Stoffel Vandoorne: “Every lap in the car is valuable”

The lesser seen McLaren Honda MCL32 of Stoffel Vandoorne - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Stoffel Vandoorne was still able to take some positives away from his day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Tuesday despite more engine issues affecting the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team’s running.

The Belgian was having his first taste of the MCL32 but completed only 40 laps of the Spanish circuit after losing significant time while his mechanics replaced his power unit, twenty four hours after team-mate Fernando Alonso endured the same frustrations.

Vandoorne, who is replacing Jenson Button in the team in 2017, admitted that despite the issues he felt comfortable driving the MCL32, and now hopes that the team can put their disappointing start to pre-season testing behind them in the remaining days to ready themselves for the new season.

“It wasn’t the best day of running for us, but I’m pleased that despite the issue we still managed to get some laps on the board – I was very happy to get behind the wheel after four months without driving,” said Vandoorne.

“It’s important with a new car and a new design that you can step into the cockpit for the first time and feel confident to push, and I immediately felt comfortable in the car, so that was definitely a positive for me.

“The initial feelings this morning were quite good, then unfortunately we had a loss of power, and we’re still investigating what the issues were. The first two days have been a bit difficult, but the team has done a great job to get the car up and running again so we could get back out on track.

“There are still more days of testing this week and every lap in the car is valuable; it’s my first season in F1, so during every lap I try to make the most of it. Hopefully tomorrow and Thursday Fernando and I will have a couple of better days.”