McLaren test and third driver Stoffel Vandoorne today said that for the Woking team to return to the top it needs to improve its entire package and not just the Honda power unit.
When asked by Grand Prix Times about his view of the MP4-30 chassis alone Vandoorne stated: “Everybody knows that the whole package has to improve and we’re working hard to achieve that in the near future.
“Obviously we know the car is not yet where we want to be, that’s quite obvious at the moment.
“There’s some work to do, we know that. We know which direction we need to go,” added Vandoorne during an event organised by McLaren-Honda technology partner Esso.
Having sampled the McLaren in the recent Red Bull Ring test which was in addition to a test run-out last year in the 2014 car, when asked to compare the two machines Vandoorne was positive about the MP4-30 and said that the team is firm in its belief that what it is doing will eventually lead to race wins.
“I think it’s quite a good baseline that we have at the moment,” he said.
“I think the potential of the package is quite big and the whole team knows that and that’s why everybody keeps their head down and tries to work as hard as possible to get it up to speed.
“Everybody [at McLaren] believes that this package can win again in the future. When it will be, we don’t know yet. Hopefully rather sooner than later.”
He found it impossible to say though where the McLaren chassis fits in F1’s current pecking order: “I don’t have that much experience to really compare to anything else, I have only driven a McLaren last year and this year so it’s very difficult to compare it to anything,” he said.
In terms of whether he will get a move to F1 and perhaps to McLaren in 2016 – given he sits handsomely on top of the GP2 standings – Vandoorne was coy: “My main focus is still on GP2 at the moment, trying to win it and trying to finish it like I have started,” he insisted.
“Obviously my aim is to be in Formula 1 next year, that’s what I’ve worked for since I was a kid, but it’s still a bit early at the moment.
“I do have regular talks with Ron [Dennis] and with Eric [Boullier] but at the moment it’s still too early to know something.”