Vandoorne: "It won't be long" before my form improves

Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
May 24, 2017, 6:02 PM

McLaren rookie Stoffel Vandoorne is confident an upturn in his performances is not far away, having endured a difficult start to life as a full-time Formula 1 race driver.

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Marshals remove the car of Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Jenson Button, in the press conference

So far in 2017, Vandoorne has struggled to match the pace of teammate Fernando Alonso, but he now believes that he has been able to address the problems that have hampered him.

"I think everything is kind of coming together," said Vandoorne in Monaco. "I had some good meetings with the team last week, and we understand what is going on, so I think this weekend, hopefully we'll see some results from that.

"I had a positive feeling about it and I'm really looking forward to getting the weekend started.

"I think in all the previous series I've raced in, I've had some times where I was struggling as well 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 to get on top of that and this is the same way I feel about it now, is that it won't be long before everything will work out."

The Belgian rookie has insisted that his early-season travails are not down to any specific technical issue, saying: "I think 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.

"And I think we've moved along quite a bit. And hopefully we'll start seeing some positive results of that.

"The lack of [mileage in] winter testing definitely hasn't helped to go a bit through that process as well, 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."

Vandoorne has so far particularly struggled to match Alonso in qualifying, as he's yet to make it past the opening segment or outqualify his Spanish teammate.

"I think 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," he said.

"I think a bit of experience as well counts in that way, I've not been feeling 100 percent comfortable with the car, but that's getting a lot better now and I'm feeling much more confident every weekend."

Vandoorne is adamant that he doesn't feel any extra responsibility In Monaco despite being more experienced with the MCL32 than teammate Jenson Button, who is substituting for the Indy 500-bound Alonso.

The Belgian, who will take a three-place grid penalty in Monaco due to his collision with Felipe Massa in Spain, said of Button's Monaco chances: "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, has won around here as well.

"He's been preparing very well for this grand prix so I'm sure he'll perform well as well. So I think the aim for the team is to work as hard as possible, try to carry over the performance from Spain, hopefully even a bit better, and that's what's most important."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Monaco GP
Location Monte Carlo
Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams McLaren Shop Now
Author Adam Cooper
Article type Breaking news