Formula 1

Stoffel Vandoorne on Qualifying: No ‘surprises’ regarding performance

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Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren F1 Team - Spa-Francorchamps
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Stoffel Vandoorne has spoken of his disappointment at the team’s qualifying performance, leaving the Belgian and his team-mate, Spaniard Fernando Alonso, near the back of the field.

Vandoorne set a 1:45.307, placing him twentieth on the grid, while team-mate Alonso set a 1:44.917, placing him not far ahead in seventeenth.

The Woking-based outfit have had abysmal seasons for the last three years, when they changed their power unit supplier to Honda.  In an attempt to gain better results, they once again changed their power unit, this time to Renault, but seemingly to no avail.

“Our general performance explains pretty much everything this afternoon.  We’ve been last in almost every session, we’ve had so many problems this weekend and I don’t think there were any surprises here in qualifying,” said Vandoorne.

Tensions are running high at the McLaren F1 Team, fuelled by a consistent lack of performance.  Some have believed this is the reason behind two-time World Champion Alonso choosing to leave the team as well as the sport at the end of the season.

“It’s my home grand prix and it’s a real shame that we don’t have better machinery to really put on a show and give the fans a good result.”

Vandoorne said that he felt there was nothing which could have been done to help their poor performance.

“I don’t think there would have been a huge miracle if I hadn’t had the incident in FP3.  We tried to play every card today, with a bit of slipstreaming as well and we didn’t really progress any further, so I don’t think it made much difference for me,” said the Belgian.

Nevertheless, he feels optimistic they will have a chance to better this result in the race.

“I hope I can progress at least a little bit tomorrow.  It’s been a difficult weekend, we’ve not really had any performance at all, and I just hope tomorrow will be better.”

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F1 reporter for The Checkered Flag. Also a second year Journalism student at Robert Gordon University. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @findlaygrant5.
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