Formula 1

“A shame not to score points” – Stoffel Vandoorne

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Stoffel Vandoorne endured another fruitless weekend in Singapore. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Stoffel Vandoorne believes it was “shame” that he did not score points in the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix after the McLaren F1 Team driver finished in 12th position.

Belgian Vandoorne, who is currently without a seat for the 2019 season after McLaren decided to promote Lando Norris to partner Carlos Sainz, Jr qualified in 18th place at the Marina Bay street circuit and rose six positions to finish in 12th, his best finish since an 11th place at the British Grand Prix.

Although Vandoorne was knocked out in Q1 for the eighth race in a row, he exhibited “good pace,” to finish behind Marcus Ericsson, just outside the points.

It’s a shame not to score any points [and] I think it was a decent race today, considering not a lot of action happened during the race. There was just that one incident (Esteban Ocon crashing out on the opening lap) on the first lap, but we couldn’t really benefit from that,” he explained.

“It’s always been known that we’re better on a Sunday than a Saturday, but on street circuits like Singapore, it is all about qualifying.

We were quick and actually had good pace when it mattered in that first stint, especially when the pit window opened.”

Opting to run a long opening stint on the ultrasoft Pirelli rubber, Vandoorne climbed a handful of positions, before pitting to fit the soft compound tyre on lap 43 of 61.

The tyres didn’t feel so great by the time we pitted, but we more or less had the pace to maintain that same rhythm,” Vandoorne explained.

While Vandoorne could only manage 12th, team-mate Fernando Alonso finished well in the points, and took ‘Class B’ victory with an unlapped seventh place, and six points.

After 15 races of the 2018 season, Vandoorne is in 16th place in the drivers’ standings with eight points, while Alonso’s 50 point haul is good enough for eighth.

The 58 points the two have collected is good enough for McLaren to be sixth in the constructors’, 18 behind the Haas F1 Team, and 26 ahead of the re-born Racing Point Force India squad.

 

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Jake Nichol is a motorsport journalist writing about the Formula 1 world championship for The Checkered Flag. He is currently freelancing for Autosport, where his work includes IndyCar, NASCAR and UK-wide national race meetings.
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