In qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, McLaren –Honda driver, Stoffel Vandoorne was unable to find the sweet spot in the performance of his car like his teammate, Fernando Alonso.

After a solid day of running yesterday, the young Belgian fell foul of the highly competitive nature of the midfield, in which the cars were separated by just a few tenths.

That meant he was unable to progress through to Q2; he finished the session in P19.

“I don't really know what happened today. Yesterday I was feeling quite comfortable and confident in the car, happy with the performance, and everything was moving in the right direction to do a bit better today,” he explained. “It's a shame we weren't able to translate that in qualifying, because I think the potential was definitely there to get into Q2. It seems like we lost a bit of performance compared to yesterday, and at the moment there's no real explanation why. But it's been a difficult start to the season altogether, so hopefully tomorrow we can do something better.”

“Today I struggled a bit in both sessions – everything felt a little bit more difficult – and I don't really know why as I say. We need to analyse the data tonight and see what happened and what we can do for tomorrow. It's not been an easy start to the weekend for the team again and the most important thing is that we get on top of those issues and have some smooth running for the rest of the weekend. I don't have any targets for tomorrow – just to run a smooth race without any issues. I think strategy will be quite important and we'll see what's possible.”

“Fernando getting through to Q3 shows that the car is going in the right direction. We just need to makes sure we put it all together. Everyone is keeping their head down and trying to push as much as they can to improve this situation, so hopefully we can see some improvements over the next few races.”