So far, McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne has been thoroughly outdone by team mate Fernando Alonso this season, but the Belgian says he’s closer to the Spaniard than what the numbers show.
Alonso has had the upper hand over Vandoorne in qualifying, at every round, and in race trim when the two drivers finished.
With the two-time world champion’s future up in the air for 2019 and McLaren junior Lando Norris lurking in the wings, Vandoorne isn’t guaranteed a seat next year at Woking and finds himself in dire need of a good result.
He nevertheless downplays the significance of the year-to-date stats.
“I don’t think it tells the whole story. Obviously, the statistics tell maybe that, but I think in reality we are very, very closely matched,” he contends.
“In terms of where I was last year, I feel I’m in a much better position this year. I think things have not always gone my way.
“We lacked a little bit of luck on some occasions. And some occasions Fernando was just the quicker one as well, which is normal.
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“I think we are going in the right direction,” he adds.
“The team is moving forward. We’ve obviously had a tough start to the season. There were a lot of expectations on our team and we’ve not managed to perform as expected.
“So we keep improving race after race and hopefully this weekend we can show we made another step forward.”
Vandoorne puts his faith in McLaren’s ability to perform in Canada after a challenging last couple of races.
“It’s been a little bit of a difficult period,” he admits.
“I had a retirement in Spain and then Fernando had a retirement in Monaco.
“Obviously that was not ideal, but I think we are still very close in this midfield and one weekend we are a bit stronger than another one.
“The last couple of races have been difficult tracks for us as well in terms of overtaking. I think this weekend is a different story again.
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“It’s a new weekend, this track is completely different to the other ones and hopefully should provide us some opportunities.”
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