Date published: November 28 2018
Zak Brown hasn’t ruled out Stoffel Vandoorne returning to Formula 1 in the years to come, saying he wouldn’t be “surprised” if that happened.
Vandoorne closed out his Formula 1 career in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, finishing the grand prix down in 14th place.
It was yet another weekend were the 26-year-old was outqualified by Fernando Alonso and was also beaten by his team-mate on race day.
Vandoorne is now off to Formula E where he will race for the Mercedes-affiliated HWA Racelab team.
However, he won’t be completely out of Formula 1 as the Belgian racer has signed as Mercedes’ simulator driver.
Brown believes one day he could even be back on the grid.
“I think Stoffel’s a great talent,” the McLaren chief told Reuters.
“I think he did have a fair crack at it in a very poor race car but we gave him two solid years and we gave Fernando and himself equal equipment.
“He did have a pretty difficult team-mate but sometimes things don’t click and I think he’ll go on to be successful in Formula E.
“I think we could see him back in Formula One.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, it wouldn’t be the first time a driver struggled a little bit at first and then gelled a little bit later on.
“I think Stoffel is definitely a Formula One calibre driver, so you can see him back for sure.”
As for Vandoorne, he says he is not ruling out a comeback.
“I’m tying up with Mercedes, I’m going to be their simulator driver which will be a new experience for me as well so I will keep in contact with Formula One and I will still be involved in this world,” he said.