Vandoorne patience runs thin as McLaren reliability issues persist


A frustrated Stoffel Vandoorne demanded that McLaren solve the persistent reliability issues that continued to undermine his efforts on a disappointing opening day at Spa.

It wasn't the Friday the Belgian was hoping for, the local hero making up the rear in both free practice sessions as gremlins crept once again into the works of his MCL33.

Vandoorne was especially upset about his state of affairs in FP1, a session that for many looked like a proper shoot-out between himself and McLaren junior Lando Norris who is up for consideration as a potential team mate to Carlos Sainz for 2019 and whom McLaren therefore has chosen to evaluate.

Norris was 0.086 seconds faster than Vandoorne in the morning run, but the latter only completed half as many laps as the former due to his car's problems.

"Obviously they want to see how we compare but I think first of all the team should give a car that is able to run on track before we can really compare," said the Belgian.

"Problems in FP1 with the brakes at the start and then an engine related issue later. We didn't really manage to get any proper laps in.

"In FP2 as well we started off with some more problems. We more or less had one normal run. It didn't really feel like I've been working today."

The 26-year-old has not lived up to expectations this season, having been consistently outpaced by Fernando Alonso in qualifying. Vandoorne defends his case however but feels thwarted by the fact that he seems to be the sole recipient of his team's reliability issues lately.

"I've always been very positive and the past few races have been very difficult, but now the problems are starting to fall on my side a lot," he added.

"It's a bit difficult to understand why it's always happening to me. The team is trying to do the best possible job but right now [the issues] are starting to fall to my side a lot.

"I try to be optimistic but every time I get in the car there's a problem again. I just want to have a normal day without problems and then things will go a lot better.

"I really feel the support of the people here. It hurts not to be able to give them a good result."

As he continues to bite the dust, Vandoorne is keeping his anger in check, rightly believing an outburst would not serve his cause, especially at a time when his future with McLaren is very uncertain.

"What does that change to the situation?" he admitted.

"I think I've showed often enough within the team what I want, but there's nothing I can change about the problems we're facing right now."

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