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Vandoorne "at the same level or even better than Alonso" - Prost

Written by  Dec 09, 2017

Renault advisor and four-time Formula 1 champion, Alain Prost has praised the performance of McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne, believing he is as good if not better than teammate Fernando Alonso.

The Belgian was considered as 'one to watch' after finally getting his chance at a first full season, but he would be thrust into a difficult situation at the British team as significant problems with the Honda engine meant the 25-year-old went into the year with little testing and little hope to be competitive.

That showed early on as he was outclassed by the double world champion in the early races but as the team improved, so did the former GP2 champion who began to finish more consistently and actually led the Spaniard in the Drivers' standings until three points results to end the year moved Alonso back ahead.

"Everyone watched Vandoorne because, prior to coming into F1, he was recognised as one of the most exceptional youngsters for the future," Prost stated to RTBF.

"Then he started at McLaren with reliability problems and never the same equipment as Alonso, but I think Vandoorne is now playing on the same level or even better than Alonso. He's doing his development in a perfect way," he added.

Renault does have some experience with Stoffel after he competed in the Formula Renault 2.0 and 3.5 series and now, as McLaren's engine supplier from 2018, the French legend is keen to see how he progresses.  

"Next year with a good engine, we'll see if he's efficient and reliable," Prost claimed. "Being on a team with Alonso is not easy, so Vandoorne has to stay calm, take his time, and I think there is no problem for him to be on top in years to come."

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