Despite missing out on points at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, Stoffel Vandoorne felt the United States Grand Prix was an exciting one, particularly as he was able to make gains on his grid position with genuine on-track overtakes.
The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team has been the slowest in a straight-line this season, with around fourteen miles per hour difference between them and the front runners, but at the Circuit of The Americas, Vandoorne was able to make progress, climbing eight spots from his grid slot to finish twelfth.
“Today was actually a pretty exciting race for me!” said Vandoorne. “Even though it wasn’t for any points, I think I put in a very good performance after a difficult qualifying starting from the back.
“We made a lot of overtakes on merit in the corners, which maybe weren’t really expected considering the lack of straight line speed we have. We had a good strategy and some good fights on track, so I’m happy with my pace and I think we maximised our potential today.
“It was a shame to get so close to the points, but we were always going to struggle starting so far back today with the penalty.”
Vandoorne admitted it was a satisfying feeling to be able to pass on track, and it gives encouragement in the final three races of the season that the team can make further strides forward, even though the doubt is still there that more engine changes and grid penalties are coming their way.
“It’s always satisfying when you can overtake on track and we were reasonably competitive, which is encouraging, but we’ll have to wait and see for the next few races,” said Vandoorne. “We know that some tracks suit us a bit better than others and this one should have been one where we scored points.
“We can’t guarantee that we won’t have to take more penalties in Mexico, but we’ll wait and see and hopefully can make the most of every chance we get.”