Stoffel Vandoorne executed a flawless one-stop strategy to grab eighth at the Mexican Grand Prix, and McLaren were quick to praise the result.
After the announcement that the Belgian driver will be switching to Formula E, as he was left without a drive at the end of 2018, a solid performance will help improve a downbeat 2018 season.
Vandoorne was able to go 57 laps on supersofts without any mistakes, helping him to his first points finish since Azerbaijan in April.
A common feature of the Mexican GP was graining, and severe surface degradation on the softest combinations Pirelli can bring to a race.
The McLaren driver was able to produce a stint thought impossible earlier in the weekend, as teams up and down the pitlane struggled with the unique conditions in Mexico City.
Tom Stallard, Vandoorne’s race engineer, took to twitter shortly after the race to direct great praise at his driver.
Stallard tweeted (shown below), “the front left tyre looks smooth because the grip rubber is completely worn away. So Impressive to driver tyres like this with no mistakes.”
Vandoorne was quick to explain he didn’t think the performance was extremely impressive, and was only observed because he came away with points.
“I think there have been some really good races a couple of races ago as well, but everybody notices because we are rewarded with points.”
Finally the Belgian driver admitted it was a great way to celebrate the final rounds of the season, and what could be his last few races in F1.
“It’s great for myself, but its also a great result for the team,
“It’s important for us for the constructor’s championship. Now I’m going to enjoy the last couple of races.”
Vandoorne has continually failed to impress the F1 paddock, however this could be put down to a far from positive McLaren car. It is a shame that a driver who showed such promise on his way into the series, produces a performance like this towards the end of his contract.
Header Image: The Chequered Flag