Ickx is still a firm believer in Stoffel Vandoorne


Belgian motorsport legend and eight-time Grand Prix winner Jacky Ickx is still a believer in countryman Stoffel Vandoorne's ability to lead McLaren in the future.

The 26-year-old has been out qualified and outraced by team mate Fernando Alonso this season, leading some to call into question his seat at McLaren for 2019, or his ability to guide the Woking-based outfit should the Spaniard decide to call it a day at the end of the current season.

Ickx agrees that Vandoorne has disappointed so far this year, but he also links the young driver's struggles to McLaren's own trials and tribulations.

"It's true that Belgium has high expectations of Stoffel, and that the time that passes never comes back, but I nevertheless remain positive and enthusiastic, and I hope he does to," Ickx told Belgian broadcaster RTBF broadcaster.

"We are obviously not in the team so we don't know what's going on, but clearly McLaren is not in the place we got used to seeing it.

"There are problems, and so in a period of concern and concentration of energy to get out of the hole, Alonso is clearly the number 1," said Ickx.

"Stoffel is a fast driver and has lost none of his talent. But it's true that he is a clear number 2 in the team.

"Perhaps he just lacks that little bit of success that would enable him to break through and establish himself as a number 1 in the near or medium-term future," added the six-time Le Mans winner.

"I for one still very much believe in him."

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