Former McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne insists that he’s in no hurry to find a way back into the Grand Prix paddock.
The Belgian driver spent two seasons at Woking alongside two-time world champion Fernando Alonso. However he striggled to prove himself against such formidable opposition and was dropped by the team at the end of 2018.
With Alonso also departing F1 at the end of last year, the team’s 2019 driver line-up will consist of former Toro Rosso and Red Bull driver Carlos Sainz alongside newcomer Lando Norris.
Meanwhile, Vandoorne has now moved on to the all-electric Formula E series with the Mercedes-affiliated HWA team. However the 26-year-old had had a tough start to his new career: he finished in 16th place in his first outing in Ad Diriyah, and then retired from the two subsequent races in Marrakesh and Santiago.
That hasn’t soured him on his new career choice, however, and he insists that he’s committed to the series for the foreseeable future. He added that he’s not looking to get back to Formula 1 anytime soon.
“I’m in a completely different environment, which personally I’ve been enjoying a lot,” he told Motorsport.com last week.
“It is a lot more relaxed, because of the way the drivers get on with each other [and] the politics in the paddock,” he added.
“I’m not desperately dying to get back to Formula 1,” Vandoorne insisted. “F1 is so unpredictable.
“When you look at the driver’s market what happened last year, it was so unpredictable – no one really thought that this was going to happen.
“Some people are there that we thought weren’t gonna be there, some people are not there that we thought were going to be there.”
But despite the way his time in Formula 1 ended, Vandoorne says he has no regrets about the way his tenure at McLaren turned out.
“It definitely was not the best moment in my career after everything was running kind of smooth before,” he admitted. “But I think it made me stronger.
“There were a lot of things that I didn’t have in control myself as well, but it was character building and now I moved on.
“I can’t change what happened,” he added. “[But] I also have no regrets of whatever happened of my time at McLaren.”
As well as his Formula E commitments, Vandoorne is also looking at other motor racing opportunities in 2019. However he said that the problem was finding a way to fit everything in given the extensive preparation required to prepare for the one day ePrix events.
“If there is some opportunities to do some other racing next to this we’ll have to evaluate, but so far nothing is on the radar,” he said.