Friday, 14 september 2018, 05:35 , by Paul Macdonald
Stoffel Vandoorne has tentatively stated that he would consider competing in IndyCar next season if, as is expected, he is unable to attain a drive for 2019, with McLaren opting to replace him with rookie Lando Norris and pair him with Carlos Sainz.
Vandoorne has underachieved this year and McLaren have taken the decision to give his seat to the highly-rated Norris, who will be just 19, leaving the Belgian scrambling to find a seat before the end of the year.
He is already considering his options as options to remain with a drive are narrowing, and said that like team-mate Fernando Alonso he would consider IndyCar, though added that the recent crash involving Robert Wickens has been a source of concern.
Wickens suffered serious neck and back injuries in a horrific incident last month, and Vandoorne said: "[Indy500 is] a special occasion but obviously after what happened with Robert it’s sometimes not always that appealing.
“It’s definitely one of the biggest events in the world and I think if you have an opportunity to compete in that and to maybe fight for victories is probably something very special. But there is a lot of risks involved as well. But you have to be prepared to take risks.
“Until the Formula 1 door closes you’ve got to keep all the options open. There’s some interesting projects that could become a possibility for next year but at the moment nothing is done and I’m still a free agent.”
Vandoorne added that as fun as it is to be involved with F1, he would rather continue driving regularly than take a background role, and that is his main focus at the moment.
He said: “In a way to be involved in a Formula 1 team would be good. But the focus at the moment is to find a race seat.
“Whether that will be in Formula 1 or out of Formula 1 I don’t know yet. But to have a main programme, let’s say, and then if there is no opportunity as a race driver then I think it would be good to be still involved in some way with a Formula 1 team.”