Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Monaco, 2018

Gearbox problem compromised Vandoorne’s qualifying

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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Stoffel Vandoorne reveals a gearbox problem in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix affected his car’s handling and cost him “quite a bit of lap time.”

Vandoorne, who missed the cut for Q3 by just over a tenth of a second, said he “had a minor issue with the car which we couldn’t actually change before qualifying.”

“That was a shame. We didn’t have everything in the right settings.”

“It was just something internally, located in the gearbox,” he added, “I’m not going to tell exactly what the problem was.

“There was basically no time after FP3 to take off the gearbox and put it back on. We didn’t have the optimal settings and it’s unfortunate but I think considering, it was a good session.”

The problem upset the balance of his car, said Vandoorne.

“It’s hard to tell what it costs exactly in terms of lap time because it completely changed the balance of the car.

“It’s Monaco, it’s so tight, everything needs to be in the right position to extract the maximum. The field was very close today. If you lose one tenth or one-and-a-half, two tenths, it changes the situation dramatically. It cost us quite a bit of lap time.

“I’m pretty sure if we could have progressed and worked in the right direction from FP3 then a good qualifying position was possible today.”

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2 comments on “Gearbox problem compromised Vandoorne’s qualifying”

  1. I heard /read a few whispers today:
    First: Mclaren having two new front wings. One reserved for Alo to qualify and race, the other to be kept as a spare for Alo. According to someone outside Mclaren, the new wing is worth a few tenths, and differs in used materials only, to improve the flexibility when needed. I guess Vandoorne is handled not as a second but more as a third or fourth teammate.
    Second: The empty seats in the stands during qualifying? Monaco GP tickets over twice as expensive as last year, they say. But last minute buyers could get a great discount, because empty stands in Monaco, on racing day is a big no-no.
    Maybe an upgrade is possible for those already attending, with minimal expenses?
    Anyone on-site to verify these tidbits?

  2. He was P6 in Q1 so it can’t have been too bad. Pity he can’t seem to catch a break at the right time this season.

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