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F1 Hungarian GP: Vandoorne teases options beyond McLaren for 2017

Stoffel Vandoorne says it remains his ultimate aim to step up to F1 in 2017 with McLaren... but he expects to have options elsewhere if necessary.
Stoffel Vandoorne has reiterated it remains his aim to make his full-time F1 debut with McLaren-Honda next season but has teased he could pursue other options if a seat with the former title-winning team isn't forthcoming

Having run away with the 2015 GP2 Series title last year, the highly-rated Belgian has spent his 2016 season in a reserve role with McLaren alongside racing commitments in the Japan-based Super Formula series, but has repeatedly expressed a confidence that he will be a full-time F1 driver in 2017.

Keen to step up into a race drive with McLaren, with Fernando Alonso tied into a contract for 2017, Vandoorne is set to go head-to-head with Jenson Button for the second seat, though McLaren says it is in no rush to make a final decision.

Nonetheless, Vandoorne believes he has other options beyond McLaren in 2017 and has warned he will pursue them if the British team isn't forthcoming with a deal.

“The main goal is to be in F1 next year, that hasn't changed,” he said. “I am contracted to McLaren and I want to be with this team next year. I've spent a lot of time with the team and engineers and feel we've been through a perfect preparation.

“I think everybody is interested in what I am doing. This year I see as a preparation year for next year and my main focus is still to get an F1 drive next year. I will focus on my role as the reserve driver but having a racing programme alongside that is a good benefit to stay race fit and sharp in any case I need to jump in the car.

“There is not much more I can really do to get the drive now. I would love to race for this team but I've always said if for some reason it doesn't become possible I am positive that there are other options available.”

Vandoorne made his F1 race debut this year with a last minute call up to replace the injured Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix, the 24 year-old scoring a point with a tenth place finish.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.06.2016 - Free Practice 3, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 with Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

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Rykard

July 14, 2016 1:10 PM

button has said he wants to be challenging for podiums next year, which could be mclaren if they pick him up, is svd a good development driver?, or williams. Personally i think mc shoud stick with alonso/button till the project is proven or otherwise - change too much too soon and it will go south quickly.



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