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F1 2017 driver review: Stoffel Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne

Team: McLaren
Car No.: 2
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P7 (Singapore and Malaysia)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 13
Championship Position: 16th

Stoffel Vandoorne’s first full season in Formula 1 is unlikely to be one he remembers fondly, but we saw glimpses of the star talent he proved himself to be through his junior days.

With McLaren suffering from the start of pre-season with engine troubles after an ill-fated decision by Honda to redesign its power unit layout, Vandoorne was left scrambling in the lower reaches of the midfield for the opening few races of the year.

While teammate Fernando Alonso was able to wring every last tenth out of the car, Vandoorne struggled to keep on-pace to begin with, but found his feet as the year wore on.

A first point for Vandoorne arrived in Hungary with a run to P10 (Alonso was able to take a stunning sixth place), but the Belgian really grew in strength late in the year.

His seventh in Singapore had a deal of good fortune about it, yet the charge to the same result two weeks later in Malaysia was masterful – Alonso, by comparison, was 11th that day.

Vandoorne may have lacked the edge of Alonso for the best part of the season, but it was a baptism of fire to full-time grand prix racing due to Honda’s recurring woes. Next year will be a chance to him to step up more and prove how close he can get to his esteemed teammate.

Season High: P7 in Malaysia on raw pace alone.

Season Low: A disappointing run to 14th in Japan one week later.