Stoffel Vandoorne’s search for a first points finish since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April continues after retiring from the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday with a gearbox issue whilst running ninth.
The McLaren F1 Team racer had shadowed team-mate Fernando Alonso for much of the race at the Hungaroring and had moved inside the top ten despite starting down in fifteenth position by running an extended first stint, but while on course to score points for the first time in eight races, his gearbox gave up on him and he was left as a disappointed spectator for the rest of the afternoon.
“A really disappointing race for me,” said Vandoorne. “We had a superb start, after we started a bit further down the grid than we wanted after yesterday, and gained a few places on the opening lap.
“We had really good tyre management in the opening stint and strong pace when it counted, a good pit-stop and we managed to jump a lot of cars during the pit window. It was a great strategy from the team to come out in the points with both cars and we were feeling comfortable, so it was just about bringing the car home.
“Unfortunately, we had a technical problem and I had to stop the car. It shows it’s a mechanical sport. It’s disappointing to finish like that but I think as a team we did everything right today. We got ourselves as high as we could and it’s a shame not to finish the first part of the season with a few more points.”
One of the more pleasing aspects for Vandoorne was the ability for him to show a good turn of speed for the first time in a while after the introduction of a new chassis seemingly turning the tide after a couple of weekends where he could not find any kind of pace.
“On a personal note, I felt good this weekend,” said the Belgian. “I think we’ve shown today that the pace was back to where it had been before, with a more ‘normal’ feeling, and I can be happy with my performance.
“I’m looking forward to the summer break, to relax a bit, clear my head and turn up in Spa for my home race.”