Vandoorne expects better results after set-up breakthrough

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Vandoorne expects better results after set-up breakthrough
Jonathan Noble
By: Jonathan Noble
Jun 9, 2017, 11:45 AM

Stoffel Vandoorne feels he has finally made a "good step" forward in getting his McLaren operating more how he likes it, on the back of his improved form at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren
 Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren
 Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32, lifts a wheel whilst turning
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
 Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
 Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32

Having made it through to Q3 for the first time this year in Monte Carlo, and been in a position to fight for points, the Belgian said he left the event feeling encouraged despite failing to take the chequered flag.

The most positive aspect for him, he says, is that the effort he has made to get a set-up he likes is finally paying off, as he feels he can push harder now than he was able to at the beginning of the year.

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

"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 and, with teammate Fernando Alonso having shone, it had prompted questions about his potential.

When asked if he felt pressure was ramping up on him to deliver, Vandoorne said: "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 frustrations

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

And with McLaren executive director Zak Brown having expressed big frustrations this week, Vandoorne says the team has been left wondering what it could achieve if it had more power available.

"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.

"This is the situation as it is at the moment. We are working hard with Honda to get on top of the issues so hopefully we can start to see some results fairly soon."

But despite the Honda woes, Vandoorne thinks things at the team are not a write off because of the positive news coming on the chassis side.

"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 wise, 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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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams McLaren Shop Now
Author Jonathan Noble
Article type Breaking news