Stoffel Vandoorne has admitted that there is 'big' pressure on McLaren in 2018 now they are being supplied with Renault engines.
The 25-year-old Belgian driver, who finished last year's Formula 1 campaign in 16th position having only picked up 13 points, is looking forward to this coming season after the Woking-based team cut ties with Honda and linked up with Renault.
In 2018 the pressure on the team is big because we have big points of comparison next to us, like Red Bull who won races last season.Stoffel Vandoorne
It means McLaren's cars will operate with the same engine as Renault and race winners Red Bull in 2018 and, having previously suggested that their new car has one of the best chassis in F1, Vandoorne acknowledges that they will now have to deliver some success.
"In 2018 the pressure on the team is big because we have big points of comparison next to us, like Red Bull who won races last season," he told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
"Renault has also done well, so the pressure is there. But it is also positive and we need it to progress."
Vandoorne has had a brief taster of the 2018 car in a simulator, but he is looking forward to getting behind the wheel for real in testing in Barcelona from 26th February.
He added: "The change will be big for us, everyone is very motivated to start testing and see what it’s going to give on the track.
"In Barcelona we'll know a little more about how the season will unfold."
Vandoorne is 8888/1 to win the drivers championship in 2018, while his team-mate Fernando Alonso is priced at 4000/1 and McLaren are available at 4000/1 to win the constructors championship.
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