Stoffel Vandoorne has not had a huge amount to smile about of late – losing his McLaren seat for 2019 and not scoring a point since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix back in April. The grin was back on Sunday, however, after he came through the field to finish eighth in Mexico, matching his best result of the season.
Fifteenth on the grid, Vandoorne made a poor start and had dropped to nineteenth by the end of Lap 1. Critically, however, he avoided trouble in the first-corner melee and set about battling his way back up the order with some bold passing moves, maintaining strong pace throughout and managing his tyres well.
“I’m super happy with that result today – a great race,” said the Belgian. “We knew it was possible to score points here with a lot of preparation that we’ve put into this race, in terms of what strategy to choose – one or two stops – and ultimately we made the tyres last for one stop.
“After lap 1 we were last, so it was a great recovery – some good overtakes on track, which were very crucial, and at the end making the tyres last. It wasn’t easy in the beginning but I was always kind of there at the right time, attacking when I had to and managing the tyres at the same time.”