McLaren Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne says he was thrilled by his recovery drive into the points in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Vandoorne started 15th and found himself at the back of the pack during a hectic opening lap in Mexico City, before making his way back through the field to split the Sauber pair of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson in eighth place.

The result marked the Belgian’s first top 10 finish since April’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix and was just his fourth appearance inside the points this season.

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“I am very satisfied,” Vandoorne said. “We put a lot of preparation into this weekend, and we knew it was possible to score points here.

“After the first lap we were last, so it was a great recovery, some good overtakes on track, which were very crucial.

“Making the tyres last and finishing eighth was a great result for me and also for the team. for the constructor’s championship.

“There have been really good races a couple of races ago, but here everyone notices because we were awarded points.”

Teammate Fernando Alonso was forced into an early retirement after a piece of debris from Esteban Ocon’s Force India became lodged in his McLaren’s radiator, causing terminal damage.

“We managed to do three or four laps but it was another short race for me, again,” Alonso explained.

“I think one bit of the Force India penetrated the radiator and for sure damaged something in the cooling system.

“It was bad luck to catch some of the bits that were flying off in the first couple of corners. I wasn’t even close to hitting anyone, the accident was between another two cars but something ended up inside my car’s radiator.

“Incidents like this happen in every race and there’s nothing we can do now. So I’d rather focus on what a magic day it was, even though I’d rather still be on the track.”