McLaren driver to join Formula E grid for 2019

Published 10/12/2018, 9:08 AM EDT


Out of contract McLaren driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, is apparently close to signing for the HWA team to race for them in Formula E next year. The Belgian will lose his F1 seat at the end of this season as the team signed Sainz and Lando Norris.

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“Like I said before, there’s nothing really more to comment. I’ve been in touch with a lot of series, a lot of teams,” said the McLaren driver when quizzed about his future. “I think now, it’s up to me to evaluate what the best possibilities are for the future and take the right call.”

Vandoorne is out of contract with McLaren at the end of this season

When pressed about his thoughts on attending next week’s Formula E preseason test in Valencia, he hinted at a possible appearance. “You’ll see,” he said. “In my head, I’m pretty decided on what I want to do. So yeah, we’ll see.”

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Vandoorne came through the ranks at McLaren, winning the GP2 title which impressed his parent team enough to hand him a full season contract in 2017. It all seemed a perfect setting as he was placed alongside Fernando Alonso, possibly the best teacher F1 could offer.

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However, Alonso constantly outperformed his teammate over the two years, which has undermined Vandoorne’s confidence. McLaren thus chose to promote another one of their other juniors, Lando Norris.

He could yet be involved with McLaren in some capacity

However, Vandoorne could yet have some kind of a test driver role, either with McLaren or some other team, so that he can keep his F1 chances alive in the future. He confirmed the same.

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“The priority for me is to have a proper racing programme, and obviously in some way, stay involved in Formula 1, to still be connected to this world,” he had said in Russia. “I still feel I deserve a second chance in a good and right environment.”

“The priority is first to find a race drive which will be the main focus and target, and then we can see whatever options will open up next to that.”

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Rahul Venkat

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