McLaren racer Stoffel Vandoorne has admitted he has not been good enough in qualifying this year, but has defended his race pace. The Belgian has gone over a year without beating Fernando Alonso in qualifying, the double world champion being the only driver on the grid to outperform his team mate in every Saturday session this season.
It has already been announced that he will leave McLaren at the end of this season to become a simulator driver at the Mercedes team and also race in Formula E.
However, despite not getting a race seat for next season, Vandoorne has defended his race pace against his more illustrious team mate and says it has been closer than perceived, even though he admits his qualifying has been less than stellar.
“Fernando obviously is a fantastic driver and his qualities speak for themselves,” Vandoorne told Motorsport.com. “I was more competitive in qualifying last season than this season. “Because of a few problems, it was hard to get some of the updates to work.
“That’s one of the reasons that I couldn’t get close to Fernando in qualifying,” the Belgian explained. “Other things happened too and that made things look worse than they were, but in the race we’re always close to each other.”