Stoffel Vandoorne will lead McLaren's F1 future - Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso says Stoffel Vandoorne is the Formula 1 driver to lead McLaren into the future and he and Jenson Button will do everything they can to help the Belgian

Stoffel Vandoorne will lead McLaren's F1 future - Fernando Alonso

Vandoorne, the reigning GP2 champion, will step up from his reserve role to a race seat next season alongside Alonso and in place of Button next year.

It is part of a unique arrangement that has Button contracted to the team for a further two years, giving the team an option to draft him back in should Alonso leave.

Vandoorne has already admitted he has "big shoes to fill" but Alonso, whose contract expires at the end of next year, says the trio will work together and he plans to do all he can to smooth that transition.

"Jenson and myself felt that we have to be helping Stoffel getting into F1 because we know that for the future he will be the man maybe running McLaren," said two-time world champion Alonso.

"This year, Jenson and I want to fight and try to beat each other but at the same time try to help the team.

"Stoffel was helping us a lot as test driver, a lot in the simulator and a lot here with the engineers.

"For me it will not be different next year.

"I will try to do my own job but Jenson and myself will be helping Stoffel as much as we can because for the future he will be the man."

VANDOORNE 'VERY CONFIDENT' FOR 2017

Vandoorne, who made his F1 debut in place of Alonso for the Bahrain GP earlier this year, believes McLaren's three-man solution is "the best on the grid" and he is certain he has the right skillset to deliver.

"I'm very confident about next season," he said. "I've done one grand prix now which went very well.

"I'm going to be racing against Fernando who is a double world champion and Jenson will remain in the team with his experience and push the team forward.

"It's exciting times and I feel confident that I can do the job and that's what I will focus on the next few months until Melbourne [the 2017 opener].

"It is a unique structure, but it is probably the best on the grid.

"We have two world champions in Jenson and Fernando, and in myself a very young and aspiring driver that will try to push the team forward as quickly as possible."

shares
comments
Liberty Media F1 takeover: FIA keen to know more details

Previous article

Liberty Media F1 takeover: FIA keen to know more details

Next article

Would Button really make an F1 comeback?

Would Button really make an F1 comeback?
Load comments
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash Plus

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race Plus

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021