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23rd of April 2017

Automotive



McLaren F1 director Eric Boullier: Rookie Stoffel Vandoorne can relax amid crisis

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McLaren Formula 1 director Eric Boullier believes his team's performance crisis is actually a benefit to rookie driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

One analysis of the situation might be that, with the team struggling for pace and reliability, Vandoorne is risking his once-in-a-lifetime chance to prove he belongs in F1. It comes after the highly rated Vandoorne, 25, was not able to even start in Bahrain due to a reliability problem, following two difficult races alongside teammate Fernando Alonso. But Boullier doesn't see a problem.

"He is not under pressure," he said to Auto Motor und Sport. "Stoffel knows that we believe in him and that we have him under contract for a long time. He does not have to prove it to us in every race. We understand that this is not possible at the moment."

McLaren-Honda had a much better day of pace and reliability at the Bahrain test on Wednesday, but Boullier was cautious about celebrating too much.

"If we knew why ... that is the problem," he is quoted as saying by the Spanish daily AS.

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