Vandoorne was "exposed" as Alonso's teammate - Boullier


Stoffel Vandoorne was exposed at the beginning of his Formula 1 career by having Fernando Alonso as his teammate but now has the confidence and is delivering, says Eric Boullier.

Vandoorne, who is making his full-season debut this term, has been in good form of late, scoring points for McLaren in Singapore and Malaysia with two seventh places to move ahead of Alonso in the drivers' standings.

Last time out in Japan, Alonso squeezed him out of Q3 by just 0.029 seconds, but though he started ninth because of grid penalties, his race was undone following contact with Kimi Raikkonen on lap 1 and he ended up 14th.

McLaren's racing director Boullier says Vandoorne has adapted his driving style since June and has begun to get on top of his difficulties with the tyres.

"Hard work, trust, confidence and talent," said Boullier when asked to explain Vandoorne's turnaround in form.

"He has been very exposed because of his teammate, Fernando, a double world champion.

"Any young driver who join F1 in the last five years had a period, the same as Stoffel, to adapt to F1.

"If you're in a [smaller] team, it's more quiet. But if you're at McLaren, next to Fernando Alonso, obviously it's more difficult.

"Since June now, the approach we had with Stoffel, and his approach with us, has been a bit different. We've worked on his understanding of F1 and obviously tyres.

"Now he has gained the confidence he has needed to be able to extract the best out of his car. This is why you're seeing the Stoffel we are expecting to unlock."

Vandoorne says he feels more settled with the team and has now developed a confidence with the car that helps him push on.

"The way I am working with the team, working with engineers has developed a lot," said Vandoorne.

"Having had the opportunity to have a bit more track time enabled us to see what I needed from the car, to understand what I needed from the car.

"I am just confident that things will work and things will go and that is a nice feeling, to feel comfortable and do with the car what you want to do."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news