Stoffel Vandoorne: “We should be able to improve our position”

Stoffel Vandoorne suffered a spin and an MGU-H issue during FP2 - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Stoffel Vandoorne admitted it was a difficult day for him as he got to grips with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with the Belgian racing at the circuit for the first time this weekend.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver was left frustrated after a MGU-H problem ended his afternoon session prematurely, but he was also disappointed to make a mistake on his Ultrasoft run that left him with out a representative lap time in the session, down in nineteenth.

Vandoorne is hopeful that the troubles that affected him on Friday will not follow him into Saturday as he aims to advance to Q3 for a second consecutive race weekend, having done so for the first time two weeks ago in Monaco.

“Today has been a bit of a tricky day for the team,” said Vandoorne. “On my side, the first practice session went pretty well, and I was able to spend time getting to grips with the track as it’s my first time driving here. First off, the asphalt was quite dusty, but it improved quite a lot through the session. In the end, I was feeling quite positive and had a reasonable feeling in the car.

“In FP2 I started well and felt that the set-up changes we’d made between the sessions had gone in the right direction. Unfortunately, on the Ultrasoft I had a spin towards the end – and then, shortly after, we discovered an issue with the MGU-H, which finished our afternoon’s running.

“All in all, it hasn’t been a trouble-free day, which is a shame, but hopefully tomorrow everything will fall into place again and we should be able to improve our position.”