Formula 1

Wolff Hopes Vandoorne is Given the Time to Grow into a ‘Great Driver’

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Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren F1 Team
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Toto Wolff hopes Stoffel Vandoorne is given the time to show he belongs in Formula 1 after failing to live up to expectations so far since joining the McLaren F1 Team ahead of the 2017 season.

Vandoorne was hindered in his rookie campaign by the unreliable and uncompetitive Honda power unit but with Renault Sport coming on board in 2018, expectations are higher, but the Belgian has only scored eight points in the opening six races with a best finish of eighth while team-mate Fernando Alonso has scored thirty-two points in the same time.

Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, is a big admirer of Vandoorne, who set the world alight in the junior categories before advancing to Formula 1, and he feels it can only be a matter of time before the twenty-six-year-old shows just what he is capable of.

“For me it’s pretty simple with Stoffel,” said Wolff to Belgian broadcaster RTBF.  “He is one of the most talented drivers on the grid. He beat everyone in GP2 and when he came to F1 many people said he was a future Senna.

“Expectations and comparisons like that are difficult for any young driver. It takes time.  You have to give a driver time to get kilometres and to learn. The whole environment is difficult and we had a good example last year with Valtteri Bottas who had a very good start but then it didn’t go so well.

“Now he has come back very strong. I have no doubt that Stoffel has the intelligence and the talent to progress and become a very great driver. I hope he will get that time.”

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