McLaren Formula 1 protege Stoffel Vandoorne is set to be placed in GP2 for 201.
The Belgian finished runner-up to fellow McLaren young gun Kevin Magnussen in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series, to which he had graduated after winning the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. Rather than a second shot at the FR3.5 title, Vandoorne is being lined up for a move to the F1-supporting GP2 championship, and will take part in the category’s winter test in Abu Dhabi in the coming week.
Although McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh stopped short of confirming the GP2 plan for Vandoorne, he strongly hinted that one of the team’s young guns was heading in that direction. With McLaren pushing for Magnussen to get an F1 seat with Force India or Marussia, Whitmarsh’s comments were clearly in reference to Vandoorne.
“It has become difficult for a rookie to go in there and win it, but I do think a good quality rookie will and can win it – and that is what I am hoping is going to happen next year,” he said. Asked if he was referring to a McLaren-supported rookie, Whitmarsh replied: “Maybe…”