Stoffel Vandoorne insists the 2018 Formula 1 season is “definitely not a write-off” for McLaren following a number of high-profile changes amid a tough start to the year. 

McLaren had set high targets heading into the new campaign but has so far failed to meet its pre-season expectations following a switch to Renault power, ultimately leading to a restructuring of the team’s management.

A difficult start to the new campaign led to the resignation of former racing director Eric Boullier ahead of the British Grand Prix - a weekend that saw the Woking-based squad slip behind Force India to seventh place in the constructors’ standings. 

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“I wouldn’t say it’s a write-off,” Vandoorne said. “We will still keep bringing parts to the track, understand where our car is lacking performance because ultimately we’ll need to understand that for the design of next year’s car as well. 

“It’s not a write-off. I think the results definitely haven’t been what we wanted them to be, but if we look at where we were last year we’re still in a better shape, so it’s definitely not a write-off.”

The reshuffle has placed McLaren Racing chief operating officer Simon Roberts at the heart of the technical team, with Andrea Stella promoted to performance director and Gil de Ferran becoming sporting director. 

Vandoorne stressed that while he believes the changes will have a positive impact, he feels it is unrealistic to expect “overnight changes” to McLaren’s fortunes. 

“There’s no specific timeline except we know that you can’t transform a team from one night overnight or one race to another, so it will require a bit of time,” he explained. 

“To put a timeframe on that is extremely difficult. I don’t know how long it will take to get back to winning ways, I hope sooner rather than later obviously, but I think some things needed to change and like I said it’s a positive first step for the future.”

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