SEPTEMBER 23, 2016
Vandoorne denies Button deal means more pressure
Stoffel Vandoorne does not think Jenson Button's new McLaren deal will ramp up the pressure when he makes his F1 debut next year.
The British team has signed up Belgian rookie Vandoorne, 24, to replace Button next year.
But Button, the 36-year-old F1 veteran, is also under contract and according to McLaren will be ready to drive if necessary.
Asked by France's Auto Hebdo if that means extra pressure for Vandoorne, the 24-year-old answered: "No, I think it (Button's deal) is a good solution.
"Jenson is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, he knows the team and is actively involved in the development of the new car. It would be silly to not benefit from that.
"His experience will be good for the team and I can learn a lot from him too," he added.
In fact, Vandoorne said the overwhelming emotion when McLaren recently announced his deal was relief.
"I felt relieved to sign a contract even though I had to pinch myself," he said.
"In formula one, even if you didn't doubt that I would get a place, nothing is certain until a contract is signed. So the last few months were not easy but now that everything is official it's like a weight off my shoulders."