DECEMBER 13, 2022
Vandoorne not giving up on F1 yet
Stoffel Vandoorne says he hasn't given up on reviving his career in Formula 1.
Now 30, the Belgian contested two full F1 seasons for McLaren in 2017 and 2018 but was overshadowed by the Honda debacle and teammate Fernando Alonso.
He became a Mercedes F1 test and reserve driver after that whilst also racing in Formula E - where he won the electric series' latest championship.
For 2023, Vandoorne is switching camps to the DS Penske team - and will also become test and reserve driver for Aston Martin in Formula 1.
When asked if he sees it as a new opportunity to return to full-time racing in F1, Vandoorne said all he can do is "perform" because "it's not for me to decide".
"When there's no Formula E race, I'll probably be in the paddock with Aston Martin," the Dutch publication Formule 1 quotes him as saying.
"It's a team on the rise, they are developing the car very aggressively and I will be reunited with my friend Fernando (Alonso)," Vandoorne smiled.
As for his chances of a proper return to the F1 grid, he added: "It's difficult to judge.
"I had a good season so people started talking about me again. I had my chance in Formula 1, but also others in Formula E and other categories deserve the chance.
"But that's not always for us to decide. It mainly comes down to the wishes of the teams," Vandoorne said. "I can only keep performing, which is my best tool."
He admitted, however, that his new Aston Martin role should see him at least return to the cockpit.
"I haven't driven a recent Formula 1 car for a while," he said. "So in terms of experience, I don't know what it's going to be like to jump from one to the other.
"The first time in the Formula 1 car will be tricky, but you get used to it quite quickly."