Formula 1

Stoffel Vandoorne: COTA result “wasn’t too bad”

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Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren F1 Team - US GP
Stoffel Vandoorne was able to take advantage of the penalties picked up by those around him / Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

McLaren F1 Team driver Stoffel Vandoorne has spoke of his pleasure at his result in the United States Grand Prix, which was held at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday.

The race brought mixed fortunes for the British team, as Vandoorne’s team-mate, the Spaniard Fernando Alonso, was forced to retire following the incident on the first lap.

The Belgian started sixteenth on the grid, as a result of penalties sustained by the two Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda drivers, Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, also benefiting from the penalty which was awarded to Max Verstappen, driver for their sister team, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

“In the end today’s result wasn’t too bad, especially under the circumstances.  We made a reasonable start with all the carnage that happened around us – we got touched left, right and centre on the first lap which wasn’t ideal,” said Vandoorne.

Vandoorne said that the team tried to make the best of the situation they found themselves in.

“We finished thirteenth, after deciding to go for a two-stop strategy, and pitted under the Virtual Safety Car.  A few of the cars around us did a one-stop – it’s hard to say which was best, but we were quick when it mattered, and we beat a couple of cars again.”

McLaren are one of the teams on the grid who have had a difficult season, and are far from their winning days.  The frustration at the lack of performance is evident, due to both drivers’ decisions to leave the sport at the end of the season to pursue other racing ventures.

Vandoorne said that he felt they had achieved as good a result as was possible: “In the end, I think it was the maximum possible today.”

With only three races left in the season, the team will be desperate to get a few more well-deserved points on the board.

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