Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso say that a big challenge awaits McLaren at Monza this weekend. The Woking-based team had a tough time at Spa-Francorchamps last time out, as Vandoorne qualified and finished the race at the back of the field.
With Monza being a much more extreme high-speed and low downforce track than Spa, Vandoorne is expecting a tough three days: “Obviously Monza will be a challenge for us, as we experienced in Belgium. 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. I really enjoy driving around Monza – it’s an incredible track with a huge amount of history. I think every Formula 1 driver appreciates the reputation it holds as one of the most famous and exciting tracks on the calendar.”
Fernando Alonso was involved in a spectacular crash at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix, flying over the top of Charles Leclerc's Sauber. The Spaniard is hoping to get through Monza and move onto circuits that will suit the MCL33 more.
“Monza is a very special circuit for me and I have a lot of very happy memories there. It has a different feeling to many tracks – maybe because of the heritage or the fans, I’m not sure, but the emotions you feel when the fans invade the track after the race is like nowhere else in the world – there’s so much passion there.
“For us we know this weekend will be difficult, like in Spa. Better tracks are coming for us, that’s for sure, but Monza has all the characteristics that expose the weaknesses of our package. We just have to work as hard as possible and see what we can get out of it.
“After the accident in Spa last Sunday I know the team has been working very hard to make sure we have enough parts for this back-to-back race. I’m very grateful for their efforts and I’ll still be giving it maximum attack even if it will be a challenging weekend.”