Lost in the numbers but a brilliant drive by Vandoorne

© XPB 

Stoffel Vandoorne's points scoring finish went relatively unnoticed in Bahrain, but a closer look reveals an absolutely solid performance by the McLaren driver.

A depressing result in qualifying left the Belgian alongside team mate Fernando Alonso on the seventh row of the grid, but Vandoorne's evening was further complicated by a lousy start which put him dead last at Turn One.

The 26-year-old put his head down however and the bit between his teeth to gradually bounce back and move up the ranks and into the points, achieving eleven overtakes in the process!

"After the start of the race I didn’t think this result would be possible today!" admitted the McLaren driver.

"I had a terrible start, a lot of wheel-spin off the line and found myself sitting there in absolute last after Turn One.

"From there we made a great recovery, and to finish eighth and have both cars in the points again is very pleasing."

The team's unspectacular performance on Saturday left it with more questions than answers, but Vandoorne also knew that the MCL33's race pace could be put to good use on Sunday.

"We always knew our race pace was going to be better than our qualifying pace and today we proved that again.

"We overtook a lot of cars on track and made some very bold overtaking moves into Turn One. For me it was an amazing race and I enjoyed some great fighting, so I’m pretty happy.

"We were very ambitious today and had a good strategy, knew our race pace was better than a lot of the people around us and today is a great result for us."

Along with his McLaren colleagues, Vandoorne will dive into the data and hopefully extract the information necessary to improve the team's overall performance for next weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

"We still have a lot of analysis and work to do to understand why our race pace is so different," he said.

"I think it will get better over the next few races and if we’re able to start in higher positions it will make our life a bit easier and allow us to finish further up the grid.

"I’m sure the results will be visible very soon. There are a lot of plans in place and we know that in Formula 1 it can take a bit of time to see the benefits of those, but we’re very confident that on a Sunday we can go out and race.

"We showed that again today and we need to keep working and keep improving."

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