Vandoorne encouraged by practice progress

By on Friday, April 1, 2016
Pirelli Media

Pirelli Media

Stoffel Vandoorne says he is encouraged by the progress he made during practice as he prepares to make his Formula 1 debut in Bahrain this weekend.

Vandoorne, the reigning GP2 champion, is standing in for Fernando Alonso due to the injuries which he sustained at the Australian Grand Prix.

Vandoorne was 11th quickest during the evening session at Sakhir, 0.7s down on Jenson Button.

"It was a very good day," he said. "I did a lot of laps, which was important to get to know the car. I still have a lot to learn, but so far things are going well.

"For me it is a great chance. It's not ideal to get into a car without testing it, but so far so good.

"Fernando helped me a lot today, he helped my finding a good set-up because he knows the car better then I do obviously.

"It's great to have him around. It was a busy day with doing lots of laps, pit stops and practice starts.

"I want to try and enjoy this weekend and this opportunity. I feel good in the car, but it's very difficult to predict where I can be in qualifying."

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