Despite improving on their performance last season and making solid progression, McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Stoffel Vandoorne, is still unsure whether they will be able to get back to winning ways in 2017.
The Honda power unit has been redesigned ahead of the 2017 season, featuring an all new layout and structure, as the Japanese manufacturer and McLaren strive to be a winning combination next season, but Vandoorne believes making the top step of the podium will still be a huge challenge, as he told Belgian paper, La Derniere Heure recently.
“It’s hard to say, it’s too early to judge.
“In any case, McLaren is improving. The last two seasons were not easy for Honda, but we made a significant step forward and we hope that positive trend will continue.
“I hope the car will be competitive and we will fight for the top positions.”
Having had his first taste of F1 when standing in for the injured Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year, and scoring McLaren’s first point of the season with an accomplished drive, Vandoorne is not about to sit back and take it easy despite his reservations.
“No, finishing in the top ten is not the goal. I want to win!
“But we don’t know if we can win races already. Probably this year it won’t be the case, but I’m still going to try.
“McLaren has good prospects for the future and I’m in the right place. I believe in the team.”
McLaren finished sixth in the constructors standings in 2016, with some excellent top ten finishes from drivers Alonso and Jenson Button helping to achieve that result, a fantastic turnaround on a woeful season and tenth place in the standings in 2015, with only the then Marussia F1 team finishing behind them.
The Woking based squad will be aiming to continue with that upward curve in 2017, which will hopefully see them fighting for podiums at the very least.