Stoffel Vandoorne says he is left “disappointed” and “hurt” after being forced into retirement while running in the points during the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix. 

The McLaren driver turned in a strong drive and made the most of running long into Sunday’s race in his opening stint as he recovered from his grid position of 16th and moved himself into contention for a top 10 finish at the Hungaroring

Vandoorne and teammate Fernando Alonso looked set to secure the Woking-based squad’s first double points finish since Baku - with Vandoorne on course to record his first points in eight races - until a suspected gearbox failure ended his race with less than 20 laps remaining.

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“I think as a team we did everything right and it hurts, definitely, not to finish with points here,” Vandoorne explained. 

“A disappointing race. We had a superb start, we had really good tyre management and good pace when it counted and managed to jump a lot of cars during the pit window. 

“When we came out we had both cars in the points and it was just bringing the car home really. Unfortunately we had a technical problem, had to stop the car. 

“It’s disappointing to finish like that but we got ourselves as high as we could but it’s just a shame not to finish the first part of the season with a few more points.”

Vandoorne has endured a tough 2018 so far and struggled with a lack of downforce in recent races, prompting a change of chassis ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

The Belgian was pleased by his improved performance across the weekend and insisted he is not thinking about uncertainty surrounding his future at McLaren. 

“From a personal side it felt good this weekend,” he said. “I think we’ve shown that the pace was back to where it has always been, and I think on a personal note I can be happy. It’s just a shame we couldn’t finish it off with a double-points score.

When asked if he felt like he is fighting for his seat, Vandoorne replied: “I’m not thinking about that to be honest. I’m just doing the best I can. 

“I think I’ve been focusing on that all the time and this weekend was a good sign that everything is back to normal,” he added. 

“So I’m looking forward to the summer break to relax a bit, get my head clear and then turn up in Spa for my home race.”

 

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