Jenson Button thinks Stoffel Vandoorne will acquit himself 'fine' on his much anticipated debut after receiving a late call up to replace the injured Fernando Alonso for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The 2015 GP2 Series champion had looked set for a season on the F1 sidelines as McLaren reserve driver, but the news that Alonso cannot race in Bahrain after suffering cracked ribs and a collapsed lung in his high-speed accident during the Australian Grand Prix has opened the door for him to make his debut.
A circuit he knows well from GP2 having won on three occasions in the six races he has started in Sakhir, Vandoorne arrives in F1 with high expectations, but his team-mate Button believes he has all the ingredients to acquit himself well having worked closely with the race drivers as a McLaren protégé.
“We never know how good anyone is until you put him in a Formula One car, so let's wait and see,” he said. “It's obviously a very late call for Stoffel but this team is very good at preparing its drivers. He obviously knows the circuit very well and he knows the team well too.
“He's raced here a couple of times and he won here last year. He's worked with this team a lot as well, tested with the team quite a bit so he understands the car, he understands the team and the way of working.
“There are obviously a few things for him to learn but more in terms of controls and what have you for qualifying and the race, but he knows what a racing car is and I'm sure he will be fine and will give good feedback which is exactly what we need.”
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