No F1 guarantees from McLaren for GP2 leader Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne says there is no guarantee he will make it onto the Formula 1 grid next year, even if he wins this year's GP2 title

No F1 guarantees from McLaren for GP2 leader Stoffel Vandoorne

The 23-year-old, who drives for ART Grand Prix, has won four races this season to lead the GP2 standings by 65 points from American Alexander Rossi.

However, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button on multi-year contracts and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen also competition, Vandoorne knows a step up will be tricky to navigate.

"Formula 1 has always been a very competitive sport, everyone knows it, and there have always been drivers who have done well and not got to F1," said the Belgian.

"We know it is still similar at the moment and even if I win this championship this season there is no guarantee I will be in F1 next year.

"I'm certainly trying my best and pushing very hard for it and I hope to be there next year."

When asked if he felt his form in GP2 had left him in good shape for a promotion, Vandoorne said: "Yes, it has to. There is not much more I can do at the moment.

"I'm trying to do the best possible every time I get in the car, every qualifying, every race I try to perform.

"That is ultimately what will put me in the best position for the future."

Vandoorne has spent an extensive amount of time in McLaren's simulator as part of his role with the team as well as gaining experience behind the wheel, most recently at the post-Austrian GP test.

"I definitely do feel ready for F1," he added. "I've been testing an F1 car last year with McLaren. That went very well.

"I'm now in my second season of GP2, that's going really well too.

"I drove the [F1] car in Austria and that went great. It rained in the morning but the afternoon went without any problems. I do feel ready for Formula 1."

Vandoorne said that he speaks regularly with McLaren chief Ron Dennis and racing director Eric Boullier about his future.

"I do have regular talks with Ron and Eric and they have made it clear to me that winning GP2 is my main focus this season," he said.

"That is the place where I can prove myself at the moment. It's most important for me to win this championship at the moment.

"Of course I want to be in F1 next year, it's what I've been working for since I was a kid, but GP2 is the main focus at the moment.

"I do have a contract with McLaren and I'm fully focused on doing the job and what I am asked to do."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams McLaren
Author Lawrence Barretto
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