Vandoorne says he's measured up well to Alonso


Stoffel Vandoorne believes he has "fared very well" against McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso in his maden season of F1 racing.

The Belgian initiated his career in Grand Prix racing with a one-off start for McLaren in Bahrain in 2016, when he substituted for an injured Alonso.

His 2017 season got off to a rocky start however, with his first few races impacted by the dismal reliability of his Honda power unit.

Vandoorne also conducted a review, along with his team, of his driving which he proceeded to change to better suit the characteristics of F1, notably with regard to tyre management.

His performance gradually improved, enabling the 25-year-old to race on a par with his prestigious team mate.

"With all the issues we had throughout this season I was never 'traumatised', but instead always wanted to fight the odds to get the best possible result and learn with every lap that I did in the car – even if sometimes my mileage was cut short by circumstance," Vandoorne said in an interview ith

"In the end I guess that the rookie season thing is a bit overrated.

"When we come to F1 we all have years of racing under our belt and the ambitions are the same as in all the series below, because if you don't succeed there you don't make it to F1."

Asked to single out the most positive aspect of his first full year in F1, Vandoorne referenced his relative performance against the man sitting on other side of the McLaren garage.

"That I fared very well against Fernando," he said.

"Yes, the race results were not as expected, but having a super strong teammate is a well-known value in the paddock."

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