Stoffel Vandoorne admitted the McLaren F1 Team car is “lacking performance in a number of areas” after he qualified nineteenth for the Russian Grand Prix.
The Belgian will move up the grid due to penalties for the two Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda drivers and Vandoorne’s team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Vandoorne felt it was always going to be a difficult weekend at the Sochi Autodrom for the team and so far it has proved to be just that.
“It was always going to be difficult for us around here this weekend,” said Vandoorne. “In FP3 this morning, I think we saw that the pace of the car wasn’t looking very strong.”
The Belgian felt the aim in qualifying was to beat the two Williams Martini Racing drivers but he was only able to beat Lance Stroll as he was three-tenths of a second slower than Sergey Sirotkin.
“Going in to qualifying, our target was to try and get ahead of the Williamses: we managed to beat one of them today,” said the Belgian, who will leave McLaren at the end of 2018 after being replaced by reserve driver Lando Norris.
“I don’t yet know where that puts us once all the penalties are applied. Our car is lacking performance in a number of areas. The balance isn’t always perfect but it feels reasonable; we just lack general performance.”