Stoffel Vandoorne says he is yet to receive a “clear explanation” from McLaren over its decision to drop him from its Formula 1 line-up for the 2019 season.

McLaren confirmed one day after the Italian Grand Prix that Vandoorne would not be part of its line-up next season, with the Belgian being dropped to make way for an all-new pairing of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris.



Vandoorne’s exit will come after two full seasons with McLaren. The Belgian rose through its junior programme before reaching F1, but has managed a best finish of P7 in the past two years, and has also failed to score any points in the last 10 races.

Speaking in Singapore on Thursday, Vandoorne said that while he respected the decision taken by McLaren, he was yet to get a complete explanation for the call, but conceded that there may not be a huge amount for the team to explain.

“Obviously it was a team’s decision, and I have to respect the decision. But there hasn’t been a clear explanation why,” Vandoorne said.

“I think that’s a question for them to see their exact strategy for the future.

“It would be nice to know. But I think there’s not much to explain.”

Vandoorne said that while he had not held “concrete discussions” with other teams, there had been some loose talks, as well as a consideration of series besides F1 should he be unable to find a drive.

“There’s been a lot of talks obviously, and not only in Formula 1. We are exploring some different series as well, which hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will know something more about,” Vandoorne said.

“Until the Formula 1 door is closed,  you’ve got to keep all the options open. There’s some interesting projects that could become a possibility for next year, but at the moment, nothing is done - still a free agent, let’s say.”


Team boss Zak Brown said last week he had already placed calls to some other teams to try and help find Vandoorne a seat for 2019, adding that if he were Toro Rosso - a team with two vacant seats - then he would sign Vandoorne "in a heartbeat."

"I think it’s a bit strange to see that coming when, you know… they’ve let me go!" Vandoorne said.

Brown also said last week he would be open to keeping Vandoorne in the McLaren family should an opportunity arise, with the British marque known to be considering a move into IndyCar for 2019.

However, Vandoorne said he doubted McLaren had made a final call yet regarding IndyCar, making it difficult for him to pre-empt a decision.

“It depends on what McLaren’s plans will be in the end,” Vandoorne said.

“I don’t think they have a clear view themselves what exactly they will do and how much they will be involved in an eventual IndyCar programme, if they will do the whole championship, will they do the whole race.

“I think until the team has decided exactly what they want to do, it’s hard to make a decision or see an opportunity.”


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