Stoffel Vandoorne says he has to be racing in 2017 F1 and has options if McLaren-Honda do not hand him Jenson Button’s race seat.
The Belgian speedy, who dominated GP2 in 2015, made his Formula 1 debut this year at the Bahrain Grand Prix, standing in for the injured Fernando Alonso, but was forced to wait for a full-time drive after McLaren re-signed Alonso’s team mate Jenson Button.
“I’ve been pushing for this for a long time and hopefully things work out for next year,” Vandoorne told Sky Sports television during testing at Silverstone on Wednesday.
“I’ve done all the preparation I could do…I’ve even done a first Grand Prix now so, yes, 2017 I have to be on the grid.
“I feel very positive about next year, I feel confident I will be in a car so hopefully a decision comes sooner rather than later,” he added.
Vandoorne won 2015 GP2 championship, the feeder series that has provided a string of F1 drivers including Mercedes’ triple world champion Lewis Hamilton and his team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.
If McLaren were to retain Button alongside Alonso, there are several other outfits who are likely to be interested in signing Vandoorne, whose GP2 boss Frederic Vasseur is now running the Renault team.
“I would love to race for this team (McLaren), but…if for some reasons, which I don’t know, it doesn’t become possible then I’m positive that there are other options available,” Vandoorne told reporters at the test.