IndyCar team, Dale Coyne Racing has approached Stoffel Vandoorne over potential drive for next season, according to team boss Dale Coyne. The F1 future of the former GP2 champion looks bleak, as he has been dropped by McLaren in favour of young Brit Lando Norris for next season.
Vandoorne has said at the Singapore Grand Prix that IndyCar was an option for him, but a drive for McLaren would depend on the team’s 2019 plans. He may also have been put off by Robert Wickens’s serious crash that left him in hospital with numerous injuries.
Dale Coyne is also in talks with their 2017 drivers, Santino Ferrucci and Pietro Fittipaldi. If rumours are true, Stoffel Vandoorne is not the only driver who has sparked the interest of IndyCar teams, with Esteban Ocon reportedly a target.
Coyne said: “We’ve talked to him, although I don’t know where it will lead, if anywhere. But I’d say he’s cautiously interested.”
Asked if the Robert Wickens crash had affected drivers interest, he said: “It’s affected all of us, hasn’t it? People understand about laying it all on the line for the Indy 500 and everything that comes with it. But racing in front of 12,000 people at 220mph at some of these other tracks, it’s fair to ask what we’re doing, why we’re doing it.”
With Fernando Alonso also being targeted for a seat in IndyCar, the two McLaren teammates could be reunited. But, the likelihood of being teammates again is quite low. However, many say that Alonso is being eyed by a number of well-known series. Among them are stock car racing series, NASCAR, and electric racing series Formula E. But will Alonso be willing to play ball?
In the meantime, both Alonso and Vandoorne will have to see out the remaining 6 races of the 2018 F1 season. The McLaren team have done a fairly respectable job in their first year of partnership with Renault. They have amassed 58 points and are currently 6th in the championship. Aside from the Big 3, McLaren are behind Renault and Haas in the constructors championship. With six races to go, the team could stand a chance of catching Haas or pulling away from Force India.