Fuel pressure issues hinder Vandoorne progress in Qualifying


Stoffel Vandoorne was eliminated in Q1 on Saturday - Credit: Sam Bloxham/McLaren

Stoffel Vandoorne will start the Australian Grand Prix from eighteenth on the grid but the Belgian rued fuel pressure issues that forced him to abort two of this runs during qualifying.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer went into qualifying feeling confident after making good progress with the MCL32 during final practice on Saturday morning, but missed out on following team-mate Fernando Alonso into Q2 by 0.622 seconds.

“I had a fuel pressure issue in Q1 and had to abort my first two runs as the engine was running low on power,” said Vandoorne. “That was a shame – because, after FP3, everything was heading in the right direction and I was feeling confident. But it’s always difficult when you only get one opportunity to set a time because you can’t take risks and have to make it really count.

“Still, we’ve made some good steps forward this weekend: Fernando and I both feel more comfortable in the car, and that confidence means we’re able to push it a little bit more.”

Despite either driver having yet to complete a race distance, Vandoorne remains confident of a good race on Sunday.

“Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do, but we can take some positives from the potential we’ve shown so far this weekend, and I think we can have a good race tomorrow,” insisted the Belgian.