Stoffel Vandoorne says McLaren will have “one of the strongest line-ups if not the best one” in Formula 1 for the 2018 season after seeing Fernando Alonso re-sign.

The Belgium driver will be re-joined by the two-time F1 world champion for 2018 as McLaren prepares for its new engine partnership with Renault after a disastrous three years with Honda.

Vandoorne says keeping Alonso at McLaren will benefit both the team and his own driving as he can continue to develop alongside a former world champion - while he believes the Woking-based team has the most potent driver combination on the grid for next season.

“Fernando extending his contract is good news for us, because it gives stability to the team and also for me,” Vandoorne said. “We’ve got a good relationship, we work very well together, so for me he’s a benchmark and I’m happy to have him alongside me. I think we’ll be one of the strongest line-ups for next year if not the best one.

“It’s always good to have a double world champion next to you, especially in motor racing. You never stop learning and every weekend I can learn from him.”

McLaren confirmed Alonso has re-signed for the 2018 F1 season but his future beyond next season remains unclear with a potential tie-in to see the Spanish driver race at the Le Mans 24 Hours as well as other series.



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