Vandoorne: Right time to leave McLaren

  • 21 Nov 2018 10:39
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Outgoing McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne had said that he believes he is leaving McLaren at the ”right time”. This comes as the Belgian is entering his final race for the British team in Abu Dhabi, for what will now be his last race in F1.

Vandoorne has also said that he has “mixed emotions” about leaving the team he has been a part of for five years, making his racing debut in Bahrain 2016 where he covered for an injured Fernando Alonso. He impressed in thr race, scoring points beating his teammate Jenson Button.

Vandoorne also had a very successful career in the junior formulas but has not managed to replicate this successful when paired with Alonso, and has not been able to out-qualify the Spaniard since October of last year.  

“I’m heading to Abu Dhabi with mixed emotions,” Vandoorne said. “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. 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.

"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.

“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.” Vandoorne's “next challenge” as he described will be Formula E, when he joins the HWA squad for season 5. 

Replies (8)

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  • xoya

    Posts: 312

    Basically, he was good enough to beat Button, but just not good enough to beat Alonso, which isn't anything to be ashamed of.
    On top of that, I believe that Alonso signed a contract that gave him all the best/newest parts first, which made the difference even bigger, or maybe that was the only thing that made the difference.
    Too bad Vandoorne got stuck in a McLaren. Had he been in a Force India or a Haas, everyone would be considering him a great potential.
    I hope he finds a way back, like Kvyat did. :)

    • + 0
    • Nov 21 2018 - 11:10
  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    Yeah it usually is the right time to leave when you're no longer wanted...

    • + 0
    • Nov 21 2018 - 23:22
    • Bhurt

      Posts: 320

      "It was the right time to leave" - Richard Nixon

      • + 0
      • Nov 21 2018 - 23:28
    • Bhurt

      Posts: 320

      "It was the right time to leave" - Nicolae Ceausescu

      • + 0
      • Nov 21 2018 - 23:37
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 886

      The kid is in denial mode. But, he deserves a second chance. Mclaren is the only glaring poor performance on his otherwise good CV.

      • + 0
      • Nov 22 2018 - 03:55
  • Hopefully not the last time we see him in Formula 1. I still think (without any actual evidence) that he has serious potential, but that's only based upon junior formulae results. However, he wouldn't be the first to excel in junior categories and fail in F1.

    • + 0
    • Nov 22 2018 - 03:26
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    Good kid, will be character building for sure and managed right, will be stronger for it - it was killing him staying there you could see it in his face. I hadn't heard (XOYA) about the pref parts for ALO?

    • + 0
    • Nov 22 2018 - 08:47

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