Stoffel Vandoorne scored McLaren-Honda’s first world championship point of the season after a faultless drive to 10th place on his grand prix debut.
The young Belgian, deputising this weekend for Fernando Alonso, started 12th, stayed out of trouble on the opening lap as the field bunched up and collected one another on the approach to Turn One. Thereafter, he kept his nose clean throughout all four stints, pulled off some confident passing manoeuvres and drove cleanly and consistently to the chequered flag.
Jenson had a short-lived race. After running strongly inside the top 10, he encountered a sudden power unit issue and was forced to pull the car onto the run-off and retire on lap seven.
“This result was more or less what I expected – I maximised the opportunity and I’m quite satisfied. Vandoorne said
“The start was a little bit difficult. There was debris left and right – it was pretty hectic in fact – and there was a lot of fighting throughout that opening lap.
“Since the beginning of the weekend, I’ve felt very confident in the car, and pretty comfortable that I could do a good job. I’m pleased that I didn’t make any mistakes operationally – I was really focusing on that side of things – and I came away with a point, which was a nice bonus.
“This weekend was a big opportunity for me: I made the most of it, I showed what I’m capable of, and now I just need to wait and see what happens next. That’s not for me to decide – so let’s see what the future brings.”