Vandoorne: McLaren F1 team closer to Renault 'than ever' with Honda

McLaren already has a closer relationship with new Formula 1 engine supplier Renault than it ever had with previous partner Honda, says Stoffel Vandoorne

Vandoorne: McLaren F1 team closer to Renault 'than ever' with Honda

After three predominantly frustrating years as Honda's works F1 team, McLaren initiated a split last season and is now a Renault customer.

Toro Rosso picked up the Honda deal and has been very complimentary about its new partner during a largely trouble-free winter.

But when asked by Autosport how well Renault and McLaren were cooperating, Vandoorne replied: "Until now everything has been going very well.

"I think McLaren and Renault are perhaps closer than it's ever been with Honda, also because the culture is much more similar.

"It's a very open relationship. If somebody makes a mistake, the other party doesn't get the blame. If there's problems they quickly find a solution as well."

He described the atmosphere at McLaren as "quite different, very positive" compared to last season, even though the team has again had to grapple with multiple reliability problems during pre-season testing.

"Maybe that change was necessary to give the team a boost," Vandoorne added.

"We have had a very positive test, even if we had some problems.

"Everyone has a positive feeling and that's important for our motivation."

Vandoorne ended Thursday sixth fastest, 1.7 seconds off Sebastian Vettel's record pacesetting lap for Ferrari.

"Of course there's teams that are very quick but I don't think the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes are our targets this year," he said.

"We have to improve everywhere. This is a sport where there's not a single team that stops looking for improvements everywhere.

"Because you have a good feeling in the car, it's not that there's no issues to resolve.

"I'm happy with the package we have. In terms of the set-up we know more or less where we are with all the systems on the car. We understand how to use them."

shares
comments
Renault F1 team rejects concerns over legality of blown rear wing

Previous article

Renault F1 team rejects concerns over legality of blown rear wing

Next article

Pirelli announces Canadian GP as first race for hypersoft F1 tyres

Pirelli announces Canadian GP as first race for hypersoft F1 tyres
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team , Renault F1 Team , McLaren
Author Erwin Jaeggi
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021