“STOFFEL DROVE INCREDIBLY WELL”
Stoffel Vandoorne finished seventh and brought home six valuable world championship points for McLaren Honda at the end of a long and chaotic Singapore Grand Prix.
The race was started in rainy conditions, which contributed to a Turn One accident that left a fast-starting Fernando Alonso with significant damage to his car. Despite soldiering on for a couple of laps, the car was too badly damaged to continue and Fernando was forced to retire.
Stoffel took avoiding action to miss the first-lap crash, but was able to consolidate his position inside the top 10. He always looked competitive on-track whether running in the wet or dry, and was set to challenge for the top six until being delayed during a slow pit-stop on lap 27.
Seventh was a solid reward for both his and the team’s efforts all weekend.
Finished DNF – 8 laps, accident damage
Fastest lap 2m13.579s on lap 6 (17th)
“My start was brilliant. The car did an amazing launch and I managed to gain several positions, up to third place, but after that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wasn’t aware of what was happening on the inside, all I know is that at Turn One some cars crashed and hit us. In that situation, you are just a passenger, there’s nothing you can do.
“Unfortunately, that hit was too much for our car. From the cockpit you don’t understand how much damage there is, but the car didn’t feel great, it had a lot of oversteer so I asked the team what was the damage but they were not completely sure because they’d lost the telemetry. At the end, we had some electrical problems and we had to stop.
“These things sometimes happen in motor racing and unfortunately it happened to us today. We had so much hope for this race, and in wet conditions we are very strong so the disappointment is even bigger.
“Despite my disappointment this evening, it’s actually been a positive and fun weekend – the team has done an outstanding job and I’ll be hoping for better luck in Sepang in a fortnight’s time.”
Fastest lap 1m46.722s on lap 57 (+1.714s, 6th)
Pit-stops Two: laps 12 (3.261s) and 27 (9.306s)