Stoffel Vandoorne’s ability to pull off an error-free one-stopper to eighth place in the Mexican Grand Prix has been hailed as ‘so impressive’ by his McLaren team.
The Belgian has endured some torrid times in recent months and is switching to Formula E after finding himself without a drive at the end of this season.
But a strong performance in Mexico, where he was able to do a 57-lap stint on supersofts without mistakes, helped deliver his first points since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Vandoorne’s race engineer Tom Stallard took to Twitter to heap praise on the performance, and especially the way that Vandoorne did not make a mistake despite heavy degradation.
Showing a photograph of Vandoorne’s heavily worn rubber, Stallard said: “On the inside of the front left tyre it looks smooth because the grip rubber is completely worn away. So impressive to drive tyres like this with no mistakes.”
Vandoorne said the performance did not seem super special from the cockpit though, as he reckons recent races have also been as good but have not been noticed as much because he failed to finish in the 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,” he said.
“I am very happy with the performance after lap one. We were last and we had to make a great recovery. Super happy with how everything went.
“We had some good overtakes on track, we made the tyres last in the crucial moments, we attacked when we had to attack.”
Vandoorne admitted that having something to celebrate at this stage of the season meant he could also enjoy more his final races in F1.
“It’s a great result for myself, but it’s also a great result for the team,” he said. “It’s important for us for the constructor’s championship. Now I’m going to enjoy the last couple of races.”
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