Stoffel Vandoorne is bracing himself for a “steep learning curve” during his debut season in Formula E, following his Formula 1 exit.

Vandoorne, who will be replaced at McLaren by Lando Norris for 2019, has joined the Mercedes-affiliated HWA Racelab Formula E squad for the 2018/19 season alongside newly-crowned DTM champion Gary Paffett.

The Belgian is expecting a tough start to life in Formula E but is confident both he and teammate Paffett can help one another during their respective maiden campaigns in the all-electric series.

“Although we are all newbies to the series, I have no doubt that we will have a steep learning curve. It won’t be easy,” Vandoorne said.

“My objective is therefore to become competitive in the series as soon as possible and to make a good impression.

“Also it’s great to work alongside such an experienced driver as Gary [Paffett]. I am pretty sure that we will benefit from each other during the season.”

Vandoorne thanked the support he received during his spell at McLaren and believes he has become a better driver despite a difficult two-year spell in F1 amid the Woking outfit’s recent struggles.

“I would like to thank everyone at McLaren for having supported me throughout the last seven years, starting with the Young Drivers’ Programme days, through to my two seasons as a test driver and finally, as a Formula 1 driver.

“Over these fantastic years I have met incredibly skilled and caring people who have made me feel part of the family, I have learned about discipline, tricks and patience and I am proud to say, today I am a better driver.”

Vandoorne was restricted to just 10 laps on the first day of Formula E pre-season testing at Valencia as he ended up 18th in the timesheets after battery issues hampered his Venturi-powered car throughout the day.

Formula 1 - Circuit Of The Americas

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