Stoffel Vandoorne will leave McLaren at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 world championship.

Vandoorne has endured a tough campaign for McLaren in its switch to Renault power and will be let go by the team at the end of the season.

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McLaren, who have already signed Carlos Sainz Jr for 2019 as Fernando Alonso’s replacement, confirmed it will announce its full-driver line-up ‘in due course’. Raikkonen had been strongly linked with a return to McLaren, having raced for the team between 2002 to 2006 before his first stint at Ferrari, while he looks set to be replaced at the Italian squad by Charles Leclerc, but McLaren's test and reserve driver Lando Norris has secured the drive to replace Vandoorne.

“We’re immensely thankful for Stoffel’s dedication, hard work and commitment during his time at McLaren,” Brown said. “He’s a talented racing driver with an incredible list of accolades in his junior career. We’re proud to have played a part in his break into Formula 1, from his role as Test Driver to his fantastic points-scoring debut in Bahrain in 2016.

“It’s clear we haven’t provided Stoffel with the tools to show his true talent, but throughout our relationship he’s proved to be a fantastic team player. His work ethic is impressive, he has a great reputation within the team and we’ve really enjoyed working with him.

“Of course, we would have loved to achieve more success during our time together, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he will always be a part of the McLaren family of grand prix drivers.

“For now, we look to the future and to the remaining grands prix in 2018, where I know both Stoffel and Fernando will be pushing hard to fight for as many points as possible before we close the curtain on this season.

“We wish Stoffel all the best in whatever direction he chooses to take next in his career, and we’ll be supporting him all the way. We will announce our full driver line-up for the 2019 season in due course.”

Vandoorne made his McLaren F1 debut in 2016 filling in for the injured Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix before securing a full-time race seat by replacing Jenson Button from the 2017 campaign.

But the 2015 GP2 Series champion endured a tough rookie campaign in the final year of the McLaren-Honda partnership with just three points finishes to his name.

Hoping for a fresh start with the new Renault-powered McLaren, Vandoorne has struggled to impress despite taking three points finishes in the opening four rounds of 2018. The 26-year-old has been outqualified at every race so far this year by Alonso and has failed to reach the top 10 since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Vandoorne, who joined McLaren as a junior driver in 2013, and has thanked the Woking-based team for backing his progress into F1 as he looks for a new team for 2019.

“I’m very grateful to McLaren for investing their faith in me over the past five years,” Vandoorne said. “I joined McLaren as a young driver and have since seen my career progress within the team from Test and Development Driver to Reserve Driver and then to full-time race driver.

“While we haven’t achieved the success we’d all hoped for, I’ve really enjoyed the past two seasons racing for McLaren and I have a great relationship with everyone in the team.

“My time at McLaren has been a great chapter in my career and I’m thankful for the opportunity the team, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa and Mansour Ojjeh have given me to gain valuable Formula 1 experience and develop as a driver. I intend to give it my all for the remaining seven races of this season, and will announce my plans for next season in due course.”



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