Stoffel Vandoorne has offered the latest McLaren jibe at Formula 1 engine partner Honda, joking that "at least the simulator is reliable" in aiding his preparation for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Relations between McLaren and Honda are currently at a low point amid ongoing struggles with the power unit, with a lack of performance and reliability leaving the British team at the bottom of the constructors' championship.

While team-mate Fernando Alonso has been vocal about his frustration with Honda, Vandoorne has been more reserved, but offered a small dig during Thursday's FIA press conference ahead of his first outing at the Baku City Circuit.

"[I] definitely spend some time in the simulator like I do before every grand prix," Vandoorne said when asked about his preparations.

"A lot of laps in there. At least our simulator is reliable - and I managed to do a good amount of laps there.

"I was here last year, I watched a lot of the races that happened here, in GP2, Formula 1 as well, some stuff on onboard videos, that's about everything you can do."

Alonso revealed earlier this week that his is due to start at the back of the grid due to power unit penalties, and Vandoorne expects to be in a similar situation.

"I don't think we have high hopes, but we will try our best from our side," Vandoorne said.

"We have some penalties already to start the weekend, which is not ideal but this is the situation we are in.

"We will try and make our best focus maybe a bit more on race runs and hopefully we can play a little bit during the race."

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