Stoffel Vandoorne will bring this chapter of his racing career to an end at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he competes in his final Formula 1 race before switching to Formula E for the 2018/19 season.
The 2015 GP2 champion joined the McLaren F1 Team in 2014 as a test driver before making his debut in Bahrain in 2016, standing in for the concussed Fernando Alonso following the Spaniard’s high velocity accident in Melbourne.
Unfortunately it’s been a case of being in the right place at the wrong time for Vandoorne as the McLaren team continues to struggle.
“I’m heading to Abu Dhabi with mixed emotions. Although I’ve spent two years as a Formula 1 driver with McLaren, I’ve been with the team for five years and call many of them my friends.” said Vandoorne.
“I’ve built a great relationship with McLaren and it’s been a significant part of my life. My final grand prix as a McLaren driver on Sunday will be sentimental, but also the right time to say goodbye to this chapter in my career. “
Vandoorne’s best result in his short Formula 1 career was a pair of seventh places in 2017, the Belgian is hoping to go out of Formula 1 on a high.
“I want to leave Abu Dhabi on a high, so we’ll be putting everything we can into maximising our weekend and getting the most out of it. I have great memories from Abu Dhabi in my junior career, and it’s a really cool atmosphere as you race from day into night.”
While most drivers will switch in to holiday mode as the chequered flag drops, for Vandoorne he will start preparing for his Formula E debut on 15 December in Saudi Arabia.
“I’m excited for the next challenge – which begins in only a few weeks – but I also want to enjoy every moment in the car and with the team this weekend for the final time.”