Alonso: Vandoorne closer than other team-mates, including Raikkonen

Fernando Alonso believes struggling team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne is closer to his level than some of his previous Formula 1 team-mates, including 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen

Alonso: Vandoorne closer than other team-mates, including Raikkonen

Vandoorne was the slowest qualifier at Hockenheim for this weekend's German Grand Prix, following up a forgettable race last time out at Silverstone.

While McLaren believes the data shows Vandoorne's car is suffering from a loss of performance compared to Alonso's, it is yet to find the specific cause of the problems.

Alonso joked that Vandoorne will "always be a little bit behind" because "it's difficult to beat me!", but he believes his team-mate will get back on terms with him when the car problems are solved.

"If you see previous team-mates, they were a lot further [behind] than Stoffel," Alonso said.

"In 2014 it was six or seven tenths to Kimi every race. It's less than that now.

"He arrived [in F1] in a difficult car with some difficulties last year and this year as well.

"But he's OK, and he will be very close in performance as soon as the car is delivering normal performance.

"[There's] nothing really to say to him. And for his reputation, you just need to wait and see, or see the results before Silverstone, or last year, in terms of qualifying."

Vandoorne's average qualifying deficit to Alonso this year is 0.3 seconds, although over the last two weekends it is 0.8s.

Alonso outqualified Raikkonen 16 times out of 19 in 2014 when they were paired at Ferrari, with the average gap between them half a second.

When asked about the damage the situation is doing to the Belgian's reputation, Alonso added: "I don't think [his reputation] is going down.

"We just heard, and in Silverstone it was the same case, that the car is underperforming.

"We, as a team, are trying to find the problem, and to have both cars in the same condition with the same performance.

"He has shown the talent already, there's no need to prove anything."

McLaren needs time

Vandoorne's problems have prompted suggestions McLaren needs to give him a new chassis, but he believes the team needs more time to find the cause of his struggles.

"The team is more than capable of finding what is going on," he said.

"We need to give them a little bit of time now to dig deeper into the data.

"We see some differences across the cars on the data, we've put a lot of effort already into solving what's going on.

"I wish I could give an answer. We've changed a lot of parts on the car, we've done nearly everything and we've come out with the same kind of problems.

"Since Silverstone we've been almost last in every session by quite a big margin.

"I don't think we've touched the point [on the car] yet where things are not working, so that's the main priority now.

"It's just a lack of general grip, less downforce, a very tricky car to drive."

shares
comments
Max Verstappen took Hockenheim's Turn 1 flat out in F1 qualifying
Previous article

Max Verstappen took Hockenheim's Turn 1 flat out in F1 qualifying

Next article

Daniel Ricciardo ready to sign 2019 Red Bull F1 deal 'early next week'

Daniel Ricciardo ready to sign 2019 Red Bull F1 deal 'early next week'
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022