Is Stoffel Vandoorne really the future for McLaren? Surely losing a world champion like Jenson Button and replacing him with a rookie is a net loss for the team?
Henry Fraser, via email
Vandoorne certainly appears to have the speed and his record shows he knows how to win championships. His only outing in a McLaren Formula 1 car in Bahrain in April resulted in a point, a commodity that was very thin on the ground for McLaren at that time.
What Fernando Alonso meant when he talked up Vandoorne back then was that he is not going to keep driving forever. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to see him hang up his helmet at the end of 2017. So McLaren has to invest in the future and both Alonso and Button recognise Vandoorne could just be that long-term driver.