Vandoorne “showed what I’m capable of” with point

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Stoffel Vandoorne played down his points-scoring debut in Formula One, saying the result was “more or less what I expected”.

“I maximised the opportunity and I’m quite satisfied,” said the McLaren driver after finishing tenth in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Vandoorne lost a place in the confusion at the first corner and fell behind team mate Jenson Button but made his way into the top ten by the end of the race.

“The start was a little bit difficult,” he said. “There was debris left and right – it was pretty hectic in fact – and there was a lot of fighting throughout that opening lap.”

Vandoorne only got the call-up to replace Fernando Alonso on the day before practice began, but said he got up to speed quickly with McLaren’s MP4-31.

“Since the beginning of the weekend I’ve felt very confident in the car and pretty comfortable that I could do a good job,” he said. “I’m pleased that I didn’t make any mistakes operationally – I was really focusing on that side of things – and I came away with a point, which was a nice bonus.”

“This weekend was a big opportunity for me: I made the most of it, I showed what I’m capable of, and now I just need to wait and see what happens next. That’s not for me to decide – so let’s see what the future brings.”

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    36 comments on “Vandoorne “showed what I’m capable of” with point”

    1. I don’t think anybody doubts his talent. It’s just a bit of a timing issue.

      1. Heyy.. he has 2 old drivers in his sight.. it is the best timing, just be patient.

    2. Good job!

      He has shown considerable skill this race. I would be thinking to myself… We pay this guy for reserve role and he brings home more points than Jenson and Fernando combined.

      I would place him in #2 Haas, Red Bull, Ferrari in a heartbeat. This guy comes in gets job done with amazing competence. I hope McLaren have an air tight contract with him. There is no team that wouldnt benefit from a driver like that. Offers should be raining in.

    3. Quality performance, a really mature drive. Nothing less was to be expected I suppose.

      1. He was indeed mature in his driving, not making mistakes or fighting losing battles in a car he didn’t really know. But i feel that in raw pace he wasn’t that stellar, given that Pascal Wehrlein in a Manor was able to set a faster lap than Vandoorne with more than half a second. (1’35.448 for WEH /lap 43 vs 1’36.121 for VAN / lap 44 on same tires & deg.)

    4. He drove well and kept out of trouble – but no one expected anything less.but let’s keep a sense of perspective it’s only one race and Jensen (who is now being written off) had already got ahead of him before he retired.

        1. Sorry, I have no idea what happened with my horrendous attempts at formatting :P

      1. [quote]let’s keep a sense of perspective[/quote]

        I’m glad to see this.

        I’m a huge Jenson fan, but I would happily see some new blood in Vandoorne replacing him… Next year.

        But I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction to say he should leave this year.

        Those calling for Button’s head are not looking at all the facts; Jenson was already ahead of Stoffel when he retired, and both were on the same tyre at that time.

        1. Or maybe like Johnny Herb. said it, Fornando should retire. :))

          The F1 seating is limited, but that’s not a reason to sideline some veteran drivers like Kimi or Jenson, sorry for the situation, but tough luck.

        2. Vand went wide on the last turn on first lap, that is the only reason Jenson passed him. They where evenly matched.

          1. Soooo, what you’re saying is Button drove better?

    5. Clearly this year in Super Formula is a waste of time. He needs a F1 seat asap.

    6. Very good drive by Vandoorne. So happy he finally had a chance to drive in F1 and made the most of it.

    7. It’s a shame button retired. Now we don’t know if Stoffel was just cautious to attack later, or slower than Jenson.
      Still, the first thing you have to do in F1 is stay out of trouble and get to the finish. And stoffel did not only that, but had some nice battles too. I can only echo the sentiments about future fights between him, Max and ocon!

      1. “slower than Jenson” …

        The guy out-qualified Jenson in his first outing with the car …

        1. Not only that, he was evenly matched and ended like 3 seconds faster lap time in the race

          1. You can not compare the fastest lap times of the 2 McLarens, as JB retired very early with a full tank.

      2. I hoped Jenson could have battled on further than he did, but it sounded like the problem was the MGU-K that failed, which is an integral part of the braking system.

    8. He is 24 years old already.
      What a shame.

      Mclaren could talk Jenson out of the team as he was convinced to stay one more year for God knows why and Vandoorne is up to the task.

      1. Is the PR value of Alonso and Button really still so high that it is worthwhile for McLaren to keep both those two dinosaurs on as drivers? Spending that money instead on car development would seem more sensible. The dinos do of course have endless experience and race craft as result. But as we saw today and also previously with other young guns, the new generation of drivers do have more raw speed and many of them the patience to do well all the way to the chequered flag.
        Why bwt, do a WDC bother to be in a back marker or, at best, a midfield car?

        1. I’m sorry, but the only thing we’ve seen the last few years as that NOT ONE of the ‘new, young’ drivers with all the ‘raw speed’ in the world was better than Button.

          For all this nonsense talk about Button being too old and not fast enough, we’ve not seen anyone beat him in the last 3 years, including Fernando Alonso. I

          So spare us all this constant rubbish about Button not being good enough – because CLEARLY facts say otherwise!

          1. @nick101 you have a point, Button has held himself well against Perez and Magnussen.

            There’s a case to be made for Vandoorne however. Second day in that car, beats Button in qualifying. Third day, runs pretty well with Button for the few laps we could compare.

            Now imagine Vandoorne having a good preparation. Mileage in winter testing, time to get familiar with the car, …

      2. Mclaren wouldn’t talk Jenson out just yet. It just seems like Fernando is fed up driving for Mclaren and has absolutely no motivation for battling in the lower midfield in F1. I think it’s inevitable that Stoffel will drive for them next year, the question mark remains on which WDC would want to slug it out in the midfield with Mclaren

    9. Superb weekend for him! A bit of a slow start unfortunately but after 20 hours in planes, rushing from Japan for a first race it was not bad at all.
      Go Stoffel!

    10. It wasn’t the most mindblowing performance, but considering how some other drivers have fared when parachuted in mid-season it was very respectable.

      1. I think this is the most important thing to keep in mind: we know how horribly even some experienced and reasonably talented drivers have performed in the same situation…

        all things considered, I don’t think anyone could ask for more from VAN!!

    11. He performed great under difficult conditions and he actually delivered a great result. You could see how uncomfortable it was for him on the car, yet he still delivered plenty of speed.

    12. With all the talk on Vandoorne i would say it was satisfactory. Good job

    13. WHAT IF, McHonda fire Alonso and keep Vandoorne.. Just saying, it is possible right?
      The adverse effect is need to pay huge bill to Alonoso…

      Just remembered, when Sebastian Bourdais replaced with Sebastian Vettel in the middle of the championship. But it will not happen, Bourdais =/= Alonso.

      1. Don’t remember Bourdais being replaced by Vettel. I thought it was another driver, Scott Speed maybe?

        1. Alguersuari

    14. It wouldn’t feel like a vote of confidence to me if I knew that Ron Dennis was trying to get Alonso into the car, even on saturday.

      1. This seemed odd to me too. I would have thought they would be happy to put VAN in. Maybe they knew the FIA weren’t going to budge on letting Alonso race so they used it as a PR exercise for Alonso.

    15. Great talent… hope it doesn’t get wasted as a lot of other yourng talented drivers.

    16. The rumours about a driver that moves around the paddock before its first race gives a boost to any accomplishment achieved in the race. In my opinion Vandoorne made a mature debut, but for the young drivers that are running, for sure the best first race was from Felipe Nasr, last year. He was 5th with a Sauber in Australia. Very few people were talking about him at the time, as he was overshadowed by the young Max Verstappen debut.

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