Stoffel Vandoorne on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve: “I’m excited to drive it for real for the first time”

Stoffel Vandoorne believes with more overtaking opportunities in Canada, there will be more chances for McLaren to be in the mix Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Stoffel Vandoorne is looking forward to seeing how the upgrades McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team have been working on, translate this weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Belgian had an eventful Monaco Grand Prix weekend, as his race ended after hitting the barriers on the restart following the safety car period. Vandoorne struggled to get heat into his Supersoft tyres and with these not being the optimum temperature, he was unable to avoid the St Devote barriers, leading to his retirement. Despite this, Vandoorne felt really comfortable in the MCL32 and felt the Woking-based outfit could have brought home points.

“Monaco was definitely an eventful weekend for the whole team,” said Vandoorne. “I felt really comfortable in the car each time I got out on track.

“I felt we could really push the limits of our package and maybe come home in the points – it’s a shame it didn’t end up that way. There has definitely been a step forward in the chassis thanks to the upgrades the team has been working hard to bring to every race, so let’s see how these translate to Canada.

“It’s a new venue for me this weekend as I’ve never raced there before, but I’ve driven the track plenty of times in the simulator already. It’s a tough circuit and I can see why people say it’s a ‘driver’s track’ – there’s a lot to keep you busy and high concentration is essential – the Wall of Champions is proof of that!”

Fernando Alonso was absent from the Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo street circuit, as he was participating in the Indy 500, with Jenson Button stepping in his place. Vandoorne believes it will be good to have Alonso back alongside him, as with his experience of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, it will be useful for him to tap in to.

“It will definitely be a completely different experience to Monaco in terms of preparation and set-up,” added Vandoorne.

“But I’m excited to drive it for real for the first time and get a feel for its characteristics. It will be good to have Fernando back alongside me, and he has a lot of experience at this track that will be useful to tap in to.

“It won’t be the easiest grand prix for us, but, in contrast to Monaco, there are more overtaking opportunities, which will hopefully mean more chances for us to be in the mix.”