McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Stoffel Vandoorne says his race was compromised from the start, after being hit by Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen at turn two, on the very first lap.
The incident saw the Belgian drop to the back of the pack, and from there he was unable to do little in the way of challenging for position, and ended the race in fourteenth place.
“We’ve had a couple of good races; but today’s was one to forget, really.
“I made a reasonable start, then, as we went into Turn Two, and everyone was trying to find some space, I got hit by Kimi. I don’t think it was intentional, it was just cars being in the wrong places at the wrong time.
“My afternoon was compromised from that point – I fell to the back, and drove my own race to the flag.
Having had two strong results at the last two races in Asia, Vandoorne says it was a shame not to bring home more points here in Japan for Honda’s home grand prix, but he and the team will be pushing hard to improve performance for the remaining four races.
“Nonetheless, Suzuka is a very special place, so it’s just a shame we couldn’t get a good result for all the thousands of fans in the grandstands today.
“The team deserves a bit of a break after this tough Asian triple-header. They’ve done a fantastic job in the past three races, now it’s time to go back to Europe and hit back hard in the final four races.”