Vandoorne to become sim-driver for Mercedes in 2019

22-10-2018 14:48
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Vandoorne to become sim-driver for Mercedes in 2019

Departing McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne will stay in the Formula One in a way, as the Belgian will still act as a simulation driver for Mercedes in 2019 besides driving for their Formula E works team.

After two full seasons at McLaren as a driver, the team has decided to pull the plug on the Belgian. Both him and Fernando Alonso will not be driving for the Woking-based team as the Spaniard is retiring from Formula One. 

The duo will be replaced by teenager Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Junior, who will make the switch from Renault. 

While Vandoorne will no longer be on the grid in Formula One, Mercedes have offered him the job of doing simulator-driving for the team besides his Formula E-gig, leaving the 26-year-old with one foot in the world of F1.

"We like Stoffel a lot," Gwen Lagrue, head of Mercedes' driver development program, told Belgian radio station RTBF.

"We need his expertise and his talent for simulator work, and we'll see in the future if this opens up other opportunities.

"He's still young and has a lot of talent. Stoffel's career does not stop."

Daniil Kvyat actually did a similar thing after getting axed by Toro Rosso. The Russian did a year of simulation driving at Ferrari and has now earned himself a seat at Toro Rosso once again. Let's hope we can see Stoffel on the grid in the future again!

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