Vandoorne hopes talks with McLaren F1 engineers prompt breakthrough

Stoffel Vandoorne believes meetings with his McLaren-Honda engineers ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix have improved their mutual understanding and can help turn his difficult Formula 1 rookie season around

Vandoorne hopes talks with McLaren F1 engineers prompt breakthrough

So far Vandoorne has struggled to match the pace of team-mate Fernando Alonso, but he now believes he can address the problems that have hampered him.

"I think everything is kind of coming together," said Vandoorne.

"I had some good meetings with the team last week, and we understand what is going on, so this weekend, hopefully, we'll see some results from that.

"In all the previous series I've raced in, I've had some times where I was struggling and where I've had to get the team together and we've had to find a bit of a solution.

"And I've always been confident I can get on top of that and this is the same way I feel about it now - that it won't be long before everything will work out."

Vandoorne believes his struggles were more due to everyone needing to appreciate what he wants from the car than any specific technical issues.

"It's more the work I do with the engineers, trying to build a bit of a personal relationship with your engineers and really trying to understand each other, what specifically you need from the car," he explained.

"I think we've moved along quite a bit.

"The lack of winter testing definitely hasn't helped to go through that process, but I think it's normal - when you get to a competitive world like Formula 1, it needs a little bit of time to get to grips with the people around you.

"And I think that's progressing every weekend at the moment and I'm feeling much more comfortable every time I go to the track, so it's going in the right direction."

Vandoorne has been outqualified by Alonso at every race so far this year.

In Spain earlier this month, Alonso qualified seventh while Vandoorne could not get beyond Q1 and was only 19th fastest even before a penalty put him to the back.

"There's been a lot of things going on, we've had a lot of issues during the Friday practices, which have prevented me from doing a lot of running and tuning the car," Vandoorne said of the qualifying deficit.

"I think a bit of experience counts in that way.

"I've not been feeling 100% comfortable with the car, but that's getting a lot better now."

Vandoorne is teamed with Jenson Button this weekend while Alonso is at the Indianapolis 500, but played down his greater experience of the 2017 MCL32.

"I do my work as I've done over the past races," said Vandoorne.

"Of course I've done the first five races of the season and Jenson hasn't driven the car - but Jenson has 17 years of Formula 1 experience, has raced more around here than I have, and has won around here as well."

shares
comments
New 'ramp' kerbs on Monaco GP track too 'extreme' say F1 drivers
Previous article

New 'ramp' kerbs on Monaco GP track too 'extreme' say F1 drivers

Next article

Lewis Hamilton finding 2017 Mercedes F1 car difficult to drive

Lewis Hamilton finding 2017 Mercedes F1 car difficult to drive
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023