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2019 F1

Vandoorne ‘not worried’ about losing McLaren race seat

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Stoffel Vandoorne says he is not worried about his future at McLaren. The Belgian entered F1 as a highly rated and successful rookie, but some say he has failed to make an impact so far.

In fact, McLaren is openly saying it wants Fernando Alonso to stay next year, amid speculation the British team will promote hot new charger Lando Norris.

Others think Vandoorne needs to start beating Alonso or risk being left out in the cold.

“I don’t think about that,” the 26-year-old told Belgium’s Sporza news agency.

“I focus on my own performance, which I think is more important. I just want to get everything out of my car.

“I have a long agreement with McLaren, so I’m not worried about that. A formula one contract remains a formula one contract, even if you still have to perform.

“But the team has complete trust in me. I’m not worried at all. I’m especially ready for the day when I can really race with a competitive car,” Vandoorne added.

Vandoorne said after Monaco that he felt “sacrificed” by McLaren’s race strategy, and admitted that McLaren sometimes gives Fernando Alonso priority in other areas too.

“He sometimes gets a few newer parts, yes, but it doesn’t matter much. There’s nothing wrong between us, no,” he insisted.

“I think I’m still the future of the team, I don’t really see anyone else. With Lando Norris, it’s too early to talk about that. I’m concentrating on myself,” Vandoorne said.

He said he still feels appreciated by the F1 community.

“My talent is recognised,” he said. “I have not become a bad driver from one day to the next, and I’m always getting better.”

Vandoorne said he is not thinking about moving to another team.

“Ferrari has been struggling for a long time and McLaren is now in a similar situation,” he said.

“All the ingredients are here to get results, but of course I cannot wait ten years to get a competitive car. I want to race with a top car as soon as possible to show what I can do, but I don’t think it will take McLaren that long.

“The start of the season certainly didn’t go as he wanted. We all had high expectations that McLaren would take a big step forward, which was not 100 per cent successful.

“We are better than last year, but we still have to take a big step,” he added.

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