MAY 15, 2016
No Friday outings for Vandoorne
McLaren-Honda team boss Eric Boullier says there are no plans for Stoffel Vandoorne to be given Friday morning outings in 2016.
Another works team, Renault, is giving Sergey Sirotkin, Esteban Ocon and Nicholas Latifi the chance to drive the F1 car during grand prix weekends this year.
McLaren, meanwhile, has hopeful charger Vandoorne waiting in the wings, but he is keeping his driving wits sharp in 2016 by racing for a Honda-powered team in the Japanese open wheeler series Super Formula.
Asked if the 24-year-old will get a Friday morning outing in F1, McLaren chief Boullier answered: "No, it would be a waste of time.
"Frankly I don't see the point," the Frenchman told the Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure. "He can learn enough by doing test days, like next Wednesday here."
Boullier hinted in Barcelona that Vandoorne might be loaned to another team next year, but he also admitted that a race seat at McLaren for 2017 is a possibility.
"Our main objective is to put him in a car," he said.
"McLaren is a possibility and of course he would be welcomed with open arms by the whole team. He really is part of the family now."
That would imply that Jenson Button's place is in doubt, but Boullier at least rejected the theory that while McLaren wants Vandoorne, Honda is in fact insisting that Button keep his place.
"Not at all, who said that?" Boullier quipped.
Asked when a decision about the 2017 lineup will be made, he added: "I will not answer. In fact, I don't know myself."