Vandoorne 'not expecting any surprises' at Baku

© XPB 

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne says that he's not expecting any surprises at this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

It's not been the best of starts so far to the Belgian driver's first full season in Formula 1. Of seven races to date, he's finished only three times - and never higher than 13th place.

Chronic engine problems have been a big part of the problem. He wasn't even able to take the start in Bahrain after suffering a water pressure issue on the way to the grid.

So when he says 'no surprises', it seems that the 26-year-old means he expects more of the same grim fortune awaits him in Baku.

"Canada was a disappointing race for the whole team," said Vandoorne of the team's most recent outing. "And we don’t expect Baku to offer us any particular surprises in terms of performance.

"But we’re learning all the time and working hard to get on top of our issues," he insisted. "We’ve already regrouped and we continue to look forward

"We’ll approach next weekend the same way we do every race weekend," he added. "Fighting hard and trying to extract everything we can from the package beneath us."

It will be Vandoorne's first race on the streets of Baku City, although he's not expecting any surprises in that regard either. He said that he doesn't expect his lack of experience at the venue to be a drawback.

“I’m excited about racing in Baku for the first time," he said. "I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the simulator driving the track already.

"I did last year too, to help the engineers prepare for a new circuit, so it doesn’t actually feel too unfamiliar.

"The circuit is a real mix of great characteristics from other tracks" he explained. "High speeds and long straights but also close racing and heavy braking for the tight corners on the infield section of this street circuit layout.

"It has a bit of everything so there’s a lot for our engineers to work on. It’s heavy on fuel consumption and puts high loads on the ERS.

"We’ll need to try to optimise our package to adapt to the demands that the weekend will throw at us."

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