Vandoorne ‘very confident’ about 2017 chances

Date published: May 21 2016 - Editor

Stoffel Vandoorne is hoping to learn sooner rather than later whether he will be a McLaren driver next season but admits there is no set timeframe.

The Belgian racer made his grand prix debut earlier this season when he was called up to substitute for the injured Fernando Alonso.

Vandoorne impressed as he raced the Honda-powered MP4-31 to tenth place, scoring McLaren’s first point of the 2016 season.

After that one outing Vandoorne returned to Japan where he is racing in Super Formula.

The 24-year-old is hoping that next season he will be back on the F1 grid with a full-time race-seat but says he is yet to learn his fate, nor does he have any idea when McLaren will make a decision.

“I don’t know when it’s going to be,” he said in an interview with “I know more or less when I want to know when things are going to move.

“I talk a lot with Ron [Dennis] and Eric [Boullier] at every grand prix I’m at and even at the factory. So I’m trying to push as hard as I can.

“I think having had the chance in Bahrain to race the car has maybe helped a bit, but at the moment there’s nothing decided yet.

“Hopefully the decision comes sooner rather than later.”

And although Vandoorne would like to race in Formula 1 with McLaren, he revealed there are “opportunities elsewhere” should the Woking team not promote him.

“Well I feel very confident about my chances for next year,” he said.

“Obviously I have a contract with McLaren and I’ve been with this team for a long time, so this is definitely my main priority to get a race seat here.

“But if for some reason it doesn’t work out then I feel confident that there’s opportunities elsewhere.”