McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that Stoffel Vandoorne should have been more aggressive with the team in 2018. The Belgian will leave the Woking outfit at the end of the season after struggling to compete against teammate Fernando Alonso.
McLaren confirmed in September that its junior driver Lando Norris would take Vandoorne's seat in 2019. Vandoorne will move to Formula E after signing a deal with HWA, with the new season set to kick off in December.
With just three races left to run in 2018, Brown says that his F1 demise came after he could have been more aggressive: "Was he too corporate? No, I wouldn't say that," Brown said.
"He's a very, very nice guy, but maybe he should have been a bit more aggressive with us. When Fernando doesn't like something about the car, he does not hesitate to raise his voice. Maybe for Stoffel it was more difficult for him to do that in this environment."
Vandoorne's current teammate Fernando Alonso will also walk away from F1 at the end of the year. He has defended Vandoorne, believing he is one of the best drivers of his generation.
"Stoffel was unlucky to be with McLaren at this time, with the cars he had at his disposal in these two years," he said. "I think it's a good thing for him to change. He won in every category he ever did, but Formula 1 is the only discipline in motor racing where talent is not enough to overcome the weaknesses of the car."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing