AUGUST 25, 2018
McLaren's de Ferran hints Vandoorne could lose seat
McLaren has hinted that there might not be a seat for Stoffel Vandoorne for much longer.
In fact, it is rumoured the Belgian could be a victim of a forthcoming driver shakeup.
Lance Stroll is expected to join his billionaire father at Racing Point Force India within weeks -- either in a few days at Monza or more likely for Singapore.
It would mean Robert Kubica steps up to the Williams race seat.
"If I didn't believe I could race again, I would not have signed and Williams would not have signed me," the team's Polish reserve driver said at Spa.
Stroll would oust Esteban Ocon at Force India, with the Frenchman tipped to be snapped up by McLaren. Vandoorne would be the obvious victim of that transaction, particularly as he was dead last in practice for his home Belgian grand prix.
But Vandoorne says he isn't being given a fair chance to shine.
"I am very frustrated," he said after practice at Spa.
"I had problems all day long. First the brakes, then the engine, then the floor. My DRS didn't work. Frankly it's not the ideal preparation.
"I know the team expects a lot from me, but it's up to them to give me a car that doesn't break. How do they want me to prepare for the race normally?
"I just don't know why it only happens on my car," Vandoorne added.
Vandoorne, 26, was once a highly promising junior driver, but it appears McLaren's patience may have run out.
"Stoffel is a talented driver with excellent team spirit and we sincerely haven't picked our second driver yet," sporting boss Gil de Ferran told RTBF broadcaster.
"I think Stoffel needs to focus on every race weekend to get the maximum points for the team. Should he be more aggressive? I don't think so because every driver is different.
"We're trying to help him but a situation like Stoffel's is inherent to motor sport. In F1, there are only 20 seats, it's part of the game. I don't speculate on what may or may not happen," de Ferran added.