Stoffel Vandoorne can feel McLaren-Honda progress in F1 test return

Stoffel Vandoorne believes this year's McLaren-Honda is now "quite different" to how it was in his last Formula 1 outing in the MP4-31 two months ago

Stoffel Vandoorne can feel McLaren-Honda progress in F1 test return

Vandoorne raced the car in the Bahrain Grand Prix, making a superb F1 debut standing in for the injured Fernando Alonso, and drove it again in the post-Spanish GP test in mid-May.

Returning to the cockpit for the final day of in-season testing at Silverstone, the 24-year-old could clearly feel the improvements that have been made, both in terms of chassis and engine.

"There was a lot of aero stuff to do in the morning, so as a driver it wasn't very exciting in the first two hours, but after that we got some good runs in and we went through various new systems we have on the car," said Vandoorne.

"As it is the final day of in-season testing there is always a lot of stuff to go through, and we went through a lot this morning.

"The car feels quite different, in a positive way, from Barcelona. When I got in the car it felt pretty positive straightaway.

"That is always a good situation when you can push straightaway. It is coming along nicely."

The power unit has undergone two upgrades over the past two months, with Honda spending two tokens on updating the turbocharger ahead of the Canadian GP, and a further two on improving the internal combustion engine prior to Britain.

Assessing the system at present, Vandoorne said: "It is a long time since I drove the car, so every time you get back in an F1 car it feels quite fast naturally.

"From the data we've got we've made some progress, but we are still not at the level we want to be so we will keep pushing on."

As to whether Honda had conducted any work during the test, Vandoorne said: "There is always stuff going on in the background especially during testing.

"That is not only with aero and the car, but also engine work, and that is mainly Honda taking care of that in the background."

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