Vandoorne: Malaysia best race of F1 career
1 October 2017 – McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne has described his drive to seventh position in the Malaysian Grand Prix as "my best ever race in Formula 1" so far.
Vandoorne, having qualified three spots ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso, maintained position on race day to deliver his second successive P7 finish.
He has moved up to 14th in the standings, two places and three points clear of Alonso, who got caught up in first-lap drama and made contact with Haas' Kevin Magnussen.
"I can say that this was my best ever race in Formula 1 – up until now," said Vandoorne.
"All weekend, I've been really strong and felt really confident with the car.
"After qualifying seventh, we weren't really confident about where we'd finish in the race, so to pull off seventh today is an amazing result.
"I made a great start; we knew it was probably going to be difficult to hold off the Force Indias and the Williams behind, but only [Sergio] Pérez came through.
"From then on, I had amazing pace, pushed hard every lap to try and manage the tyres and maintain the gap over [Lance] Stroll, and I managed that until the end."
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier paid tribute to Vandoorne.
"This was his second consecutive finish in seventh position, and was a result that demonstrated just how much effort and dedication he's applied to make this work for him," he said.
"Before the start, it was by no means looking like an easy race, particularly as we knew that we would probably be at the mercy of some of the faster cars behind us.
"I think we can be proud of all we achieved this weekend."