McLaren trouble 'very good' for my development, says Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda Formula 1 rookie Stoffel Vandoorne believes his team's current woes have been "very good" for his development as a grand prix driver

McLaren trouble 'very good' for my development, says Vandoorne

Vandoorne, 25, replaced 2009 world champion Jenson Button alongside Fernando Alonso in the McLaren line-up for the 2017 season.

Last year, the Belgian scored a point on his debut in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but has not replicated the feat in the first four races of his first full campaign.

The 2015 GP2 champion believes McLaren's current problems will not stunt his progress as a driver.

"I think it's actually been very good for me to develop as a driver," he told Autosport over the Russian Grand Prix weekend. "Even though it's a difficult situation, I think there's so much you learn from this.

"In my junior series [career], I've never almost really had a tough time. I was always fighting for victories, fighting for championships and everything was more or less going smooth.

"OK, you have the one-off bad race, but it's kind of a new experience for me to go through a bit of a tougher time, where things don't go as you're planning. There's a lot to learn from that for me."

Vandoorne has been affiliated with McLaren since 2013 - a year after the team claimed its last grand prix victory - and said there was "a lot to learn" from being directly involved in a difficult spell in the team's history.

"You focus on so many things to try and find the details, to improve a lot of bits on the car," he said.

"I think it's actually a big challenge for me as well to work together with the team and bring us back to the top."

NO "QUICK FIX" TO CURRENT PROBLEMS

Vandoorne said McLaren and himself were avoiding setting a concrete target for the rest of 2017.

"Obviously we're one of the biggest teams in Formula 1 and we want to be fighting at the front, that's definitely what we want to do," he said. "At this moment in time we're not in a position to do that but I feel everything is there to be successful in the future.

"Now it's just about how quickly can we get back to a competitive level.

"There's probably not a quick fix at this moment, but I'm confident that one day we will get the strong package."

The Belgian conceded McLaren's current woes have been particularly tough after the team had got to a "decent level" at the end of 2016.

"Everyone was kind of expecting another step forward," he said. "For various reasons, it hasn't been the case.

"But it's the position we're in at the moment. It's not ideal but I think everything is there to be competitive again."

shares
comments
Mercedes F1 team has 'no magic bullets' for Hamilton's Sochi woes
Previous article

Mercedes F1 team has 'no magic bullets' for Hamilton's Sochi woes

Next article

Webber believes Button 'not very interested' in Monaco GP return

Webber believes Button 'not very interested' in Monaco GP return
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022