Following another fruitless and disappointing weekend, Stoffel Vandoorne offered a severe appraisal of McLaren's situation, claiming his team has been in reverse mode since Australia.
The Belgian was hoping he could deliver a good result at his home race at Spa, but in the end he was left lingering at the tail end of the field, fulfilling once again the sad role of 'also ran'.
Vandoorne hasn't lived up to McLaren's expectations this season but a fair assessment of his state of affairs tells us that the opposite is also true, the 26-year-old finding himself all too often as the sole recipient of the team's reliability issues.
“It’s difficult to get a worse weekend. We’ve seen the performance we have is very far away from being good. There’s not really an explanation," he said after Sunday's race.
“The reality is we haven’t progressed since the start of the year, we haven’t progressed at all compared to the others."
"After winter testing we were promised a lot of developments that never happened. Australia was our best race and ever since, we're just going backwards," he told Belgian daily La Dernière Heure.
McLaren insists is working diligently to correct its trajectory but Vandoorne admits that prospects look bleak, especially for next weekend when the team's troubled MCL33 exposes its weakneses to another high-speed circuit.
"We are not going to get better in the last races, only in Singapore can we still hope to get points."
Vandoorne's open criticism of McLaren could be an indication that his fate is sealed and a departure from Woking imminent. He continues however to hold on to the hope of retaining his drive for 2019.
"Yes, because things can evolve," he added. "It is not the same person who will design the car in the future."
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