F1 »

Vandoorne: Super Formula step into unknown

Stoffel Vandoorne says he's feeling more pressure ahead of his debut in Japanese Super Formula rather than when he was expected to take GP2 by storm.
Stoffel Vandoorne says he is feeling more pressure ahead of his debut season in the Japanese Super Formula series rather than when he was expected to take the GP2 Series by storm 12 months ago.

The McLaren third and reserve driver will remain as an understudy to Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso for 2016 and the team are keeping the Belgian driver sharp by entering him into the Super Formula championship with the Honda-powered Docomo Team Dandelion Racing squad.

Vandoorne feels it is an ideal opportunity to strengthen his ties with Honda but admits he is anxious building up to his Super Formula debut as it is a move into the unknown.

“Obviously after winning GP2 I really wanted to be in Formula 1 but sometimes it is like it is,” Vandoorne said. “There are no places available. Having a racing programme in Japan and linked with Honda will be a good opportunity to build a relationship with Honda and prepare for 2017.

“There is more pressure now because in GP2 everyone said I had to win it and pretty much dominate it. This year I am going into the unknown as I don't really know what to expect but it will be business as usual. I will do the work as I've always done over the past few years as it has worked pretty well for me. I'm confident I have the ability to do a good job and when the whole package fits together – driver, team, car, engine and tyres – I'm sure we can do a good job.”

McLaren's racing director Eric Boullier has ruled out giving Vandoorne runs during FP1 sessions this season as he does not see the value in it but hasn't ruled out giving him track time in the MP4-31 during the mid-season tests at Circuit de Catalunya and Silverstone.

“He is one of the fastest youngsters in the place, I am not worried about this,” Boullier added. “If he has the best car he will be on pole and win races. We want him to keep racing and a car with a lot of downforce and in Super Formula there is a lot of grip and it is good for him to have this training.

“He needs to race something alongside his role and this will keep him fit. He told me in sector one in Suzuka the cornering speed is faster than F1. It is good for him and next year if he has the opportunity to race for us.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL), third driver, McLaren F1 Team  25.01.2016.
01.10.2016 - Qualifying, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid pole position and 3rd position Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
01.10.2016 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid pole position
01.10.2016 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid pole position
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
01.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.