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Front wing upgrade boosts Vandoorne's prospects

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McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne will enjoy the benefit of an aero upgrade which had been reserved for Fernando Alonso's exclusive use in Austin and Mexico.

The Belgian briefly trialed the revised front wing on his MCL32 in Austin but with only one completed element in stock, McLaren awarded the update to Alonso.

Vandoorne's car will now also be fitted with the new front wing package at Interlagos.

"I think they will help me a lot to extract a bit more out of our package," said the McLaren driver whose form has been on the rise in the second part of the season.

"It is definitely a good step forward. I think we have seen also with Fernando’s results, everything is performing as well as expected.

"Also the direction we have been going with [the upgrades] is quite encouraging for future developments because it opens up much more, actually, than what we currently have.

"Our car has been performing pretty well. We know our strengths, we know our weaknesses and there are still some areas we have to improve.

"But the concept we are developing now is opening up a lot of opportunities to improve.

"We should be strong in the corners here as well. There is no reason why we will not to be competitive."

The 25-year-old is now hoping for a clean weekend to make the most of his updated MCL32.

“In the last couple of events we have not really been in the game for qualifying, let’s say, because we have been preparing for the race or had engine penalties," he said.

“Hopefully this weekend, if everything goes smooth, we will have a proper view on that and see where we end up.

"Hopefully we should be one of the closest with Force India and Renault. They have stepped up their game as well, so it will be a very tight battle with them.”