Vandoorne: ‘Fourth best team should be target’


Stoffel Vandoorne has said that McLaren-Honda should be targeting being the 'best of the rest' on a more regular basis following the team's result in Hungary.

The Belgian secured his first point of the season at the Hungaroring, but it was team-mate Fernando Alonso who stole the show with a season-best sixth place finish and the fastest lap of the race.

Vandoorne believes the Spaniard has now set the new high standard for the rest of the 2017 campaign.

"I think the aim for us should be to be the fourth best team on a more regular basis, but the midfield is so tight and so close," Vandoorne said.

"We're definitely improving race-by-race and finding new stuff to make us feel more comfortable and more competitive. Maybe Silverstone was a bit of a surprise to be that high up.

"We see it at every weekend we're going to, small details make a difference in how well you qualify and how well you race. We just need to keep pushing in the right direction and hopefully we can show some further improvements for the rest of the season.

"It shows that all the effort that we have been putting in have definitely gone in the right direction. It's still not where we want to be, definitely not, but when opportunities like Hungary come up we have to take them.

"Hopefully we'll have a couple more during the season and we can grab them as well."

On his own performance, Vandoorne thinks he is heading the right way following a difficult start to the season.

He added: "The start of the season has been difficult, not only from my side but for the team as a whole.

"We have had a lot of problems which hampered the running. From my side, it took a bit more time to really understand what I needed from the car because of those problems.

"With the experience I have now I'm much more able to direct the way I want to go. The last few races as well have been very good from a performance point of view, matching Fernando on pace as well, which has been positive.

"Every weekend I'm making big steps forward and I'm pushing very hard with the team to get things in my way, trying to get the car to suit my style a little bit more."