F1 »

F1 Japanese GP: Vandoorne: Having ‘tough’ Alonso as team-mate is a positive

"Everyone obviously knows his qualities and a lot of people see him as one of the toughest drivers to beat. I think it's positive for me..."
Stoffel Vandoorne says he is buoyed by the prospect of having two-time world champion Fernando Alonso as his team-mate in 2017 as he prepares for his first full season of F1 racing with McLaren-Honda.

The dominant GP2 Series champion in 2015, the McLaren protégé will be promoted to a race drive next season after Jenson Button announced plans to take a sabbatical next year.

Putting him up alongside 32-time race winner Alonso, Vandoorne insists having such an accomplished benchmark will be the ideal motivation to beat him.

“I think it's something positive for me to race alongside Fernando,” he said. “Everyone obviously knows his qualities, he's a double world champion and a lot of people see him as one of the toughest drivers to beat. So I think it's positive for me to come in and be his team-mate.

“Obviously we'll try to beat each other, that's normal because we're racing drivers. But as well we have to make sure we push the team forward for next year. We're making big progress now and hopefully next year we can make another big step.”

POINTS: The F1 World Championship standings after the Japanese Grand Prix

Having spent the 2016 season racing in the Japanese-based Super Formula series and conducting simulator work for McLaren, Vandoorne admits securing an early deal is making him impatient for 2017.

“Things are moving on slowly. I'm having a lot of talks with the engineers, with the management, there are a lot of things that I'm thinking about and they're thinking about as well. It's kind of ongoing and I think when it will get a lot busier is probably just after the last race when the season has come to an end and all the focus goes to next year then.”

“Yeah kind of [itchy feet], but I think also it is a good opportunity for me to have everything prepared very well for next year. The decision came quite early and I've had a lot of questions for the team in the week after the decision and now every day there are bits I think about and speak to the management, speak to the engineers.

“It's good for me to spend time here at the weekends as well to make me feel comfortable. Whenever I have a question I can just go up and talk to them.”

With two races remaining, Vandoorne is classified sixth in the Super Formula standings having taken a first win at the Okayama circuit.

Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.09.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 celebrates his 300th GP with fFernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
30.09.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 celebrates his 300th GP with Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
11.06.2016 - Free Practice 3, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 1, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)

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.


theoldgitspeaks

October 12, 2016 9:17 AM

I don't see Vandoorne having any problems, he will be faster than Button and push Alonso very hard given that Mclaren are once again likely to be uncompetitive. Button is well out of it and I suspect we will never see him in an F1 car again after this season.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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