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F1 Russian GP: Alonso praises Vandoorne performance as ‘outstanding’

Fernando Alonso is full of praise for his Bahrain deputy Stoffel Vandoorne following his run to the points on his F1 debut with McLaren.
Fernando Alonso has labelled Stoffel Vandoorne's performance on his point-scoring F1 debut as 'outstanding', saying he has a 'great future' in the sport.

The reigning GP2 Series champion stepped in for Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix after the two-time champion was ruled out by injury in the wake of his mammoth accident in Australia, proceeding to score a point with a tenth place finish.

The only driver to secure a top ten finish for McLaren in the opening three races, Alonso – who remained in Bahrain to mentor the Belgian – was impressed by what he saw from the youngster, particularly his ability to stay out of trouble and maximise the car given his experience.

“It was great, an outstanding performance from a rookie,” he said. “It's not easy to jump in a Formula 1 car and deliver a result immediately. It was a difficult race with a tricky first lap, with a lot of contacts, and he avoided all of them.

“Qualifying was also difficult, it was tricky with the format as it was, but again he did well. In terms of performance, logically he needs to get up to speed because he was driving the car for the first time. Jenson showed the potential of the car a little more over the weekend, but this is normal.

With Vandoorne tipped to secure a race seat with McLaren in place of Button, Alonso believes he has a 'great future' ahead.

“In the race we were unlucky with Jenson because we didn't score the points he deserved, and lucky with Stoffel because to score points on your debut is a fantastic thing and he has a great future.”

Beyond his McLaren reserve duties, Vandoorne is racing in the Japanese-based Super Formula championship this year, qualifying fourth this weekend on his debut at Suzuka.

by Ollie Barstow



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
15.04.2016 - Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
15.04.2016 - Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
03.04.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 nad Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
The fiery Renault RS16 of Kevin Magnussen - credit: F1 TV
29.09.2016 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
29.09.2016 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
29.09.2016 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
29.09.2016 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
29.09.2016 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
29.09.2016 - Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Jean Alesi (FRA)
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
29.09.2016 - Press conference, (L-R) Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
29.09.2016 - Press conference, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
29.09.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
29.09.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
29.09.2016 - Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
29.09.2016 - Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38

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theoldgitspeaks

April 23, 2016 2:58 PM

I'm sure he will be in the car in 2017, it would save McLaren a shed load of money and he would not be any slower than Button. Button has had an unfortunate end to his career but he 's been well paid and can hold his head high, in a winning car he would have won more GPs but that did not happen, he's stuck with Mclaren as they have plummeted down the rankings, time to retire and perhaps move on like Mark Webber who has gained a new lease of life and success.



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