user icon

Vandoorne set to stay at McLaren for 2018

  • Published on 10 Jul 2017 16:50
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren is set to stick with Stoffel Vandoorne for the 2018 season after the Belgian has suffered a so far difficult maiden season. Brought in to replace Jenson Button, Vandoorne has been heavily out-performed by teammate Fernando Alonso and is still yet to finish inside the top 10.

The 2015 GP2 champion has been struggling to come to grips with the McLaren-Honda package, which has given both parties a massive headache this year. However, after apparent improvements in Austria, executive director Zak Brown admits that the team is happy with Vandoorne.

"Yeah, we're happy with Stoffel. He's in a difficult situation going up against Fernando Alonso and then the lack of reliability. Fernando can adapt to a lot of these issues quicker than Stoffel because he has not been to a lot of these tracks. We think he's a future world champion and we don't expect any change there."

Vandoorne has failed to get the better of a teammate in qualifying, trialling 8-0 to Fernando Alonso and 1-0 to Jenson Button, who returned to the sport for a one-off race, filling in for Alonso. Many still have faith in the 25-year-old who debuted in F1 at Bahrain 2016, replacing Alonso who was out with an injury.

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (9)

Login to reply
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    I'm slightly shocked, if I'm honest. I guess it's the new management philosophy at McLaren. Zak can make excuses for him all that he wants, but he's been far from impressive thus far.

    • + 1
    • Jul 10 2017 - 18:06
    • HEINZ

      Posts: 61

      All the new guys are being beaten by their more experienced teammates... They need more track time.

      • + 2
      • Jul 10 2017 - 18:10
  • Vandoorne more than proved himself last year in GP2, he is just up against one of the greatest drivers ever in a car that is very difficult to drive! He will only improve

    • + 0
    • Jul 10 2017 - 19:28
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    That he is up against "one of the best of all time" and he just needs time is such a cop out. Button did fairly well against Alonso last year, and the year before that, Magnussen did really well against Button, and performed right out of the gate. The same with Hamilton way back when. I'm not saying Stoffel is a bad driver as such, but he is certainly not extraordinary. If McLaren is serious about getting back in the mix, they need a better driver IMO. Now of course, the question is also who they can get, at this point in time.

    • + 0
    • Jul 10 2017 - 20:39
    • Kurosawa

      Posts: 112

      Magnussen well against Button?
      Apart from the first race of the season, when Kevin finished 2nd, Button completely dominated Magnussen. Perez was a lot closer to Button as Kevin ever was.
      I must say that I do rate Button very highly

      • + 1
      • Jul 11 2017 - 01:26
  • These new cars are much harder to drive than last years, not to mention GP2 cars. Newcomers have to be out of this world, or khm*have private tests*khm , to be able to drive on the same level as their much more experienced teammates

    • + 0
    • Jul 10 2017 - 21:32
  • Great decision if he does stay. I was a bit harsh on him in my Baku driver rating, but I know what he's capable of!

    • + 0
    • Jul 10 2017 - 21:57
  • Kurosawa

    Posts: 112

    back in the '90s rookie drivers were prepared as test drivers and they often did more mileage in testing as the race drivers in a complete season, certainly at team like McLaren, Benetton or Williams who basically had two teams back then: one for the race weekend and one just for testing
    Nowadays with the testing ban / limits it's much harder for rookies.
    And even with the amount of testing it often wasn't easy for a rookie to be immediately on the pace, there are countless examples of drivers who had to go through a difficult first season or even first couple of years before they became race winners or champions (Nigel Mansell at Lotus for example)
    It's a good decision by McLaren, I never doubted that they would extend him because he is under a multi-year contract with them and has been very loyal to them so the least they could do is show some loyalty back (he had the chance to sign for Toro Rosso and declined, they took Max instead, last year Renault wanted him he decided to stay on the McLaren junior program)

    • + 1
    • Jul 11 2017 - 01:30
  • "Vandoorne has failed to get the better of a teammate in qualifying, trialling 8-0 to Fernando Alonso and 1-0 to Jenson Button" -- the latter part is a bit disingenious. Vandoorne was faster than Button in FP1, FP2, FP3, Q1 and Q2 but couldn't participate in Q3 after his crash, which is why Button qualified ahead of him. He also outqualified Button in Bahrein last year.

    • + 0
    • Jul 11 2017 - 10:52

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team Alpine F1
  • Points 137
  • Podiums 0
  • Grand Prix 82
  • Country Spain
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (39)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, Spain
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.71 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
21 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
25 - Jun 27
France
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
21 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
25 - Jun 27
France Paul Ricard
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar