Stoffel Vandoorne says he does not feel under any pressure regarding his future with McLaren in Formula 1, and would be ready to step up and lead the team should Fernando Alonso depart at the end of the season.

McLaren protege Vandoorne stepped up to F1 full-time in 2017 following a successful junior career that saw him win the GP2 title in 2015 and also win races in Super Formula, but the Belgian has struggled to replicate this form over the past two seasons.

Vandoorne has finished no higher than eighth this year, scoring just eight points through the opening seven races. By comparison, Alonso has picked up 32 points in the same period, and has outqualified Vandoorne at every round so far in 2018.

5774263478001

CrashTV: 

With current Formula 2 driver Lando Norris pushing to secure a McLaren seat for next season, pundits have questioned Vandoorne's future with the team, but he stressed he is not dwelling on concerns about his position.

"I don’t feel any pressure at all. The results this year have been positive," Vandoorne told Crash.net in Canada.

"At the moment there’s not much more I can do apart from driving at my best, and trying to make the most of what we have.

"I think in a way, it has made me a lot stronger to try and deal with certain problems, to go into a race weekend differently and try and maximise everything that you have, even though the car we know isn’t maybe always capable of scoring points.

"To still try and extract the maximum out of that is not a given. It’s a different mindset, but it made me a stronger driver."

Alonso's own future in F1 is in doubt amid growing disillusionment for the Spaniard with the series, leading to suggestions he could move into IndyCar full-time next year should McLaren enter the championship with its own team.

Were Alonso to leave McLaren's F1 operation, Vandoorne is confident he would be able to step up and emerge as team leader at the team, feeling he has matched his teammate closely during their season-and-a-half together.

"This is a decision for Fernando to make that he will have to make in the future, it’s not something that is in my control. The only thing that I can control is my own performance and my own results," Vandoorne said.

"I think given how closely-matched we are and the direction we’re going in the team, I feel absolutely 100 percent ready [to lead the team]. There’s no doubt there."

Comments

Loading Comments...