Van Buuren separates from Lotus ahead of Red Bull Ring weekend

Meindert van Buuren has lost his Lotus Formula Renault 3.5 Series drive ahead of this weekend’s round at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

His team informed the Dutchman during the week that his services are no longer required, with his place in the team being taken by former Lotus driver Marlon Stockinger.

The first signs of strain between van Buuren and Lotus were apparent at the Hungaroring last month when Alexander Albon participated in free practice instead of the Dutchman, before van Buuren returned to the seat for the qualifying sessions and races.

Stockinger returns to the team to partner championship contender Matthieu Vaxiviere having raced for Lotus in both 2013 and 2014 before moving into the GP2 Series in 2015 with Status Grand Prix.

It is not all bad news for van Buuren however, as he rejoins Pons Racing alongside Roberto Merhi for this weekend’s event, with regular driver Philo Paz Patric Armand absent due to Visa troubles in his homeland.