Sunday 16 July at 08:35 :
Jul.16 (GMM) Stoffel Vandoorne says he is happy the tide is finally turning on his difficult opening season in F1.
Earlier, McLaren-Honda was hinting the Belgian rookie needed to up his game, but now both sides are referring to his long-term contract and apparently assured seat for 2018.
Vandoorne then had his best-ever qualifying session at Silverstone, taking his normally uncompetitive Honda-powered car through to Q3.
"I think in the last races we have been going in the right direction," he told the RTBF broadcaster.
"I think in Baku and Austria I made a real step forward, doing the same as Fernando (Alonso) and managing to be really close to him."
Vandoorne, 25, admitted his better performance is giving him a much-needed confidence boost.
"In fact I never doubted it," he said, "but the start of the season was not easy after all the problems. It was also necessary to change the relationship with the team in terms of setting up the car to move a little more in my direction.
"Lately I think things are in a good direction for me," Vandoorne explained. "I feel more and more comfortable and confident."