The legendary Alain Prost has been very impressed with Stoffel Vandoorne's development as McLaren and thinks he is operating at a higher level than Fernando Alonso.
Vandoorne had a tough start to life in Formula 1 but enjoyed a strong second half of the 2017 campaign which was highlighted by two back-to-back and career best finishes of P7.
Prost, who acts as Renault's official advisor, thinks Vandoorne has built a strong foundation for himself and can go on to enjoy an even better in 2018 as McLaren join forces with the Enstone team.
"Everyone watched Vandoorne because, prior to coming into F1, he was recognised as one of the most exceptional youngsters for the future," Prost told RTBF.
"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.
"Next year with a good engine, we'll see if he's efficient and reliable. 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."