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MAY 13, 2017

Vandoorne plays down regular Alonso defeats

Stoffel Vandoorne has played down the fact that he usually trails McLaren-Honda teammate Fernando Alonso's pace.

The Belgian entered F1 this year as a highly rated rookie, but amid the team's performance crisis is normally outpaced by his experienced teammate.

However, Vandoorne is looking on the bright side of the McLaren-Honda crisis.

"There are worse things in life than being a McLaren-Honda driver in formula one," he told the Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure.

"I certainly did not expect at the start of the season that it would be so hard, but I'm keeping a cool head," the 25-year-old said.

"I always enjoy coming to the circuit to drive, even if at the moment we really don't have the chance to race. But I remain confident that one day we will have a good package," Vandoorne added.

As for being regularly outpaced by two-time champion Alonso, he insisted: "With a less good car, experience is always even more important.

"I did not always have the same equipment as him, and here again he (Alonso) started with pieces that I will only get on Saturday," Vandoorne revealed in Barcelona.