Brown: Could see Vandoorne back in F1

Date published: November 28 2018

Zak Brown: Could see Stoffel Vandoorne back in F1

Zak Brown hasn’t ruled out Stoffel Vandoorne returning to Formula 1 in the years to come, saying he wouldn’t be “surprised” if that happened.

Vandoorne closed out his Formula 1 career in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, finishing the grand prix down in 14th place.

It was yet another weekend were the 26-year-old was outqualified by Fernando Alonso and was also beaten by his team-mate on race day.

Vandoorne is now off to Formula E where he will race for the Mercedes-affiliated HWA Racelab team.

However, he won’t be completely out of Formula 1 as the Belgian racer has signed as Mercedes’ simulator driver.

Brown believes one day he could even be back on the grid.

“I think Stoffel’s a great talent,” the McLaren chief told Reuters.

“I think he did have a fair crack at it in a very poor race car but we gave him two solid years and we gave Fernando and himself equal equipment.

“He did have a pretty difficult team-mate but sometimes things don’t click and I think he’ll go on to be successful in Formula E.

“I think we could see him back in Formula One.

“I wouldn’t be surprised, it wouldn’t be the first time a driver struggled a little bit at first and then gelled a little bit later on.

“I think Stoffel is definitely a Formula One calibre driver, so you can see him back for sure.”

As for Vandoorne, he says he is not ruling out a comeback.

“I’m tying up with Mercedes, I’m going to be their simulator driver which will be a new experience for me as well so I will keep in contact with Formula One and I will still be involved in this world,” he said.

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.