Vandoorne: "Alonso not here to be my mentor"

Published on 13 Nov 2017 15:28

Stoffel Vandoorne says he does not need Fernando Alonso's help in formula one. After a sluggish start, Belgian rookie Vandoorne is now regularly competitive alongside his McLaren teammate Alonso, who is arguably one of the best F1 drivers ever.

"He's probably the best reference in formula one," Vandoorne agrees. "I have a good relationship with him, even if there is a lot of competition, which is normal. We do not have a strong package this year, but it has been positive for me because I had the chance to get quite close to him," he added.

But Vandoorne, 25, said it is wrong to compare his relationship with Alonso to Felipe Massa's with Lance Stroll at Williams this year. Vandoorne insists Alonso was not his "mentor". "No!" he told Brazil's Globo.

"Of course we work together on the same team and in the same direction, but he does not stand next to me helping. We are very open and have normal conversations when we are out of the car," Vandoorne added. "But he is not there to be my mentor. Maybe Lance needs this, I don't know."

Replies (5)
US mcbhargav 13 Nov 2017 17:020
Posts: 646
"may be Lance needs this". May be he is right, when engineers had to guide on the braking zones.
SE calle.itw 13 Nov 2017 20:260
Posts: 5276
Maybe not, but if you want to be something in F1 you might want to learn from him. The utter difference between the two has been very significant, even when considering Alonso getting most of the new parts first.
BE krommenaas 13 Nov 2017 21:150
Posts: 155
I think Alonso is just not someone who acts like a mentor, and Stoffel doesn't want to give credit for something he didn't get. Right before and after the summer break he was matching Alonso, then penalties and the new aera for Alonso made any comparison impossible until Brazil, where Alonso beat him as much as at the start of the season again. We'll see in Abu Dhabi whether he can compensate. In any case, he's closer to Alonso than Stroll is to Massa, and Massa is no Alonso.
SE calle.itw 13 Nov 2017 21:270
Posts: 5276
He doesnt have to be a direct mentor, Vandoorne can still learn a great deal from him if he is observant enough. I dont expect or want him to bow down and scream "Notice me, Alonso Senpai-san-sama-dono-kuuuuun", I want him to observe, learn, and get up there and race him. I'll give him that he hasnt been as dominated as e.g Palmer was by Hulk, but Alonso has certainly been much better this year.
BE krommenaas 14 Nov 2017 21:470
Posts: 155
I see no reason to assume Vandoorne hasn't learned as much as he could from Alonso. All he's saying is that Alonso hasn't acted like a mentor to him.

Alonso was much better during the first half the season. After that, hardly at all, until Brazil, where Stoffel fell ill.

Abu Dhabi is a track Stoffel knows, unlike Interlagos, so we'll get a good final benchmark.

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Name BE Stoffel Vandoorne
Active As McLaren Driver in Formula 1
Date of birth Mar 26 1992 (26)
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