Despite a difficult start to the season, where he has struggled to match well-established team-mate Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne has commented that due to his long term contract with McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, he won’t be a part of ‘silly season’ this year.
Through a combination of reliability issues and having to match up to Alonso, who is often hailed as the best driver on the grid, Vandoorne hasn’t seemed to be able to settle into the role so far this year – although last weekend’s performance at Silverstone showed some of his potential, by outqualifying the Spaniard and finishing just shy of the points at a circuit that shouldn’t suit the relatively slow McLaren.
But, the Belgian driver has claimed his seat is safe for next year, and considering the time and money McLaren have invested into his career thus far, it makes sense that they are willing to give him time to adjust.
In his Motorsport.com column, Vandoorne seems almost certain that he will remain in Formula 1 next season, although appears reluctant to categorically confirm it.
“As we head to the summer too, the heat is picking up with F1’s annual silly season of driver movements, but as far as I am concerned I won’t be getting that involved in it.”
“I have a long-term contract with McLaren and thing are going well. I don’t see any problems to be with the team next year. I want to be with McLaren and I am working very hard with the engineers and the team to build on the future.
“Making that effort now is important because I really want us to prepare as well as possible for the moment when we are properly competitive and fighting there at the front.”