The 2015 GP2 champion got back behind the wheel of the McLaren in Barcelona on Wednesday on the second of two days of post-race testing, and said that the improvements made by McLaren were very noticeable.
“The car felt good straight away today,” Vandoorne said.
“Of course, I had a few laps of adjusting to the car, but it definitely has progressed since I raced it in Bahrain. It’s been a positive and productive day.
“Although it’s easier to get into the car having experienced a full race weekend, there is always a need to readjust for F1, especially after racing in Super Formula, but I quickly got used to it.
“The car feels better in every area, with downforce feeling much improved compared to Bahrain.
“As a racing driver, you want to spend as much time as possible in the car, but I try and optimize every moment I have, and I feel like I’ve had the chance to do that today.
“All in all, the progress with the car is good, so I’m happy.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.