Alonso: Data shows 'clear' downforce loss on Vandoorne's McLaren

Fernando Alonso says his McLaren team needs to conduct a "deep investigation" into the "clear" lack of downforce affecting his Formula 1 team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne

Alonso: Data shows 'clear' downforce loss on Vandoorne's McLaren

Vandoorne, who is yet to outqualify Alonso in 2018, has been well off his team-mate's pace in the past two F1 weekends.

The Belgian said his MCL33 was "undriveable" at Silverstone and endured his "worst Friday" at Hockenheim, before setting the slowest time in the first segment of German Grand Prix qualifying.

Alonso, who will line up 11th on the grid at Hockenheim, has now backed Vandoorne publicly and called on McLaren to solve the issue.

"I think he's doing what he can," Alonso said. "Definitely, the last two races it seems that car has some kind of performance issue, and there are clear signs on the data that there is less downforce on that car.

"We've been changing some parts, and we need to go deep into that investigation because with both cars close to the points is always a little bit easier."

Speaking after qualifying, Vandoorne described the predicament as "very disappointing" and "hard to accept".

"I think the situation is the same as Silverstone," he added. "Since we hit the ground in Silverstone, we were by far the last car and it turned out the same today.

"I can't really tell anything more. It's frustrating. We changed a lot of parts on the car and it still doesn't work.

"Definitely I didn't forget how to drive a car. But the cars are in a similar spec, it's just that we can see an issue on the car.

"We've changed over a lot of parts already and at the moment we don't really have a solution to just make it work normally."

Vandoorne said McLaren broke curfew overnight to make changes to his MCL33, but admitted that "we're not really moving forward".

Asked whether the problem could be addressed through set-up changes, he said: "It's not linked to the set-up at all. It's something on the car that doesn't work.

"We've almost changed everything on the car. We see the problem on the data. Right now, we don't have a solution."

While Vandoorne's misery continued, Alonso's 11th-place effort was McLaren's best qualifying result since the French Grand Prix.

But with Lewis Hamilton's hydraulics failure and Daniel Ricciardo's grid penalty aiding his grid position, the Spaniard reckoned McLaren was no more competitive than in prior races.

"I think it's been a similar performance," he said. "We were P13 [at Silverstone] and today without the Hamilton and Ricciardo issues we were P13, so I think we are more or less in the same position.

"But on Sundays normally we score some points and we are alive thanks to that in the championship, and tomorrow we plan to do the same, to score a couple of points and keep fighting."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton believes his car failed before he went off in F1 qualifying
Previous article

Lewis Hamilton believes his car failed before he went off in F1 qualifying

Next article

Ferrari announces Sergio Marchionne exit due to poor health

Ferrari announces Sergio Marchionne exit due to poor health
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing Plus

Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing

OPINION: With more potential venues than there are slots in future calendars, rumours have been circulating that the Monaco Grand Prix could be a casualty of F1’s expansion into new markets. But MARK GALLAGHER thinks this is highly unlikely

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

The Hungarian Grand Prix race result, after a dry race held without safety car conditions, bore little resemblance to what was anticipated after qualifying. While certain drivers were nullified by some iffy strategy calls, others shone to grasp opportunities afforded to them in the last F1 race before the summer break

Formula 1
Aug 1, 2022