Vandoorne excited for Mercedes simulator role

Date published: December 27 2018

Stoffel Vandoorne might well be axed for 2019 by McLaren, but after earning a simulator role with Mercedes, the Belgian is excited for the season ahead.

Vandoorne spent two years in Formula 1 with McLaren, but was consistently out-performed by Fernando Alonso, and lost his seat for next season.

However, he has already started work for the HWA Racelab team in the all-electric Formula E series, taking part in the season-opening Ad Diriyah ePrix earlier this month.

The HWA team are Mercedes-backed, and the Belgian will also work at the Brackley factory as a simulator driver for the works F1 team.

“I will be involved with them,” Vandoorne said about the Mercedes team.

“That’s an exciting part for me as well, to still be involved in the F1 world and to be with the world champions. For me, it will be a very interesting move.

“I’m sure I can bring them a lot of fresh ideas, but also for me to see the differences there are, because I’ve only worked with McLaren in Formula 1.

“So it’s exciting for me as well to kind of have a bit of a fresh environment.”

Vandoorne will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat, who spent time out of F1 before returning to the grid.

“It’s definitely good to keep involved in the world because you never know what happens in the future,’ he added.

“I think to be involved with Mercedes and to perform the work for them, it’s good that they will know exactly what I’m capable of doing.

“And we don’t know what the driver market is going to do in the future.

“It was a bit crazy this season and who knows what it will be next season. It’s hard to tell. So it’s good to be involved and to be prepared for anything that comes up.”

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