Stoffel Vandoorne says he does not know when he will next get the chance to drive an F1 car after completing two days of Pirelli wet weather tyre testing at the Paul Ricard circuit.
Having dominated the 2015 GP2 Series, Vandoorne will settle into a full-time reserve driver role with McLaren this year, the Belgian kicking his year off with two days in the outgoing 2015-specification MP4-30 for the benefit of Pirelli.
With the much maligned MP4-30 set to be retired after this test, focus turns back towards the new Honda-powered MP4-31, which will be unveiled on February 21st, the day before it turns its first wheel at the Circuit de Catalunya.
For Vandoorne though, there are no firm dates planned for him to get behind the wheel the machine, adding that there has also been no talk of him enjoying the odd FP1 outing either. Nonetheless, he feels he has benefited from two days of getting to grips with driving in consistent wet conditions.
“For me, it is very good to be in the car,” he said. “As young drivers, we don't have a lot of opportunity to drive the car. Every day I can drive I am very happy to take it on. Every time I get in the car it is a good opportunity to work with the engineer, work with the mechanics, learn the conditions…
“It is actually good for me to do two days of wet testing as well. I have done a couple of days in the dry too, so I am always very happy when they call me up to do some testing.”
Vandoorne is currently chasing a Super Formula drive in Japan as a means of staying race fit, but says there has been no progress on that front in recent weeks.