Vandoorne: McLaren MP4-31 ‘better in every area’

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Stoffel Vandoorne believes that the McLaren-Honda MP4-31 car is now “better in every area” since his previous run in the Bahrain Grand Prix six weeks ago.

Vandoorne was drafted in to replace the injured Fernando Alonso in Bahrain before going on to finish 10th on his Formula 1 debut.

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.”