Stoffel Vandoorne: “I think 14th is a fair reflection of where we’re at”

Stoffel Vandoorne was fourteenth in Russia - Credit: Steven Tee/McLaren

Stoffel Vandoorne managed to see the chequered flag in the Russian Grand Prix but the Belgian could only finish fourteenth, which he felt was reflective of the pace of his MCL32.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer believed he would have probably finished in the same position even if he had not taken the five-second penalty for track limit offences at turn two on the opening lap, and he ended up finishing ahead only of the two Sauber’s.

“From my side, 14th position was pretty much the best possible result today,” admitted Vandoorne. “I had a decent start but had to avoid a first-corner accident, which meant I got a five-second time penalty for missing the markers at Turn Two.

“However, I don’t think that did anything to change today’s result. It was a pretty normal race, we ran at our own pace, I did the maximum possible and I think 14th is a fair reflection of where we’re at.”

Vandoorne also admitted it was disappointing that team-mate Fernando Alonso was unable to take the start due to another technical issue, and although he was able to finish for only the second time in 2017, they are still struggling with both speed and reliability.

“Fernando not being able to start shows that there’s still a lot of work to do on the reliability side – that’s two races in a row where two McLarens haven’t started,” said Vandoorne.

“That’s a shame, but at least we got to the finish – that meant a lot of learning for the team and a lot of learning for myself. But, in terms of pace, we’re still not quick enough – that’s for sure.”