Mercedes FE driver Vandoorne: F1 return "not on my mind right now"

Stoffel Vandoorne says a return to Formula 1 is not on his "mind right now" as he prefers to focus on returning to winning ways with Mercedes in Formula E

Mercedes FE driver Vandoorne: F1 return "not on my mind right now"

Vandoorne - who will race for Mercedes during its first season as a works FE entrant alongside Nyck de Vries - has not won a race since 2016, when he won twice in Super Formula on his way to taking fourth in the championship.

During that time, Vandoorne endured two disappointing seasons with McLaren as its relationship with Honda broke down in 2017 and it then adapted to being a Renault customer squad.

He joined FE after leaving McLaren at the end of 2018 and finished 16th in the '18/19 standings for Mercedes-affiliated squad HWA, with one pole and a best result of third in Rome.

When asked if an F1 return in the coming years with Mercedes or one of its associated teams was something he was thinking about, Vandoorne told Autosport that "I wouldn't say that's on my mind right now".

"To be honest," he continued, "I really feel like I need to get back to winning first again - it's something I've been missing over the past couple of years, and my two years with McLaren haven't helped my case, let's say.

"A lot of people remember the two bad years I had with them, but for me the target is to really be competitive and to be winning as soon as possible again.

"If I manage to do that I'll be in a stronger position. I think the best chance for me to achieve that is right now to be with Mercedes in Formula E, so that's where all my focus goes."

Vandoorne feels Mercedes has "got to aim high" during its debut FE season and explained that "the ambitions are high for everyone" at the new team.

"Personally, I would like to win, or at least fight for victories," he added.

"Hopefully we'll have the potential to be able to do that. But it's too early to put any predictions in our mind.

"I'd rather go in a little bit grounded and be sure we manage to do our procedures right and make sure we have no issues, and then we can really build on that.

"But we'll see - time will tell. Maybe we are positively surprised in Riyadh - now with everyone having a year of experience as well [with HWA] that will definitely help us move forward quicker."

shares
comments
Extreme E reveals Amazon rainforest as second location

Previous article

Extreme E reveals Amazon rainforest as second location

Next article

Venturi Formula E team opts to become Mercedes powertrain customer

Venturi Formula E team opts to become Mercedes powertrain customer
Load comments
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Plus

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Plus

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021
Why a brutal title defence can still yield another Formula E crown Plus

Why a brutal title defence can still yield another Formula E crown

It hasn't been properly reflected by the points table, but Antonio Felix da Costa has been nigh-on flawless in his Formula E title defence in 2021. Returning to the scene of his Berlin dominance in 2020, he has the chance to set the record straight and claim a remarkable against-the-odds second title

Formula E
Aug 12, 2021