Although his first full season in F1 has not yielded the results that Stoffel Vandoorne wanted, he believes the trials have made him a better driver.
Vandoorne entered this year’s championship with McLaren-Honda dreaming of podium tussles and possible race wins.
Instead they’ve been blighted by retirements, a lack of pace and even fewer points.
Vandoorne has managed just two top-ten results, 10th in Hungary and P7 in Singapore, bringing his tally up to seven.
But while points have been hard to come by, the 25-year-old Belgian racer believes he has grown stronger through the trials.
— Stoffel Vandoorne (@svandoorne) September 27, 2017
“It’s the first time in my career I’ve had a difficult time,” Vandoorne told Motorsport.com.
“In all the junior series I was competing, usually I was winning all the time. And of course every now and then you have a difficult race.
“But I’ve never really experienced this where you are not competitive enough to fight for any results.
“In a way it’s made me much stronger, focusing on different details. And working with Fernando as well, it’s definitely prepared me much more.
“It’s not a situation I wish to be, but when times will turn and when we will be competitive, this will definitely have helped.”
Experience the full coverage of the FIA Formula One season throughout 2017 on FOX Sports Play, where you can watch LIVE races from angles unlike any other, highlights, interviews, behind the scenes and many more. Don’t miss it!