Stoffel Vandoorne: “I’m really proud of the team effort”

Stoffel Vandoorne finishing seventh fastest on Thursday - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Stoffel Vandoorne was relieved to get a decent day of running in at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer completing 67 laps on Thursday.

The Belgian finished seventh fastest in his MCL32 in the split day of wet and dry running at the Spanish circuit, and felt it was a valuable day of running, especially as the team were able to complete their planned programme for a second consecutive day.

“I’m really pleased both Fernando [Alonso] and I were able to spend a full day in the car with no major issues, get a good amount of valuable mileage under our belt and complete our scheduled run plans on both days,” said Vandoorne.

“We’ve tried a lot of different things, worked on various set-ups, and we’re learning a lot about the handling and characteristics of the car with every lap, which has been very useful for me.”

Vandoorne was happy with his performance during the wet portion of the day, feeling comfortable behind the wheel of the MCL32, and felt it was important to gather data for the car to see how it reacts in different conditions.

“The addition of the wet testing was also interesting as it was the first opportunity for us to try out a wet weather set-up with the new tyres and under the new regulations,” said Vandoorne.

“I felt comfortable in the car, even in the wet, which has provided us with valuable data and given me a good feel for how the car reacts in varying track conditions.”

Vandoorne was happy that the team turned their week around in the final two days to allow him to get more acclimatised to the new car, and hopes more progress can be made during next weeks second test.

“We had a difficult start to the week, but I want to say thank you to the team for all their hard work over the past four days,” said Vandoorne. “We’ve managed a solid couple of days’ running and made good progress, and I’m really proud of the team effort to ensure we could make the most of our track time. I hope we can continue this momentum and have a strong week at the next test.”