McLaren: Toro Rosso should sign Vandoorne for 2019 F1 season

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes Stoffel Vandoorne would be an ideal signing for Red Bull's junior Formula 1 team Toro Rosso

McLaren: Toro Rosso should sign Vandoorne for 2019 F1 season

Vandoorne is a free agent for 2019 after McLaren announced it would part company with the Belgian at the end of this year, later revealing he would be replaced by Lando Norris, but his options of staying in F1 appear to be limited.

Brown said Vandoorne would be a natural fit at Toro Rosso, which will lose its lead driver Pierre Gasly to the main Red Bull team and is not committed to retaining Brendon Hartley.

Why Red Bull should sign F1's 'worst' driver

A lack of eligible Red Bull juniors for 2019 means Toro Rosso is edging closer to re-hiring Daniil Kvyat, who was released from the programme last year.

Asked about Vandoorne's F1 prospects, Brown said: "I definitely think he's a Formula 1-calibre driver, and if I was Toro Rosso, you have two open seats or you appear to have two open seats, I'd put Stoffel in in a heartbeat.

"Stoffel's an outstanding race car driver. Ultimately, we look to the future and Lando's a future star.

"I think in a different environment Stoffel may excel more with a better race car."

Vandoorne has been roundly outperformed by double world champion team-mate Fernando Alonso in his two full seasons at McLaren, during which the team has struggled with an uncompetitive package.

"I think we've had a very poor car for two years," Brown conceded.

"Someone like Fernando can adapt quicker, he's got so much experience.

"Stoffel was very close to Fernando, A lot closer than, as Fernando commented, some other team-mates.

"If I look at those [Vandoorne's] debut races, besides Bahrain [in 2016], which was an impressive debut, but in the 2017 season he was going to racetracks and losing practice sessions, and I'm not sure he ever got the opportunity to get into a groove.

"And when you have a team-mate like Fernando, who can draw on all that experience and is recognised as the best guy or one of the best guys out there, Fernando's going to adapt to that situation [better]."

Asked whether he would phone other F1 teams in an effort to help Vandoorne remain on the grid, Brown said: "Yeah, I already have, and anything we can do to help Stoffel we will help him in a heartbeat, we consider him family, he's been outstanding to work with.

"Hopefully he remains in Formula 1, he deserves to, but we have some racing activities that you guys know that we are reviewing, and I wouldn't hesitate to keep Stoffel within the McLaren family if there was a seat available and he had a desire to race there."

shares
comments
Why Vettel's season is going down the pan
Previous article

Why Vettel's season is going down the pan

Next article

Ferrari more aggressive than Mercedes in F1 Singapore GP tyre call

Ferrari more aggressive than Mercedes in F1 Singapore GP tyre call
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022