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Vandoorne Hopeful Mercedes Sim Role will Benefit Aim of F1 Race Seat Return

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Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren F1 Team - Yas Marina Circuit
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Stoffel Vandoorne has not closed the door on a possible return to Formula 1 in the future, and he hopes his development driver role with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport can keep that door ajar for him.

The Belgian was dropped from the McLaren F1 Team after two difficult seasons at the end of 2018 but has already found two new homes, with the simulator role with Mercedes being backed up by a race seat with the HWA Racelab Formula E squad.

But Vandoorne hopes the links with Mercedes proves to them just what he is capable of doing after his tenure with McLaren was ended at the end of last season after a troublesome time with the Woking-based team, and he hopes another crazy off-season much like the one this year will at least give him a sniff of a race seat return in Formula 1.

“It’s definitely good to keep involved in the world because you never know what happens in the future,” said Vandoorne to “I think to be involved with Mercedes and to perform the work for them, it’s good that they will know exactly what I’m capable of doing.

“And we don’t know what the driver market is going to do in the future.  It was a bit crazy this season and who knows what it will be next season. It’s hard to tell.

“So, it’s good to be involved and to be prepared for anything that comes up.”

Vandoorne is likely to share his Mercedes duties with Esteban Ocon, who is without a drive in 2019 after being overlooked in favour of Lance Stroll at Racing Point F1 Team after Lawrence Stroll’s buy-out of the Silverstone-based outfit during the 2018 season.

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