Vandoorne says McLaren's pace drop "bizarre"
McLaren's lacklustre pace in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix has been labelled as "bizarre" by Stoffel Vandoorne, as the team seeks answers as to what went wrong.
Vandoorne and teammate Fernando Alonso had been optimistic of a good showing in Montreal after their McLaren showed some encouraging speed in Friday's free practice sessions – especially because the team did not do that much running on the faster hypersoft tyre.
But despite making only minor changes to their cars overnight, the McLaren duo found their pace fell away on Saturday and it ended up with Alonso down in 14th on the grid, with Vandoorne one place further back.
The disappointing showing – with the team outqualified by a Toro Rosso and a Sauber – has highlighted the weaknesses the team has at the moment, although Vandoorne was baffled about what had gone wrong.
"We weren't competitive at all," said Vandoorne. "It's a bit bizarre. Yesterday we had a good rhythm and we didn't use the hypersofts in FP2.
"We thought there was a chance to get to Q3. From the start of qualifying we didn't have the performance to get there.
"We were quite disappointed to qualify so far back. We kind of stagnated. There was nothing particularly wrong with the car. The balance was good. Nothing major to comment. We were just lacking pace.
"It's a shame not to be able to progress further. There's some learning to do. We expected to be higher up."
Alonso was equally unsure about what had gone wrong over the Montreal weekend.
"It's difficult to know," he said. "We didn't change the car much. It feels as good or as bad as yesterday. It feels the same and yesterday we were very competitive and today not, so we need to make a deeper analysis.
When asked what had changed then from Friday to Saturday, he said: "Basically nothing. I think the car kept feeling okay.
"Yesterday we seemed a little bit more competitive and today we lost that level. Already in FP3 we felt a little bit worse and less competitive and unfortunately we confirmed that in qualifying.
"Disappointing day probably but hopefully we can recover some places tomorrow."
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