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Vandoorne 'should have been more aggressive' with McLaren team

Written by  Oct 23, 2018

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has suggested one of Stoffel Vandoorne's biggest failings was a lack of aggression in getting what he wanted from the team.

The Belgian was considered a star for the future when he earned his promotion at the start of 2017, but in his two years alongside Fernando Alonso he has struggled to live upto the expectations.

After 18 races, he is still yet to beat his teammate in qualifying and will be dropped at the end of the season to be replaced by another young hopeful in Lando Norris.

“Was he too corporate? No, I wouldn’t say that,” Brown said when considering where it went wrong for Vandoorne.

“He’s a very, very nice guy, but maybe he should have been a bit more aggressive with us.

“When Fernando doesn’t like something about the car, he does not hesitate to raise his voice. Maybe for Stoffel, it was more difficult for him to do that in this environment,” he added.

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Alonso has been a constant defender of Vandoorne during the year, suggesting he was a lot closer to him on average lap time than many other often higher-profile teammates.

Now the 37-year-old also thinks the former GP2 champion was simply dealt a bad hand when he joined the F1 grid.

“Stoffel was unlucky to be with McLaren at this time, with the cars he had at his disposal in these two years,” he admitted.

“I think it’s a good thing for him to change.

“He won in every category he ever did, but Formula 1 is the only discipline in motor racing where talent is not enough to overcome the weaknesses of the car.”

Vandoorne will make an immediate jump from McLaren to the HWA team in Formula E for Season 5 starting in December.

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