The demographics of modern F1 is curious, the audience average age increases year on year and yet we had the youngest ever winner at the weekend in Spain.
Max impressed again yesterday in testing having achieved the fastest time with another bright young lad in the form of McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne coming in second. The young Belgian completed 108 laps and set a fast time of 1:24.
It’s the first time Stoffel has sat in an F1 car since his impressive debut in Bahrain and it appears that the Woking team have made significant improvements with some very encouraging words to say about his upgraded McLaren: “It feels better in every area especially when driven hard,” said Vandoorne as reported by motorsport-total.com.
“I got used to it quickly and with the progress we made, I’m happy”.
Éric Boullier said: “If you look at the data closely, we see that we are in terms of performance somewhere between Mercedes and Ferrari.”
This might be the usual spin we often hear from Éric ‘the believable’, but further analysis shows some encouraging data for McLaren fans. The MP4-31 cornering speeds are now actually one of the quickest in the field (along with the Red Bull), of course the traditional Achilles’ heel being lack of speed at the end of straights which still ruins lap time, but at Monaco this won’t be an issue.
So consider that, plus the very impressive last sector times of the Red Bull in Barcelona (the twisty bit), and we could well see Mercedes genuinely challenged in the principality.