“It’s a big contrast from last year,” says Vandoorne after Ninth Place Finish

Stoffel Vandoorne scored two points in Australia
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Stoffel Vandoorne says ‘it’s a big contrast from last year’ after Mclaren F1 Team scored a double-points finish in the season opening Australian Grand Prix.

The Belgian finished ninth while his team-mate Fernando Alonso secured a fifth place finish in Melbourne, whereas 2017 saw both drivers failing to score points.

“It’s a great result for the team to have both cars in the point today,” said Vandoorne, “It’s a big contrast from last year, and I think there’s massive potential for the future.

“From my side, I was a little bit unlucky with the virtual safety car, as I think we could have finished even higher up, but for the opening race I think we can be very happy.”

Albert Park saw the debut of the new McLaren and Renault Sport partnership, and Vandoorne was impressed with the start they’ve made together, and he is looking forward to developing the relationship further across the next few races.

“I’m very optimistic for the rest of the year,” said the Belgian, “We know there is more to come from us this season, and the partnership with Renault is still very new.

“This was our first race, we know that there are new parts coming over the next couple of Grand Prix, and I really hope we can show that on track too.

“It’s a great start to the season, and after this race I feel there’s a lot of potential for the future.  We need to be ambitious as a team, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s around the corner.”