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Vandoorne: The stats don't tell the whole story

NEWS STORY
07/06/2018

After 6 races, Fernando Alonso is the only driver who has out-qualified his teammate at all six.

Furthermore, with 32 points to Stoffel Vandoorne's 8, the Spaniard has finished ahead of his teammate in all (four) races where both have finished.

At a time however, when McLaren has rejected the advances of Toro Rosso, which had sought to recruit the Woking outfit's test and reserve driver Lando Norris to replace Brendon Hartley, and amidst speculation the Briton might be needed to replace a departing Alonso or underperforming Vandoorne, the Belgian sought to downplay the significance of the statistics.

"I don't think it tells the whole story," he said of them. "Obviously, the statistics tell maybe that, but I think in reality we are very, very closely matched.

"In terms of where I was last year, I feel I'm in a much better position this year," he continued. "I think things have not always gone my way. We lacked a little bit of luck on some occasions. And some occasions Fernando was just the quicker one as well, which is normal.

"I think we are going in the right direction," he added. "The team is moving forward. We've obviously had a tough start to the season. There were a lot of expectations on our team and we've not managed to perform as expected. So we keep improving race after race and hopefully this weekend we can show we made another step forward.

"It's been a little bit of a difficult period," he admitted, reflecting on the last two races in particular, which included Alonso's first retirement of the season. "I had a retirement in Spain and then Fernando had a retirement in Monaco.

"Obviously that was not ideal, but I think we are still very close in this midfield and one weekend we are a bit stronger than another one.

"The last couple of races have been difficult tracks for us as well in terms of overtaking. I think this weekend is a different story again. It's a new weekend, this track is completely different to the other ones and hopefully should provide us some opportunities."

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1. Posted by Rock Doc, 07/06/2018 20:55

"I think he's doing a good job and having Alonso as a benchmark let's us see how he improves. Last year he had the better of Alonso sometimes, but this year not so much.

As for the 'expectation' of Mclaren this year they are pretty much where we all thought they would be. Only McLaren had the high hopes and the big talk. They are behind Renault and Red Bull which is to be expected.

But it is dog eat dog world in F1 for drivers in some teams. McLaren need stability to move forward so it might be best to keep him around.

"

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2. Posted by PlayF1, 07/06/2018 20:12

"I am quite certain that Alonso is at his peak ... forced there, by lack of race winning machinery.

If this is true, then Stoff might be driving at an acceptable F1 level (for his years) ... but this is not enough to enable him to keep up with one of the most experienced drivers on the grid (and arguably one of the all time greats).

What to do (McLaren)?

Are you looking for another 'all time great'?
Perhaps it's Lando Norris.

... but does he just step in, and compete with Fernando?

My guess is that Stoff must at least close the gap (forced rapid learning by circumstances).
... otherwise, McLaren will be looking to throw the dice once more ... this time with drivers.

The only spanner in the works, is FA's contract for next year.

This means that, although they might like to commit early to next years car; they really need to keep developing this years car, in order to prove to FA that they can deliver a race winning vehicle.

For all these reasons ... McLaren is definitely the most exciting story of 2018
... and the great thing is, that none of us knows the end of the story."

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3. Posted by -ape-, 07/06/2018 19:01

"The only rookie who crushed Alonso was Hammer Hamilton"

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4. Posted by Nortim, 07/06/2018 18:28

"Do better son! We want to see you in points more often!"

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