By: Reuters | Monza (italy) | Published: September 3, 2018 7:01:10 pm
Belgian driver Stoffel Vandoorne will leave McLaren at the end of the Formula One season, the team said in a statement on Monday. The move means McLaren will start next season with an all-new line-up. Double world champion Fernando Alonso has already announced his departure, with fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz coming in from Renault.
McLaren did not say who would replace Vandoorne but the team’s British reserve driver Lando Norris is a frontrunner for the position. Other candidates are Frenchman Esteban Ocon and his Force India team mate Sergio Perez, the Mexican who raced for McLaren in 2013.
The tone of the statement suggested Vandoorne had secured a position elsewhere. “I’m very grateful to McLaren for investing their faith in me over the past five years,” he said. “I joined McLaren as a young driver and have since seen my career progress with the team,” he said.
“Whilst we haven’t enjoyed the success we’d all hoped for, I’ve really enjoyed the past two seasons racing for McLaren and I have a great relationship with everyone in the team.”