Vandoorne can feel McLaren gains since Barcelona

ยฉ XPB 

Stoffel Vandoorne says he can feel the progress McLaren has made with its car since he last tested for the team in Barcelona.

McLaren has introduced a number of upgrades to the MP4-31 since the in-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in May, with the team reaching Q3 in four of the five races since that date. Vandoorne is driving on the final day of the in-season test at Silverstone and says the improvements are noticeable.

"Yes, the car feels quite different in a positive way from Barcelona," Vandoorne said.ย "Again when I got in the car it felt pretty positive straightaway and that is always a good situation when you can push straightaway. It is coming along nicely."

Honda has also introduced two power unit upgrades since Vandoorne last tested the car, but the Belgian admits it is harder to pinpointย where specific gains have been made.

"It is a long time since I drove the car so every time you get back in an F1 car it feels quite fast naturally. From the data weโ€™ve got weโ€™ve made some progress but we are still not at the level we want to be so we will keep pushing on.

"There is always stuff going on in the background especially during testing. Not only aero and the car but also engine work but that is mainly Honda that is taking care of that in the background."

Wednesday marks Vandoorne's last opportunity to test a current car unless McLaren gives him an FP1 outing and last year's GP2 champion is trying to maximise his track time.

"As usual I try to benefit from those days. For a young driver there are not a lot of opportunities to get in the car so every day I get I need to take the benefit of it and try to do as many laps as possible."

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