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2017 F1

McLaren ‘sticking with original plan’, says Vandoorne

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Stoffel Vandoorne says he has not been told if McLaren will modify its test programme in light of the problems struck so far.

As the Barcelona test began and Fernando Alonso struck technical trouble with Honda’s new engine, team boss Eric Boullier admitted the later schedule could be tweaked so the Spaniard could catch up with mileage.

But then Belgian Vandoorne struck similar trouble with Honda’s redesigned power unit on Tuesday, with McLaren’s situation being called a “nightmare” by sections of the Spanish media.

It is believed Honda only brought three engines to Barcelona, so it is now rushing to fly in another unit from Japan.

Asked if the test programme will have to be modified, Vandoorne said in Barcelona: “We have not discussed this, so I assume we will stick to the original plan.

“Everyone is working their hardest,” he insisted. “We are professionals and know how to make the most of the time that we have to prepare.

“This is only the second test day as well, so there is no reason to give up hope.”

As for his relationship with Alonso, whose patience with the McLaren-Honda situation is always being questioned by the media, Vandoorne answered: “So far we are getting along very well.

“We are both working together to put the team back on the road to success.”

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