McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne feels he's turned season around

Stoffel Vandoorne believes his Monaco Grand Prix pace shows he has made a breakthrough in his so-far tough first full Formula 1 season with McLaren-Honda

McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne feels he's turned season around

Having made it through to Q3 for the first time this year in Monte Carlo, and been in a position to fight for points, Vandoorne left the event feeling encouraged despite ultimately crashing in both qualifying and the race.

He said efforts to get a set-up he likes are finally paying off and he now feels able to push harder.

"I've been working hard with the team to understand what I need exactly from the car," Vandoorne told Autosport.

"I think that has taken a little bit of time at the start of the season but I am feeling more and more comfortable with the way we are going, and the way I am driving the car and the set-up.

"Everything is falling into place and I think everything is there to repeat that now."

Vandoorne had failed to make it out of Q1 before Monaco while team-mate Fernando Alonso shone in qualifying, even earning seventh on the grid in Spain.

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Asked if he felt that had ramped up pressure on him, Vandoorne replied: "I didn't really feel the pressure to be honest. I know that I am capable of delivering.

"I've been through a couple of difficult times in the junior series, but obviously it is completely different to what it is in F1.

"I am always confident that when I get on top of the issues and work hard with the team that at some point the switch will be there and then we will perform.

"I think we've made a very good step in that direction now, and hopefully we can start seeing the results of that.

"Monaco was definitely a good step forward for us."

HONDA LEAVES A QUESTION MARK

While Vandoorne is happy with his set-up solutions and the progress McLaren has made with its chassis, he knows that Honda's power deficit is still holding the team back.

"We know that we lack a big amount of power, and unfortunately it is always a bit of a question mark now to us - if we had that much more power, what would be possible to achieve?" he said.

But Vandoorne believes recent chassis progress has kept McLaren's morale up.

"I think actually there has been some positive vibes because the car is moving in the right direction," he said.

"Everything we've done in terms of parts, bringing upgrades to the track, they have more or less delivered the way we have wanted, and that has been good for the team to see the competitiveness of the car."

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