Stoffel Vandoorne insists he is not thinking about a return to Formula 1 and is solely focused on doing the “best job” he can in his debut Formula E season.

The Belgian will link up with the Mercedes-affiliated HWA squad as he embarks on his rookie Formula E campaign in 2018/19, following his departure from McLaren at the end of the current F1 season.

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When asked if he sees his Formula E move as a permanent farewell to F1 ahead of last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, Vandoorne replied: “It’s a bit hard to tell.

"I think I’m starting a new challenge which I’m really looking forward to with HWA in Formula E. I don’t really have a break this winter, I’m going straight into that.

“My mindset is to do the best job there, so whatever happens in the future, it’s difficult to tell at this moment. We’ve seen the driver market this summer has been a little bit crazy, and no-one could have really expected what has happened.

“Things like that can happen in the future, and who knows what is going to happen? For now, I’m just focusing on Formula E and trying to do the best job there.”

Vandoorne has endured a tough two-year spell at McLaren alongside teammate Fernando Alonso, with his first full season blighted by a disastrous partnership with Honda, before a switch to Renault power this year failed to bring about the level of competitiveness hoped for by the Woking squad.

Having managed just 12 points so far this campaign and after failing to beat Alonso in qualifying throughout the year, McLaren opted to replace Vandoorne with its protégé Lando Norris, who will partner Carlos Sainz in 2019.

“Definitely it’s not been the best two seasons,” Vandoorne admitted. “I think I’ve had a great time with McLaren through the junior series, and they’ve supported me a lot to make the step into Formula 1.

“But the two years I’ve had in Formula 1 have been good in terms of experienced, but I would have much preferred to fight higher up.

“I think the timing was right to get to Formula 1. I think I was with the right team with the right support. I just think the competitiveness we’ve had over those two years has not been great. It would have been nicer to fight a bit higher up.”

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