McLaren driver rumoured to take up Mercedes role

Published 11/04/2018, 10:52 AM EST
Stoffel Vandoorne


Out of contract McLaren driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, could be set for a role at Mercedes next year. He is thought to be in the running to fulfill the German team’s reserve driver role next season onwards. Vandoorne is currently contracted to their sister team in Formula E.

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“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,” the McLaren driver had said when his future was unsure.

“It’s a bit of an evaluation to make really. Obviously you’re not only thinking one year ahead, you’re also thinking to the future. At the moment, I can’t really tell. It’s kind of hard to know exactly.”

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McLaren chose Norris and Sainz over him for 2019

The Belgian made his F1 debut for McLaren in 2016, as a replacement for an injured Fernando Alonso, who decided to retire from F1 at the end of the season. That news must have given him confidence of retaining atleast one of the seats for McLaren next year, but it was not to be.

The Woking-based team chose to go with a partnership of Carlos Sainz Jr. and their prodigy, Lando Norris. No one could argue that the decision was unfair, considering that Vandoorne failed to deliver on the early signs of promise.

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He was constantly outpaced by the more experienced Alonso across 2017 and 2018, and seemed to lack that killer instinct, something more to extract every bit of power from the car, which Alonso was a master at.

Vandoorne struggled to impress at McLaren

McLaren themselves have suffered a fall from grace from the early part of the millenium when they constantly challenged for race wins and championships with the likes of Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard.

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Their car has been struggling to find pace, consistently running in the bottom half, with even a new engine partnership with Renault not helping their cause, despite its works team doing extremely well.

 

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Rahul Venkat

354 articles

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