Stoffel Vandoorne Leaving McLaren After 2018 Season
McLaren confirms that Stoffel Vandoorne will be leaving McLaren after the end of the 2018 season.
Joining the McLaren Young Driver Programme in 2013, he then became a test driver in 2014 and also won the GP2 championship in 2015. In 2016, he moved up to become a reserve driver for McLaren where he took over for Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix and impressed by scoring a point on his debut.
Following this, he was promoted to a race driver, partnering with Fernando Alonso (who’s leaving F1 at the end season) and has taken part in 34 races with the team – to date.
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing
“We’re immensely thankful for Stoffel’s dedication, hard work and commitment during his time at McLaren. He’s a talented racing driver with an incredible list of accolades in his junior career.”
“We’re proud that we have played a part in his break into Formula 1, from his role as test driver to his fantastic point-scoring debut n Bahrain in 2016.”
“It’s clear that we haven’t provided Stoffel with the tools to show off his true talent but throughout the relationship, he’s proved to be a fantastic team player. His work ethic is impressive and he has a great reputation with the team and we’ve really enjoyed working with him.”
“Of course, we would have loved to achieve more success but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he will always be a part of the McLaren family of Grand Prix drivers. For now, we look to the future and the the remaining Grand Prix’s in 2018 where I know both Stoffel and Fernando will be pushing hard to fight for as many points as possible before we close the curtain on this season.”
“I’m very grateful to McLaren for investing their faith in me over the past five years. I joined McLaren as a young driver and have since seen my career progress within the team from Test and Development Driver to Reserve Driver and then to full-time race driver.”
“While we haven’t achieved the success we’d all hoped for, I’ve really enjoyed my past two seasons racing for McLaren and I have a great relationship with everyone in the team.”
“My time at McLaren has been a great chapter in my career and I’m thankful for the opportunity, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa and Mansour Ojjeh have given me the valuable Formula 1 experience and development as a driver and I intend to give my all for the remaining seven races of this season and I will announce my plans for next season in due course.”