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."

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