Stoffel Vandoorne’s decision to move into Formula E for the series’ fifth season was driven by a desire to link up with a manufacturer following his exit from Formula 1.

Vandoorne made his final F1 start for McLaren in Abu Dhabi after being dropped from the team’s line-up for 2019, with the Belgian opting to move into Formula E.

Formula E - Gen1 vs. Gen2

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Vandoorne will race for HWA Racelab in the 2018-19 season, which will evolve into the Mercedes factory Formula E team for Season 6. Vandoorne will also work with Mercedes’ F1 operation in 2019, becoming its simulator driver.

Asked by about his move into Formula E, Vandoorne stressed the importance of finding a link to a manufacturer after losing his F1 seat, with Mercedes’ plans proving particularly attractive.

“I think I had a lot of discussions with Toto [Wolff, Mercedes’ head of motorsport] and their whole project, Mercedes, was very attractive,” Vandoorne said.

“I think for me what was important is to be involved with a manufacturer. I think to be linked with Mercedes and to work on that kind of level was extremely attractive.

“I had the opportunity to go there, I didn’t really doubt about that, and I’m sure that we can be competitive in the future.

“When Mercedes sign up for something, they always do it properly, so I’m 100 percent sure they’ll put a lot of effort into that program as well, which is very exciting.”

Vandoorne will make his Formula E debut next week at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia, racing alongside Mercedes DTM champion Gary Paffett for HWA.



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