Stoffel Vandoorne insists it is too early for his McLaren F1 Team to write off the 2018 Formula 1 season despite their tough start to the campaign and the recent upheaval in management.
The team had high hopes of a strong season after switching from Honda to Renault power but are currently sitting seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, with the Woking-based team also having seen the high profile departure of Racing Director Eric Boullier ahead of the British Grand Prix.
Vandoorne himself has only eight points in the opening ten races of the season, but he insists the plan will be for the team to continue developing the MCL33 and try and improve the results before turning the focus purely onto the 2019 season.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a write-off,” Vandoorne is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “We will still keep bringing parts to the track, understand where our car is lacking performance because ultimately we’ll need to understand that for the design of next year’s car as well.
“It’s not a write-off. I think the results definitely haven’t been what we wanted them to be, but if we look at where we were last year we’re still in a better shape, so it’s definitely not a write-off.”
Vandoorne insisted something needed to be done to address the problems affecting the team, and it just happened to be Boullier that was the first to fall, with Gil de Ferran stepping into the role of Sporting Director, although the Belgian acknowledges that it will take time to transform the team, both on and off the track.
“There’s no specific timeline except we know that you can’t transform a team from one night overnight or one race to another, so it will require a bit of time,” said Vandoorne.
“To put a timeframe on that is extremely difficult. I don’t know how long it will take to get back to winning ways, I hope sooner rather than later obviously, but I think some things needed to change and like I said it’s a positive first step for the future.”