Vandoorne will not accept another reserve driver role in 2017


Stoffel Vandoorne - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Stoffel Vandoorne will not be prepared to accept another year as a reserve driver in 2017, and is desperate to be on the Formula 1 grid next season.

The Belgian is currently reserve driver for the McLaren-Honda team, but feels 2017 is the year he needs to be racing in F1 rather than watching from the sidelines, although he is keeping himself busy this season by also competing in the Japanese-based Super Formula championship.

“That’s definitely what I’m aiming for,” said Vandoorne on Motorsport.com. “I don’t think I’m in a position anymore to accept a reserve driver role anywhere.

“I’ve done this this year and in the past years I have been testing Formula 1 cars as well and racing in other series. Definitely I need a race drive next year. That’s 100 percent the focus.

“I’m confident there are other opportunities available. I want to be on the grid 100 percent next year and that’s the main focus.”

Vandoorne is hopeful a decision can be reached with McLaren about 2017, as the team continue to decide whether he or Jenson Button will partner Fernando Alonso next season.

“We have been talking for a bit now and at this stage talks are ongoing, but once they can actually take a decision things from there go very quickly,” said Vandoorne.

“I hope we get to that stage very quickly so everybody finds out what is happening.”