One man we’d love to see returning to the 73rd Members’ Meeting is rising McLaren star Stoffel Vandoorne. At last year’s event he drove the epoch-making McLaren MP4/2 in the turbo F1 car demonstration and is hotly tipped for a future Grand Prix seat.
However, having finished second in his first season in GP2 (and won the admiration of many in the process) he’s going to remain with the same ART team and has made his intentions clear in an interview with Autosport magazine: ‘The objective is clear: we want to win the title. We showed we are the team to beat and many of our competitors have already pointed to us as their target, it’s normal and rather flattering. I am confident because it will be my second year with a fantastic team that I know well.’
Although Vandoorne’s name had been mentioned by some as a possible F1 recruit before teams began securing their drivers for this year, the Belgian ace clearly believes he has unfinished business in GP2.
McLaren confirmed to us that Vandoorne is still very much involved with its 2015 F1 effort as Test and Development driver, having stepped aside as Grand Prix Reserve Driver – that title now belonging to Kevin Magnussen. As T&D driver he’ll still be very much involved with the team wherever F1 and GP2 are at the same circuits, and will be working with the engineers and in the simulator helping to develop the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30.
By the end of the season Vandoorne could be GP2 champion and there might be a seat in the McLaren F1 team for next year. I wonder what odds you can currently get on the Belgian bagging a top-four position in the 2016 F1 championship?