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Despite reshuffle, McLaren's season isn't a 'write off' - Vandoorne

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Stoffel Vandoorne knows that McLaren won't turn around its fortunes overnight, but the Belgian insists the team's recent management changes won't make 2018 a season to write off.

For three years, McLaren invoked mitigating circumstances to justify its dismal performance, linked for the most part to engine partner Honda's inability to provide a competitive and reliable power unit.

The Woking-based outfit often lamented its depressed state of affairs, insisting it would be challenging for wins with a Mercedes engine such was the quality of its chassis.

McLaren's switch to Renault this year has led to only a slight improvement of the team's performance and results, but to big collateral damage internally, with Tim Goss fired from his position as technical director in April, and racing director Eric Boullier resigning before the British Grand Prix.

Yet, Vandoorne does not believe all is lost this season.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a write-off,” Vandoorne said.

“We will still keep bringing parts to the track, understand where our car is lacking performance because ultimately we’ll need to understand that for the design of next year’s car as well.

“It’s not a write-off. I think the results definitely haven’t been what we wanted them to be, but if we look at where we were last year we’re still in a better shape, so it’s definitely not a write-off.”

McLaren has put chief operating officer Simon Roberts in charge of all technical affairs, while Andrea Stella will oversee the team's performance, with former consultant Gil de Ferran taking over part of Boullier's responsibilities.

It's all positive according to Vandoorne, but the 26-year-old won't put a timeframe on McLaren's improvements.

“There’s no specific timeline except we know that you can’t transform a team from one night overnight or one race to another, so it will require a bit of time,” he explained.

“To put a timeframe on that is extremely difficult. I don’t know how long it will take to get back to winning ways, I hope sooner rather than later obviously, but I think some things needed to change and like I said it’s a positive first step for the future.”

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