Vandoorne: Early 2017 performances were below my standard

Baku, December 26, AZERTAC

Stoffel Vandoorne admits the early part of his 2017 Formula 1 season "wasn't good enough" as he struggled to get up to speed amid McLaren-Honda's reliability problems, according to

After a decorated junior single-seater career, including the 2015 GP2 title and a successful stint in Japanese Super Formula, Vandoorne was expected to star upon receiving full-time promotion to F1.

But the Belgian racer failed to escape Q1 at any of the first five races, while star teammate Fernando Alonso earned plaudits for plucky performances in a difficult car.

Vandoorne accepts he did a bad job in the first part of the season, but says his situation was worsened by his lack of experience coupled with chronic unreliability and the poor driveability of the McLaren-Honda package.

"I knew in the beginning it wasn't good enough, but I also knew that I was dealing with a lot of problems," Vandoorne told

"The first races were definitely not to my standards, but it's only my first season in Formula 1 so this kind of whole relationship with the team, with my engineers, had to develop. Because we run through so many problems it was difficult to do that.

"When things started to go a little bit better – I had more track time, spent bit more time in the factory, went through the data and spent more time in the simulator - then, everything started to develop in the right way."

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