With just one round remaining in the 2018 Formula 1 season before he leaves McLaren, Stoffel Vandoorne says that his focus is on Formula E. The Belgian will make his debut in the electric series in December, racing with HWA.
Vandoorne has struggled throughout the 2018 F1 season, and is yet to out-qualify teammate Fernando Alonso this year. McLaren confirmed in September that Lando Norris will take Vandoorne's seat in 2019 and partner Carlos Sainz, who will replace Alonso.
"I think I’m starting a new challenge which I’m really looking forward to with HWA in Formula E,” Vandoorne said. “I don’t really have a break this winter, I’m going straight into that. My mindset is to do the best job there, so whatever happens in the future, it’s difficult to tell at this moment.
“We’ve seen the driver market this summer has been a little bit crazy, and no-one could have really expected what has happened. Things like that can happen in the future, and who knows what is going to happen? For now, I’m just focusing on Formula E and trying to do the best job there.”
Despite struggling throughout the course of his F1 career, Vandoorne believes he has benefitted from it, gaining some valuable experience that will aid him in his future racing career.
"Definitely it’s not been the best two seasons,” Vandoorne admitted. “I think I’ve had a great time with McLaren through the junior series, and they’ve supported me a lot to make the step into Formula 1. But the two years I’ve had in Formula 1 have been good in terms of experienced, but I would have much preferred to fight higher up.
“I think the timing was right to get to Formula 1. I think I was with the right team with the right support. I just think the competitiveness we’ve had over those two years has not been great. It would have been nicer to fight a bit higher up.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing