Stoffel Vandoorne made his Formula 1 début in Bahrain one year ago and scored a point on his maiden appearance. Second time around and he didn't even make it to the start.
“It’s a real shame that we weren’t even able to start the race today," he said after his MCL32 was pulled off before the formation lap.
"The team discovered a water-pressure issue on the way to the grid.
"It’s disappointing, obviously, that we come all the way here and can’t even start the race," he said. "It’s frustrating when you do all the preparation work and put in so much effort."
Vandoorne's DNS came after an already troubled weekend for McLaren. Vandoorne himself had already suffered two failures during Friday's free practice sessions. His team mate Fernando Alonso also ended up retiring from the race near the end with a power unit issue.
The never-ended cascade of problems for the team is certainly proving a trial for everyone concerned, Vandoorne included. But he's determined to see it through and come out the other side.
"We knew from the beginning of the season that the situation we were in was going to be difficult," said the Belgian.
"I have an extremely good relationship with the team. I believe that we’ll get on top of these issues, and I’m confident that I can do a good job when everything comes together.
"We’re going through a hard time. It’s not fun for us to go through this. But this is what it is at the moment, and today shows that.
"I’ll keep my head down, I’ll work hard with the team, and I’m sure there will be some improvements at some point.
"When they will be, it’s difficult to say. But I’m confident that they’ll come.
"We’ve lost quite a bit of mileage so it’s definitely not an ideal situation. We need to make a good step forward soon. Hopefully we can show that at some point in the next few races.”