Stoffel Vandoorne says he is eager to retain links to Formula 1 and would consider a reserve or test role should a full-time drive be off the cards for 2019.

Vandoorne will leave McLaren at the end of the year after the Woking squad opted to promote Formula 2 frontrunner Lando Norris alongside Carlos Sainz for next season.

The Belgian’s last realistic hope of landing a full-time seat for 2019 looks to hinge on the sole-remaining seat at Toro Rosso alongside the returning Daniil Kvyat, though Vandoorne admitted his chances of staying on the grid next season stand at “almost zero percent”.

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A reserve or test driver role would provide Vandoorne with the chance to remain within the F1 circle and Ferrari could provide an opening, with the Scuderia now lacking development drivers for 2019 after current testers Kvyat and Antonio Giovinazzi each earned seats with Toro Rosso and Sauber respectively.

Asked if he would consider becoming an F1 test or reserve driver, Vandoorne replied: “The priority is first to find a race drive which will be the main focus and target and then we can see whatever options will open up next to that.

“It’s a bit of an evaluation to make really. Obviously you’re not only thinking one year ahead, you’re also thinking to the future. At the moment, I can’t really tell.

“It’s kind of hard to know exactly. To have a new challenge and having to go a few years, that’s not a bad thing sometimes.”

Vandoorne confirmed at the Russian Grand Prix he is talking to teams in both IndyCar and Formula E as he looks to secure a full-time race programme for next year following his McLaren exit.

It has been reported by that Vandoorne has emerged as a serious contender for a Formula E drive with the Mercedes-backed HWA squad ahead of the upcoming 2018/19 campaign.

“I think with everyone I’ve been in touch, I’ve been extremely well-received,” he added. “People realise how the circumstances have been in Formula 1 for me.

“They believe in my talent and my capacities and what I can do, so in a way, it’s been a nice feeling actually to be in that positions.

“The priority for me is to have a proper racing programme, and obviously in some way, stay involved in Formula 1, to still be connected to this world.

“I still feel I deserve a second chance in a good and right environment.”

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