After the Hungarian Grand Prix, reports from the paddock are suggesting that McLaren-Honda reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne is the surprise name in line to replace Rio Haryanto at Manor Racing.
But McLaren has played down rumours Vandoorne could be on the verge of returning to the F1 grid.
The McLaren-backed junior made his grand prix debut this year when Fernando Alonso was injured, but he is now being linked with Rio Haryanto’s place at Manor.
International publications De Telegraaf (The Netherlands) and Marca (Spain) said because Indonesian Haryanto’s backing has run out, Vandoorne could make his bow for the backmarker team as soon as the Belgian grand prix in a month.
A McLaren spokesman told us: “As Ron (Dennis) has already said, Stoffel is very much part of the McLaren family.
“However, it doesn’t surprise us that other formula one teams are interested in him, because he’s obviously very talented and very capable. But with regard to the rumour to which you allude, it’s just a rumour, nothing more,” he added.
Another driver being linked with Haryanto’s place is 22-year-old British GP2 driver Jordan King.
King’s father, former Sainsbury’s chief Justin King, is already involved with Manor and the Sun newspaper reports that Jordan may already have a contract in place with the team.
“At the moment, Manor would be my preferred choice of destination,” he admitted.
“I have been out in their car twice this year and once last year and that is the relationship I am building on,” said King.