Button backs Vandoorne to deliver on F1 debut

Jenson Button has backed Stoffel Vandoorne to deliver on his F1 debut after Fernando Alonso was ruled out of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Alonso was not cleared to race by the FIA on medical grounds following his accident in the Australian Grand Prix, with the Spaniard revealing he suffered a partially collapsed lung and broken ribs in the incident in Melbourne. The result is a late call-up for GP2 champion Vandoorne, and Button believes the Belgian driver will be able to handle the situation having had plenty of single seater experience.

“After a big accident there’s always the possibility that you’ve got an injury and they are going to take every precaution possible after a big accident like that so yeah it’s a shame, it’s always good to have [Alonso’s] input to a race weekend,” Button said.

“Stoffel is obviously a very experienced driver, he’s raced here a couple of times and he won here last year. He’s worked with this team a lot as well, tested with the team quite a bit so he understands the car, he understands the team and the way of working.

“There are obviously a few things for him to learn but more in terms of controls and what have you for qualifying and the race, but he knows what a racing car is and I’m sure he will be fine and will give good feedback which is exactly what we need.”

And Button says the radio limitations this season will not impact on Vandoorne as he was never used to the previous regulations.

“No but he’s never raced in Formula One when we’ve been given every bit of information anyway so he’s used to not having the information if you know what I mean, so it’s not going to be a shock to him.

“In GP2 he’s not told what to do before the race or during the race, so I think he’ll be alright. There will be a couple of things that are tricky that they will run through on Friday and Saturday for sure but I think it will be ok.”

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