A hugely disappointing afternoon for the whole McLaren-Honda team after Fernando Alonso failed to start the Russian Grand Prix, and Stoffel Vandoorne took the chequered flag in 14th position.
Fernando suffered an ERS software fault on the parade lap, and, despite attempting to restart it during the lap, he was unable to make it back to the pits and was left stranded on the circuit.
Stoffel put his head down and drove a tidy, measured race, finishing 14th – getting the best from his car but unable to challenge any of the runners ahead of him.
Started 19th (following Fernando’s retirement)
Fastest lap 1m39.790s on lap 47 (+2.946s, 14th)
Pit-stops Two: laps 1 (2.73s) and 24 (3.26s + 5s penalty) [Prime/Option/Option]
“From my side, 14th position was pretty much the best possible result today. “I had a decent start but had to avoid a first-corner accident, which meant I got a five-second time penalty for missing the markers at Turn Two.
“However, I don’t think that did anything to change today’s result. It was a pretty normal race, we ran at our own pace, I did the maximum possible and I think 14th is a fair reflection of where we’re at.
“Fernando not being able to start shows that there’s still a lot of work to do on the reliability side – that’s two races in a row where two McLarens haven’t started. That’s a shame, but at least we got to the finish – that meant a lot of learning for the team and a lot of learning for myself.
“But, in terms of pace, we’re still not quick enough – that’s for sure.”
Finished DNS – ERS software failure (0 laps)
Fastest lap –
“It’s tough, it’s frustrating – every weekend is the same.
“My power unit didn’t have the usual power during the formation lap, so my engineer told me to change some settings on the steering wheel. Unfortunately, that didn’t work and towards the end of the lap the engine shut down. My race was over before it started.
“Not being able to take part in the race today and not being able to finish any race so far this season is extremely tough.
“But Formula1 is my life, so hopefully we can improve the situation soon.”