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McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne: Doubters judge F1 drivers too quickly

Autosport logo Autosport 07/09/2018 Valentin Khorounzhiy
Vandoorne: Doubters judge drivers too quickly © LAT Images Vandoorne: Doubters judge drivers too quickly

McLaren outcast Stoffel Vandoorne says doubters are too quick to pass judgment on Formula 1 drivers from one race to another.

Vandoorne will lose his McLaren seat in 2019 to rookie Lando Norris, on the heels of two seasons in which the Belgian has struggled to match the performances of his two-time world champion team-mate Fernando Alonso.

That troubled spell has been in sharp contrast to Vandoorne's glowing junior single-seater CV and his impressive F1 debut as stand-in for Alonso in the Bahrain Grand Prix two years ago.

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Speaking during the Italian GP weekend, before the McLaren 2019 announcement was made, Vandoorne said: "I know my talent, what I've done in the previous series and I don't have any doubt on myself.

a man riding a skateboard up the side of a road: Vandoorne: Doubters judge drivers too quickly © LAT Images Vandoorne: Doubters judge drivers too quickly

"I think it's maybe more people around that have any doubts, and you know how it goes sometimes.

"You have one bad weekend and suddenly you're the worst driver on the grid, and the next day you have a great race and you're the superstar."

Vandoorne's options to remain in F1 are hazy, although McLaren CEO Zak Brown has suggested he would be a perfect fit for Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who was himself dropped from McLaren after the 2014 season but found a way back on the F1 grid, backed Vandoorne to recover from his current situation.

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 01: Stoffel Vandoorne of Belgium and McLaren F1 walks in the Pitlane during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 1, 2018 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) © Getty MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 01: Stoffel Vandoorne of Belgium and McLaren F1 walks in the Pitlane during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 1, 2018 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

"It's difficult and I don't think there's any good advice, really. He knows what he's got to do," said Magnussen of his former Formula Renault title rival Vandoorne before McLaren announced Norris.

"Personally I think he's very talented and capable so he's just got to try and find the best in himself, that he knows he can do it."

Asked whether Vandoorne would benefit from a fresh start with a different F1 team, Magnussen said: "I can only say that it was good for me to get a fresh start and to come somewhere that really supports you.

"For me coming here [to Haas] and feeling the support and feeling the commitment from the team, helped a lot for me to feel confident and kind of just relaxed.

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Stoffel Vandoorne of Belgium driving the (2) McLaren F1 Team MCL33 Renault on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 2, 2018 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) © Getty MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Stoffel Vandoorne of Belgium driving the (2) McLaren F1 Team MCL33 Renault on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 2, 2018 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

"You don't worry about making mistakes and you don't worry about not performing so much.

"You can focus on actually performing and actually doing well and actually extracting the performance from your talent rather than worrying all the time."

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