After one of his most difficult weekends of his career at Spa-Francorchamps, Stoffel Vandoorne is expecting more pain to come this weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the final European race of the 2018 Formula 1 season.
The McLaren F1 Team racer finished at the back of every session in Belgium and was the final of the fifteen finishers last Sunday, with Vandoorne admitted that the high-speed circuits and low downforce set-ups are hurting the team, and there are not many circuits in the world that requires as much speed and downforce sacrifice than Monza.
Vandoorne will have the extra pressure this weekend of joining the weekend in the second practice session, with McLaren giving a second outing to their young protégé Lando Norris in the first session on Friday morning.
“Obviously Monza will be a challenge for us, as we experienced in Belgium,” said Vandoorne. “Our car struggles on tracks that are high-speed and low downforce and this is probably the most extreme version of this.
“Despite this, the team is working as hard as ever to make the best of what we have each race weekend. I am as determined as they are to produce the best possible results given the limitations of our package.”
Despite expecting to struggle, Vandoorne admits he enjoys driving around the Monza circuit and feels it is one of the more exciting venues on the Formula 1 calendar.
“I really enjoy driving around Monza – it’s an incredible track with a huge amount of history,” said the Belgian. “I think every Formula 1 driver appreciates the reputation it holds as one of the most famous and exciting tracks on the calendar.”