Vandoorne talks McLaren-Honda: “At least our simulator is reliable”

McLaren Driver Stoffel Vandoorne is next on the line to take a jab at Honda. Could the young Belgian be looking for his ticket out of the project?

For the majority of the McLaren-Honda debacle the focus was on Fernando Alonso. As the most experienced and most popular driver in the McLaren garage, his words carried far more weight than his peers. As such, the general reaction has been about Alonso’s misfortune at being stiffed with an uncompetitive car–thus prompting McLaren to organize his stint in the Indy 500 in a desperate bid to please the driver. But then there’s also the case of his oft-forgotten teammate, Stoffel Vandoorne.

Vandoorne has not only had to suffer the use of the same car as Fernando, but has lost out on many of the perks that the former World Champion enjoys. As such, he’s been left to “race” what has become a season utterly devoid of any excitement for him. Far out of the points, and far away from any sign that things will improve any time soon, Vandoorne has taken to releasing some of his tension with Honda at a recent press conference:

“[I] definitely spend some time in the simulator like I do before every grand prix. At least our simulator is reliable – and I managed to do a good amount of laps there.

I don’t think we have high hopes, but we will try our best from our side.

We have some penalties already to start the weekend, which is not ideal but this is the situation we are in.

We will try and make our best focus maybe a bit more on race runs and hopefully we can play a little bit during the race.”

– Stoffel Vandoorne

It’s a bit depressing to see such a young and hungry driver being left out to pasture in the midst of the outright ridiculous issues that still manage to hamstring and hamper the progress and performance of the team. Although, despite it, there may be a silver lining to the cloud that is hanging above them. Perhaps the tribulation of having to undergo such extensive periods of zero reliability and performance will baptize the young Vandoorne by fire, and he’ll emerge a more hardened driver.

If the duo of McLaren and Honda aren’t able to resolve the issues that have sent their project screeching to the ground in what is now an utter dumpster fire, they’ll undoubtedly find themselves in a position where no driver will want to put their name on the dotted line.