Vandoorne: No 2017 guarantee from McLaren

McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne has revealed he has been given no guarantee over a seat in the team for 2017.

The GP2 Series champion has seen his route into Formula 1 blocked by McLaren’s current pair of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, and insisted when questioned that he had been given no promises over making the step into the premium championship in 2017.

“It is difficult to say to be honest,” Vandoorne revealed.

“I feel I am in the right place and McLaren trust in my ability. There are no guarantees for 2017 but it is a good place for me to be here and to race for the team.

“I’ve been with the team for a couple of years now and we have had a lot of success together and hopefully we can build on that success in the future and hopefully I can get a race drive here.”

Vandoorne also revealed that a deal is close for him to debut in the Super Formula series in Japan and admitted that if any contract is struck it will be a manic year for the Belgian.

“We are still working on it at the moment. I am confident that the deal will happen soon,” he said.

“If everything does go in that direction then it will be a very busy year for me being McLaren reserve driver, going to all the Grand Prix, spending a lot of time in the simulator, being at the factory with the engineers. It will be very good preparations for 2017.

“It is important to race something at least as it keeps you race sharp and fit. It gives you something to work for during the year, even if Super Formula does not have many races per year. The cars are quick, I tested one of them at the end of November at Suzuka and they have great cornering speed which is preparation for 2017.”