McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier is happy to allow Stoffel Vandoorne the opportunity to race in Super Formula in Japan alongside his duties as reserve driver in 2016.
Boullier is eager to avoid a repeat of Kevin Magnussen’s 2015 season, when the young Danish driver did not compete in a championship aside from a one-off appearance for McLaren during the Australian Grand Prix when Fernando Alonso was ruled out following a testing accident, and ended with him leaving the team.
Vandoorne recently took to the track in Japan with one of the Honda-powered teams in Super Formula, with Boullier believing it would be good preparation for the Belgian driver, who dominated the GP2 Series in 2015, to race there in 2016 alongside his role as McLaren’s reserve driver.
“I would like him to be third driver here and do Super Formula,” said Boullier to Autosport. “There are two objectives: one is to get the speed and the fitness for the driver and the other is the Super Formula car has a lot of grip, which is good preparation.
“It is better to be a third driver here and racing than doing something else. You have to keep your chances open.”