Vandoorne laments missed points chance
13 November 2017 – Stoffel Vandoorne was left to rue what might have been after retiring on the opening lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix, as a result of an incident with Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo.
Vandoorne, who started in the midfield, found himself sandwiched between Magnussen, on the inside, and Ricciardo, on the outside, as the trio rounded the right-hander at the Senna 'S'.
Magnussen tagged Vandoorne at the entry, with Vandoorne in turn thumping Ricciardo, the Haas and McLaren cars suffering terminal suspension damage.
Stewards investigated the incident, but determined that "no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame".
"Definitely not the race I wanted to have," said Vandoorne, whose team-mate, Fernando Alonso, finished in eighth position.
"I actually had a really good launch off the grid, then had a good fight with [Esteban] Ocon and [Romain] Grosjean and nearly got past them – we almost had an accident when everyone bunched up.
"Then, in Turn 2, I got sandwiched by Magnussen and Ricciardo. An unfortunate end to my race. From my perspective, there was nowhere I could have gone to avoid the incident.
"I definitely think [it] was a missed opportunity to score points.
"Our race pace looked really promising on Friday, and I felt that, with the track conditions being so hot and after making a strong start, we had a good chance to finish in the points."
Magnussen admitted that he would likely have given Vandoorne more room, had he seen Ricciardo earlier.
"From my side, we were three-wide through the corner," said Magnussen.
"There was contact with Vandoorne who then had contact with Ricciardo. I broke my front suspension, so it wasn't the best.
"If I'd realised earlier that Ricciardo was on the outside of Vandoorne, then perhaps I'd have given more room, but by the time I saw Ricciardo it was too late, I'd already carried the speed.
"It's tough and very frustrating when it happens, but that's racing."
Ricciardo recovered from his spin to finish in sixth position.