Stoffel Vandoorne has hailed the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix as “an amazing race” after fighting his way from last on lap one to eighth place at the checkered flag.
Like his McLaren F1 Team team-mate Fernando Alonso, Vandoorne suffered from poor qualifying pace, only managing fourteenth. At the start however, Vandoorne dropped to the back of the grid and was forced to fight his way back through the field.
“After the start of the race I didn’t think this result would be possible today! I had a terrible start, a lot of wheel-spin off the line and found myself sitting there in absolute last after Turn One. From there we made a great recovery, and to finish eighth and have both cars in the points again is very pleasing.
“We always knew our race pace was going to be better than our qualifying pace and today we proved that again. We overtook a lot of cars on track and made some very bold overtaking moves into Turn One.
“For me it was an amazing race and I enjoyed some great fighting, so I’m pretty happy. We were very ambitious today and had a good strategy, knew our race pace was better than a lot of the people around us and today is a great result for us.”
Vandoorne is targeting qualifying as the place in which McLaren need to improve, as well as understanding why their MCL33 differs in pace so much between Saturdays and the race on Sundays.
“We still have a lot of analysis and work to do to understand why our race pace is so different. I think it will get better over the next few races and if we’re able to start in higher positions it will make our life a bit easier and allow us to finish further up the grid. I’m sure the results will be visible very soon.
“There are a lot of plans in place and we know that in Formula 1 it can take a bit of time to see the benefits of those, but we’re very confident that on a Sunday we can go out and race. We showed that again today and we need to keep working and keep improving.”