Stoffel Vandoorne says he is hoping to break into formula one in 2017.
The 23-year-old McLaren junior dominantly won the GP2 championship this year and therefore cannot return to the F1 feeder series in 2016.
It is expected he will split his time between acting as McLaren’s official reserve this year and racing in the Japanese single seater series Super Formula with a Honda-linked team.
Asked if he understands McLaren’s decision to keep Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso for 2016, Vandoorne said on Thursday: “In the current situation of the team, I understand that the main thing is experience.
“What we need to do is close the gap to the others,” he told Belgian media. “But in formula one experience is not the only thing, so I will do everything I can to get a chance in 2017.”
But when asked if he is worried the Kevin Magnussen story might now be repeated with him, Vandoorne answered: “I have to believe in myself and my talent rather than think about any possible failure.
“It’s true that the longer you have to wait for your debut in formula one the more risk there is, as there are new young and talented drivers trying to come in every year. But I think that McLaren believe in me,” he said.