McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team rookie, Stoffel Vandoorne, had a difficult race at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix, being the last car to finish the race in thirteenth place.
“I had a very tricky race,” commented Vandoorne, who competed in his second ever Grand Prix after he stood in for Fernando Alonso at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
“At my pit-stop, I had to perform a full power-cycle of the car to reset it, which cost me time and position, and I also lost the dashboard readout for a while. Throughout the race, I was very busy on the steering wheel, making a lot of changes to the car’s settings while trying to bring the car home.”
Even though McLaren didn’t achieve the results that they had expected in the race, they have taken a massive step forwards from their disastrous two weeks of testing that was plagued by reliability issues with the Honda power unit.
“After the tests in Barcelona, we didn’t really expect to finish the race, so this is a little bit of a milestone today,” admitted Vandoorne. “We’ve had decent mileage all weekend; Fernando showed well in qualifying; and we finished the race, so there are positives to take away from this first weekend of the season.”
“I think I probably deserve a slice of birthday cake this evening!” joked the Belgian, as he celebrated his twenty fifth birthday.