Vandoorne confident late call-up won't hinder him

Stoffel Vandoorne says his late call-up to replace Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix has not left him feeling under-prepared for the weekend.

Alonso was ruled out of competing in Bahrain by FIA doctors on Thursday following his huge crash during the Australian Grand Prix less than two weeks ago.

Reserve driver Vandoorne was in Japan at the time, testing for Super Formula, and had to fly direct to Bahrain to arrive on Friday morning.

But he says communication from the team, and some reading on the plane, brought him fully up to speed about what he needed to do.

"I got the call yesterday evening when I was about to leave Japan," he said, after finishing 11th overall in second practice.

"From then on things started to get a little bit hectic. I had a lot of calls with all the McLaren engineers, they sent me all the files I had to know with all the information about the steering wheel, operationally before and during the race, about what we can and cannot say, what we have to do.

"But I've spent my time well on the plane. I think today went very well after a night's sleep. Thinking about tomorrow, I feel very confident about it."

Despite the lack of time to prepare, Vandoorne says he feels 100 percent ready for his chance.

"It's definitely been great," he said. "I wasn't expecting to drive this weekend, but in the end I'm very happy for this opportunity. First of all I'm gonna try and do as good a job as possible for the team.

"I feel 100 percent ready for this. I think today was a very good day for me. I haven't driven this car before but I quickly felt comfortable in the car."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news