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2018 F1

Ickx backs Vandoorne to become ‘number 1’ driver

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Jacky Ickx has backed fellow Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne to eventually become a ‘number 1’ driver in formula one.

73-year-old Ickx, who won 8 grands prix during his career until 1979, said Vandoorne has struggled to shine amid McLaren’s obvious problems in the past two years.

“The time that passes never comes back, but I remain positive and enthusiastic,” Ickx told the RTBF broadcaster.

“We are not in the team so we don’t know what’s going on, but clearly McLaren is not in the place we got used to,” he added.

“There are problems, and so in a period of concern and concentration of energy to get out of the hole, Alonso is clearly the number 1,” said Ickx.

“Stoffel is a fast driver and has lost none of his talent. Perhaps he just lacks that little bit of success so that he can break through and establish himself as a number 1 in the near or medium-term future.

“I still believe in him,” Ickx added.

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