Vandoorne encouraged by best result yet
18 September 2017 – Stoffel Vandoorne believes he was able to maximise the performance of his McLaren MCL32 as he claimed a career-best seventh at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Vandoorne avoided trouble to run comfortably inside the top 10, but lost time during his second pit-stop with a slow front-left tyre change.
However, he did not lose track position as a result of the slow stop, and attacked Renault rival Jolyon Palmer for sixth with an audacious move into the Turn 13 hairpin.
Palmer used the cutback exiting the corner to retain his position ahead of his former GP2 rival, leaving Vandoorne in seventh, which still represented his best result in the sport.
"To race under the rain at the beginning was definitely not easy, so my main focus was just to stay out of trouble, which we managed to do," said Vandoorne.
"From that point on, I just managed my own race.
"I think seventh place was really the best it was going to get for me. Sixth was perhaps on the cards at one point, but it didn't work out at my second pit-stop.
"After that, I just focused on getting everything I could from the car and maximising the performance."
Racing Director Eric Boullier explained that a front jack failure was to blame for Vandoorne's tardy service.
"We think sixth was within our reach had he not been delayed at his second pit-stop," said Boullier.
"The front jack failed to engage properly, which meant the left-front wheel wasn't lifted off the floor properly, which resulted in a slow removal.
"That delay meant he wasn't able to close on Palmer despite a spirited chase."
Vandoorne's team-mate, Fernando Alonso, failed to finish after becoming embroiled in the first-lap incident.