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2018 F1

Vandoorne not speaking after McLaren axe

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Stoffel Vandoorne is not yet commenting to the media about McLaren’s decision to dump him for 2019.

Once McLaren’s highly promising development driver, the 26-year-old is reportedly now pinning his hopes on a Toro Rosso seat after being replaced by Lando Norris.

McLaren issued a positively worded statement about Vandoorne’s impending departure, but when contacted by La Derniere Heure, all the Belgian driver said was: “No comment.”

His manager Alessandro Alunni Bravi explained: “Stoffel needs to stay professional and enjoy the last seven grands prix with McLaren to confirm he’s a great driver.”

McLaren boss Zak Brown told Speed Week it had been a difficult choice, given that Lando Norris was highly sought after by rival teams.

“There was great interest in him,” he said. “Lando probably would have ended at Toro Rosso.”

As for Vandoorne, Brown said Toro Rosso should now consider signing him up.

“I definitely think he’s a formula one driver. If I was Toro Rosso and I had two free seats, I would put Stoffel in one without hesitation,” he is quoted by Marca.

“Whatever we can do to help Stoffel, we will do it in the blink of an eye. We consider him a part of the family. It has been exceptional to work with him,” Brown added.

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