Stoffel Vandoorne said it was nice to have a ‘normal feeling’ again behind the wheel of his MCL33 after running with a brand new chassis for the first time at the Hungaroring on Friday.
The McLaren F1 Team racer struggled with an unknown car issue during the recent races at Silverstone and the Hockenheimring but was much happier in Hungary despite finishing sixteenth and nineteenth across the two practice sessions, although this was mainly down to a spin on his Qualifying simulation whilst running with the Ultrasoft Pirelli tyre.
“I’m happy with how this Friday went,” said Vandoorne. “I had a normal feeling in the car, and we could go back working on the set-up of the car again and not just trying to solve problems all the time.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t set any lap-times on the Ultrasoft tyres because I made a mistake and spun off the track. But, our long-run pace looked strong and we’re getting the balance much more together.”
Vandoorne said a lot of data was gathered across the two sessions that he hopes will see his McLaren be competitive and a possible Q3 challenger, although he feels starting on the Ultrasoft tyre could end up being more of a hindrance than an advantage on Sunday.
“There were significant changes from FP1 to FP2 and we gathered a lot of valuable info to put the car in good shape for tomorrow,” said Vandoorne. “I’m looking forward to having a good final practice session and then we can prepare as best we can for qualifying.
“The target for us is to be as close as possible to the top-ten as I don’t know if actually being in Q3 is a good thing, having to start on the Ultrasoft tyres. All-in-all, it was nice to just have a normal Friday.”