Red Bull-Honda can fight for wins says Vandoorne

FEBRUARY 27, 2019

Red Bull-Honda can fight for wins says Vandoorne

Pierre Gasly, Barcelona 2019
© RV Press

Fernando Alonso was not the only former McLaren driver in the Barcelona paddock on Tuesday.

Also there was Stoffel Vandoorne, the ousted Belgian driver who has switched to Formula E.

But the 26-year-old is also now working as a F1 simulator driver with Mercedes.

"It's not the best fun, but it's very important for me and my relationship with Mercedes," he told Ziggo Sport.

Vandoorne said he was particularly busy for Mercedes last week, when the reigning champions got their 2019 car up and running.

"I give information to the team and they give feedback to me about what needs to be improved on the car, and we then try those things in the simulator," he said.

Vandoorne told the Belgian broadcaster RTBF that he is in Barcelona "for a few meetings".

"It's a different role for me, but it's nice to have an influence on the car," he said.

"The way they work is quite different from what I experienced at McLaren. How they prepare the car, how they prepare for the season, and the efforts they put in to succeed."

When asked about the 2019 pecking order, Vandoorne acknowledges the reports that Ferrari is leading the pack.

"It's true that Ferrari is doing really well, but I think that was also the case in other years. They seem to start very hard," the Belgian smiled.

"We know that other teams are hiding their game, so we don't know exactly.

"I think Red Bull, with the Honda engine, will have a chance to get involved in the fight for victory. It's definitely no longer the Honda engine I knew from my time at McLaren.

"Whether they are able to join the fight for the title, it's too early to say."

As for his former team McLaren, Vandoorne said: "They were able to do more laps in one week that we did in the last three winters, but it's hard to say where they are in terms of performance."

(GMM)

Other stories for FEBRUARY 27, 2019

PRESEASON TEST TWO, DAY 2 - MCLAREN TWO FOR TWO

ALONSO'S BAG OF EXPERIENCED TRICKS

EVERY AERO SURFACE CHANGED ON 2019 MERCEDES

ALONSO BROUGHT HELMET TO BARCELONA

ALFA ROMEO ADMITS SCHUMACHER COULD TEST

RENAULT TARGETS LUCKY PODIUM IN 2019

RED BULL-HONDA CAN FIGHT FOR WINS SAYS VANDOORNE

OVERTAKING DEFINITELY EASIER WITH 2019 CARS SAYS MAGNUSSEN

ROSBERG NO LONGER WORKING WITH KUBICA

BOTH HAAS DRIVERS NOW HAVE SAME MANAGER

BOULLIER NOT RULING OUT F1 TEAM RETURN

PRESEASON TEST TWO, DAY ONE - LANDO AND FERNANDO