth during the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

Racing in place of the injured Fernando Alonso, Vandoorne felt securing a point on debut was a bonus as he tried to get to grips with the MP4-31, having driven it for the first time during free practice on Friday morning.

Vandoorne was pleased with how he performed, and was grateful to McLaren for allowing everyone to see what the 2015 GP2 Series champion is capable of on track.

“This result was more or less what I expected – I maximised the opportunity and I’m quite satisfied,” said Vandoorne.

“The start was a little bit difficult. There was debris left and right – it was pretty hectic in fact – and there was a lot of fighting throughout that opening lap.

“Since the beginning of the weekend, I’ve felt very confident in the car, and pretty comfortable that I could do a good job. I’m pleased that I didn’t make any mistakes operationally – I was really focusing on that side of things – and I came away with a point, which was a nice bonus.

“This weekend was a big opportunity for me: I made the most of it, I showed what I’m capable of, and now I just need to wait and see what happens next. That’s not for me to decide – so let’s see what the future brings.”