McLaren-Honda Formula One Team’s racing director Eric Boullier is clearly impressed with the progress made by Stoffel Vandoorne after the Belgian initially struggled to adapt to being in F1’s limelight.
As perhaps expected, Vandoorne struggled to match his world champion team-mate Fernando Alonso during the early stages of the season, with Boullier publicly stating his disappointment in McLaren’s latest rookie signing.
“Unfortunately for Stoffel, he was at the centre of the attention of the press and spectators as he became the team-mate at McLaren of a world champion,” Boullier told Canal Plus.
“But everyone who made their debuts in recent years, including Max Verstappen, went through several difficult months before they began to reveal their potential, but it was less noticed.”
Since his rocky start, Vandoorne has turned his season around, scoring back-to-back career best seventh places in Singapore and Malaysia to now lead Alonso in the world championship by three points.
“During this time, Stoffel learned a lot and he’s now doing an excellent job. He is completely confident in himself and is always gaining more experience.” Boullier added.
Vandoorne will race for McLaren again next as the team welcome Renault as their power-unit supplier. His team-mate is yet to be confirmed although Alonso is expected to be announced within the next few weeks.