Vandoorne manager ‘confident’ after McLaren axe

Tue, 4 September 2018, 10:35

Sep.4 (GMM) Stoffel Vandoorne’s manager says keeping the Belgian on the grid is still the “priority” for 2019.

McLaren has announced that its junior driver Lando Norris will be replacing Vandoorne next season.

But Allessandro Alunni Bravi, Vandoorne’s manager, insists he remains “confident” about the future.

“It’s good that the situation is now official and clear,” Alunni Bravi told La Derniere Heure.

It is believed Vandoorne is not under consideration for a Sauber seat, but he is being linked with Toro Rosso, whose own young driver programme is not yet ready with an obvious replacement for Pierre Gasly.

Before McLaren’s announcement, Alunni Bravi said he was “100 per cent sure Stoffel will be in F1 in 2019”.

Does he stand by those words now?

“Yes,” he said. “I’m calm and confident about his future as a race driver rather than a reserve driver. That’s our priority.

“Stoffel is an excellent driver with two years of experience in a struggling team. He has also learned a lot from Fernando Alonso and was one of his best teammates.”

But what if the Sauber and Toro Rosso options do not work out? “We have a plan A, B and C,” Vandoorne’s manager concluded.

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