‘The team has made a lot of progress’ – Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne - Octane Photographic Ltd

McLaren-Honda F1 Team’s new driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, has echoed the sentiments of many of the other drivers, recently claiming that the new 2017 cars will be ‘a lot faster’ than last year.

New regulations that allow the cars more downforce and mechanical grip mean that it is predicted that they could be up to six seconds quicker a lap. This means that the drivers have been intensively preparing over the winter break in order to physically deal with the new cars, with Vandoorne being no exception, having only sampled the car in the simulator.

Speaking to Belgian news agency Sporza, Vandoorne commented that he didn’t know much about the new car – only that it will be much faster than previous cars. He also has high expectations for the 2017 season for McLaren, even though they have suffered through lack of outright speed in the last few years.

The past few years were difficult for McLaren, but the team has also made a lot of progress. Hopefully we can start in two weeks with good testing in Barcelona.”

The drivers have been faced with a different winter training programme to normal as a result of the new regulations, as instead of striving to achieve their minimum weight, their training has instead focussed upon increasing muscle mass in order to cope with the demands of the new cars.

I have been doing a lot of sports to keep fit, that’s the only way because there’s no driving. The changes in the rules mean it will probably be difficult for the drivers. But I don’t see it as a problem as I’ve have had a good preparation. The season can start now for me,” commented Vandoorne.