Vandoorne could return to FR3.5

Vandoorne could return to FR3.5

Formula 3.5 V8

Vandoorne could return to FR3.5

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Formula Renault 3.5 runner-up Stoffel Vandoorne could return to the series in 2014 if McLaren cannot find a suitable deal for him in GP2.

The Belgian, who is part by the Formula 1 team’s young driver scheme, finished second in the FR3.5 championship to fellow McLaren junior Kevin Magnussen in his rookie season.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh strongly hinted last weekend that Vandoorne will switch to GP2 next year, and the 21-year-old is driving for ART and DAMS in this week’s post-season Abu Dhabi test.

While GP2 seems to be Vandoorne’s most likely destination for 2014, he says that a return to FR3.5 has not been ruled out.

“McLaren is trying to put a program together for me so we are creating some opportunities and then looking at what is best for next year,” he said. “I want to race. I only have one year of experience in big cars [after winning the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2012] so I think another year would benefit me. Whether that is going to be in GP2 or World Series again, I don’t know yet.

“It’s better for me to race, and a second year in a high-level class like World Series or GP2 would definitely be good for my future. McLaren will decide, so I don’t know where I will be. But we will keep the doors open for everything.”

Vandoorne, who is in action with ART at Yas Marina today, said his priority in testing this week was to get used to a GP2 car and its Pirelli tires.

“It will be good to compare the car to World Series [FR3.5],” he said. “The main this is learning about the tires in the beginning.

“I don’t really have any expectations. The first thing is to understand the car, the tires, and then just see how it goes. I think there is a possibility [of racing GP2 in 2014], but the test is about creating some opportunities.

“After the test we are going to sit together and look at what the options are, work out the positives and negatives of everything and then choose the best one.”

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