Once expected to be one of the hottest talents heading to Formula 1, but when Stoffel Vandoorne stepped up to the big time with McLaren he has simply not delivered and most tellingly he has been well-beaten by his veteran teammate, Fernando Alonso.
Not helping the young Belgian driver is the fact that McLaren are at their worst ever level of competitiveness with a car that has done him no favours too. Adding to that is the no simple feat of being Alonso’s teammate.
As a result, Vandoorne has been totally overshadowed by the Spaniard who has outqualified his teammate all season.
But Vandoorne remains convinced, “I know my talent, what I’ve done in the previous series and I don’t have any doubt on myself. I think it’s maybe more people around that have any doubts, and you know how it goes sometimes.”
“You have one bad weekend and suddenly you’re the worst driver on the grid, and the next day you have a great race and you’re the superstar,” lamented Vandoorne.
McLaren have decided to go for an all-new driver line-up for 2019 with Carlos Sainz and teenager Lando Norris confirmed by the team. Vandoorne has no Formula 1 drive for next year.
Paradoxically the man that fired Vandoorne, team chief Zak Brown believes Vandoorne has it in him to succeed in the top flight, “Stoffel’s an outstanding race car driver.”
“You know, ultimately, we look to the future and Lando’s a future star. I think in a different environment Stoffel may excel more with a better race car,” added Brown before suggesting Toro Rosso take a chance on the man he axed for an 18-year-old.
Big Question: Does Syoffel deserve a seat with another F1 team in 2019?